A Place to Learn and Grow

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Here we grow

The Duckling Room

Classroom Overview

Standing without support, scribbling with crayons, stacking blocks and beginning to communicate their wants, needs and desires are just some of the things that the children in The Duckling Room are working on.

The Duckling Room was designed to provide exceptional care for toddlers, aged ten months to eighteen months. Enrolled families can expect a safe, secure, nurturing, and age-appropriate learning environment. Experienced, well-qualified teachers are staffed at a generous 1:4 ratio. Teachers are dedicated to responding promptly to every child’s feeding, sleeping, diapering and playtime needs.

Here we grow

Families are provided with daily written reports that accurately summarize the child’s daily activities. In addition to communication at drop off and pick up, families are encouraged to call or visit as desired.

Classroom Schedule

Ducklings begin to understand consistency and what is expected of them by following a daily routine. Teachers provide gentle, caring guidance to encourage ducklings to be good problem-solvers and communicators while learning independence and positive self-esteem.

6:30-8:30 Arrival / Free Play
8:30-9:00 Morning Naps (as needed)
9:00-9:30 Morning Snack
9:30-10:00 Clean-up / Diapers / Naps as needed
10:00-10:45 Art, Music, Story Time (based on child interest)
10:45-11:30 Outdoor play (weather permitting)
11:30-12:00 Lunch
11:45-12:00 Clean-up / Diapers
12:00-2:30 Naptime
2:30-2:45 Afternoon Snack
2:45-3:30 Art, Music, Story time (based on child interest)
3:30-4:00 Bottles (as needed)
4:00-6:00 Departure / Free Play / Outdoor play

Classroom Teachers

April McIlwee

April is a co-lead teacher in the Duckling Room and has been a teacher at Here We Grow since August, 2005-when we opened!

April graduated in 1999 from Southwest Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Child Care and Development.  She has been working with young children ever since.

She grew up in the small town of Bagley, WI.  She moved to the Madison area in 2002 to pursue her career.  This is where she met her husband…at Wal-Mart…on sale.

Outside of work she enjoys seeing movies with her husband, spending time with her kids, Logan and Morgan, shopping, playing games, and relaxing with a good book!

Samantha Pena

Samantha is a co-lead in the Duckling Room and has been at Here We Grow since May of 2020.

Prior to starting at Here We Grow, Sam was a nanny for 3 children under the age of 3!  She has also helped her mom at her in-home daycare that she has run for over a decade.

Sam comes from a big family, 7 sisters and 2 brothers, so being surrounded by a lot of people comes second nature to her!  She has learned to be helpful, patient and reliable from her family and she uses those skills daily in the Duckling Room!

In her free time, Sam likes to sit down with a good book, play card games with family and friends, have crafty Sundays and cuddle with her 2 kitties!


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