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School & Youth
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  • For 20 years, the faculty at Beaver Creek Childcare and Kindergarten has been devoted to giving kids the tools necessary for their social and academic growth.
    For 20 years, the faculty at Beaver Creek Childcare and Kindergarten has been devoted to giving kids the tools necessary for their social and academic growth.

Beaver Creek Childcare And Kindergarten Celebrates 20 Years

August 14, 2013

When Janet Dickens opened Beaver Creek Childcare in 1993, she envisioned it being a well-respected, family-run business. Over the last 20 years, the center has expanded, but the organizational philosophy has remained the same.

“We are committed to the importance of early learning and socialization,” Dickens explained. “By valuing each child's uniqueness and always putting his or her welfare first, we provide love and understanding in a safe and comfortable environment.”

Beaver Creek’s motto is “meeting the needs of children,” and the early education teachers are able to satisfy those necessities because they are passionate about working with youth. “The teachers and staff help each boy and girl feel secure and loved, allowing them to explore, learn and laugh every day,” Dickens emphasized.

Providing each child with the tools for social and academic growth wouldn’t be possible without dedicated teachers who make the institution a community treasure to local families. Educators said Beaver Creek is as important to them as it is to their students.

"We’re very personable with parents, and we make it feel like a home away from home for the children,” explained Jana Boddy, assistant director at Beaver Creek Childcare. “Families feel comfortable here and so do the staff.”

Director Shannon Whitman said when she joined the facility in 2000, there were approximately 17 staff members and 90 children to care for. Currently, there are about 30 faculty and 200 children enrolled in Beaver Creek programs.

"Working in the childcare field has been my only profession,” Whitman highlighted. “A youth educator must be dedicated and have a true passion for kids to work in this field. I love when they come in happy and excited to see me every day. It makes my day."

In addition to offering full-time care for infants through 4 years, Beaver Creek Childcare became one of the first in the Crofton and Gambrills area to have full-day kindergarten classes. The service also hosts before- and after-school programs, summer camp for elementary school students and a traditional morning preschool program.

On an average day, the boys and girls at Beaver Creek may find themselves involved in fine and gross motor skills, fine arts, sensory play, dramatic play, mathematics, language arts, reading, character building and other creative activities. "We foster our programs to be age-appropriate and full of vital learning experiences, which incorporate a combination of play and academics,” explained Boddy. “Children strive for consistency and repetition, which we take pride in including at our institution.”

Some adults return to Beaver Creek Childcare long after being enrolled in its programs to become employees. "My daughter attended Beaver Creek when she was little, and she now works here as an aide," remarked Jessica Owenby, who teaches the pre-kindergarten program. "I have met many families over my 13 years here at Beaver Creek and established great rapport."

Over the years, the Crofton mainstay has renovated its two-story building and added another to service more families who wanted their children to continue attending the center’s programs until moving on to middle school. Boddy and Whitman said not to expect much more change, however, because even though they have considered testing other locations with Beaver Creek’s philosophy and educational programs, they do not want to make it a childcare chain.

"I like the way it is now," Whitman noted. "We have a good reputation in Crofton, being a family-oriented place. It makes me feel old when the kids I had 13 years ago come in and apply for employment."

In the future, the structure of the building and the names of students may vary, but one thing that certainly will not change is the devotion of the Beaver Creek Childcare staff and the impact they have on local families.

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