Kids aged 6 weeks to 6 years choose their own adventure at Portside Montessori. There, classrooms are divided into six sections, which correspond with six areas of learning: practical life, sensorial, language, math, cultural, and creative subjects such as art and music. All the class materials for each area are placed low to the ground where kids can reach them instead of perched up high collecting dust. Kids can easily go from area to area based on their interests at the time, exploring abstract math concepts, reading, or playing music. Teachers stand by to guide children along their journey but are careful to allow them a sense of independence.
For more than 20 years, KidsPark childcare centers have helped youngsters aged 2–12 boost their social and motor skills in a safe, educational environment. The staff—certified in first-aid and CPR, background checked, and trained in early-childhood education—keeps a close watch on each kid that explores the open floor plan, where six activity areas vie for attention. Cooking and science projects wait in the Creation Station, baskets and balls beckon from the Sport Court, and the sound of music and stories leads ears straight to the Theater. And school-age kids can join the Blue Crew, where they find homework help, nonviolent video games, and the chance to compare resumés with other children. KidsPark also hosts private parties and offers preschool classes.
Run as a parent co-op, Bright Beginnings Preschool, a secular program located on the grounds of Journey Church, involves pupils' guardians in every aspect of youthful education. A cadre of energetic teachers lead classroom activities and provide continuity, and volunteer parents play backup by coming into the classroom to help on a rotating schedule. This involvement lets them bond with their kids and learn about early-childhood development while supporting teachers during games and art projects. Monthly meetings and a committee further integrate parents into the school, giving them the opportunity to discuss changes in the curriculum and plan for the school's future.
At Kids Party Central, gaggles of children bounce upon inflatable fortresses, glide down air-filled slides, and splash around colorful ball pits in a nearly 10,000-square-foot recreation center. Throughout the week, open-play sessions reserve for public use the facility's many attractions, including floatable forts embellished with soccer balls, pirates, and animated pals from movies such as Cars. Like particularly classy kennels, KPC requires all guests to wear socks. The center also suggests that kids don nylon pants for maximum speed on the slides and that they abstain from duds featuring zippers or hooks that may scratch play surfaces. Adults are welcome to play as well, although those found not keeping an eye on their miniature companions will be put in time out.
ChaCha's Doggie Day Care keeps dogs frolicking most of the day before letting them pass out in private suites equipped with bedding, chew toys, and relaxing music. Encouraging canine exercise, the cage-free facility features climate-controlled indoor and outdoor play areas equipped with pools, hoses, snuggle blankets, balls, and hand-shaped seats large enough to make mastiffs imagine life as a chihuahua. Thanks to a 24-hour webcam system, owners can watch as their pooches play, eat, and sleep. ChaCha's Doggie Day Care adamantly adheres to rules and regulations in place to protect the safety and health of both workers and furry guests.
The teachers at A New Beginning Preschool give kids ages 2 to 6 an educational roadmap, one where the routes are always changing. The educators at this non-traditional learning center don't believe one single lesson plan can accommodate all children, and not just because favorite crayon color is a hereditary trait. Instead, they individualize their curriculum, drawing from five areas: physical, emotional, social, creative, and language. These come into play during learning sessions and childcare sessions. Under supervision, children explore large learning spaces and engage in activities designed to hone motor and mental abilities.