Kumar Natarajan knows firsthand the benefits of immersing young children into a curriculum-based pre-school.
His children, now in elementary and middle school, got their educational start at The Learning Experience. When it came time to begin his own business, adding a Falls Township location to the growing number of The Learning Experience franchises was a no-brainer.
“There are a lot of working families who are looking for childcare,” Natarajan said. “Curriculum-based pre-school is lacking in this area.”
In June 2014, he opened The Learning Experience, which is situated at 8829 New Falls Road in Levittown. Ninety children 6 weeks old to 5 years old are enrolled at the year-round facility. The childcare center has two infant rooms, two toddler rooms, two pre-school classes and two 2-year-old rooms. A room will be opening this spring for 5-year-olds.
“I love to see their smiles every morning coming in,” he said.
Learning while having fun is a foundation of The Learning Experience. The childcare centers offer age-appropriate L.E.A.P. (The Learning Experience Academic Program) for early learners. A favorite is the smart board, which teachers use to show interactive stories, engage children in singalongs and more. Its placement close to the ground is key, according to Natarajan.
“Even a 2-year-old can touch and feel and paint,” he said.
Learning sign language is another principle of The Learning Experience.
According to Marie O’Brien, The Learning Experience assistant center director, a new sign is introduced each month. When taught in conjunction with a child’s verbal communication, she said signing helps engage both the left and right sides of the brain.
Sign language begins with infants as young as 6 weeks and continues through age 5, she said. For kids enrolled in the school from infancy until kindergarten, approximately 100 signs could be learned, she said.
Schools are divided into classrooms based on age and development, beginning with infant rooms. From there, children advance into the toddlers, twaddlers, preppers, pre-school, pre-k and kindergarten programs.
Pre-school students also learn Spanish. Part of the language-learning process is imaginative as students pretend to visit Spanish-speaking countries and sing along to Spanish songs.
Children ages 3 to 5 learn the alphabet through The Learning Experience’s formal phonics program. A different character is introduced for each letter, helping to emphasize the lesson.
“Our children learn phonetically, not alphabetically,” O’Brien said. “90 percent of our children are reading.”
In addition to educational programs, The Learning Experience offers various enrichment programs, including soccer, talent, yoga, music and more. Themes change every 12 weeks and children receive the gear needed for the program at no additional charge. All families, regardless of budget, are able to have their children participate.
“What’s good for one child here is good for every child,” O’Brien said.
To learn more
The Learning Experience is located at 8829 New Falls Road in Falls Township. The center provides childcare and early childhood education to children ages 6 weeks to age 5. The center is open year-round from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To learn more, visit The Learning Experience Website: http://levittown.tlechildcare.com/index.php or call 215-943-1010.