Business: Georgia’s Next Generation

Owner: Sara LeBlanc

Location: 24 Ballard Road, Georgia

Phone: (802) 782-8773

Website: https://www.georgiasnextgeneration.com

Hours: Monday-Friday- 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Just six weeks after the closing of Georgia House of Pizza, a new daycare center is ready to open its doors.

Georgia’s Next Generation (GNG) is owned by Sara LeBlanc, who has been working in early education for 19 years. She’s always dreamed of owning her own daycare, and that dream became a reality when her friends Cindy and Dave Lang decided to close down the old pizza shop.

“This is an opportunity to give back to the Georgia community because there’s such a need,” LeBlanc said. “There’s a need for quality more than anything, and we want to provide an environment for kids to be successful.”

GNG has programs for preschoolers, infants, and toddlers. Each program uses their own room and has separate entrance and exit points for parents. The center also boasts an all natural outdoor play area, complete with a drum set made out of tree stumps, a slide, and tunnel built into the ground and a canopy area so children can still play even when it’s raining.

Both the play area and the daycare itself were completely renovated by Sara and her husband, Dave. The design gives a feeling of warmth and well being, which GNG director Kate Driver hopes will provide an extension of being home.

GNG will open its doors to 18 children on Monday, Oct. 29. The goal is to then expand to 42 openings by January of next year. The state does not allow childcare centers to apply for STARS (Step Ahead Recognition System) until they’ve received their license, but GNG predicts qualifying for three stars within the first month of opening. The goal is to then partner with the Agency of Education to put together a plan to get to four stars by next September, so they will be able to offer Act 166 funds, reducing parents tuition for preschool. STARS is the system used by the state to determine programs that qualify for a higher rate of financial assistance.

GNG is accepting applications on their website. Those that may be interested are encouraged to click here.