Cassandra Myers was raised to believe that education was vital to personal development. That's why, after working as a teacher, school counselor, and special-education administrator, she decided to open Eagle Achievers Academy—a place where she could instill a love of learning in children during their earliest years.
But just because Myers and her trained, certified staff are focused on education doesn't mean they've forgotten how to have fun. The center's curriculum fosters a love of literature, music, art, and science through playful activities that encourage self-expression and the development of social skills. Activities are designed for kids between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years, with daycare and preschool sessions scheduled during the day, before and after school, and for the summer.
By engaging children on their own level, the teachers at Kids R Kids childcare center and learning academy recognize their students for what they really are: developing brains trapped inside tiny, perfectly spherical heads. The programs hew to a philosophy of "Hug First, Then Teach," meaning they encourage a child's development on an emotional, intellectual, social, and physical level. Also essential to their teaching approach is family involvement—when new skills are introduced, the instructors make sure the parents know about the approach and aren't politically opposed to arithmetic.
They rely on their own curriculum, Brain Waves, which takes a neurologically based approach that combines educational lessons with good nutrition, regular sleep schedules, and secure relationships. Additionally, the Brain Waves curriculum helps develop brains with many forms of language (including sign language) and exposure to technology in a controlled environment.
At New ADDition Childcare, daycare takes on an entirely new meaning. As opposed to a place for glorified babysitting, New ADDition keeps kids engaged, active, and learning with afterschool activities and summer programs that, in addition to structured playtime, include tutoring and homework help, hip-hop classes, and even Zumba.
At Krystal's Academy and Daycare, the instructors know that connecting with parents is just as important as connecting with kids. To inspire confidence in families, they boast custom-created programs that teach literacy, math, and other skills based on their 20 years of teaching experience. To make such programs connect with kids, they use fun, time-tested methods, keep their students well fed with snacks and free lunches, and even incorporate music into their curriculum. They offer peace of mind as well with an onsite pediatric nurse and pickup and drop-off services.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.