In this recurring feature, we profile a leading Family Child Care Provider from Massachusetts. Each of these Providers has developed a unique program that reflects methods and developmental philosophies based on years of experience working with young children. These women are providers, educators, and businesswomen. Each is a “Pillar” in their community and plays an integral role in the lives of the children and families they work with. We’re honored to help bring their stories to life.
A mother and experienced daycare Provider, Ms. Idolina is an expert at integrating learning and play at Red Cardinal Bilingual Daycare in Framingham, MA. So we sat down with this creative provider to learn more about what makes her daycare so unique and why she’s not afraid to get a little messy along the way.
When did you begin working in child care?
I started working at a child care center thirteen years ago, and I loved it right away. After I had my daughters, I worked as a nanny for different families around the Boston area, teaching Spanish and supporting children with special needs. It was a wonderful experience.
Once my daughters were school-aged and I had a little more time, I began volunteering at a local child care program. There, I got to work with infants, toddlers, and elementary-aged children, and I can say that I really enjoy each stage.
What made you want to open your own daycare?
I’ve wanted to open my own daycare in Framingham — where I live — since I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. During the pregnancy, doctors thought she might be born with special needs. That didn’t end up being the case, but at the time I wanted to learn everything I could to understand what my daughter might experience. Even after she was born, I wanted to keep learning, so I started taking classes in child development at the Urban College of Boston. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to use what I’ve learned to support other families and help children grow. Now, I am making that dream a reality.
What do you love about kids?
I feel such a special connection with children of every age! With infants, I just love helping them learn how to move their little bodies. With toddlers, it’s so fun to encourage them to discover and learn—they want to do everything at the same time! And working with preschoolers is just a different world. You can teach them lessons, play games, do science experiments. There’s never a dull moment!
What do you think makes your daycare unique?
I am bilingual, and I spend most of the day speaking to the kids in Spanish. I think learning a different language helps children develop their minds and will continue to provide benefits throughout their lives. Plus, they have a lot of fun with it. I love to see the children pick up on phrases and learn how to sing songs in Spanish. They’re always so proud of themselves.
What is your favorite activity to do with kids?
It might sound crazy, but I really like messy projects: painting with hands, playing with sand, using sponges. Kids love messy activities, and it really engages all of their senses.
How do you think being a parent informs the way you run your daycare?
As a parent, I always want my children to be learning and growing, and the same is true for the kids in my daycare. We don’t just play games and have fun, we are always learning. I make flash cards to introduce new words, we talk about the planets, we go over different fruits and vegetables. There’s always a purpose and something new to discover.
Click here to learn more about Red Cardinal Bilingual Daycare in Framingham and read testimonials.
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NeighborSchools partners with experienced educators to launch world-class licensed daycare programs. In supporting the creation of more small-scale daycares, NeighborSchools helps increase access to high-quality programs. Children benefit from lower ratios, greater continuity of care, and a nurturing home environment. Parents can discover and build a relationship with a Provider located right in their neighborhood. Providers get to launch the daycare of their dreams and earn a living wage, while working hands-on with young children every day.