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Our History

In 1993 Nana's Place Learning Center was born as a ministry for first-time parents from the heart of Doris W. Smith. Nana's Place opened its doors as an In-Home facility for first-time mothers and fathers who struggled with leaving their children in virtually unknown places, with unknown people. The pain and frustration did not fall on deaf ears in those physician's offices; as a pediatric nurse, Doris heard those cries, and an institution for academic excellence, spiritual growth, nutritional splendor, safety, and comforting nurture was realized. Parents were given an option that allowed them to leave their most precious possessions with someone that felt like their very own "Nana".


In 1998, Nana's Place moved to its current location and grew to a Medium center. The premise of Nana's Place was not lost in this growth, it grew also. Nana's Place developed the motto "Partnership Approach". The program partnered with families to promote the "whole child" through a rigorous academic curriculum, cultural fusion, community service, physical education, strong Christian values, and a legacy of student graduates that are beyond Kindergarten readiness. Nana's Place produces graduates in partnership with families, that have a proven record of high achievement. The "whole" child's development is fostered here, spiritually, socially, emotionally, physically, mentally, and aesthetically.


We proudly feature A Beka and The Creative Curriculum for Preschool. We provide an environment for "Learning Beyond The Walls", where students learn outside of the classroom through various field trips and service projects. Our curriculum offers valuable concepts to enrich the learning environment, which include phonics, emergent readers, math skills, science, social skills, motor skill development,  and technology.

Our  Team

Executive Director /Operator

Karen Smith-Jones


Office Manager

Shannon Mills Williams


A Message from Nana ~

Years ago, God gave me the vision to care for children in an atmosphere that was loving, nurturing, and that promoted learning all while serving as a safe haven and place of comfort for working parents. Not just any child care facility but one that would expose children to the arts via music and field trips to theaters and museums, one that would provide a glimpse of life outside of 4 walls through a foreign language, and one that would bring learning to life with excursions to local parks, the zoo or the beach. A place where that ensured a solid start to a lifelong journey of exploration, innovation, and education, a place where meals were balanced and nutritious and a place that was second to none! 

Doris "Nana" Smith

Founder and CEO

It took years of hard work, sacrifice, and discipline to reach this point but most of all it took faith-led direction. At Nana's, we are committed to providing a quality learning experience that will ensure your child is ready for kindergarten in the public or private sector and one where parents are pleased with their child's progress. For more than 20 plus, we've served each and every family with the same care we would desire ourselves. We are grateful for every opportunity afforded us and appreciate being trusted by so many over the years. As our vision expands, our commitment remains.


Continuing the tradition,

Doris "Nana" Smith

Founder and CEO

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