Olentangy Valley News

New academy keeps kids busy, challenged

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Teacher Alicia Landrum reads "Curious George" to a group of pre-kindergartners while working last Thursday, Jan. 17, at Children of America Educational Childcare & Academy in Powell. The Sawmill Parkway location is the company's second central Ohio school.

There's a new childcare option in town for Powell's busy parents.

Children of America Educational Childcare & Academy opened a new location this week at 7560 Sawmill Parkway in Powell.

It's the second Children of America location in central Ohio and the first in Delaware County. Another Children of America center is located at 8360 N. High St., just south of the county line.

Children six weeks to 12 years old are eligible to enroll.

The center offers programming from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. Director Janna Pullins said the school can work within a parent's schedule for morning or after-school care.

Educational Director Loretta Cak said the center combines play time, educational activities and physical fitness.

Programs are broken down into six age categories, from infants and toddlers to school-age kids.

"It's all developmentally appropriate no matter where your child is in the learning spectrum," Cak said. "We can meet their needs and challenge them and push them on to success."

School-age children can get homework help after school, Cak said. Some classrooms have computers where children can use educational software for short bursts.

Younger children will practice lessons on colors, shapes, letters and more.

Classrooms have accommodations for nap time, including cribs for infants and cots for older children.

The school provides breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.

The center also has a special play area called "City Place" that features costumes, a kitchen play set, a pretend fire house, a ball pit and other toys.

"When they go into the dramatic play area, their imaginations just go crazy. It's really fun to watch and see what kinds of things they come up with," Cak said.

Teachers incorporate daily exercise into their schedules, including jumping jacks, jogging in place and stretching.

Behind the school is a small playground with colorful play sets for children to climb on. The playground has a separate enclosed area for younger children.

Parents can take advantage of the school's online monitoring system. By logging onto a website, parents can view their child's classroom live via cameras installed in the rooms.

Pullins said a short free trial is available; after that, parents can subscribe to the camera system for a weekly fee.

She said the school is priced competitively with nearby childcare centers but is willing to work with parents to negotiate a price point.

"We are always willing to work with families and meet them where they are, whether we're looking at pickup and dropoff times or seeing what each family can afford," she said.