About Us

Learning and development are emphasized at Smart Start Academy.  We keep little minds, hands and bodies busy in many ways.  Our goal is to help them to feel independent, learn how to be courteous to adults and other children, and to be fascinated by the world around them.  When a child has a strong self-esteem and a lively curiosity as a result of a good home life and day care experience, then he/she will be eager and able to take on the challenges of school. 


We have many separate classes that allow children to feel comfortable in a group setting with children their own age and/or development level.












Director: Barbara Bryan



  • Bachelor's of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Associates of Arts Degree in Education with a minor in Business
  • Certified Teacher Pre K - 5th and K-12 in Special Education


Barbara began her career in childcare at the age of 18, working in toddler and infant rooms as the lead teacher. She then worked as an inhome daycare provider and then as the director for "Its All About Kids" in Maryland.


After graduating with her BS from college, she began teaching at the elementary level before moving to Springfield. Upon her arrival here in Springfield, she decided to take an alternate route in the field of education and became Smart Start's Director in 2012. Due to her diverse employment and educational background she quickly became an expert in the regulation and administration of a well-run center. 










Director: Rebecca Ortiz








Smart Start Academy East located at 2105 Kenton Street in Springfield, was opened in 2010 by John and Melodie Whitacre. John and Melodie are both graduates of Wright State University with Bachelor's Degrees in Business, and proud parents of 5 children.


Smart Start has seen a steady increase in enrollment due to its unique warm, caring and stimulating environment. Children and parents alike enjoy the peaceful, clean and open atmosphere of our center. We try to supply the children with the latest materials, toys, books and equipment for their learning and enjoyment.


Smart Start opened its second location in September of 2016. Smart Start Academy West located at 444 W Harding Rd in Springfield serves children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. 


Our staff receives year-round in-service training in child development, as well as CPR, First Aid and Communicable Disease. All staff must have excellent references as well as a clean FBI & BCII background check.


We welcome you to come tour our facilities at any time, weekdays between the hours of 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. No appointment is necessary. We are sure that once you have visited one of our facilities and met our staff you will not want your child to go anywhere else. We have the cleanest, brightest and coziest atmosphere for your child. We welcome any thoughts, opinions and concerns that you may have. Feel free to use our contact page or call the center directly.


We will be looking forward to your visit.