A Place to Learn and Grow

Current Parents

(608) 270-9000

Here we grow

The Otter Room

Classroom Overview

Dancing, climbing, jumping, doing puzzles and using table manners are just a few of the many things that you will find the busy children in The Otter Room doing.

The Otter Room was designed to provide exceptional care for toddlers, ages eighteen months to two years. 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.

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

Otters continue to practice consistency by following a daily routine. Teachers foster growth by introducing new experiences through creative play and exploration while encouraging children to learn coordination, communication and begin learning self-control.

6:30–9:00 Arrival – Free choice / Outside (weather permitting)
9:00–9:30 AM Snack
9:30–9:45 Diapers
10:00–10:15 Circle Time
10:15–10:45 Art, Music, Sensory, Story Time
10:45–11:30 Outside / Free Choice
11:30–11:45 Diapers / Story Time
11:45–12:15 Lunch
12:15–3:00 Rest Time and Quiet Activities Diapers (after awake)
3:00–3:30 PM Snack
3:30–4:30 Music, Sensory, Story Time
4:30 – 6:00 Free Choice, Outside, Diapers, Departure

Classroom Teachers

Lauren Thomas

Lauren Thomas, co-lead teacher in the Otter Room, has been with HWGLC since July of 2013. She is very passionate about working with children and helping them to learn and grow.

Lauren is currently working towards her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from MATC. Prior to working at HWGLC, she worked for a small center in Brooklyn, WI.

In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her daughter, Brooklyn. They like going to the park, watching Disney movies, and creating arts and crafts. Lauren is a big family oriented person and loves to spend as much time with her family as possible.

April McIlwee

April McIlwee, a co-teacher in The Otter Room, has always had a passion for working with children. April began babysitting at 12 years old and enjoyed it so much, she decided to take childcare classes in high school. April graduated from Southwest Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Child Care and Development in 1999. She has been working as an infant/toddler teacher at Here We Grow since August of 2005.

Outside of work, April enjoys seeing movies with her husband, spending time with her son Logan, shopping, scrap booking, and relaxing with a good book. Family and friends are very important in April’s life.


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