By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
SudburyNext Generation Children’s Centers focuses on learning in its 10 childcare facilities, including the two in Westborough and Marlborough.
“We are much more than a day care center. Families come here because their children are receiving an education at every age,” said Kathleen DelPrete, president. “We teach what’s developmentally appropriate,” starting with motor skills for infants and adding social skills, exploring the world, learning to share, and more academic activities as children move to the preschool and pre-kindergarten levels.
Next Generation is a family-owned business based in Sudbury, started in 1993 by Donna Kelleher when she was not satisfied with the childcare options available for her granddaughter. DelPrete is Kelleher’s daughter, truly the “next generation” to run the business. And that granddaughter is now a graduate student working part-time at the Walpole school.
“Children who started with us are now applying for jobs with us,” DelPrete said with a laugh.
Next Generation enrolls about 1,800 children in its 10 schools, with over 600 employees. The Marlborough and Westborough locations, which opened in 1997 and 1998, are each licensed to serve about 200 children.
Next Generation accepts infants as young as six weeks old and serves children through the pre-kindergarten year at ages 4 and 5.
The program is designed as a full-day program, and parents have the option of registering for two, three or five days a week. The centers are open year round and children can begin at any time, though the older children transition to their next level in September to coincide with the school year.
Parents can make an appointment to tour the center they are interested in by calling that center. Detailed information about each of the 10 schools is available on the website, www.ngccenters.com.
The Next Generation Children’s Centers will have a company-wide open house Saturday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and welcomes both parents and children at all the school locations.
“It is essential for parents to visit the childcare facilities they are considering, and they should bring their children with them. They need to get a great feeling about a facility and to be sure it will be the right fit for both parents and child,” DelPrete said.
“We have spent a lot of time designing every aspect of our centers to be child-oriented, from the oversized playgrounds to large indoor play spaces to the child-height sinks,” she said.
“We offer a very rich curriculum that borrows from such educational approaches as Montessori and the ‘responsive classroom’ idea used in some public schools to build a sense of community.
“Each of our curriculum platforms flows into the next so there is a continuity of programs as the child gets older. Today, parents who work outside the home is the norm, and children don’t always have the natural neighborhoods around their homes. School becomes the social neighborhood for children, where they learn to get along with others,” DelPrete said.
The schools offer breakfast, lunch and several snacks, focusing on healthy and kid-friendly favorites, with fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Children’s special dietary needs and allergies can be accommodated.
All of the staff is trained in first aid and the management staff also has CPR training. The staff works with parents dealing with child-raising issues such as potty training, offering tips and suggestions.
For more information about Next Generation’s program, visit the website, www.ngccenters.com, or call 978-579-9501. The Westborough school is located at 4600 Computer Drive, 508-616-9100, and the Marlborough school is located at 201 Cedar Hill St., 508-480-9222.