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.
The professional teachers and staff at The Children’s Courtyard nurture minds and nourish spirits in tots ranging from 6 weeks to 13 years old. Armed with training they receive at The Children’s Courtyard’s unique master schools, they lead engaging programs in interactive classrooms, most of which brim with computers equipped with up to 50 learning programs. Class participants play games, sing songs, and interact with friends, which allows them to learn valuable skills in cognition, conflict resolution, and academic performance through activities geared toward their age group. Regular programs inspire little minds in half- and full-day increments, and summer camps take kids on field trips to see new animals at the zoo, sing a song at a recording studio, and muse over the complex metaphors for the role of capitalism in a local fairy-tale play.
Instructor Cindy Weller—who holds master-level certifications from Pilates Method Alliance and Pilates Academy International—and her team of nationally certified instructors draw on more than 500 hours of training as they lead private and semi-private Pilates classes. Limited class sizes reduce the chance of getting several students who share the name "Agapithe" and let instructors focus on customizing each workout. When teachers aren't leading sports-performance, rehabilitation, or men's classes, they whip physiques into shape with the Redcord suspension system, mat Pilates, reformer Pilates, tower Pilates, yoga, and ballet classes.
Ease a brain fraught with parental worry by leaving youngsters under PlayTime for Kids' caring eyes. Attentive, licensed supervisors encourage tykes to socialize, exercise across a variety of play equipment, and philosophize with leading postmodern theorists. The fully enclosed play center features a secured front door and stringent identification policies, keeping kids completely safe from candy salesmonsters as they frolic through multiple play areas and surpass their elders' tech literacy in a developmentally appropriate computer center. Today's Groupon nets a waived membership fee ($65 value) and a suite of options for busy parents, whether the goal is achieving a childfree shopping trip, a worry-free movie date, or a more regular place to keep kids stowed during busy months at the bumblebee factory. Once allotted childcare hours have been used, Groupon buyers may use Playtime for Kids' drop-off services for $3.50–$8 an hour.
Express Laundry Center's arsenal of dirt-kicking hardware renders clothes anew in a matter of 60 minutes. Row upon row of glistening vessels in all sizes await their bubbly calling, from single load top-loader washers ($1.50 per wash) to 75-pound capacity behemoths ($7.99 per wash). The 30-pound ($.24 per 7 minutes) and 45-pound ($.34 per 7 minutes) dryers can juggle three or four loads and a bar stool, respectively and simultaneously. Large-screen televisions and free WiFi entertain guests, and arcade games and vending machines grudgingly accept outmoded quarters.