EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – The CSRA’s first for-profit special needs after school program begins today. 

Love and Care Exceptional Children’s Childcare is ready to welcome elementary, middle, and high school “love bugs” to share in some exciting after school fun. 

Owner and executive director Latoya Roper started Love and Care ECC in 2021 to meet the needs of parents with special needs children like herself.

“Our son actually has autism,” said Roper. “So there was never any programming outside of school for him to be able to do fun activities.”

Roper got the name of her childcare service from her late grandmother.

“She passed away in 2018. So that name- Love and Care- came from her childcare in Swainsboro, Georgia,” said Roper.

On Wednesday, Love and Care’s brand new after school program opens for special needs children and their siblings.

A support group happens every third Saturday and themed parents’ ‘Nights Out’ and ‘Mornings Out’ happen regularly.

“I’m thankful to be able to provide a service that we needed with our son when he was younger,” said Roper. “Although you have family and friends, there’s nothing like having someone that has a child with special needs where it’s much more relatable. So, we’re just blessed to be able to provide the services to families like ours.”

Love and Care also offers childcare on school holidays.

“I read a comment from a parent on social media,” said Roper. “And she said every night before her son goes to bed he always says, ‘can I go back to camp tomorrow?’…They made a lot of friends, which is a big deal for us because our program is social and sensory based, so we do want them to connect with friends that they can build lifelong friendships with. … A lot of the time they may have things like birthday parties and no one shows up. So, everything is a big deal for us here. We celebrate birthdays. We want to make sure that parents and families are able to connect outside of being here at Love and Care. So we definitely enjoy the kids and they love being here.”

Love and Care will have its grand opening on Saturday, February 25 from noon to 2pm. All are welcome to stop by for fun and games and to learn more about their programs. You can visit https://www.loveandcareecc.com/ for more details.