Beary Cherry Tree


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A top-rated early care and education center, Beary Cherry Tree offers a socially, emotionally, and academically appropriate environment that enables the children of Jefferson Parish to explore, learn, and play. Serving infants, toddlers, threes, and Pre-K children, Beary Cherry Tree helps mold the leaders of tomorrow.

After graduating with an MBA from UNO, Owner Paula Polito purchased Beary Cherry Tree in 1999 and has grown this center to serve over 200 families. Beary Cherry Tree ensures that teacher-child interactions meet and exceed specific standards. Children and families benefit from these quality interactions in addition to low teacher turnover and low teacher child ratios.

A current PhD candidate at the University of New Orleans, Paula’s dissertation on the determinants of successful childcare centers identifies what works. Paula hopes to help childcare centers across Louisiana understand these determinants and increase the availability of quality care across Louisiana.

Paula is deeply involved in advocacy efforts at the state and local level. She serves as Advisory Board Chair for the Louisiana Department of Education, commission member for the Louisiana Early Childhood Care and Education Commission, and advisory council member for Jefferson Ready Start Network. She previously served as Education Chair for the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. As a female small-business owner, Paula has leveraged her position to bring light to the necessity of access to early child care across Louisiana.

Paula Polito grew up in a family of educators and strong female leaders. Her grandmother and mother both worked in early care and education, her mother operating a center serving over 180 children, while her father taught and served in the administration at Archbishop Rummel High School.

“With strong female leadership combined with the structure offered by my father, I often say I have the best of both of my parents,” says Paula.

3117 Lake Villa drive // Metairie, LA // 504-455-1950 //


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Categories: 2023 Jefferson Strong