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I'm writing to share the strongest possible recommendation for Keiki's Corner.
My daughter was in the care of Dianne and her team for the past 18 months ... half of her life! I truly believe that she is a more confident and happy child as a result of the care and attention she received at Keikis.
Keiki's (meaning ''child'' in Hawaiian) is in the lower level of Dianne's home on Euclid just above Codornices Park. The setting is idyllic for any 2-year-old... organic gardens surrounding the children, outdoor space that blends with the indoor, snuggly couch surrounded by well-loved toys and costumes, a kitchen and big dining table for meals, group potty space....
The caregivers make it so outstanding. Dianne works with 2 long-term Keikis women who are so loving... filled with songs and rhymes, gentle guidance about socializing and emotions, and plenty of hugs and books and giggles. Not to mention the welcome parenting support!
Great communication in-person, by phone and email. Competitive rates, with hours til 1:30 plus after-care.
Keikis takes children as young as 18 months, who exit before a ''3-year-old'' preschool. Getting a personal referral helps your chances, and they maintain a strong community of like-minded families. A sweet transition from home to preschool. It's been magical!
Re: Nanny v. daycare/preschool for young toddler
So, our family worked with both a nanny and had our 2 year olds in Keiki's due to unpredictable work hours...so my two cents. We loved both! We started with a nanny, but prior to both children's 2nd year birthday, they seemed like they might benefit from the social interaction of a small group situation. We visited Keiki's and had heard wonderful things about it from a few friends - it felt so right. Indeed, it was a fabulous experience. So hard to leave and move-on to preschool. The 3 care providers are incredibly nurturing, loving - just amazing people. The small setting was ideal and really appreciated the fact that it was a two year old program, so children are quite similar in developmental stages. When the time for preschool did roll around, I believe the children's transitions were that much more comfortable due to their 2 yo experience.
Naptime is darling. The children sleep on the sofa or a mat/sleeping bag on the carpet and are constantly watched. At Keiki's believe naptime began around the time the majority of the children would leave (1:30p), so the room was quiet, but if a child would need to nap in the morning or earlier than 1:30p, there was a small, comfortable back room they could use. Think most of the children become so engaged that they don't nap in the morning, but I may be forgetting something.
Sounds like your child will be about 2 in April. One issue may be getting a place at a small family daycare in the Spring rather than the summer/fall, though do know it happens :-) Also useful to consider (though I'm stating the obvious): 1) Cost - daycare is typically a bit more affordable 2) Hours needed - if you have a set job, look closely at the hours of availability of the daycare. For example, some may close earlier on a Friday, etc. Typically a nanny offers more flexibility. That being said, if the hours work for you, certainly wouldn't pass up the opportunity to have your child in a small family daycare that you feel good about. We feel so fortunate to have had our children at Keiki's for two consecutive years and wouldn't change a thing in retrospect. Pleased Former Keiki's Mom
My son is there, too, and I agree that it is a great place. In addition to the music and movement mentioned, they have a gardening day (my son is thrilled about the compost and especially the worms) and they do lots of art, they have a turtle, salamander and fish, very nice indoor and outdoor play spaces, sandbox, etc. My son had some problems with separation when we first started and Dianne and Heidi were so warm and patient helping him get through that. Now he is always asking to "go to school...see Dianne and Heidi and kids!" And once we saw Dianne at the grocery store and he said to me "Oh, that Dianne...I love her a lot!" :) Anyway, I recommend Keiki's Corner very highly.
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