New daycare opens in Winston-Salem’s East End

Dr. Tony Burton cuts the ceremonial ribbon on My Little Genius’ Child Development Center.

New daycare opens in Winston-Salem’s East End
October 17
03:40 2019

At a place in time where infants can operate the latest version of the iPhone before they can spell their names and seeing children playing outside is rare, My Little Genius’ Child Development Center is looking to go back to the basics when it comes to education of our youth.

“You look at what’s happening in schools now, one of the big things they talk about is the children can’t read or write and part of the reason for that is we’ve become dependent on technology,” said Dr. Tony Burton, My Little Genius’ founder and chief executive officer.

“One of the things we’re trying to do here is bring back the basics so our children have the foundation they truly need. We’re going to teach them how to write using the three lines; we’re going to teach them about reading. We’re going to teach them about going outside and playing in the dirt.”

Burton, who earned his doctorate in education administration from Columbia University, is no stranger to the early education scene here in Winston-Salem. For more than a decade, Burton served as CEO of Northwest Child Development Centers (NWCDC) Inc. of Winston-Salem, a nonprofit founded in 1970. As CEO of NWCDC, Burton was responsible for leading and coordinating activities for four different childcare centers including MudPies Downtown East, which was located downtown until it was sold in 2018.

Burton said after years of working in education, he started to realize that kids don’t know how to play and interact with each other anymore. He said My Little Genius’ is about getting back to the grassroots of learning, communicating and working with others.

“We’re looking to go back to the grassroots,” Burton said. “Our children don’t know how to go outside and play anymore. They know how to do a lot of things with computers and cell phones, so I saw this as an opportunity to give children a chance to go back and grab what they really need.”

Located at 1000 East Fourth Street, My Little Genius’ offers child development for ages birth-12 years. My Little Genius’ will also offer after school care for older children. The classrooms throughout the building are separated by age and each classroom has age appropriate items designed to help children develop. There are separate classrooms for infants, two-year-olds, three-year-olds, four-year-olds, and five-year-olds.

Burton said once everything is up and running, My Little Genius’ will be unlike any other childcare facility in the area. Along with learning the basics of reading and writing, Burton also talked about introducing children to farming, yoga, live science projects, animals, and much more.

“When I was growing up, my mother would put us outside in the morning and we would stay out all day. And we didn’t have a whole lot of things to play with, we made things to play with,” Burton continued. “We had to go out and be creative … but we’ve gotten away from that. But what we’re trying to do here is go back and pick up some of those things that help kids be kids.”

While giving the grand tour of the facility last week, Brittani M. Williams, center director, said her goal is to create as many positive experiences for the children and their families as possible. She said it’s important to provide support for the entire family because learning has to happen outside the classroom as well.

“We only have them about eight hours out of the day. If there’s not a connection with the family, then it’s not really a connection at all,” Williams said. If the family isn’t on board, there’s going to be conflict. The family is primary and we’re secondary; however, to create a fostering and nurturing environment, we need to have the families involved as much as possible.”

According to Williams, parents are welcome to visit their child at any time throughout the day. My Little Genius’ also offers an app that will allow parents to see what their young geniuses are doing at any time.

When asked what sets My Little Genius’ apart from other childcare facilities in the area, Williams said the fact that they are focusing on creating positive experiences by introducing children to different things.

“We’re really focusing on experiences, I can’t say that enough,” Williams said. “Getting these children into different things and allowing them to experience life right here in Winston-Salem. They don’t have to go to a different state or city to become knowledgeable about their surroundings.”

Enrollment for My Little Genius’ Child Development Center is open now. For more information, visit or call 336-893-5105. You can also stop by the facility at 1000 Fourth Street East for a tour.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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