Mary and I were so grateful to have found a center like Círculo de Amigos for our little Nico. I'm part Mexican and Mary is from Minnesota, and we both want to raise Nico bilingual and bicultural. Círculo de Amigos drew our attention immediately with its values about bilingualism, diversity, teaching our children to be kind people and accepting of each other, while also encouraging our little ones to play and learn.
Nico has been with Círculo de Amigos for 8 months now and we have felt a part of their incredible familia ever since. Maria and her husband Carlos and their family are the warmest people I've ever met and the teachers that work there all know Nico and show their love for him and their interest in his well-being.
Just the other day Nico went running over to Silvia to give her un abrazo (hug) and he often gives Dalia and Mirla kisses hello and goodbye. Mary and I are comforted knowing that Nico is doing activities that help him learn and grow, like having water days in the summer, walks, making art work, cultural family events and a creative and innovative outdoor classroom.
Círculo de Amigos even held a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders, which shows their dedication to social justice abroad as well as in our own community. We feel blessed to have found such a warm and welcoming place for Nico and for our family.
Mary and Andrea
As a social worker, I was very particular about what childcare center I wanted my children to attend. In addition to being in a safe setting, I needed to know my boys would be happy, confident and secure in themselves. After touring dozens of centers, I knew Círculo de Amigos was where I wanted my boys to be. Not only do they have a strong academic and kindergarten readiness focus, but they provide the social/emotional support that is so crucial to the development of a young child.
My boys have participated in activities and projects that place an emphasis on being compassionate, caring and generous human beings including learning about ALL types of families, participating in fundraisers for Syrian Refugees and creating a mini-march for students in which they held up hand-made posters about unity.
An additional aspect of Círculo that has been amazing is their openness and willingness to share aspects of the Latinx culture with all students. As a bi-racial family, it has been beautiful to see my children speaking my language and learning to dance traditional Aztec dances.
We are so thankful for all the love and support Círculo staff has shown our family. It is truly a warm, nurturing environment and we highly recommend Círculo de Amigos to anyone looking for high-quality care with an emphasis on Spanish immersion and social justice.
Beatriz and Brian
My son has been with Círculo de Amigos for two years and it has been one of the best decisions we have made for our son.
When we dropped off my son for the first time he was so terrified of starting at a new school but thanks to his amazing teachers he began to love school and became so excited to go to school every morning.
Not only have we built really good relationships with his teachers, but also with the rest of Círculo's staff.
They are truly amazing people.
Raquel and Juan Palma
We've had our two children at Círculo for the past two years and couldn't speak more highly of it. In looking for a childcare provider, we were seeking the safety and checks and balances of a center with the community feel of an extended family. We also wanted our children to be exposed to diverse cultures and another language, while spending time learning and playing. And the place needed to have early hours to accommodate our work schedules. Tall order, right?
In coming to Círculo, our children are greeted by name and are a part of a multicultural community that is warm and welcoming. They spend their day learning through play, art, music and other age-appropriate instruction in the indoor classroom and their beautiful outdoor play area.
Since the kids are spoken to exclusively in Spanish, the language has been picked up quickly. It's been so fun to watch their language development, particularly since we don't know it much beyond high school Spanish.
One huge bonus is that Círculo does lots of unique extracurricular activities, including weekly yoga and meditation, and water days in the summer. You can also expect a daily art project, and for the toddler and under age groups, written daily reports.
As parents, we are kept in the loop with happenings at the school via email and twice-yearly conferences. When we do have questions or concerns, they are always answered promptly.
We feel when our children are at Círculo, that they are truly loved, respected and nurtured. And ultimately, if I can't be the one caring for what's most precious in my life, I'm glad that Círculo is.
Jodi and Mike Ostendorf
When Simon started at Círculo De Amigos at 3 months old, we were impressed at how cheerful and friendly everyone was. He is now 2 years old, and we are enjoying how cheerful and friendly Simon has become! He seems to soak up the positive energy that surrounds him every day. He is comfortable and confident with his caregivers: he runs to them in the morning, he greets them by name, and he talks about them at home. He truly enjoys his teachers, his friends, and his classroom, and the staff seems to enjoy him too.
The bilingual education component was one of the main reasons we chose Círculo de Amigos, even though neither of us are fluent Spanish speakers. We believe that bilingualism is a gift that affects not just how our son learns to communicate, but also how he learns to view the world. It shapes not only his mind, but his spirit, and we saw evidence of this very early on. He could identify his body parts in Spanish before he could do it in English. One of his first words was “mariposa”. He is drawn to Spanish books at the library, and seems to notice Spanish speakers when we are out in public.
We appreciate how accommodating and supportive Círculo de Amigos has been of our choices: everything from cloth diapers, to our 4 day a week schedule, to commuting by bicycle.
We have been impressed at the way the administration at Círculo de Amigos continues to invest in the facilities and trainings for the staff. The building is beautiful, clean and bright and warm and welcoming. The classrooms are always decorated with bright and fun themes, often using the children’s pictures. Simon always likes to find himself and point out his friends. The playground is constantly evolving with natural features that grow and change with the seasons. Being in an environment that is changing and growing seems to encourage Simon to pay attention to his surroundings, anticipate changes, and learn and grow himself.
Noelle and Shaun
Our family has been really pleased with our experience at Círculo de Amigos, and I recommend the center to other parents regularly. We were initially attracted by the enthusiastic teachers and the lovely space, with quality equipment and lots of natural light.
What I've grown to appreciate is that there is a good balance of play time - when kids can just be kids - and structured activities that are part of a well-designed curriculum to engage kids' senses and encourage early learning. I was surprised that Lucia is starting to read! The use of Spanish is consistent, and Lucia is speaking it.
