When Daisy came, unexpectedly, to live with me a few months ago, I was not prepared for the whole day care situation again. But , being required to work and obviously not winning the lotto, has forced me to go through interviewing and analyzing preschools for her.
At first, I just assumed that all day care facilities are well monitored and that the rules are always followed. No, that is not reality. Reality is, for the safety and well being of a child, you must get out and interview each and everyone. You have to pull state records to confirm they have not been cited for abuse or other violations, that could be negative to your child.
After weeks of looking and then placing her in a center that appeared OK, I was shocked to find out the director would snatch up a child and spank them with her hand, full force. When Daisy had been there for a few weeks and I saw this, I immediately removed her. I missed a week of work and pulled out my list to start over again.
My first consideration was safety. My next considerations were the activities the kids would be involved in, cleanliness, interaction with the teachers and the overall support and love shown for each child. After the trauma she had been through before I got her, the school had to be calm, supportive and fun.
Well after I re-compiled my list, I began to call. One place stuck out in the on line list and so I called to do the usual phone questionnaire. The Grow And Learn Center out in Stetson Hills had a fun website and looked like my kind of place. However, the first place did too. Wrong!
I made an appointment for an interview and when I got there, I was pleasantly surprised. Rita Funderburk is the owner of Grow And Learn. She is an experienced, certified teacher and has the most fun setting for kids. The big, bright smile on her face when we came in the door was the first sign that this was a great place.
She immediately, after introductions, focused on Daisy and trying to make her comfortable, while we talked. She let her join in the activities with the other kids, who were making Halloween spiders. That was the proof for me. She handled Daisy with love and true experience. The entire atmosphere was inviting and a perfect place for kids.
Rita’s told me her credentials and teaching style during our interview. She said, “I have been a preschool teacher since 1997, with 19 years experience, working with children. At GROW AND LEARN PRESCHOOL we have fun, by utilizing music to enhance our learning experience. WE have lots of fun going on local field trips. I incorporate a pre-k- program to give your child a head start for kindergarten children. I teach Daily Circle Time Phonies, Abc’s and 123’s Crafts, Computer skills and Music.”
Daisy has been going now for about 3 weeks and is extremely happy. She doesn’t get up with a sad face, inventing reasons, not to go to school. She is learning so much and the rapport that has been created with Rita is extremely reassuring. They are learning computer, she has memorized several songs and brought home numerous projects. The structure of the Grow And Learn center prepares them for school. It also prepares them for life. Rita has a discipline belief that supports growth and does not seek to punish kids as a first response. Her and her staff are patient and redirect the kids to something else. She is firm but structured in her handling of all of the kids in her care.
I have spent some time showing up and just observing in the middle of the morning. The classes are always busy and productive. All reviews from other parents at the center are positive. Parents are always the best gage of a day care. I too, would give the Grow And Learn Center an A+. I am thankful to find great daycare for Daisy. The Grow And Learn Center should be a multi-location center. With Rita’s philosophy of operating at the highest level of responsibility and productivity for your child, she is a great asset to Colorado Springs Daycare system.
No doubt, I feel extremely comfortable with where Daisy is at while I work. The Grow And Learn Center will continue to get my business until Daisy goes to school.