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 (INSERT NUMBER) 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.

Director Bio

Barbara Borders is not only a mother to three wonderful boys, she is a successful business woman and educator in Cleveland County. Recognized throughout Cleveland County as a professional when it comes to education of young children, her desire to make a difference has taken her down many roads. 
Early on as a student at Crest Senior High School she excelled in academics, sports and extracurricular activities. She knew she wanted to further her education and make a difference in the children around her. Ms. Barbara, as she is affectionately known, is a proud graduate of Western Carolina University. After spending some time with the public school system, Ms. Barbara knew she had an opportunity to make a difference, so she opened a small home center and began the process of what is now Higher Learning Child Care Academy. As the owner and director, 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. 
Ms. Barbara has had close to one thousand children cross over her door step in the last 16 years. For many she has been a cheerleader, a shoulder to cry on, a positive role model or one who has given words of faith and wisdom. She has been a champion to many parents with her encouragement to attend school to further their own education and become more productive members of Cleveland County. Over the years, Ms. Barbara has watched and assisted her staff, both past and present, in working on furthering their education, marriages, and births of their own children. 
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.


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

drop us a line &
we will be in touch soon.




  • phone: 704-484-9001
  • fax: 704-484-6164
  • barbara@higherlearningchildcare.com
  • 1260 Airport Rd - PO Box 897
    Shelby, NC 28151

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