As the youngest of four children, Adrienne Sumter was the baby of the family. Even so,
her natural caregiving skills emerged early. When she was in elementary school, she
helped her mom watch babies in their church nursery. In high school, she spent a lot of
time caring for her sister’s new baby and helped children at church with their homework.
“I used to always say, ‘Can I help? I can hold the baby on my lap and feed him or her,’”
she says of her early years in the church nursery. “That made me who I am today, by
just giving a helping hand, making sure my mom had everything she needed so the
baby wouldn’t cry.”
After Adrienne graduated from high school, she worked in retail, at a restaurant and a
grocery store, but it wasn’t long before child care called to her again. She taught at
another school before Primrose School of Mount Pleasant opened in 2016; she was one
of the founding teachers.
“It was a special moment for me,” she says. “When I came to this place, I felt like, this is
top-notch, this is where I need to be.”
Her six years there as an Infant teacher have only deepened her appreciation for the
“Babies are complex and aware,” she says. “People think they’re just babies, they can’t
do much. That’s not true at all.”
When a baby sees Adrienne in the morning and reaches out to her, that means they
understand she is there to take care of them and play with them, she says. Babies know
that paint is for making pictures, and they start dancing when their teachers get out
shakers for Harmony & Heart® music lessons. Adrienne helps teach them how to eat
solid foods and use sign language to communicate.
Their personalities develop a little bit each day, and Adrienne gets to witness it. “This
place has given me a sense of growth, to grow with them. Before I started working with
kids, I didn’t have a creative side. Now I’m excited to do artwork with them.”
Adrienne also finds satisfaction in developing relationships and building trust with each
baby’s parents. It’s difficult for new parents to leave their child at school at first, she
says. “I love to reassure parents that their babies are in great hands. After a week,
moms and dads are fine. I love to know that they’re OK dropping off their kids with me. I
love to hold and snuggle them.”
Her favorite feedback from parents is that their baby slept through the night. That
means they got plenty of physical and mental stimulation and activity at school, and she
did her job, Adrienne says.
She sleeps “like a rock” herself, she says, both because of her busy days and because
she feels a sense of accomplishment after a day spent nurturing babies.
“We’re doing something right here. We’re doing good here,” she says.
Do you have a way with babies, like Adrienne, or maybe you connect best with toddlers
or preschoolers? View our open opportunities to find the position that's right for you.