When looking for childcare for your baby or child, the daycare chain Discovery Point is certainly one to consider.
This popular childcare franchise has around 50 locations in the Southeast and offers a structured curriculum that focuses on books and literacy.
But, with full-time infant places costing around $13,500 per year, is Discovery Point worth it? Or should you save your hard-earned cash and send your child to a cheaper daycare in your area?
Here’s a full Discovery Point daycare review.
Discovery Point offers an appealing curriculum for young kids with a strong focus on reading and literacy. The teachers are adored and, overall, Discovery Point is extremely affordable compared to other big-name daycares.
However, like many daycare centers, Discovery Point can sometimes experience a lot of staff turnover, which is difficult on both kids and parents.
Let’s take a look at the costs and tuition of Discovery Point, the curriculum, day to day procedures, and some real parent reviews.
What is Discovery Point?
Discovery Point is a childcare franchise in the Southeast of the United States with around 50 daycare centers located in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Many of the centers are clustered around the Atlanta and Tampa areas.
This childcare chain was founded in 1988 by Cliff and Diane Clark who wanted to create a preschool curriculum that cares for children as much as each child’s own parents would.
The chain’s child development programs cater for infants from six weeks of age, up to 12-year-olds.
Each Discovery Point child development center is individually owned and operated.
Many of the centers have earned certifications and accreditations from agencies such as NAEYC, AdvancED, APPLE Accreditation (Florida), Quality Rated (Georgia), and Quality Star Rating (North Carolina).
Diane Clarke passed away in October 2012. But, her legacy lives on through ‘Diane’s Devotion’, a charitable foundation created to help underprivileged children.
Her husband, Cliff Clark, continues in his role as CEO.
Discovery Point Teaching Philosophy Explained
Discovery Point offers its own curriculum which has been carefully developed to help children become confident and creative thinkers.
The curriculum, which is known as ‘Discovery Point Connections’, is based on research that shows that the single greatest factor in a child’s life success is the time spent hearing books read aloud.
Discovery Point Connections, therefore, focuses on literacy by featuring children’s books in each weekly thematic unit.
So, even when children are learning about math, music, or science, they’re doing so with the help of books.
Discovery Point is also partnered with The Creative Curriculum and follows its strategies.
This research-based teaching framework gives opportunities for hands-on discovery and works alongside Discovery Point Connections to build a foundation for critical thinking.
Discovery Point Day To Day Procedures/Typical Day
Discovery Point groups children into six distinct classes with activities that are tailored to their developmental needs.
- Infants – 6 weeks to 10/12 months
- Beginners – 10/12 months to 18 months
- Toddlers – 18 to 30 months
- Preschool – 2 to 4 years
- Pre-Kindergarten – 4 to 5 years
- Before & After School – 5 to 12 years
(Learn more about daycare vs preschool here.)
For school-age kids, Discovery Point centers offer a Summer Camp that offers exciting hands-on activities such as cooking, science, and trips to local museums and parks.
After school, children can also take part in enrichment programs such as music lessons, drawing classes, dance classes, soccer, ballet, chess, and coding.
Discovery Point centers each have their own commercial kitchen which produces USDA-approved menus.
Meals and snacks are included, and children are educated in healthy eating to help them to make the best choices.
Parents of babies are asked to provide diapers, wipes, bottles, and formula or breast milk.
The minimum ratios of staff to children at Discover Point are:
- Under 1 year old – 1:4
- 1 year old – 1:6
- 2 years old – 1:11
- 3 years old – 1:15
- 4 years old – 1:20
- 5 years old and above – 1:25
However, the actual ratios are usually lower than this.
Most Discovery Point daycare centers are open from around 630 am through 630 pm Monday to Friday.
However, as each Discovery Point daycare is a franchise, there may be some differences in the exact opening times and drop-off and pick-up procedures
The best way to discover the answers to any questions you have about Discovery Point is to get in touch with your local Discovery Point center and arrange a tour.
On your tour, it’s a good idea to come prepared with a list of questions to ask. You can find some ideas for things to ask during a daycare tour here.
Discovery Point Tuition Examples
The tuition fees for Discovery Point childcare in 2021 are as follows:
|Classroom||5 Days||3 Days||2 Days|
|Infant (<12 months)||$260||$205||$295|
|Toddler (12-24 months)||$240||$195||$185|
|VPK Wrap Around||$170||$130||n/a|
|Before & After School||$100||$90||n/a|
During elementary or middle school holidays and breaks, full day care is available for kids aged 5 to 12 at a cost of $190 per week, including all field trips.
