We love Tree of Life Daycare Service. Ms. Johanna and her staff have done amazing things for our family. Our story is a little different than the typical daycare story. Our son LJ is speech delayed. We started him in daycare when we moved to the Laveen area. We unfortunately, didn’t start him out at TOL but at another “facility” further down the road. With our son’s special need it was not only hard for him to communicate in general but it was very hard for him to communicate with us. While touring the “other” daycare facility we were showed all the bells and whistles and made a lot of promises that were not kept or their own policy being followed.
We were promised that our son would have one on one attention every day to help him with his speech delay, interactive educational games to help him communicate; sign language would be taught so he could start to express himself, potty training assistance and the list goes on and on. We, as parents, knew it was going to be a rocky transition not only for us but for LJ as well as he had never been away from either parent. He always had mom or dad. So we understood that the first few weeks were going to be tougher on us than him. He would cry and scream when we would drop him off and he just didn’t want to go. We experienced this for about 3 months straight and then it would be the random tantrums when going. We only allowed LJ to attend the “other” daycare for a total of 6 months.
We had picked LJ up on a Friday (a holiday weekend) and later that night, we had noticed that our son had a large bit on his back. We took pictures of the bite so that we could get some answers from the facility as to what had happened. The bite was fresh as you could see teeth marks and bruising. After the holiday, we had taken LJ back to “school” and requested a meeting as to what happened to our son and why weren’t we notified. It took the staff almost 10 days to give us an answer. Their answer was; LJ bit a kid so the other kid bit him back yet, our son was the aggressor. When trying to view the “video” the staff told us the camera wasn’t working on that day.
As any parent knows, when a child has a bite on their back they are not the aggressor but more like victim trying to get away. Yet, the staff could not produce the “evidence” that LJ was the aggressor. We were livid and had decided to start looking for another alternative. This wasn’t the only issue we had with the “school”. The 2nd time LJ got bit we had, had enough and removed him from the facility immediately regardless of the penalty.
We stumbled upon TOL while at a local ice cream shop and seeing a picture of a “field trip” to the shop. We had reached out to Ms. Johanna and we were very blessed to learn that she was going to have an opening for another child. One thing that we found to be very impressive was the fact that Ms. Johanna only cares for 10 children at a time. We interviewed with Ms. Johanna in April and we knew from the moment we walked into her home that this was the place our son belonged. LJ went right up to Ms. Johanna and gave her a hug and had no reservations about being there. In fact, he didn’t want to leave.
We shared with Ms. Johanna that our son has been diagnosed with a severe speech delay and she didn’t bat an eye and opened her heart and center to our son. We have watched our son grow and learn so much from attending her daycare center. When we enrolled our son into the Laveen School District and he started to attend a morning pre-school for special needs children; Ms. Johanna was more than willing to work in line with the school district on what their curriculum for LJ was going to be and has continued to be in line with that and offer as much support as possible.
Our son will be 4 years old next month and next week he will reach his 1 year anniversary since attending “school” at TOL. We have seen such huge progress with LJ and we contribute the success he has made to Ms. Johanna and her staff as well as Ms. Alyssa, LJ Pre-School Teacher at the Laveen Elementary School. Our son has gone from pointing to things and grunting to full sentences when we walk through the TOL door to pick him up and him running up to us saying, “I miss you mommy” or “I ride the big bus daddy”. These statements have brought tears of joy to us and seeing our son work hard and overcome his “special need” is something we were afraid would take us much longer to achieve.
TOL is a great resource for child daycare and the complete love, education, guidance and desire that comes from Ms. Johanna and her staff; I wish all parents could benefit from her program. She is a wealth of information and a wonderful support system for not only our children but for the parents that she serves as well.
I would recommend any child attending TOL. I guarantee you will be just as happy and satisfied as we have been with our son attending and the growth he has made in just a short year.
THANK-YOU MS. JOHANNA and the Tree of Life Staff…
We love you!
John & Dee Hack