When I asked both the parents and the teachers, “What makes ACA different and special?” the first sentiment out of everybody’s mouth was, “It is a family, not just a day care!”
What does it mean to be a family?
You really, truly take care of each other. Helping your elderly aunt to do shopping; driving your sick cousin to a doctor’s appointment; bringing food to your mother’s second cousin in a nursing home; having a big happy and crazy Thanksgiving party.
This is what we do here, in ACA. You need an extra day to prepare for a presentation at work – bring your child an extra day; public schools are closed because of a snow day – bring your older child to ACA, we are open; your child has food allergies or just does not like some food – our cook will make food especially for him, just as he likes it (and the parent can come and have lunch with us, too).
You can bring your child in pajamas and we will dress her, and brush her teeth, and make an elaborate hairdo; then we feed her, and teach her, and dance with her, and sing for her. And the child will go home and will wake up next morning with an urgent desire to come back to his friends and teachers.
We know each family member by name, not only the mother and father, but even the name of a distant cousin who lives in Russia or India. We talk to the parents face-to-face every day. There is never an answer, “I am not his teacher, I don’t know how his day was today.” All teachers know all children and otherwise. Some of the teachers have been working in ACA for 10, 13, 20, 32 years! We are a family!
Our biggest pride and honor is our multiculturalism in its true word. Our staff and clients come from 18 different countries and from different continents as far away as Europe, Africa, South America, Asia. We truly incorporate and celebrate all the cultures, languages and traditions into our teaching.
The true attestation of the family atmosphere in ACA is the fact that our long time clients who were three and four twenty years ago, brought their own children to us saying, “I can trust only ACA to take care of my child.” At times, there are two or three generations of children of one family at the same time under the care of ACA: from the infant group to kindergarten. You would think it is expensive to have three children at the same time in a day care, but our prices are very reasonable and in most cases the lowest for what we provide for the price: not only the longest amount of hours of care but also hot breakfasts and lunches, music, dance, field trips, extracurricular activities. And we don’t do fundraisers ever!