The COLE Center Improving Outdoor Childcare Centers

Administrator Laqueena Balser

The COLE Center is a year-round licensed childcare center located at 3751 Carthage Rd. at the end of Seven Lakes Drive. It serves families in the West End area by caring for up to nineteen students, birth to age six, throughout the week.

Cynthia Secura, owner of Moore Pediatric Therapy, founded the COLE Center to try to provide a Creative Outdoor Learning Experience (COLE) for children.

Secura grew up in the country with woods and fields. She wants to provide the same stimulating environment for the children in her care.

“I don’t want to be a regular daycare,” she said.

Cynthia Secura

The COLE Center originally began as a half-day program, but became available for full-day care in January 2016.

Care is also available for children with special needs. Therapy is provided on-site including speech and physical therapy. An early intervention therapist who is certified in North Carolina may come in as needed to work one-on-one with children aged birth – 3 years.

Children’s meals are served at the COLE Center and include fresh fruits and vegetables through the USDA Food Program.

All COLE Center teachers have a minimum of an associate’s degree. The teachers include April Culbrson, Cathy Sesta, Naomi Reese, and Administrator Laqueena Balser.

“Every teacher works together,” Secura said.

Although only nineteen children are accepted into the program at a time, it provides a small, personable atmosphere. The children are divided into different classrooms depending on their age.

Secura is currently reaching out to the community for help organizing the Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE).

April Culbrson with her 2 year old class.

On March 18th there will be a playground work day for the COLE Center. Community members are invited to donate items or time to help set up outdoor areas.

The OLE will have multiple centers including a mud kitchen, balance beams, a stage with curtains for dramatic play, and a “loose play” area with wood, sticks, and acorns. Secura believes that spending time outdoors with nature helps all children to learn creatively in their own way.

In addition, Secura hopes to have chickens soon so that the children can care for the animals and eat the eggs.

The COLE Center will have a yard sale on April 15th to raise funds. 100% of the proceeds will go straight to the OLE and the classrooms.

Another goal for the COLE Center is to have therapeutic horseback riding at the stables in Seven Lakes North.

The COLE Center is open Monday – Friday, 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM. To sign up or for more details, call Cyndi Secura at (910) 585-1912.  To visit the COLE Center Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.