Daycare in Lawrence, MA: When Peniel Daycare opens in the coming weeks, Yolanda Cruz-Brodbeck’s new program will benefit from her Early Childhood Education expertise and her 25 years of experience working with children and families.
Yolanda Cruz-Brodbeck at Peniel Daycare, open now in Lawrence MA.
“I’ve worked as a teacher’s aid, a teacher, a social worker with children and families, a family advocate, and an early intervention development specialist,” explains Yolanda, humbly understating the depth of her expertise. “And now it’s time to bring my classroom into my own home.”
“I have been working with children ages zero through five for so long, and it’s so touching to see how children of all different ages change their behavior based on things I teach them,” remarks Yolanda, describing one part of the job that is most rewarding for her. “It’s very exciting when I hear a parent say that they see progress. Starting on the first day, I send a clear message to kids: Welcome to school.This is your classroom. I am here to teach you and take care of you.”
This undeniable purpose and mission to help individual children develop are clear in Yolanda’s program design. Each day begins with Yolanda gathering the children, and she maintains a welcoming environment and a focus on emotional, physical, and cognitive development throughout the day. To achieve this, Yolanda individually assesses children’s needs and fills her curriculum with activities that aid development, urge creativity, and facilitate exploration in a space that is specifically designed to feel inviting to children. “I bought my house with the hope of someday opening this program, and now the entire first floor is kid-friendly and divided into areas for our different activities,” Yolanda explains, referring to what she clearly sees as upgrades to her Lawrence residence. “I can already imagine children seeing the space and then running inside, saying ‘This is where I want to be!’”
Yolanda includes reading, socialization, arts and crafts, dramatic play, music, and opportunities for play and discovery in her program; she engages kids by joining them in activities whenever she can. “My favorite activities are arts and crafts. I love to see the kids creating on an easel or on paper — mixing colors, using brushes,” she explains. “Those activities are also my favorite because I have fun, too. Those are the activities where the kids stay focused and the time passes and we don’t even notice. The kids don’t notice, and I hardly notice either,” she clarifies, smiling.
As a NeighborSchools Provider, Yolanda has a team of childcare and FCC experts helping her secure her license (Family Child Care Providers are licensed through Massachusetts’s Department of Early Education and Care), design her program, market her services, promote her expertise, and manage her business systems. That team will continue to support Peniel Daycare as Yolanda brings her classroom into her home and welcomes families into the program. “NeighborSchools gave me the encouragement I needed to finally open my program,” explains Yolanda. “I was thinking and thinking about doing this, and I didn’t know how to start. Now, we are at the last level of preparation, the last item on the checklist. I’m so excited!”
With help from NeighborSchools, Yolanda is changing the location of her classroom, but she’ll maintain her unwavering belief in and support for kids and families. “I want parents to know that their children are safe in my program,” states Yolanda. “They are learning and loved in this place. I will motivate and encourage the kids, and I’m also here for the parents. I’m a teacher and a partner who is here to support everybody.”
Learn more about Yolanda’s program here.