Founded: 1990Generations: Four Employees: 38NEW CASTLE – What started as a dream in the home of Linda Bright has become the place where hundreds of children can learn and dream for themselves at Linda's Angels Childcare & Development Center.
[caption id="attachment_205210" align="alignright" width="520"] (L-R) Linda and Brinetta Bright | Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli[/caption]
Owner Linda Bright and her daughter, Brinetta Bright, who serves as the center’s director, run the state-licensed child care center that serves children between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years old.Linda founded the business in her home 30 years ago with all of the children being family members, and it expanded just four years later as they built an addition on their home to facilitate the growth.In 2010, Linda opened her first independent childcare center with the capacity of 169 when she only had two children enrolled. Nine years later, the max capacity of their business necessitated the opening of a second building that added more than 105 additional slots – they were completely filled in less than six months.In a year of unexpected challenges amid the pandemic, Brinetta said that staff remain focused on safety protocols to keep their “COVID circle small” and limit the risk of infection that could close the facility. She credited the center’s staff for adjusting to all of the changes, including not only safety protocols but also how the center works with its school districts.“Our teachers here are hired for early childhood education, but this year we've had about 30 school-aged children in two different rooms who go to 15 different schools,” Brinetta said, noting 15 of the center’s children are attending kindergarten remotely having never met their teachers before. “We've had to take 3-and 4-year-old teachers and put them with these kids. They've had to learn all of these different schedules, get them all on virtual learning, and cater to them, so it's been a process. No one is able to train us to do that because no one's ever done it before.”In such a year of turbulent ups and downs for their industry, being a family-owned business with eight involved members has allowed Linda’s Angels to weather the storm. That family focus extends to staff, many of whom have spent years at the facility and are supported with generous benefits for the industry, and clients. As a trained counselor, Brinetta offers services to employees and families, while Linda, who has a background in financial services, often offers to help families improve their credit scores.“We aim to give every child, every employee, and every parent a loving and enjoyable experience that they will never forget. After all we are more than just a childcare facility, we are a family,” Brinetta said.