It’s also available on a daily basis for $20 to $50 per day, depending on whether the child is enrolled or not and whether field trips are included.
The Discovery Point vacation policy is that full-time enrolled children are entitled to one week free vacation after one year of enrollment.
Prior to this, families must pay half of the tuition if kids are on vacation for the full week. No vacation benefits are given to kids enrolled part-time.
What Real Parents Are Saying About Discovery Point Schools
To get an idea of what real parents think about Discovery Point daycare and whether it’s worth it or not, we read through hundreds of online reviews.
We’ve collated extracts from these reviews to help you to know what to look out for when you visit your local center.
Remember, each Discovery Point daycare is a franchise, so any issues that parents have experienced may not be relevant to the other locations.
Also, owners can change over time, so you should be mindful of this when reading older reviews.
The balanced approach to learning
Many parents praise the Discover Point curriculum. It seems that this daycare chain has the balance right when it comes to structuring the day.
“I moved to Tampa a few years ago and was having a tough time finding a daycare that “measured up” to my and my husband’s standards.
“We visited preschools that were run like military bases and others that were so anti-structure/pro-TLC that it seemed that it would have been more appropriate to have the kids on the payroll for watching the teachers.
“Needless to say, balance was what we were looking for. Discovery Point Seven Oaks nailed it!”
While a few Discovery Point centers received negative reviews directed towards the management, on the whole parents were happy that the owners and directors were visibly on-site and available to chat.
“To run a loving, educated, and safe childcare, I believe all comes down to management (directors and owner).
“They got great communication whether it’s to teachers or parents. They have true integrity in taking care of kids. They do listen to your unsatisfactory issues and do an incredible job to fix them.
“And all those values get passed down to the teachers and each of their hired assistants.”
Many parents praised individual teachers in online reviews, mentioning the special bonds that they had developed with their kids.
“My son loves all of his teachers and they love him as well. I can name 5-6 teachers in those age groups that are wonderful: Miss Violet, Miss Rhoda, Miss Kashara, Miss Cera, Miss Ana, Miss Michelle, Miss Ariel (spelling may be off on a few names)…I could go on.
“They are kind and sweet. I love seeing my son run to his teachers in the morning.”
The inflexible payment policy
The pandemic has been tough for many parents and some voiced their regrets that Discovery Point wasn’t as flexible as they’d hoped when it came to payments.
“I have been keeping my kids home for the past two weeks due to everything going on with the Coronavirus. I have been paying tuition for my kids on time like I always do.
“Regrettably, we recently received some bad news that will affect my family’s financial situation. Every call I made helped me, that is until I called my kids’ daycare, Discovery Point.
“They couldn’t have cared less about what my family was about to go through. They just cited their policy which states if we unenroll them, we will still have to pay for two full weeks for both kids.”
The inflexible potty training policy
Another inflexible policy that was criticized was the potty training policy, with one parent wanting more help from her local daycare.
“Our son was not taken care of like he was supposed to. They completely refused to potty train him! Said they will start potty training when he’s able to tell them that he has to go to the bathroom… pretty sure that’s the whole point of the potty “training” part!”
The staff turnover
While many Discovery Point schools have teachers that have worked there for years, some have a much higher staff turnover rate.
This is definitely something that you should ask when you book your tour.
“Tremendous turnover rate with teachers in all classrooms. Consider yourself lucky if you have a child who has the same teacher for more than 4 months. It’s very rare here.
“Even more rare if the assistant teachers actually speak to you or introduce themselves to you. I feel like I saw a different random person in my child’s classroom each day.
“For example, one day when I went to pick up my daughter, I was greeted by yet again another random “caregiver” who asked only, “Which one’s yours?”
Discovery Point is a popular educational childcare franchise that follows a structured and research-based curriculum.
Rather than just daycare where carers watch the kids play, Discovery Point focuses on fostering a love of learning through language-rich activities.
Discovery Point is often a more affordable option than some other childcare chains such as Primrose Schools and The Goddard School. Yet it offers more in terms of structure and organized activities than some cheaper daycare facilities or childminding services.
If you think that your local Discovery Point could be a good match for your child, the best way to find out is to take a tour of your local center.
Before you go, you can also check out some other childcare center reviews:
Hope this helps!