IF YOU GO
* Best Beginnings on 2029 Hickory Valley Road will have an open house Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m.
* Anyone who enrolls during July will lock in introductory rates for one year.
* Weekly introductory rates range from $108 to $199 per week, depending on age and number of days a child will stay each week.
Source: Best Beginnings
With more than 20 years of child care experience under their belts, Pat and Mansour Maurice Taslimi are gearing up to open what could be the last day-care facility they'll operate.
Best Beginnings in East Brainerd, which opens Saturday, will be the couple's fourth child care center. The Taslimis operate a Best Beginnings center in Hixson and formerly ran the Lilyland Learning Centers on Third Street and Hickory Valley Road in Chattanooga.
The 10,000-square-foot building stands beside the site of the couple's Lilyland Learning Center on Hickory Valley Road, which closed last month. Many of the teachers and students from that center will move to Best Beginnings when it opens later this week, the Taslimis said.
"This is the luxury side of child care," Mr. Taslimi said. "But it's not just about care, it's about learning."
Mr. Taslimi said no expense was spared in the nearly $2 million project that began in September 2009. A state-of-the-art security and surveillance system is used to buzz in parents or guardians, as well as allow them to view their children on a live Internet feed.
Hundreds of decorative objects line the facility's hallways, transforming the building into a scene reminiscent of a Disney World park.
It was a trip to the Orlando, Fla., attraction in 2003 that inspired the ornate approach, Mrs. Taslimi said. The couple opened its first Best Beginnings day care two years later.
"We wanted to make it an interesting place to come in," she said. "An enriched environment stimulates the brain cells ... I think it's pleasing for the children."
Decorations in each room, divided by age group from 6-week-olds to 5-year-olds, are based on the owners' travels and are meant to foster an environment promoting multiculturalism. The couple's hometown in Iran also served as inspiration, Mr. Taslimi said.
The building is equipped to house 150 children, but the Taslimis said they want to keep enrollment at about 100 to provide a more intimate learning environment. Three playgrounds and four "enrichment rooms" - a library, art studio, music and movement room, and computer lab - are available.
"Our goal is to make sure the kids are socially, emotionally and cognitively ready for public or private schooling," said Anna Ensley, the center's curriculum director.
Mrs. Taslimi said she and her husband have no plans to build another child care facility, and anticipate their son will take over the business after he graduates from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
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