Daycare: The Learning Experience

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from MM379. Show MM379's posts

    Daycare: The Learning Experience

    My employer-owned daycare (very reasonably priced!) may be closing and we are heartbroken.  Several families are looking into The Learning Experience which is opening a new location not far from our current daycare.  Although they are much more $$, they are currently offering some incentives and have a lot of enrichment programs.  Transitioning my kids to a center that offers so much but also will include some of the same friends/families my kids are used to sounds like a good plan.  So far, they seem to be our front runner for DS (2.8) and DD (5mos).  Just looking if anyone has any feedback regarding TLE in general at their other MA locations.  Thanks!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    MM - thank you for your post.  I hadn't heard of them, so just googled and found they have a center exactly on our commute.  I'm emailing now to get more information.  Have they given you any pricing information?  I'm sure its different per center (I'm looking at one on the north shore) and a 3-day week.
    Thanks!!
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    Hi IPW... sorry I didn't post sooner.  TLE is definitely up there - especially for me considering my employer's daycare was under market value.  But, it seems to have a lot of perks... a lot of the TLE centers have lunch, plus all do snacks and beverages.  The facilities are AWESOME... cool indoor dramatic play area.  They also have a lot of enrichment programs with specialists that come in (Spanish, music, art, fitness, etc) that are extra at other centers.  Luckily, b/c this center is new, they were offering a pre-enrollment discount for the whole first year and I think when my employer's center does clothes, they may line up an employer 10% discount with TLE.    How did your research into the one on your commute go?
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    MM--Is that the Easton one?  (You don't have to tell me if you don't want to) I work 3 minutes down the street from that one, and I'm actually slightly thinking about checking it out.  Right now the kids are near my house which allows for ease of pickup for either DH or me, but they provide lunch too, which is cool!!!  Do you have any idea when they might be opening or the rates?
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    Hi Lost - it is that one!  I work close as well.  They are opening 8/22.  Rates are on the high end, but lower than kindercare and more enrichment things.  Plus, I never liked the open concept of that easton kindercare.  When they open, they will have snacks and beverages... they need a minimum enrollment to hire the chef for lunch.  Definitely check them out - they are doing tours by appointment.  The director seems nice as does the owner (its franchised).  You may want to see if your employer could arrange an employee discount there - its 10%.  Not sure what the rates are now - I pre-registered under a special deal. 
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    My DD has been going to TLE in Littleton for the past 2 years.  It had just opened when she started going.  Like one poster mentioned, they offer a lot of enrichment programs and bring in specialists to work with the children in arts/crafts, music, etc.  She just started preschool there and they have proprietary workbooks that they utilize each week as well as computers in the classroom.  I feel like they have a good mix of learn and play time and the teachers are genuinely concerned for each child.

    Good luck!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    MM - wish I could tell you what I have learned but they haven't gotten back to me.  Will put in another call this morning.  We drove by it yesterday to see the location, and it is perfect for our commute and looks nice (from the outside).  Our other option is a Kindercare nearby and that price, while not cheap, is within our budget (mind you at the very top).  So if TLE is slightly less, I think we are really going to like it!
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    Update.  I just got the Owner on the phone (Danvers location).  Sounds very nice.  My info is all about their toddler rooms.  This center provides two snacks (9am, 3pm) that are a carb snack (crackers, pretzels, dry cereal) - no fruit or protein snacks.  For now you bring breakfast and lunch - they may add chef in the Fall and provide lunch (may raise monthly fee $40-$50.).  They don't quote prices over the phone, which I think is odd.  However she said they are "comparable to kindercare."  I'm going to visit at the end of this month so hopefully will know more then.  I must say, I do like that my kindercare option (Peabody) provides all meals... breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack.  And they are protein, fruit, dairy and such.  That center is open 6:30-6pm and you can use any or all of those hours included in fee.  TLE person today told me they are 6:30-6:30, but there is extra fee to drop off at 6:30am.  What?!
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    Ugh.  Not thrilled with the Easton location.  The newly-hired director for this location is no longer the director (maybe lasted 2 weeks?) and they aren't even open yet!!  Starting to second guess going with a brand new center.  Anyone have any feedback on Creative World in Easton?
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    Re: not quoting prices on the phone:

    there is a philosophy that goes like this:  when we give a really big number (because infant childcare is a really big number) that will scare parents who haven't seen our facility and seen the wonderful stuff happening in action.  So we want to have parents come in for a tour and see how wonderful the center is, see the great stuff in action, and then they'll understand the cost and why it's worth it.

    It makes sense - and I get it.  But if it's way out of someone's price possibility, no matter how great the center is, then it's a waste of time to have a parent come in. 

