Gilda’s Academy Copyright 2011, Designed by Main Street Local Media
In February 1984, Gilda’s Academy opened its doors to provide quality child care to children. Gilda Duplessis wanted parents to have a partnership with the center and feel they could trust leaving their children in capable hands. Many were single parents who needed that assurance. It was the first center in New Orleans East whose director had a degree in Early Childhood Education. The center became a Louisiana Class A Licensed Center which is actively maintained to date. In 1996, as the ever-changing and growing “business” of child care evolved, it became a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization to provide services for the community as the needs arose. In 1998, a second location opened to provide an infant toddler center to meet the increased need for services to children 6 weeks to 3 years old. In two locations prior to Hurricane Katrina Gilda’s Academy served a total of 79 children from six weeks to twelve years old. In 2004, Gilda’s Academy was elated to be selected as one of the three United Way/Success by 6 pilot centers http://www.unitedwaynola.org/wlc/sb6/index.html pilot sites to become nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. (NAEYC). http://www.naeyc.org The United Way/ Success by 6 Project launched the process to support and document what it takes for childcare centers to become nationally accredited by NAEYC. Then, Hurricane Katrina happened. Gilda's Academy reopened only one location and became 4 Star Rated by Louisiana's Quality Rating System for child care centers. Later, the center became a partner with Dolores T. Aaron Elementary School where Ms. Duplessis continues to be the Pre-Kindergarten Teacher for the Dolores T. Aaron/Gilda's Academy Pre-K Classroom.
The center received its state license to reopen in mid 2008. It now continues its focus to provide quality care for all children to form strong home /school connections through activities events and communication in order to prepare children for kindergarten.