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New Childcare Center Slated to Open in DuPont Late Summer 2013

Center Will Offer Support and Convenience for Military Families, Employs Military Spouses

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The city of DuPont will welcome a new childcare center in the late summer 2013 the DuPont Learning Center. The new and well-appointed facility is slated to be about 9,400 square feet. The center will be located on the corner of McNeil Street right behind Farelli's Pizza in the heart of downtown DuPont, mere minutes away from Interstate 5 and the Steilacoom-DuPont Road. Besides rooms for specific age groups, there will be a servery, large reception area, ample parking, and convenient vehicle access from McDonald Drive.

Sherry Helton will be at the helm of the new center. Helton, who also owns and operates the NAEYC accredited Lacey Learning Center in Lacey and Loving and Learning Childcare in Yelm, has a special place in her heart for military families.  Not only do she and her staff support and provide service to almost 200 military children in the current centers, she also makes a point of employing a large number of military spouses. Both the current centers are Army Childcare in Your Neighborhood participants.

Helton herself is a military spouse and started in the childcare business when her own children were younger. She fell in love with the center's children and the job.

"I started working in childcare and had my own kids in the center," shares Helton. "It was a great way to be with my kids and work at the same time, as Dad was gone a lot."

Helton decided to take her passion for childcare further and earned her master's degree in early childhood education.

She also wanted to give back to other military spouses with the same opportunity that she had early on and serve military families. Helton achieved her goals and now it is the hallmark of her businesses.

"It can be so difficult for a military spouse who has children to have a career when your spouse is in the military," says Helton. "

"Working in a learning center, such as Lacey Learning Center, Loving and Learning, or DuPont Learning Center, allows military spouses an opportunity to a career as well as allowing them to occasionally be part of their child's day."

Now about to open her third center, she will continue to ensure military families have the support that they need.

"All staff at the centers undergo military training," says Helton. "They learn about the things that affect military families, like deployments and the stresses on the single parent at home."

"We always ask the question: how can we help these families at the center?" continues Helton. "We make sure we understand the issues and how we can be of service to them."

"In the military community, we have to support each other. It's a culture and we are a family,"

Another perk of the center is that "streaming video" is offered. Parents and other relatives can log in and see their child. The streaming video can accommodate three users at once. Helton shared that she's had parents log in from Afghanistan and be able to see their child participate in special events at the center, like their birthday celebrations.

The DuPont Learning Center will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Children between four weeks to 12 years old are eligible to be enrolled at the center.

For more information on the enrollment process, rates, and other questions about the new center, please contact the Lacey Learning Center at (360) 455-4495 or

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