ChildRoots is an Art-and-Science based learning community dedicated to providing superior child care for children ages six weeks to six years. This center has grown to seven locations since opening in 2007. Not only is it growing like wild fire, the retention rates are off the charts. We talked to Sonya Rheingold to get the inside scoop.
ChildRoots is a green progressive childcare center with a focus on producing as little waste as possible. They use cloth diapers, compost food, recycle everything, and even buy the majority of classroom supplies from nonprofit organizations that recycle from other businesses.
To develop healthy youngsters and sophisticated palates, ChildRoots serves whole foods only. Everyday a hot lunches are lovingly prepared from scratch with each food group represented [grain, protein, vegetable, fruit and dairy] served in a separate communal bowl. This gives children an opportunity to eat more of what they like while minimizing the waste of what’s not eaten.
ChildRoots has a variety of animals throughout the center. In the preschool rooms you will find guinea pigs, rabbits, scorpions, mice, and a variety of insects. In the toddler classrooms there are finches, a few aquariums and often a terrarium of snails or insects.
ChildRoots has a child-led, play-based philosophy meaning that they explore the passions of the children to focus their studies. The curriculum will take deep dives in whatever interests the children at that moment. If it happens to be bugs, the curriculum will tie together science, artistic projects, and other educational pieces to teach the children in a progressive environment. A librarian checks out things for each class to make the experience as hands on as possible.
Community is important to ChildRoots. Most children stay year after year until they are ready for Kindergarten. ChildRoots works hard to build a great community among the children, parents and staff. Four times a year they hold community events that are based off the seasons. These are fun, relaxed events for the families to spend time with their children and other peers outside of the center. Here is a quick idea of what themes the community events are based around:
- Fall – Evening walk through the woods with a lantern in hand. Teachers hand out goodies like twigs, rocks, handmade items while musicians are playing and at the end there are fire dancers.
- Winter – The Southeast location is turned into a magical Winter Wonderland. Each classroom has a different theme – from a fairy cookie room to a bear reading to kids.
- Spring – Drum march to honor the reawakening of the plants of Spring. Kids create flower and plant costumes and they reenact the story of the Root Children and have a drum circle.
- Summer – Lake day for parents to hang out with kids and other families. They have musicians, face painters, etc. with a carnival like theme.
Read more about ChildRoots in this case study.
How does your center stand out from the others? Share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!