11/4/2017 4:00:00 AM Center raises
bar with bowling,
A Laboratory Lagoon, where a display overhead features the eight planets in the solar system, offers space where kids can perform math and science experiments, at the new Childrenís Learning Adventure childcare center that opens this month in Fishers. Itís only the second location in Indiana; the first was in Carmel.
The Times photos by Betsy Reason
Bowling is incorporated into the learning curriculum at the new Childrenís Learning Adventure childcare center that opens this month in Fishers. Itís only the second location in Indiana; the first was in Carmel.
If you've traveled Indiana 37 between Noblesville and Fishers over the past few months, you've likely noticed construction of an exciting-looking one-story building that features a huge round entrance and lots of glass.
I learned several months ago that the massive building would be the ultimate in childcare centers, with a bowling alley and lots of cool amenities.
It's the second Children's Learning Adventure childcare center to open in Indiana; the first was in Carmel.
I couldn't help but want to see what was inside of this building. So I attended the grand opening last weekend.
A bowling alley? A cooking school? An indoor basketball court? A science lab? A modern dance room? A live TV studio?
Yes, the amazing facility -- that's twice the size of a typical childcare -- has all of that and more adventures, as it raises the bar for childcare centers.
There is a studio for classic dance, martial arts and gymnastics, an art studio, a music studio, and a theater with seating and a curtain.
When you walk in the front door, you feel as if you're on the ocean floor. The decor is bright and very visual, created to stimulate the imagination of children. The center offers infant, toddler, preschool and before-and-after-school care, with a tutoring facility and summer camps, for up to age 12.
Floor-to-ceiling glass on the front of the building continues inside, separating activity areas, allowing for open viewing. From the glassed-in basketball court, players can see across the hallway into the glassed-in modern dance room with floor-to-ceiling video screen, music and light-up floor.
Kids can discover their love of cooking in the Culinary Creations classroom that teaches young chefs how to measure ingredients and the kitchen basics, while creating healthy snacks.
The four-lane bowling alley provides a place to learn teamwork and camaraderie.
An Imagination Island invites kids to pretend in a lifelike miniature city with police and fire stations, a Main Street deli, railroad and park greenspace. A Laboratory Lagoon, where a display overhead features the eight planets in the solar system, offers space where kids can perform math and science experiments. A Reading Reef Library with a giant aquarium helps kids discover the joy of reading.
The center's Adventure Island outdoor area features a tennis court, where lessons are taught, soccer field, basketball court and playground.
And that's only the beginning of ways that the campus stimulates young learners' minds with activities and curriculum.
There is so much to do here, with lots of enrichment rooms where kids can learn new skills in fun ways. Infants learn sign language. Ages 3 and older are introduced to technology. Tablet stations and touch-screen Smartboards are built into the classrooms with more than 900 self-directed activities designed to reinforce the curriculum.
The spiraling STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) -based curriculum, that combines freedom and structure, continually builds on prior knowledge to reinforce learning and skills, and incorporates the latest brain development research and early-learning standards.
Kids will start their day in a homeroom, and once the child is age 3 or older can visit at least two speciality enrichment classrooms each day. Summer camp and school-age children can attend more speciality enrichment classrooms. "Everyday there is a different specialty classroom curriculum," said Lisa Paeltz, the center's regional director, who led me on a tour of the center, located on Bent Grass Lane, between 131st and 135th streets in Fishers.
Paeltz has worked in the childcare industry for more than 20 years. If I could have dreamt what I wanted to build, this is it," she said. "From a curriculum standpoint, we're going to raise their IQ. And we're going to set them up for a lifetime love of learning."
The center's teachers have a minimum college degree in early childhood education.
The center has its own school buses with transportation from 13 Hamilton Southeastern elementaries and junior high schools, in Fishers; and from three schools in Noblesville, including Noble Crossing, Promise Road and Stony Creek elementaries.
A fingerprint scanner at the entrance and monitoring systems use computer screens in the reception area for parents to view classrooms and playgrounds.
Fees range from $345 per week for a full-time infant to $275 for a week of full-time summer camp for older kids.
The center is open 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays for enrollment, with the first day of classes on Nov. 27.
The Phoenix-based company, founded by CEO Rick Sodja and his sister, Cheryl Sodja, plans to develop and operate an additional 200 new centers over the next seven years nationwide.