Orchard Park Child Care Opens in Minnetonka

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Why this center is attractive to parents -- the accolades are in -- "Best New Child Care Center in the Twin Cities."

When John Geier and Galina Perelman started out seven years ago from their home, little did they realize hundreds of early learners and their families would benefit from their educational endeavor. From house to child care center it has grown, even though Galina is careful to say, "We still like things cozy."

Cozy it may be, yet with fifteen employees and moving toward 85 students and soon to be at the 109 mark, coziness is a relative term. In addition to comfort, friendly, warm and well-educated teachers pursuing a number of curriculum goals promise a rewarding environment for all.

How to achieve the ambitious plan? From the Orchard Park website, the interested parent can learn much. Here's a sample from orchardparkchildcare.com:

"We’re your home away from home!

"Come visit Orchard Park Child Care Center where you’re the ultimate decision-maker in setting goals for your child. From the cozy “Bed and Breakfast” infant area, to learning environments (with guided play recognizing your child’s unique strengths), to the homemade food from our commercial kitchen, to the 9,000 square foot nature playground, we think you’ll agree: we’re your home away from home! An independent, family owned center serving your family, ages 6 weeks through pre-kindergarten.

"Activities may be drawn from existing infant, toddler and preschool curricula (e.g., The Creative Curriculum by Dodge; Active Learning Series by Cryer, Harms and Bourland) or the teachers may create their own activities--often in direct response to the children's interests in a particular topic or theme. A skilled teacher can successfully embed the teaching of language, math, science, or emergent literacy skills within the context of just about any activity!"

And that includes drawing and studio arts, kid version.

"We believe infant care should be based on relationship planning -- not lesson planning -- and should emphasize child-directed learning over adult-directed learning. Rather than detailing specific lessons for infant/toddler care teachers to conduct with infants, the Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC) approach shows infant/toddler care teachers ways of helping infants learn the lessons that every infant comes into the world eager to learn."

John's father, John G. Geier, Ph.D., was a professor and leader in the areas of leadership dynamics and adult education corporate development, where John junior contributed as well. When asked about the relationship between his father and himself, the younger Geier says, "Same thing, I'm just building educational learning opportunities at the other side of the age spectrum."

Minnetonka, Minnesota parents and community leaders seem quite happy about the latest developments. There've been speeches, volunteerism and social events to broaden the awareness of the school and that's helped enrollment reach near capacity. A trip last year by John and Galina to Italy to study the Reggio Emilia Approach for youngsters is paying off. "We don't teach Italian yet, but we are creating an interesting flock of future leaders who think well beyond their years."

Parents can stop by for a tour with a bit of notice, and the staff welcomes parents and is eager to share the story and how it positively helps each child. After all, says John and Galina, "Each child, and every child, is a gifted child."

Phone 952-974-5111
11901 Excelsior Blvd. Minnetonka, Minnesota 55343

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