Completely Eco-friendly Child Care Center Announces Green Updates, Child Care Innovations

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FIO360, the first Eco Early Care and Learning Boutique, finalizes pioneering features such as solar tubing, heated Marmoleum flooring, Activboard technology and streaming video, to name a few.

I am genuinely passionate about and dedicated to the child care industry, so I feel honored to take part in a vision that will advance dialogue and best practices in an industry that is shaping the world's future leaders and visionaries

Within two months of announcing plans for the nation's first Eco Early Care and Learning Boutique, FIO360 (pronounced fē-oh) has hired an executive director and confirmed several exclusive eco-friendly and technology features.

FIO360 is one of the first child care centers in the United States to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Forgoing the formal LEED certification, FIO360's Eco Early Care and Learning Boutique will actually surpass the Council's standards, providing an entirely eco-friendly operation with organic/locally-grown food, natural/organic personal care products and earth-friendly cleaners throughout the facility.

Among the confirmed FIO360 offerings, parents will have the option to view their children via the WatchMeGrow streaming video capability; teachers will enhance the children's learning experience with interactive whiteboard technology and software; and a solar tube lighting system will illuminate the facility with natural daylight (or moonlight).

"During the past few months, we've been extremely busy interviewing executive director candidates, finalizing vendors and executing our green development plans to make this eco-friendly child care vision a reality," says Crissy Klaus, FIO360 founder and CEO. "It hasn't been easy -- we're challenging convention and establishing precedent because many of the features we will provide don't already exist -- but it's worth it because parents and children will benefit in the end."

To date, FIO360 has finalized numerous vendors and building specifications for the center's unique features, including:

  • Solar tubing to conserve energy and provide natural daylight throughout the facility;
  • Radiant, heated floors in all classrooms -- proven to reduce energy costs, enhance air quality and improve circulation, which contributes to a stronger immune system, a healthier heart and better sleep;
  • Activclassroom whiteboard technology and software informed by teachers to foster an interactive learning environment that keeps students engaged, focused and enthusiastic;
  • Streaming video capabilities in each classroom for parents who want to periodically join in on their children's learning and play experiences throughout the day;
  • Waterless urinals and sensor-activated faucets in all lavatories to preserve water;
  • Odor-free, zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, which have been linked to numerous harmful health effects, from headaches to cancer;
  • Heated Marmoleum flooring in all the classrooms and main corridors, made up of all-natural, non-allergenic raw materials such as linseed oil, rosins and wood flour;
  • Zero-PVC (polyvinyl chloride) rugs that are formaldehyde-free and made with natural fibers; and
  • Eco-friendly, no-PVC play equipment and all natural, organic toys that exclude harmful chemicals and lead.

As FIO360's first executive director, child care veteran and former Bright Horizons director Dana Ginger's first order of business is to finalize the center's staffing plan. Ginger plans to begin hiring the first wave of the FIO360 administrators and child care team by January 2008.

"I am genuinely passionate about and dedicated to the child care industry, so I feel honored to take part in a vision that will advance dialogue and best practices in an industry that is shaping the world's future leaders and visionaries," says Ginger.

FIO360 is on track to gradually roll out enrollment openings for full-time care beginning April 2008, with plans to reach its full capacity of 238 openings by August 2008. For more information about FIO360, visit http://www.fio360.com.

About FIO360
FIO360 is an innovative, Eco Early Care and Learning Boutique where children are nurtured to become well-rounded, joyful and promise-filled individuals. The word 'fio' is a Latin verb that means 'to become' and '360' relates to wholeness or coming full circle, so FIO360 will provide an optimum setting for children to become their individual best--intellectually, physically and emotionally." The first FIO360 facility will open early 2008 in the premium Atlantic Station community in Atlanta, Ga. FIO360 will meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards for environmentally sustainable construction and providing an entirely eco-friendly operation with organic/locally-grown food, natural/organic personal care products and earth-friendly cleaners throughout the facility. The center will also offer many nontraditional features, including: a precedent-setting learning curricula and experienced staff; interactive learning exhibits in a children's museum set-up; an on-site workstation and coffee bar for parents; and massage therapy for children and parents, to name a few.

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KINETRA SMITH
FIO360
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