Wee Care Preschool is a unique private preschool serving families in the Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois. It's owned and directed by Ramona Burggraaff, with Elizabeth Fuld as its Client Relations Director (both pictured on the right, respectively). This week, we've had the pleasure of speaking to both of these very admirable women who run Wee Care and picked their brains to ask for their opinions on their establishment, parenthood & the child care industry in general.
"As the name implies, WE CARE... About your child and you." We admit, that's definitely one of the catchiest play on words we've read in a while. And they have the track record to prove it! What really made us attracted to Wee Care was their educational methods and the longevity in which they've been educating;they've been at it for 3 decades! "Our preschool is distinctly different due to the Wee Care community that has been created over 30 years! We have teachers who have been with us for 10 and even 20 years! We were founded on the [principles] of caring for and educating the children of our community and building a core place for families to grow. Our founder has been in education for almost 50 years and does not run the school as a business model..." It's admirable how they've served their community the way they do. Considering she's educated different generations of kids -- some of which have already received their degrees! Which made us ask about their proudest moments in all of those years.One of Ramona's proudest moments in educating children was actually just recently, "[It was during] our most recent JK Graduation ceremony. one of our graduates is the youngest of 4 siblings who have ALL attended Wee Care Preschool. The eldest sister is now 27 years old and has received her graduate degree, the 16 year old sister is nearing the end of high school, and the 12 year old brother is almost finished with elementary school and we just watched the youngest graduate from Wee Care and move on to Kindergarten. To think that we have been fortunate enough to have this wonderful family entrust their 4 children to us over a span of 25 years is truly incredible! I am proud and satisfied in knowing we have done our jobs properly, giving them the building blocks and tools to be fully prepared to grow after they graduate from Wee Care!"
To us, this was definitely one of the biggest differentiating factors of their school -- you can easily tell that they do it for the passion of education -- and it's obviously paid off over the years. They've definitely become 'parents' in their own right. Which led us to ask questions about parenthood. We asked about the biggest mistakes they've seen parents make and how to fix them; to which Elizabeth answered; "The biggest mistake I see parents make is pushing their children when they are not yet ready for whatever it may be. This may take the form of potty training, speech development, etc. I can speak to my own experience raising my now 4 year old son, Jack. During all of his 'firsts'. We lived in Manhattan and it was very easy to get caught up in comparing what Jack was doing to what other children around his age were able to do. Once I realized that each child grows and learns at his own pace, I was able to truly enjoy all that was happening and let Jack take care of it on his own with our support. Of course there are times when children need the proper resources, but parents can get caught up in benchmarks and percentiles and not even realize their child is excelling in many other areas." -- To us, this was like hearing gospel. It's something we definitely encourage parents to hear out.
Though to balance it all out, we also asked them about their best parenting tip. To which Ramona answered; "Love your child and have fun! It's simple, and can be hard to do at time, but true. Your children are very smart and understand everything.The most important thing is to love them unconditionally." Which again, is pretty much in-sync with our beliefs at Bow-Tiger.
Wee Care and its staff just amazed us.The level of educational expertise and the apparent passion they put into their work was just unbelievable. If you're ever in the Chicago land area and looking for a preschool for your young one, we would definitely recommend that you pay their preschool a visit. We asked Elizabeth for her words on what she felt everyone else should know about their school, to which she said; "We feel extremely fortunate to have a wonderfully diverse group of families at Wee Care from all over the world. From the start we've had children come to us not speaking a word of English from France, China, Russia, Italy & everywhere in between. It's beautiful to see a hug from a friend is the same all around the world..."
Again, all we can say is 'passion'. Nothing beats it. When someone has a passion for teaching children, it just radiates with no comparison. We definitely would trust our kids with Wee Care!
For more information on Wee Care, you can visit their website at http://www.weecare.com/, or call them at (773)781-2273 to schedule a tour! They're located at 2816 N. Pine Grove Ave. Chicago, Illinois, 60657