About Us

Our Philosophy

Higher Learning Childcare Academy campuses partner with parents to help to meet and exceed developmental expectations of young children. We pride ourselves in having the highest standards for our teachers and facilities in an effort to provide a safe, exciting, nurturing learning environment for our students.

HLCA students participate in a wide range of classes and programs including focus areas of music and dance, Spanish and English, the basics of engineering, computer coding, sports, exploratory science, art, and more! With over 7 hands-on programs offered, HLCA enriches and enhances STEAM and 21st Century Skills in each of our students.



We believe that every young person should be encouraged to...

  • Explore the world around them
  • Express themselves through positive outlets
  • Create freely
  • Interact positively with others
  • Gain knowledge of concepts through first-hand experiences
  • Establish solutions to problems and interpersonal conflicts

At our facilities children develop a positive self and world concept through a balance of independent, group, and teacher-facilitated activities.

Barbara Borders Founder of Higher Learning Childcare North Carolina

Director Bio

Barbara Borders is not only a mother to three wonderful boys, she is a successful business woman, leadership coach and educator. She has been recognized throughout the region as a professional when it comes to education of young children and the advancement of small businesses. Barbara has been the recipient of the Cleveland County Chamber Zenith Award, Merging 10 Business Award and the Minority Development Small Business of the Year Award.

She is an entrepreneur, licensed minister, mother, author, and highly sought after motivational speaker. Ms. Barbara, as she is affectionately known, is a proud graduate of Western Carolina University and a certified Leadership Coach.  After graduating from WCU, Ms. Barbara knew she had an opportunity to make a difference, so she opened a small child care center in her home and began the process of what is now Higher Learning Child Care Academy, Inc. As the owner and CEO, Ms. Barbara aims to provide a nurturing environment where children can thrive, to be a support to the busy parent, to run a great place for professionals to work and to be a resource to the community. To date, Higher Learning has been in operation for 27 years.

Ms. Barbara has served the people of her community for many years by serving on various boards and committees, being a shoulder to cry on, a positive role model, or one who has given words of faith and wisdom. She has been a champion for many parents with her encouragement to further their own education, and become more productive members of their community. Over the years, Ms. Barbara has watched and assisted her staff, both past and present, with working on furthering their education, marriages, and births of their own children. Because of her love for business and her desire to see others realize their dream, Barbara started Beyond Borders Business Coaching Group, where she teaches people how to monetize their passion.  Barbara is also the owner and founder of an investment group, IMM Enterprise, My Three Sons Janitorial Service, and  Business With Barbara Vlog.

Barbara Borders is the daughter of the late Leonard and Elizabeth Borders of Shelby. She is the mother of Ian, Michael and Matthew. She is also an active member of Faith Harvest Church in Shelby and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 


Every Higher Learning Childcare Academy is staffed by highly trained and skilled teachers who are dedicated to helping each child to maximize their individual intellectual, social-emotional, physical, and creative potential in relation to their developmental stage. Our teachers serve as positive role models who maintain safe spaces for young people to grow.

We firmly believe in continued training and education for all our employees and staff so that Higher Learning Childcare Academy can continue to be in line with innovative practices that prepare the youth of today to be leaders for tomorrow.

We also emphasize our mission of excellence by offering incentives for our employees to exceed the state minimum requirements to be qualified to work in an early education setting.

It is because of our dedication to your students that all of our teachers...

  • Have had a detailed interview and screening process
  • Meet state educational requirement to be a Lead Teacher (85% of all staff have an Associate Degree or higher)
  • Are approved by the governing state officials through background analysis that cross references state and federal criminal records as well as child abuse reporting records to insure that each employee has a background that is clear.
  • Are cross trained to work with all ages
  • Have their State CPR and First Aid requirements fulfilled
  • Test negative to the TB skin test and physical

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