UPDATE: See pics from our second visit and watch the ChicagonistaLIVE video here!
It seems unfathomable that I'll soon add "find a preschool" to my list of to-dos. Little Miss is not yet a year old, but as any city-dwelling parent knows (even a newbie like me), the competition for spots can be fierce.
A newer option on the scene is The Gardner School. With locations in Bucktown, the West Loop, (plus Naperville, Glenview, and Oakbrook — and more around the country) this academically-focused daycare and preschool was founded in Tennessee, and accommodates ages 6 weeks to 5 years.
I recently spent an afternoon at the Oakbrook location, as a guest of the ChicagonistaLIVE crew. It's an adorable school. A-dorable. (And amazingly, I was told that the newer ones are "even nicer.") The corridors are sweetly decorated like an idyllic Main Street, USA drag, and classrooms are airy and cheerful. I spent the most time in the "crawler" room, which was filled with stimulating toys to taste play with.
Having fun in the baby room with tasty toys.
Another view of the crawler room. The school has an open-door policy with parents and encourages moms and dads to stop by during the day for a quick visit, or to make use of the peaceful nursing room. Closed-circuit TVs monitoring the rooms can be viewed in the lobby, and make goodbyes a little less stressful for parents.
Preschoolers wear these uniforms — how cute (and they make mornings easier).
Happy artwork throughout the school.
Learning begins with the littlest ones exploring American Sign Language, and continues with the big kids learning math, handwriting, and computer skills.
We'll be visiting the Oakbrook Gardner School next week, this time for ChicagonistaLIVE on Tuesday, May 20th at 2pm CDT at ChicagonistaLIVE.com. Follow along at #ChicagonistaLive and #GardnerChi. If you'd like to attend the taping, there are limited spaces available for readers with children aged 6 weeks to 5 years. Please RSVP to MJ Tam.