Family Tree unveils expansion -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Family Tree unveils expansion

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By Stephanie Springer - bio | email ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Every parent wants to make sure they are leaving their kids in good hands when they go off to work. Wednesday a ribbon cutting ceremony unveiled a much needed expansion of a childcare center for Phoebe employees.

 Jalynne Byrom took a part time job at Phoebe 20 years ago.

"I did not plan on staying in Albany at all," said Byrom.

But she got married and had three children. 

"My biggest concern is them being safe, happy and nurtured," said Byrom.

 Luckily all three of her children have had the opportunity to be a part of the Family Tree, a center designed to provide care and education for the children of Phoebe employees.

"The two here now they get here at about 3:30 and they don't want to go home," said Byrom.

 Today, a much anticipated and much needed expansion was unveiled.

"We were up to 235 children on the waiting list before this expansion was completed," said Beverly Waddell, Director of the Family Tree.

With this expansion, officials are hoping to cut the waiting list in half and provide even more children with an experience like none other.

When kids first come in they are greeted by a giant oak tree, which sets the tone for the entire building. As they wind through the hallways, artwork painted by a local artist transports them into a land of make believe.

"We used the farm animals for the younger children and then we went into the outdoor scene for the older children because we know they are familiar with summer camp," said Waddell.

The new expansion will not only help take care of 103 more kids, but also help draw more doctors to the area as well.

"When physician come in as moms even dads the first thing that we notice is once their family is taken care of they can work," said Byrom.

 Officials say the ability to attract and keep highly skilled doctors and staff, allows them to improve healthcare services to the community.

All teachers and assistants are trained with either a bachelors degree or an associates degree.

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