Our teachers, the cornerstone of our program, are warm, creative, enthusiastic, and love children.
Most have their master’s degree in education or a related field, and their qualifications exceed the standards set by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
We’re dedicated to continuing the professional development of each of our teachers, who must complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education a year on topics including brain research, health and safety, special needs, and developmentally appropriate practices.
Meet our Director: Our director, Debra Gaetano, has a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the Erikson Institute. She has served as adjunct faculty for the Kendall College School of Education, and was one of the first directors in Illinois to earn director-level credentials. She was also chosen to participate in "Taking Charge of Change,” a program at National Louis University that highlights leaders in the field of education. Debra serves on the Family Action Network (FAN) board that provides educational lectures for those on the north shore, and the Alliance for Early Childhood, a local professional resource for early childhood educators.
Meet Our Assistant Director: Our assistant director, Barb Grooms, has taught preschool and kindergarten for many years, including at the Baker Demonstration School and Oakton Community College's lab school. Barb is currently an ECE adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she supervises and evaluates pre-service teachers, facilitates workshops for Chicago-area ECE professionals, and has conducted research for the Ounce of Prevention Fund. Barb earned her BA in ECE from National Louis University, a master’s degree in teacher leadership from Roosevelt University, and holds a birth-through-third grade teaching certificate.
"Our goal should not be to protect them from the world, but to teach them about it."