By Dan Schwartz
Published in the October, 2011 issue of East Side Monthly Magazine
Speaking with The Children's Workshop director of business, Maggie Teller, in the recently renovated Riverside location one feels the great vibe from both the quality of the facility to the mission statement about how children learn best when they are playing. The school was created by Maggie's father, David MacDonald, 21 years ago when he owned his own business and soon realized that he was losing his employees to maternity leave because they couldn't find the right local programs for their kids. So he teamed up with two women with backgrounds in childhood education and founded his own school, which today has grown into 16 locations throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
It is easy to understand why The Children's Workshop has taken root in so many communities: each location's program is individually tailor by the needs of the parents and kids, and the teachers don't have to follow a strict curriculum like many of the large corporate childcare centers. "We're founded on the principle of learning through play," Maggie explains. "We used the nationally recognized Creative Curriculum approach you see in many places, but in the last year we wrote our own play based curriculum drawing from the best methods and some of our own original ideas."
Parents are encouraged to have a major role in the school and they often come in to read to children and lead activities. The schools have an open door policy and each facility has its own parent committee. The schools are extremely convenient regarding schedule flexibility, with hours beginning at 6:30am and ending at 6pm. Enrollment is year round, so you can call and visit any time. The youngest children accepted are 6 weeks and for before-and-after school care the age extends up to 12 years. The Children's Workshop has pickup and drop-off service for most area schools. And for East Siders there are schools located nearby in Providence, Rumford and Riverside. Each facility has extensive playgrounds with fun gyms and extras, like miniature golf – some even have a pool, like Rumford. Visit the website or schedule a tour to learn more about The Children's Workshop.
The Children's Workshop
Providence 383-9958 / Rumford 434-1118 / Riverside 228-6209
www.ChildrensWorkshop.com / 16 Locations