Behavior issues that I've seen at other centers seem almost non-existent here due to clear but kind expectations set by quality educators. Finally, a great community of families has developed here and we've become friends with several other families.
At 3 months, our daughter Olivia began her learning experience at Círculo de Amigos. Being native Spanish speakers when we were exploring different daycare options and it was extremely important to find teachers that spoke Spanish as their native language. Several of my coworkers recommended that I at look at Círculo de Amigos. After meeting with Maria, I knew this is where Olivia would thrive. Maria’s passion for teaching students was evident. She believes that children learn best when all their senses are engaged and when they are able to explore nature. After seeing the teachers play with the children, and how each child explored the room I felt confident sending our daughter to Círculo.
As Olivia grew so did our engagement with the Círculo family. It is fantastic! The annual cultural party allowed every family to celebrate each other’s culture. You can feel the love, the connection and see what the children have learned with the performance put on by the older children.
Throughout the year the children participate in a wide range of activities that stimulate all their senses. From yoga, to sculpting, to theater and dance! These activities have encouraged Olivia to try new activities and be adventurous.
Now that Olivia is 3 her language has exploded! She is able to express her thoughts clearly in Spanish! Such a dream come true for us. Maria’s love for teaching and her vision for Círculo have been a perfect addition to our family.
Círculo de Amigos is more much more than a childcare center and preschool, it is a community. I was referred to Círculo by a friend, and my child started with Círculo at the age of four months and through graduation at the age of five. As a baby, my daughter was cared for with such love that even now, she refers to her earliest caregiver as family. As a Círculo parent I greatly appreciated the coordination of thoughtful and inspiring family events which led to the building of community for my child, and for our family. Each lesson and each event at Círculo has a theme of unity and respect for cultures and our environment.
From craft projects with recycled materials, to planting seeds for Father’s Day, to witnessing a butterfly emerge from a cocoon - the are the lessons that must taught with patience, intention and respect. These are the teachings of Círculo that set it apart from other centers or preschools. The Spanish language instruction and attention to student's individual strengths and needs surpassed my expectations. The teachers are amazing, with a true focus on kindergarten readiness in preschool. I always trusted in, and had direct access to my daughter’s teachers at Círculo.
Now, as a graduate of Círculo, my daughter is now in Spanish immersion kindergarten and thriving. Fortunately, she has many alumni of Círculo in her school, and it makes me proud when the Círculo alumni stop to hug one another in the hallway, and chat together in perfect Spanish. The Círculo alumni are intelligent, compassionate and connected. I know that Círculo has given my child a great start in life, and I am proud that we remain a part of the Círculo family.
Brooke and Carmen
We came to Círculo after being at an in-home provider that offered semi-Spanish immersion care. We were really interested in giving our daughter more structure and more learning opportunities with her peers. We loved that Círculo not only had a Spanish-immersion environment, but also that Círculo offered a good balance between structured learning activities and free play.
Our older daughter, age 3, has been with Círculo since the center opened. She started when she was 1.5 years, and was just joined by her younger sister, who is now 8 months.
We have sincerely appreciated the symbiotic relationship between the time that our two daughters spend at Círculo and the time that they spend at home. The communication between teachers and parents is quite smooth, accomplished with daily charts for infants and toddlers and through easy verbal communication with preschool teachers. We feel fortunate to have had the support of Círculo staff when we started to potty-train our older daughter, and in fact, it was directly because of the effort of Círculo that she was potty-trained so quickly. Our younger daughter has grown by leaps and bounds with the support of infant teachers, becoming more curious and interactive. It has also been with their help that we have been able to have her sleep better at home.
Círculo has become an integral part of our lives. We feel completely safe and happy to drop our kids off in the morning and we love seeing their smiling faces when we pick them up in the afternoon. The curriculum really has helped our children grow both emotionally and intellectually.
One of the things that our family loves best about Círculo is all the time that they are able to play outside and the amazingly creative outdoor space that is provided to them. The most recent development has included creating a mini-road that kids can drive little trucks on and practice traffic skills (stop, go, etc.).
As parents who bike their kids to Círculo, I am very grateful for the secure bicycle and trailer parking that Maria and Carlos installed. Not only is it within the fence, but it also includes a plastic awning to keep trailers dry during rainy days.
If you're on the fence about Círculo, know that the administration and teachers are passionate about nurturing happy, well-rounded children who care about the world around them. Whether it's going on walks on the greenway, collecting coins for Doctors without Borders in Syria, or learning yoga, this is a wonderful place and we are so glad that our two girls have the opportunity to be a part of this loving community.
Hope has been at Círculo since she was 4 months old, and we intend to keep her there until she begins Kindergarten. We knew that a daycare center was the best choice for our family--it felt like the safest option for our child, and the most reliable to allow us both to continue working full time. We feel confident knowing that she spends her days with professionals who are experts in the many different stages of child development. When Peter visited Círculo for the first time, he knew in his heart that it was the right place for our child to spend her time. The outdoor play space demonstrated the commitment to engaging with nature, the kids playing were all happy and curious, and the staff is so welcoming and warm! Hope loves getting ready for "school" each morning and we feel entirely confident that she is well-loved during her time away from us.
Neither of us speak Spanish, but we knew that growing up bilingual was one way that we could provide opportunity for our child to gain many benefits to her developing brain, including language skills and developing close relationships with people from other cultures. Now that she's starting to understand and talk more, it is incredible to watch her engage with both languages!
Choosing a daycare provider is a really important decision; she spends more waking hours each week at Círculo than she does at home. I firmly believe that we are "co-parenting" with Círculo, and we are lucky to have such great support from them. Both my husband and I can pursue our careers whole-heartedly without any worry about her care. I couldn't be happier with our decision to enroll Hope at Círculo de Amigo!