November 14, 2013 // Franchising.com // Suwanee, GA – Hows King is proud of his diverse staff and clients. As the owner of two Discovery Point childcare centers in Cumming and Suwanee, Ga., he has taken a personal interest in staffing his centers with highly skilled and qualified teachers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, which he sees reflected back in his clientele.
As Gwinnett County’s population shifts, King has made adjustments in his business to meet growing demand for international childcare and has embraced the rapidly changing demographics. Today, nearly 13 percent of the county’s population is Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and 32 percent of households speak a language other than English. In the county school system, 61 percent of students are non-whites.
"I feel a responsibility to serve the needs of all members of our community, and if that means hiring staff who represent different cultures and speak languages other than English so that we can better communicate with our clients and better educate our children, then that’s what I’m going to do."
At his Suwanee Discovery Point center, located at 930 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., King takes that message even further by hosting an annual International Day celebration, which will be held this year on Nov. 8.
The International Day event focuses on a secular celebration of family traditions as a lead in to the holidays, which recognizes international, cultural and racial diversity and educates children on the cultures of other countries. At their celebration last year, they had first or second generation children from 39 different countries represented. King sees the annual event as a natural extension of Discovery Point’s childcare mission.
Discovery Point Child Development Centers is a leading network of childcare facilities throughout the southeastern United States. Operating on the philosophy of "caring for the children as if they were your own," the company focuses on creating an environment where children learn, play and develop intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically.
"This is an opportunity to learn and for the children to get to know each other and their teachers better," King said. "Part of what we teach here is to accept and love others without reservations, and learning about their background is a big part of that."
For the celebration, children dress up in traditional clothing from their ancestry. These costumes have included Korean hanboks, Polish stroje ludowe, Japanese kimonos, Indian saris and Vietnamese ao dai. Parents volunteer to speak to classes and educate children about their home countries and its customs. Children compare international currencies, and the center hosts a feast of foods indigenous to the countries represented by the children and staff.
International Day also gives the staff an opportunity to teach their charges about their own backgrounds. King proudly employs first generation Americans who hail from countries including Korea, India, Ecuador and Colombia.
"We welcome the diversity and feel we are representing multiple cultures under one roof, which is a beautiful thing. It also makes our clients feel comfortable, especially if English is their second language, to know that they will be heard and we will be able to effectively communicate with them about their children."
Discovery Point was founded in 1988 by Cliff and Diane Clark. They built the company on the fundamental belief that children thrive in an environment rooted in love and nurturing. Discovery Point began franchising in 1991 and currently has 51 locations in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee and a new location opening in North Carolina in 2014. The company currently has 40 locations in the Greater Atlanta Metro Area and expects to add three to five locations in the area within the next few years. For more information, visit www.discoverypoint.com.
SOURCE Discovery Point