Heavenly Hands

Heavenly Hands Early Learning Center announced today it will open a childcare facility at Downtown Moneta on Oct. 18.

The company, which operates another location in Lynchburg, will offer childcare for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, including before-school and after-school care, according to owner Laura Watlington.

“We are not your ordinary childcare facility,” Watlington said. “We offer a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math curriculum), teach sign language and have a physical fitness program that includes yoga, dance, and sports.”

In addition, Watlington, a graduate of Villanova University, said Heavenly Hands focuses on nutrition and healthy eating. One example is the children help grow herbs and vegetables each year in an organic garden. 

“We also teach small business principles,” Watlington said. “This summer our children launched three businesses from scratch. They made their own candles, designed their own tumblers, and created their own t-shirts. It was a huge success.”

Watlington’s daughter, Eboni Watlington, will serve as director of operations for the SML facility, which will be open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We are excited to expand into the Smith Mountain Lake market and help those struggling with childcare to get back into the workforce,” Eboni Watlington said. “We are also currently hiring both full-time and part-time teachers, so anyone interested in applying should visit our website at heavenlyhandselc.com.”

Edgar Tuck, supervisor for Bedford County’s District 2, noted that access to stable childcare is essential for working parents, and it has been especially difficult to find during the pandemic.

“So many working parents in the area have had to leave the workforce or reduce their hours solely because they lack childcare options. They are truly struggling,” Tuck said. “Adding Heavenly Hands ELC to the business community at Smith Mountain Lake is exactly the kind of infrastructure we need to help parents continue to work for their families and contribute to the local economy.”

Heavenly Hands Early Learning Center SML is located at 1077 Town Circle Way in Moneta. Those interested in applying may visit the location Oct. 11-15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 434-386-8082 or 540-655-3033 or visit heavenlyhandselc.com.

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