Keeping the "child" in the heart of childcare
The SoulShine story starts in 2008 when Shannon Smith embraced a change to the definition of childcare. After years of working for “traditional” daycare providers, Shannon realized that the focus wasn’t on nurturing the whole child.
She decided to create a place where the child lives in the heart of a holistic, nurturing environment that also nurtures the earth's environment.
From its humble, grass roots beginning with just 20 families, SoulShine has blossomed into a thriving community of more than 200 families.
SoulShine strives to respect the ecosystem we all live in. We are all connected and working together for the greater good of our children and our community. SoulShine’s permaculture-inspired curriculum seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings, creating self-sustaining ecosystems. From the locally sourced food we provide, to every nature-inspired activity they experience, SoulShine continues its mission to teach the next generation of children, so they will be community-focused, culturally responsible and compassionate agents of change.
Take a Look at SoulShine's Purpose
SoulShine Founding Principles
We strive at all times to:
- Create a sustainable, eco-friendly, home-like experience for your child
- Identify and support the optimal physical, social, and emotional development of each child
- Concentrate our efforts and resources toward student readiness and school success
- Develop creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, language and literacy skills
- Provide a wide range of developmentally appropriate experiences
- Provide daily opportunities for development of good physical health, well-being, and movement skills
- Help children learn how to handle their own emotions and consider the feelings of others
- Develop each child’s sense of self-worth
- Integrate multicultural awareness into all areas of the curriculum
We Practice Inclusion
SoulShine embraces the loving light that emanates from the heart of every human, adult and child alike. We hold our staff, our contractors, and our parents to the highest level of acceptance and inclusion, and we encourage our community to endorse this loving philosophy, both here and in the world.
- We pledge to treat everyone fairly, equally and with respect
- We embrace and encourage our differences
- We pledge to welcome everyone, irrespective of
- ethnic origin
- nationality or national origin
- gender identity or expression
- religion or belief
- marital status
- social class
Campus Operations Officer
Kirkwood & Decatur
Melinda Thomas is a Florida native who has called Atlanta home since 2015 and been in childcare since 2007. As an auntie, a babysitter and a nanny, she is dedicated to helping children learn through playful and fun activities. She enjoys kickboxing, discovering new foods and places, and spending time with her wife.
Founder & Visionary
Kirkwood & Decatur