    So if you promise to keep an open mind, I'll condone the asking for prices over the phone!  Wink
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    CT-DC - I totally get it, and promise to keep an open mind on my tour coming up!  But your latter point is also exactly why I was a bit bothered.  For example, I did research for places close to home and places close to work (Boston).  As you can imagine, the downtown Boston centers are almost twice as much.  I'd have been really peaved if I had gone to a Boston center, fallen in love with it only to have them tell me it is almost $500 a week for 3 days (way out of our league!)
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    I visited the Danvers center and the pricing for toddler is $258.00 per week full time. Their full-time hours are 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. If you need early a.m. care (opens at 6:30 a.m) you pay an extra $75 per month. If you need late care (open til 6:30 p.m.) you pay an extra $50 per month. Does anyone have any experience with this center?
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    Update: Decided we were pretty happy with TLE after several visits.  Starting there Monday!!!  I'll give more feedback in the future...
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    Robin, I visited the same center.  I have no experience there except from our tour.  Do you have an older toddler?  Our 15 mth old was quoted at almost the same price for only a 3-day week (and we were given the same $75 and $50 early and late fees).  My DH absolutely loved how clean and new everything is.  My biggest upset is they serve no food, no milk and when they do get their kitchen up and running this fall... it will be crock pot foods as they have no stoves/ovens.  So all stews and such... so says the Director.  One other place we looked nearby for the same price serves 2 completely balanced meals and 2 completely balanced snacks (protein, dairy, fiber, fruit, etc.) and milk.
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    I was talking to a friend and found out she sends her boys (3 & 5) to TLE in Concord.  She LOVES it. 
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    I have dealt with TLE's in Danvers, Billerica and Chelmsford and would not hesitate to use them for child care. Their programs are top notch. I am actually hoping to get my niece into the upcoming Wilmington center. I think you made an excellent choice. You should not be put off by the short stay of the previous director. This might simply mean she was not a fit or left for any number of reasons. It's likely that she was from another center and simply getting this one off the ground..something that commonly happens.
    As far as charging extra for early drop-off, this is also pretty standard. Longer hours require more staffing and generally speaking, having a child in care for more than 10 hours a day is discouraged.
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    Week 1 at TLE down, so far so good.  Love the curriculum and the staff seems great.  DS is having a little trouble adjusting (understandable at his age), but teacher has been patient and each day got a little better.  Only downside, I thought snack included choice of milk or juice, only includes juice, so I'm sending milk.
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    MM - can you speak about the transition a bit?  How old is your LO and what room (toddler or infant) are you starting them in?  How many hours a day, days a week?  And what are you sending for food?  Sorry so many questions, but it's between TLE and one other place and my DH and I are at a stand still.  Thanks!
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    ipw - DS (age 2.9) is in the "prepper" room, but since ours is a brand new center, they are currently combined with the pre-schoolers while the enrollment grows.  They keep them hopping.  The art projects are great, they all get a little bit of computer time, they are outside 2x per day, they reinforce potty training, and they go into the dramatic play area daily which DS loves ("make believe boulevard.)  For lunches, DS was already used to his brown bag from being at our previous center.  Our TLE doesn't yet offer lunch, but for snack he's been having crackers, cereal, all pretty appropriate things.  I usually back cut up chicken or turkey (DS will eat it cold), cooked veggies (again he will eat those cold - I trained him from the beginning b/c prior daycare didn't heat lunches), a yogurt, a cheese stick, and then a few fruit options.  He usually supplements his TLE-provided snacks with fruit. 
    DD is in the infant room and that transition has worked out great.  In the first week there, she already started crawling like a pro rather than doing her army crawl/drag from before and is now pulling up.  Both kids seem to love it. 
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    PS - I can give you some pointers on the types of things I used to pack for DS when he was younger - remind me of your LOs age?
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    MM - my DS will be 13 mths, so right on the cusp of the infant room.  One center will allow him to start in the young toddler room so he doesn't have to make two transitions so close (also the center that supplies all the food and milk).  TLE follows the age rules strictly so he'll need to go in the infant room until 15 months.  I'm leaning toward the other one, but my DH can't get over how clean, tidy and new TLE center is.  Thanks!
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    Hi IPW
    I will say, TLE is spotless.  I believe the other place you are considering is Kindercare?  They do include TONS at kindercare - its amazing.  For us, the Kindercare that we considered is all open-style rooms - so only half walls and in some cases, even no walls, seperating one "room" from another.  It was just way too overstimulating for who my DS is.  If you are still strongly considering TLE, i would say talk to them about your concerns about the transition, what the pros/cons of your DS starting in the infant room there might be (our TLE infant room ends at 12 mos I think and they go into the toddler, then twaddler, then prepper room all between the ages of 1 and 3 years to keep up with their ever evolving development).  Also, asking them how they will handle the transition - perhaps from the get go they could allow him to spend part of the day in the toddler room so he becomes gradually acclimated there as well.
    Good luck making this decision!  It can be tough but I don't think you can go wrong with either option.  I will say we have been thrilled with TLE so far and the curriculum is great.  DS verbal skills (which were good to begin with) have picked up even more just within two weeks.
     
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    Re: Daycare: The Learning Experience

    FYI, still really happy with TLE.  If anyone is in the Easton/Brockton area and interested in the South Easton TLE or looking for some fall fun ideas, they have a few free events coming up:
    http://southeaston.tlechildcare.com/bulletin-preschool-kindergarten-daycare-childcare.php
     
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