Lillian was close to turning two years old when her parents enrolled her in St. Francis Children’s Center’s (SFCC) Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program. The program provides care and education to children as early as four weeks old up to five years old. Lillian started in our Toddler East classroom with peers who were typically developing along with peers with special needs.

For parents, a lot of factors go into choosing childcare and schools for their children. For Lillian’s family, it was a combination of convenience and quality. Lillian’s mom, Kendra, explained that Lillian’s previous daycare was nice, but didn’t have the same accreditation and rating, and it showed.

“[St. Francis Children’s Center] hires staff who have the expertise to teach Lillian various skills that will help later in life,” Kendra added. “She’s benefited from the exposure she’s had to other kids, and she’s been able to learn and grow from people – her teachers and classmates – of many backgrounds.”

St. Francis Children’s Center’s ECE Program is accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs. We’re recognized as an early care and education program exemplifying excellence in the care of young children. We are also a five-star YoungStar rated program.

The quality of the programming isn’t the only thing that Kendra values at SFCC. She’s noticed some changes in Lillian that she attributes to her exposure to classmates with special needs.

“When her baby sister was born, she seemed a lot more prepared and willing to help and understand the extra care she needed,” Kendra said. It came as a surprise since Lillian used to crave her parents’ attention. Kendra explained that being around a class full of kids of varying backgrounds and abilities has made Lillian a bit more patient and understanding.

Today Lillian is three and a half and recently transitioned into our pre-kindergarten classroom. She’ll continue attending SFCC until she’s ready to go into a 5-year-old Kindergarten program, and mom feels confident she’ll be ready for it thanks to the care and preparation she’s receiving here. Not only is Lillian growing bigger, but thanks to SFCC, she’s also growing more independent and learning more and more every day!

By Kara Petersen