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Day care program to open

Julie Moran and Darlene Barbeau pose with children at Happy Roots child care in South Deerfield. Recorder/Kathleen McKiernan

Julie Moran and Darlene Barbeau pose with children at Happy Roots child care in South Deerfield. Recorder/Kathleen McKiernan

SOUTH DEERFIELD — On Thursday , a new early education and care certified program is opening for toddlers and preschool children at 235 Greenfield Road.

In a colorful 665-square-foot space, Happy Roots Learning Center will offer an academic-based day care for pre-school kids ages 2.9 to 6 years old and toddlers up to 2.9 years old.

Owners Darlene Barbeau and Julie Moran, mother and daughter, are both certified teachers in early education and together have more than 30 years of child care experience.

The two will provide a flexible, structured, preschool and toddler-based curriculum to prepare children for kindergarten. The teachers will focus on letter and number recognition, writing and school readiness. The learning center will also offer child-guided play experiences and free play for kids to explore their own interests.

The day care is Barbeau’s first business venture. For 16 years, she worked at Eaglebrook School as the director of its child care center.

In that position, the school received many inquiries from the community, but the child care center is only open to children of faculty and staff.

“We wanted to do child care for families in the area,” Barbeau said. “This is something I always wanted to do. We want parents to feel comfortable that their kids will be well taken care of and well educated.”

Barbeau received her director’s certification from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a bachelor’s in education from Norwich University. She raised five children in East Charlemont.

Moran, a mother of three young children, also worked at Eaglebrook for six years as a preschool teacher. Later for six years, she ran a family day care center from her home in Colrain.

With the new business opening, Moran hopes to soon move her family to South Deerfield.

Hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The center has space for 19 children — 10 pre-school kids and nine toddlers. Spots are still available.

The cost for a preschooler is $40 per day full time and $42.50 per day part time.

The cost for a toddler is $42.50 per day for full-time and $45 per day part time.

For more information, call 413-665-3344.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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