Propelled by a degree in human development, Fran Durekas desperately sought a career where she could put her passion for children to use. Instead of finding full-time work, she landed a spot at a small after-school program near Stanford University—it was anything but ideal, as the miniscule budget and poor quality often forced her to dip into her own funds for supplies. She began looking for a way out when the director offered her the chance to buy out the program and transform this little part-time gig into the career she was looking for. The thought of redesigning the curriculum to match her high standards, treating the teachers as professionals, and upping the involvement of area families thrilled her. She went for it, opening her first Children’s Creative Learning Center in 1992.
Now a multistate company accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, CCLC continue to overhaul their programs to keep pace with the latest research in the field of early development. CCLC hire top educators, focusing on developing social, emotional, physical, and intellectual skills while maintaining important boundaries and a feeling of play. Recently, educational company Knowledge Universe brought all CCLC under its umbrella, providing its newest independent division with even more resources to help children grow into well-rounded students and not into giant, skyscraper-destroying monsters. They also offer daycare services, which operate in or alongside many of the classroom facilities at CCLC.
Finding a reliable babysitter is a tough aspect of being a parent. That's why the staff at Mother's Helpers take the worry out of finding someone to take care of children, whether for just an afternoon or for weekends away. Clients only need to call or email the service to notify when they need a sitter, and then staff match up babysitters with the parents' listed preferences. All of the babysitters are qualified and experienced with children, and no one is hired without passing the company's rigorous background checks. For parents who need a little more help, the sitters can even do errands, laundry, or light housekeeping.
It's the moment of the party everyone dreads: running out of booze. Everybody wants to keep drinking, but nobody wants to run to the store or reveal their top-secret recipe for bathtub gin. Enter Drizly, a mobile app that partners with area liquor retailers to provide home delivery of beer, wine, liquor, and mixers. The service, which has been lauded by Refinery29 and Bloomberg, is pretty quick, with deliveries typically reaching customers' doors within 40 minutes. And there's no markup on product prices?instead, most markets require a $5 delivery fee and a minimum order of $20?$30. Upon delivery, drivers scan the purchaser's ID, ensuring they are of legal drinking age.
The staff at Zoots Dry Cleaning extracts stains and stress by pairing eco-friendly dry-cleaning services with the convenience of extended evening and Sunday hours, 24-hour drop-off and pickup services (available at most locations), and an automated drive-thru system. Team members clean clothes, draperies, bedding, and rugs with a biodegradable solvent as opposed to harsh PERC chemicals, and some staff are trained to expertly excise stains from the delicate lace and beadwork of bridal-gown bodices. Most stores also have a tailor on location who is able to alter ensembles in a snap. Customers get e-mail notifications when orders are ready or they can download a smartphone app to keep a close eye on the status of their dirty laundry.
Though it doesn?t have its own zip code, yet, Kidville is a sought-after destination for youngsters. The bustling children?s center pulsates with activities designed to cultivate youngsters? social and developmental skills, such as classes in music, dance, and cooking. Art classes foster creativity and self-expression, and a play space helps children unleash pent-up energy more effectively than journaling on the living room wall in permanent marker. The fun zone also hosts birthday parties in various themes?including railroad, racecar, fairy princess, and superhero?in which the staff takes care of the details, set-up, and cleanup, allowing parents to join in on the fun.
The Gym Class’s trainers lead boot camps that are both fun and effective. Sessions are designed to promote fitness and camaraderie, encouraging athletes to work together to achieve each other’s goals. The boot camp blends traditional, callisthenic, and bodyweight exercises with interval training and strength training to help promote fat loss, often using equipment such as stability balls, battle ropes, and suspension training systems. The location of the camps can also vary, with groups meeting at recreation areas, gymnastics gyms, and elementary schools.