My daughter, London, absolutely loves Baldwin Child Care Center. The staff there has always made her feel right at home. There is a sense of family and community there so she misses them on the days she is not at school. I am 100% trusting of her caretakers and she just adores her teachers. The first thing that London says to me when I pick her up is, “I had a great day!”. She says this EVERY single day. Not one day goes by that she does not say it. She is a well adjusted, happy, delightful child and I just know this in part because of her days at Baldwin!
My name is Robin Rickard. I am an Assistant State’s Attorney for Anne Arundel County. My little girl Cameron started there over a year ago and I will probably hyper-ventilate when she leaves Baldwin to start Kindergarten. The teachers and staff at Baldwin are amazing people. Prior to coming to Baldwin, she was at a private “very expensive” daycare. The facility was brand new with new carpet, new toys, etc…. However it was clearly a business. Here at Baldwin I felt, and especially now after she has been there over a year, that Baldwin is family and they took such great care of my baby girl. She is well prepared to enter Kindergarten and has learned a lot. They have a ton of fun with projects, field trips, and parties. (the Christmas show is amazing…. Mother’s Day luncheon was amazing…end of year Carnival was so much fun) I could go on and on.
I am happy to tell you about our experience at Baldwin Child Care. As parents of two children in the center and entering our third year in the program, we have gotten to know, and love, all of the teachers and directors of the program; as I know they have come to love our children.
We began our first year with our son attending in “The Little Room” just 2 days per week, to get him into a pre-school more so than for daycare. My husband was a Stay-at-Home Dad, but our son needed some structure, and the social experience of being around other children. We found that the teachers were very responsive to any concerns that we were having about his development and behavior, they provided us with specific suggestions/methods to use at home and incorporated that into their interactions with him at school as well. For example, we initiated a reward system at home using a felt board with a Christmas Tree. He could earn felt ornaments to put on the tree with good behavior, or lose them for not-so-good behavior. I gave his teacher ornaments to keep at school so he could earn them there too, and they were happy to do it! Anytime that we identify a behavior that we want to minimize or foster, we share it with the teachers and they are very good about both keeping an eye out for the behavior to also reduce/foster as well as communicating with us at the end of the day how they did. I have also seen other kids at the center with individualized behavior modification charts tailored to what works best for each child. They have very high expectations of good behavior but use very gentle methods of enforcement. I have witnessed great patience among the teachers who use a consistently firm, but soft, tone when dealing with behavior issues.
We began our second year with both of the kids in the program three days per week as my husband took on part-time work. Our son went on to the Pre-K classroom and our daughter began in “The Little Room”. We loved that not only did the kids not need to be potty trained to be in the program (Little Room), but that they freely offered to help potty train as well, telling me, “Just send plenty of clothes, and we will do the rest!” It was so nice to have that pressure taken off of us and even though they both ended up training on their own before beginning the program, the teachers were great in nipping small “regressions” in the bud and giving us pointers to try at home.
One particularly stressful morning, I was running late and did not have time to feed the kids breakfast as I normally did. I quickly rushed the kids out to the car knowing that breakfast was still being offered at school until 8am. One temper tantrum on the way to the car and we arrived well after the breakfast cut off. When I saw that the breakfast supplies had been put away, I feared falling even farther behind by taking them somewhere for breakfast. One of the teachers, though not thrilled with my lack of preparation, saw my weariness and broke out the breakfast supplies. I thanked her profusely, and she replied, “We love them, too, you know, as though they are our own.”
The teachers and directors are extremely approachable for discussion, concerns, and suggestions and will always take the time to talk with me when needed. I mentioned that it would be nice to get some sort of report on what was done in class that day as we always get the typical “nothing” response when we ask them what they did that day. They responded by installing white boards in each classroom on which they write a few lines on specific things the kids did that day that we can then use to cue them on a more productive conversation about their day at the dinner table.
We were so grateful to be able to, on a few occasions, have the kids attend Baldwin on their “off” days to accommodate a few last minute needs for extra child care. When my husband took on a full time job, the directors were so supportive in swiftly converting the kids to full time attendees and the teachers helped the kids acclimate to some pretty sharp changes in their routine.
All of the teachers take great interest in all of the children and their individualized needs. They identify their strengths and areas for improvement and mold their interactions with the children accordingly. My son admitted to me a few weeks ago when getting him ready for “Water Friday”, that he was apprehensive about changing in front of the other boys. It is not like him to be shy about being unclothed, but it was bothering him enough that he was resisting participating in the planned activities. I mentioned this to the teacher and she reassured me that she would make sure he had privacy and that he felt comfortable with changing at school. When I asked my son about it later that evening, he confirmed that the teacher had helped to make him feel at ease when it came to changing time.
Just last Friday, we had some strong thunderstorms roll through the area in the afternoon. Knowing that my daughter is terribly fearful of thunderstorms to the point of trembling, I found it difficult to concentrate at work as I silently wished I could drop what I was doing and rush to the center to pick her up. When I picked her up, she was all smiles, and I asked her how she felt with the storms. She told me that she was really scared at first, “but then Miss Stephanie held me until they were over so I felt safe.”
I can also say that “safe” is what I feel every morning when I drop the kids off. Not only do I feel sure that they are well cared for, but that they are loved and nurtured for who they are. Even when they have a really tough morning and I wish I could stay with them, I feel comforted by the knowledge that they will be given the love and special attention they need, especially if I mention they are having a tough morning. As a mother who wishes she could be at home with her kids, I am so grateful to have Baldwin to entrust my children to knowing that they will always have their best interests at heart and will give them the best possible care and me peace of mind.
I wish you luck in your search for childcare; it is a very important and difficult decision to make. If you have any specific questions that you would like to address, I am happy to discuss the center with you directly and would be agreeable to the center providing you with my phone number.
Dave & Andrea E.
“Finding Baldwin Childcare Center was a true answer to prayers for our family. We had previously been using a childcare center that was far from acceptable. Baldwin Childcare Center came recommended by a number of local folks who knew it as well-established and a highly respected program. Our four year old daughter is going on her second year at Baldwin and we are certain that they will continue to prepare her well for transition into kindergarten. The staff is so caring and we know that they do what they do because they are answering a calling and not just doing a job. Baldwin Childcare Center is definitely a blessing for our family.”