“Not a week goes by that parents don’t stop and tell me, ‘We love your program and your teachers, but can you open a school that’s closer?’”
This winter, Kiddie Academy franchisee Devinder Singhs answer those requests, opening a brand new, state-of-the-art location in Kenmore, to be followed shortly by Bellevue. Joining schools in Kirkland, Bothell and Mill Creek, the Kenmore academy will welcome 160 students from infant to age 5, in age-appropriate groups – infants, young toddlers, preschoolers and pre-kindergarten group.
“Our families understand the value of early childhood education, but specifically developmentally appropriate education for infants through age five. When you add these features all together, it’s very appealing for parents,” Devinder says.
Active minds, active bodies: The Kiddie Academy program strikes a balance between structured programming and fun, understanding that learning happens throughout the day, from free time on the playground to circle time in the classroom. “We want these skills to be introduced to our children in a way that’s attractive and interesting to them,” Devinder says. Active play is also vital, and the new Kenmore location will include three playgrounds – one for infants and toddlers, a second for preschool and pre-kindergarten, and a third open area for bike riding and sports – plus a natural area with purpose-built trail.
Program content: Taking a holistic, whole-child approach, Kiddie Academy follows a multi-faceted education program, exploring areas such as language and numeracy, character – building the ideals of sharing into discussions, for example – and health. Ample outdoor play boosts gross motor skills while a technology component, including the importance of using technology responsibly, helps prepare children for future studies.
Nutrition for learning: Appropriate food and nutrition is not only vital for daily learning, but also life-long wellness, and with that in mind, nutrition is a pillar of the Kiddie Academy philosophy. With a full-time chef on-site and a focus on fresh, locally sourced, organic ingredients, that discussion becomes part of the education process as well as the nutrition to fuel the children for learning. “Nothing from a can goes into the children,” Devinder says.
Seeing mealtime as a teaching opportunity, food can also become a vehicle to explore students’ diverse backgrounds and while expanding their exposure to a wide range of foods.
Teaching success: When it comes to teachers, reactions from students and parents are revealing. “We regularly hear, ‘Your teachers really understand my child’s needs – he can’t wait to come back the next day,’” Devinder reflects. “Understanding that when a child starts a new situation, there can be separation anxiety, we soon find that instead of children not wanting to come to school, they don’t want to leave!”
Safety first: From background checks for every employee to passcode-secured entries, children’s safety is top-of-mind. In fact, the camera-equipped spaces mean parents can even check in from home or work to see their little one enjoying their day!
Schedule a visit to learn more. For more information, visit kiddieacademy.com/academies/regions/greater-seattle/