RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Most daycares or after school centers shut their doors for the day around mid-evening a Pope County woman has decided to chase her dream of opening a center with extended hours to be an extra help to parents.

The Leap into Learning childcare center is located on Arkansas Ave in Russellville and is open from 6:30am to 9:00pm, seven days a week.

The center offers Pre-k and before and after school services. 

Owner Sherry Poynter says opening her own center has always been a dream of hers, but she wanted her center to be one that really helped the community.

Poynter started teaching pre-k in Danville and fell in love with kids. 

The dream of opening Leap of Learning came while teaching and grew after seeing the need during the time, she worked at a staffing agency after teaching

“When I left there, my goal was to open a childcare facility for those parents that have to work after hours.”

She was set on her goal, but covid-19 caused some second guessing as daycare centers worldwide were forced to shut down.

Poynter says she is “still kind of scared because they have a lot of rules and regulations. Right now, many of those have been lifted but they may come back.”

She says she stepped out on faith and purchased the building located at 5979 N Arkansas Ave. But then came another challenge…inflation.

Poynter is self-funded and provides meals for the kids as a part of her program.

“It’s getting real hard every time i go to the store and something is jacked up in prices.”

She says it’s a challenge applying for grants because of the growth she sees every day to the number of kids she has.

“Every day I get a new kid, so I’m growing and it’s hard to fill out the paperwork when it could be completely changed the next day.” 

Poynter says she has many spots available for kids 6 weeks to 12 years old. 

She charges $125 a week.

And as the numbers grow, she’ll be looking for more employees.

The requirements to work at Leap of Learning are a high school diploma or GED and you must be 18 years old.

For more information call 479-857-9115