Celebration Church in Georgetown is working hard to prepare for full-time child care with Lionheart Children’s Academy, set to open in January.
Sheryle Knorre, Executive Director at Celebration says a serendipitous meeting at a seminar introduced the church team to Lionheart. In a confluence of planning and good timing, that partnership is evolving into a long-sought community service the church hopes will give families the comfort and support they need in a child care solution. “We like the idea of circling back to when the church was the center of social activity as well as spiritual. Families can come here seven days a week; whether for a faith-based, social, or educational need. The heart of our church and our pastors is about the people. The bridge of Lionheart and Celebration is that we can help the whole family and meet them where they are.”
Celebration has a child care program in place for employees, so they are already licensed and compliant for the new educational settings. Knorre says, “The church has been wanting to provide this kind of care, and recent growth in the area put a lot of families nearby. Our mission has always been that this new building would be of service to and a blessing in this community, and now, here we are.”
Pastors Joe and Lori Champion agree with the Lionheart mission; “It is truly a ministry and they are really in alignment with Celebration’s vision. We place a high value on the next generation because kids are not the church of tomorrow—they are the church of today. Training up leaders at any age is what we do here.”
Knorre says the rooms and outdoor areas are designed with activity diversity; e.g., playscapes and messy areas; and children’s developmental milestones in mind. “Everything down to the types of chairs and toys we will have, is intentional to help with that development. When you’re a parent and you have to make tough decisions, you want to feel comforted and secure that the people and vision you choose are really the best thing next to mom and dad.”
Celebration is hoping to help families who are dual income or single parent homes by providing a welcoming and nourishing environment for children 6 weeks to 12 years old. “We are so excited to have a staff that can’t wait to love on these kids and be a part of helping them get to know Jesus while they are here. We also have certified teachers who are delighted to be able to teach in a church environment. The whole team is excited.”
But, you don’t have to believe Lionheart’s marketing. Adèle Vermillion (pictured below with her son, Christiaan) explained how much she appreciates everything the Academy represents and does for its families.
I hoped, ideally, to be able to be a stay-at-home mom. I knew the bubble would likely pop and I prayed I’d find someone who would love and care for my son like I would.
My stepdaughter told me about the Lionheart Academy at the church nearby and from the moment I got there, it felt warm and welcoming. They knew my name, spoke to me about my whole family and told me they are not just day care—they are there for the entire child, spiritually, physically and emotionally. They said, “We are not babysitters. We are here to love on your child.” So right then I knew that this was the place, and we would do whatever it took to leave him in those good hands. I was really nervous about having others helping me raise my child, but my son loves Lionheart and every day he stops at the front and expresses, on his own, “I love my school” or “I love my church.”
Vermillion asks other parents to take advantage of their mission; that Lionheart teachers are not babysitters. They are there because they want to be, out of love for children and their faith. It is “not just a paycheck until something better comes along.” Lionheart is worthy of a parent’s trust; they are there because they want to watch children grow and learn. Visit LionheartKid.org or call 512-763-3000 to schedule a tour at Celebration Church on Westinghouse Road in Georgetown.