Kids in Action moves to new location in New Milford
A surge of new spirit and energy is running through Kids in Action in New Milford.
The child care facility opened its doors at a new location, 215 Pickett District Road, on Monday. “I’m excited,” said Jennifer Benedict, who co-owns the center with her husband.
“It’s a better set up and a beautiful property,” she added of the three acres that overlooks the Still River.
Benedict opened Kids in Action six years ago at Executive Center Drive off Route 7.
When the opportunity arose to purchase the Pickett District Road property and building - it once housed the For Children Only child care center - she knew it would help fulfill her dreams of expanding.
The new location is “quiet, more residential” and is off the busy Route 7, the New Milford High School graduate said.
“You can go outside and hear the birds chirp,” she said, of the vast outdoor space, which features two separate, fenced-in playgrounds for toddlers and older children.
Benedict said she looks forward to eventually expanding further by putting on an addition that will serve as an indoor gym. Inside, the air conditioned center has five classrooms for children under 3 and four classrooms for children over 3.
A kitchen serves as a classroom of sorts, too. Teachers frequently incorporate baking into the curriculum.
Kids in Action offers before- and after-school care, a preschool program five days a week, full-time child care, on-demand child care and a summer camp program.
The pre-school program is available five days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Parents can choose which days work best for their schedule.
Parents can also chose an hourly rate instead of a full-day price through the on-demand program.
Resident Michelle McQueen and her husband said they chose Kids in Action for their children because of Benedict and her staff.
“Everyone we met on the tour was warm, welcoming and all the children seemed happy and loved by their teachers,” McQueen said. “That’s most important to me: that my kids are safe, but also treated with warmth and love.”
McQueen said her daughter, who turned 2 last week, had a difficult time adjusting to child care but is “doing great now” due to the “patience and kindness of her teachers, Trish and Vanessa.”
Elizabeth Derby, whose children attended another child care center in town until it closed a few years ago, also praised Kids in Action’s staff.
“The staff has a passion for what they’re doing,” she said. “It makes us feel comfortable.”
Benedict, who has 16 years of experience in child care, is head teacher, and holds a degree in early childhood education and director credentials. The center employs 22 other teachers.
The owner emphasized the center’s curriculum as one of the things that sets it apart from others. “It’s what we do with the kids,” she said. “It’s a school, not just play time.”
For example, the preschool program prepares children for kindergarten. Children will learn all the necessities — letters, shapes, socialization, interactions with peers and much more.
“Our daughter knows her letters, shapes, colors and calls everyone Miss so-and-so,” said Derby, whose 2-year-old attends the center.
McQueen emphasized the center’s cleanliness and the amount of time children spend outdoors as positive benefits of sending her children to Kids in Action, which has a waiting list.
The center’s summer camp program is open to child care families, as well as members of the public. Two to three field trips are taken per week.
Derby’s two sons, now 13 and 10, have attended summer programs. She noted the program’s “flexible” schedule complements the summer schedules of many families.
For more information, call the 215 Pickett District Road center at 860-350-3311.