Passion & Purpose

Passionate, dedicated, and caring, our teachers love their work and it shows in everything they do. Finding the right people for the right job, for us, begins with finding teachers who are passionate about making a positive difference in the educational life of your child. Studies indicate that the happiest and most productive employees are those who are not only passionate about their jobs but also find them meaningful.

A work culture that supports happy and fulfilled teachers is one that we hope will retain our teachers so that they continue to provide consistency in quality of care and education for your child. And in a profession with a turnover rate as high as 30%, we think that retention is important. High turnover, across the board, negatively impacts children’s socio-emotional and language development. With this in mind, we strive to retain our teachers by creating the kind of value-driven approach to work that inspires purpose for each of them. We do this by incorporating literature on current research into our team meetings, so that our teachers can understand the purpose behind NAEYC-supported trends or ideas, some of which we choose as a team, whether to follow and implement within our school. Every single one of our teachers offers feedback and ideas on ways to improve our curricula and environment that are both meaningful to them and beneficial to our children.

Yet, Starting Points Childcare is not only built on the work of teachers alone but on the partnership forged between our teachers and families. It is through parental feedback and the ever-looping learning and revising strategy that is embedded in our educational team process that we are forever growing, developing and reaching to higher standards. We are a team of teachers and families, inspired and committed to working together for the good of the individual child and moved towards connecting our daily work to a broader purpose: that of transitioning your child into kindergarten successfully. And if that resonates with you and moves to inspire you, come join us and become a part of our family!

Starting Points takes pride in our qualified and experienced teachers. Our teachers are required to complete a screening process which includes personal references, FBI and TBI back ground checks, and work references.  All of our teachers must undergo extensive orientation, training, and a three-month probationary period.  Our teachers must also complete a minimum of 18 hours of Child Day Care Services related in-service training each year.  Additionaly, our Director is required to complete 24 hours of childcare and administrative training.  As an additional requirement, our teachers are certified in CPR and First Aid within the first six months of employment.

The Owner: Dorothy Raymond

As a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, with a background in clinical research with infants and a degree in Psychology, I can say that working with & teaching children has been the continuation of a dream that started out, solely, as a passion for psychology. 

In psychology, I was on a quest of discovery in my search for the meaning behind human nature. But it was not until I conducted research and took classes with pioneers in the field of child development, such as John Campos, Mary Main and Alison Gopnik that my interest in early childhood development peaked. 

It was here, my quest found meaning. I learned how adult relationships developed from Mary Main’s Infant Attachment Theory and found that the acquisition of language began with “Motherese.” It is through this magical development of children we see the birth, awakening, and growth of human nature. 

In this respect, shaping and guiding early childhood development can have a positive impact on humanity. And as a leader of a business of adults who teach little ones, as a former teacher, myself, there can be nothing more inspiring or meaningful than making the world a better place: one child at a time.

The Director

Kathy Lorenz has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Kendall College. She has over twenty five years of teaching and administrative experience. Kathy has been with Starting Points for over 19 years.  Kathy is a member of NAEYC, SECA and TACEE.

The Director is responsible for the overall administration of day care services at Starting Points.  This includes direct supervision of the staff, serving as a role model for teachers, monitoring the program’s operations, working with parents and assisting with the assessment of children’s individual needs.

Kathy is also a Lead preschool teacher in the three year old classroom.

Assistant Director

Kelsey Lorenz has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Tennessee Tech. She has been employed by Starting Points for over seven years but attended the school-age program as a child. She is the Lead Infant Teacher in addition to helping oversee the day to day operations of the center.

Lead Teachers

Starting Points requires all Lead Teachers to have their degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field, a Child Development Associate (CDA), thirty hours of TECTA training, or working towards a goal of achieving a higher education degree in a related field. All Lead Teachers are required to have previous teaching experience and complete a thorough background check.  A back ground check includes written and phone references as well as a FBI and TBI background checks.

Lead teachers are primarily responsible for creating individualized learning goals, observational assessments, lesson planning, supervising the classroom, implementing activities, interacting with children and working closely with parents. They are also responsible for coordinating teaching efforts with the afternoon assistant teacher.

Teaching Assistants

Starting Points requires part time teaching assistants to be trained in day care services or child development and to have experience working with children in a childcare setting.

The teaching assistants work directly with the lead teacher helping to develop activities around the current lesson plan. The teaching assistant works directly with the children, prepares materials, plans and implements activities, interacts with children, and works closely with all parents.

After School Coordinator

The after school coordinator (ASC) is a part time employee with experience working with school age children. The ASC has a degree in Education or a related field, or has a goal of achieving a higher education in childcare or a related field.

The ASC is responsible for a variety of child day care services, such as supervision of the classroom, transportation, activity planning, implementing activities, homework assistance, field trip planning, interacting with children, and working closely with the parents. The ASC is also responsible for the supervision of other counselors.

Celebrating Over 20 years

The school is so great! Nature, science, reading, writing centers and so many wonderful ways to learn around every corner. The teachers are just so amazing and wonderful with the children. My son has been in Miss Lynn’s class (go Mighty Moths) for little over a year now. He just turned 5 and has been writing and beginning to read for months now. He has learned so much educationally but also socially. So so happy he goes to Starting Points!
Christine C.

Primary Communities Served

Ball Camp
Cedar Bluff

Fountain City
Hardin Valley

North Hills

North Knoxville

Ridge Brook

South Knoxville
West Hills
Western Heights