So they saying “it starts at the top,” this is the most accurate statement that can be used when describing TLE. Jen Eckfield is the owner of The Learning Experience in Doylestown, and she sets the bar high….Every. Single. Day.
Philip (my 4yr old) started TLE when he was 6 months. I was lucky and blessed enough to be finishing with one company at the end of my maternity leave and had a 3-month hiatus before starting with a new company. I hit the jackpot… I got to be a “working mom” who got 6 months at home with her newborn. Like every other mom, the fact that I knew I was going to have to put my son - my perfect little human being who was connected to my hip (and boob) every second of the day – in daycare… absolutely killed me. But, I had to do it. My husband and I had made the decision to live in Doylestown and save what we can and provide a beautiful life for our children… and that costs money…so, I work.
I had been to other places that frankly scared the hell out of me. And my friend had just started her son at TLE and she told me to just go there and talk to Jen… and so fearfully and with a very heavy heart, and a HUGE brick wall up, I did. And to this day, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I was just touring and I cried. Jen said for me to leave Philip in the baby room while she showed me everything. I was scared and hesitant, but I did it. And one of the teachers in there, GG – grabbed my baby and just instantly started loving on him. And she said that day, “these are all my babies.” And I believed in her beautiful smile and genuine heart, and that gave me some peace.
Philip started a few weeks later and we “transitioned” him to the environment (and me). A few hours longer each day. A very hard time for me was when I picked Philip up one day and my sister in law was over and she said “he smells like someone else” … I instantly started crying and telling my husband my baby shouldn’t smell like anyone else, and that means I wasn’t there to hug him and love on him if he needed it. But then a moment of clarity came into my post-partum brain… if he smells like someone else… that means they are hugging and loving on him. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING. This means they are caring for my child. This is what working moms NEED to know. So then I decided to 1) breath and 2) appreciate that this place and these people loved my baby. Sometimes the way we look at things makes a big different in our lives.
I could talk for hours, days, weeks about TLE… I could say how my boys, yes… now I have 2… are so smart, and stimulated never want to leave when I pick them up…seriously.
Our second son started at 10 weeks with Ms. Debbie (who I believe is an angel sent from GOD) and my GG (I call her mine, because she also held me when I cried and when I felt like I was missing things. She’s a mom too… she gets it). Both my boys have been in Ms. Cindy’s class – and she has literally become a part of our family. And then there are the teachers and aids there that haven’t even had my children in their class, but the know us, and love my kids and are involved.
TLE is a daycare/school. Yes, it is a franchise. But it stands on its own…because it has Jen. Jen gets it. She hires the right people, she watches, she reacts, she listens. She’s a badass at giving to her community. She’s is a wife; a daughter; an incredible mother to her son Jack. She’s the full package. She is TLE – and that is why we love it there. It’s a simple as that.