2024 Faces of NOLA Family

2024 The Face of Early Childhood Education

Beary Cherry Tree is a family-owned and operated early childhood education center that is 34 years old and spans three generations. Dr. Paula Polito has been the owner and operator since 1999 after she took over the center from her mother. After the purchase, every day Dr. Polito was developing relationships with families and teachers trying to make Beary Cherry Tree the very best childcare center it could be. Part of that journey was for her to get out and find what best practices look like. For the last 10 years, Dr. Polito has been a strong advocate for early childcare and education statewide. She says the mission of Beary Cherry Tree aligns nicely with her passion for advocating for all children.

“I want all children to be able to access high-quality care and education,” says Dr. Polito.

At Beary Cherry Tree, the teachers are more than just babysitters. They have various college degrees, use a tier-one curriculum, and are always actively getting children socially, emotionally, and academically ready for primary school.

“Many of our employees and children, including mine, came here as infants and are off to school and successful now,” Dr. Polito says. “All children should have access to high-quality early care and education regardless of their economic background. We are able to offer that at Beary Cherry Tree. In order to make our community a better place, we must prioritize our youngest learners.”

What differentiates Beary Cherry Tree from other centers is its excellent, caring staff and its clean environment. With 16 classrooms and 50 teachers, Dr. Polito and her team have so many amazing ideas planned for the future of the center, including expanding the center to provide more services and flexibility.

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