If you have young children, when you go to work chances are you depend on a daycare center. And if your job starts at seven or eight in the morning, that means the daycare has to open even earlier. Once 7:00 a.m. arrives, steady streams of parents begin dropping off their children at Southeastern Preschool Education Center, but some parents need to drop off their kids even earlier. That means preschool teacher, Antoinette Williams, is there between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m., getting the rooms ready. “They really appreciate it, because a lot of parents have to be at work at 7 o'clock so they are ready for us to open at 6:30 to drop their children off. It's nice because it's the same teachers here every morning greeting the parents, and it’s easier on the children to come to the same teachers every morning,” said Williams. Sometimes the kids are eager to see their friends and teachers, other times they'd rather stay in bed. Judy Crawford, a SPEC teacher, said, “There are mornings, they're just like us. They get up on wrong side of bed, just cranky, usually just hold them and hug them. Sometimes a cookie doesn't hurt.” Judy gets to work around 6:30 a.m. to start caring for the babies who get dropped off first thing in the morning. It is a job she has had for 30 years, but for her, it is about more than just earning a paycheck. “It's been a lot of fun, it's been very rewarding and I've always enjoyed it. I've always loved children since I was a little bitty thing myself,” she said. The job demands early hours, patience and love, and there's one reason why they do it. “You have to be in this job for the children and nothing else and enjoy what you do,” said Williams.
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