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Middleton Baby and Child Care Stands Out with Bilingual Lessons and Exceptional Education

By Pamela Sosnowski

It can be an unnerving experience for a parent to entrust a stranger with the care of their child, particularly when the child is younger than school age. At Middleton Baby and Child Care (MBCC), the staff is quite conscientious of parents' concerns, and strives to provide preschool and daycare to young children in a safe, trusted, and nurturing environment.

"We understand that placing a child in another's care can be intimidating, not to say terrifying," says Elizabeth Strasma, the Administrative Director. "Many of us have experienced it as parents, and all of us do our best to make parents feel welcome and comfortable. As stated in the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards, 'parents are children's first and most important teachers,' and we always respect that."

The building itself has fingerprint-controlled access, a feature that was installed to reassure parents' concerns, and the staff is very diligent about not allowing access to anyone that isn't an expected visitor. "We hope that parents will find many other aspects of our program reassuring as well," states Strasma. "The full-time, professional teachers, the spacious and child-appropriate classrooms and playgrounds, and the consistent, child-oriented programming."

MBCC accepts children as young as six weeks up to 12 years old. They have found that many families have long-standing relationships with the center, staying with them through pre-school and early school years, and adding on a sibling or two eventually. Both student and staff turnover is very low.

The center has the honor of holding five stars in Youngstar's accreditation ranking system, assuring parents of the program's quality and commitment to curriculum standards. All of MBCC's lead teachers hold college degrees in childhood education or are working towards obtaining one. Assistant teachers must hold at least the state's required certification, and all teachers have been trained in administering CPR.

The curriculum, which follows the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards, is designed to engage children a variety of learning activities including group exercises, playtime, handwriting, literacy, mathematics, art, music, movement, and more.

Another quality that sets the MBCC apart from other area daycare centers is its Spanish lessons. "It's a passion of ours," explains Strasma. "We have a number of teachers who are native speakers of Spanish, from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries. Each class group, from Infants through School Age, has at least 20 minutes per day of Spanish curriculum. If parents wish, they can ask for our Spanish immersion track, which means the child joins our all-Spanish toddlers group from age 18 months, and then our all-Spanish Twos the next year. Those class groups are taught by pairs of native speaker teachers. We also offer English speaking Toddlers and Twos class groups for parents who prefer it."

The center is open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 5:30 PM, and provides children with three daily child-friendly and nutritious recipes prepared on the premises.

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