Educational Playcare, provider of full and part-time childcare and educational programs for children from birth to 12 years old, is opening their 20th location, here in Redding, CT, in early September.We spent time with Kimberly Swabsin, Educational Playcare’s director, to learn more about what they offer.

What is your background? I have spent the last 8 years working in early childhood education. I started in Admissions with Landmark Preschool and was the director of their Redding and Bedford locations for the last three years. Prior to that, and prior to having children, I managed sports and event marketing efforts for Fortune 100 companies. Auto racing, of all things, is my specialty!

What is Educational Playcare’s mission? Our philosophy encompasses more than just the care that we provide to the children. It’s also about the service that we provide to our families and the experience that we provide to our employees.

For our Families and their Children:
Our mission is to provide the children in our care with the highest quality developmental and educational programs in a nurturing, safe, and supportive environment and to facilitate and enrich the childcare experience of our families.

For our Employees:
Our mission is to provide our employees with the highest quality workplace environment possible. We seek to provide our employees with the equipment, materials, and training to be among the finest providers of care for young children. Finally, we seek to provide each one with the opportunities to achieve his or her career goals in the field of early childhood education.

What types of programs are offered at Educational Playcare? Educational Playcare was established in 1986 to provide full and part-time childcare, preschool, kindergarten and school age programs for children from 6 weeks to 12 years old. The core of our day includes music, fitness and yoga for all children, nutritious meals and snacks, an award-winning curriculum, secure facilities, professional teachers, daily family communications and advanced sanitizing technologies. We offer hours that support working parents (6:30 am – 6:00 pm), and care on remote learning days, school holidays and throughout the summer.  

How does Educational Playcare differ from other childcare programs? There are several things that set us apart from other programs.

Health and Wellness have always been a top priority. When the COVID-19 crisis began, we immediately established new protocols to ensure that every single person that entered our schools was unquestionably as safe as possible. Even as local agencies have lifted some of the required practices, we’ve kept them in place to continue to provide the absolute safest environment for children that can be achieved. Our facilities have remained open throughout the pandemic as we have cared for children of essential workers.

All of our schools employ a revolutionary process for sanitizing that helps us in the never-ending fight to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. The ZONO system is radically different from other sanitizing solutions. It uses ozone and a small amount of water to kill 99.9% of bacteria and 99.99% of viruses on materials placed inside its refrigerator-sized cabinet.

As you can tell by its name, our EPIC (Educational Play Inspired Curriculum) curriculum is play based. All of the experiences we are providing to the children have intentional educational components, but they are implemented through play. Our curriculum follows two-week themes that teachers bring to life throughout the classroom environment and through the hands-on play experiences they provide for their students. They act as facilitators and enrich the children’s play by asking open-ended questions. These interactions lead to higher thinking and encourage the mastery of the program’s goals.

The importance of outdoor play for young children cannot be overstated. That’s why we bring learning to the great outdoors! Our new playgrounds are equipped with materials and equipment that allow our teachers to bring the fun outside. Our outdoor learning centers include items such as easels, huge outdoor construction sets, cascading water tables, and a “mud-kitchen” complete with running water!

Can you tell us more about the educators at the Redding location? Our teaching staff is absolutely second to none! They work as a team to provide the highest level of care and developmentally appropriate programs for children. Besides academics, each staff member is chosen for their energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and, of course, for their genuine love of children.

Our head teachers alone have over 50 years of early childhood experience combined! Teachers are required to have formal education in the field of early childhood and stay current in the field by participating in at least 20 hours of continuing education each year. We go beyond state licensing requirements by doing our own criminal conviction and background checks before a staff member starts working with children. We follow it up every year after that as well. Our teachers are certified in First Aid, CPR, medication administration and the use of Epi-Pens.

 Anything else you’d like to add? Redding is our 20th and newest location. Renovations are nearly complete and we will be opening our school on Sept 8th! In addition to our usual programs, we will be supporting school age children on remote learning and hybrid school attendance schedules. Families can rely on us to assist their children with online learning schedules and provide supervision, meals and activities on days when they are learning remotely.