Little Explorers Early Learning Academy knows that it takes a special kind of person to provide the care and education that young children need and deserve. We take the time and effort to ensure that our team understands, believes in, and encompasses the ideals on which the Little Explorers philosophy, mission, and vision are based. We hold ourselves and each other to the highest standards in order to ensure that your child has only the best daycare and preschool experience possible.
Meet Our Team:
Meet Ms. Katie - Founder and Director
Ms. Katie is our Lead Teacher and Program Director. She has earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from NJCU, as well as a BA in Media Communications with a Theatre Arts Minor from Penn State University. She is certified as a NJ Teacher of Preschool through Grade 3, Elementary Teacher in Grades K-5, and Teacher of Students with Disabilities. Ms. Katie also is CPR, First Aid, and AED Certified. She has taught and managed early education programs as both a Teacher and Program Specialist for many years, working in private, public, charter, and corporate-owned schools and centers. Throughout these experiences, she has learned to excel in the areas of maintaining a clean and safe classroom, maintaining standards set by NAEYC, following State regulations and guidelines, and engaging children in developmentally appropriate and fun activities across all domains of early learning.
Meet Ms. Andrea
Ms. Andrea has been working with children for the past 20+ years. She has worked with and enjoys working with children of all ages. She worked with preschool as well as aftercare children in elementary schools. She has also worked as a camp counselor for elementary school aged children. While working at a local child care center, Ms. Andrea received countless hours of professional development in the areas of High Scope, Cultural Awareness, Phonics, Health and Wellness, and Ages and Stages of Development, just to name a few. Ms. Andrea joined the Little Explorers team while we were still a home-based center and has had a remarkable impact on the growth of our center. Ms. Andrea is currently going to school to obtain her bachelors in early childhood education. She has also completed her CDA course to further her knowledge of working with children.
Meet Ms. Stephanie
Ms. Stephanie has always had a passion for teaching and caring for young children. She started out with babysitting jobs as a teenager. She later became an infant /toddler teacher and has been teaching for 5 years and counting at corporate and privately owned learning centers. She also volunteers at her church nursery. Ms. Stephanie has her CDA for infants and toddlers. She is CPR and first aid certified. She has recently became mother to a beautiful baby girl, who is the younger sibling to Ms. Stephanie's first daughter. In her spare time Ms. Stephanie enjoys spending time with family and friends, painting, knitting, and bike riding.
Meet Mr. Ugoo
Mr. Ugoo has been working with our Waddlers and Toddlers since Fall 2017. In addition to working with our wonderful children and families, Mr. Ugoo is currently studying online with the University of Phoenix, after leaving Rutgers to have the flexibility of schedule to work with children full-time. Mr. Ugoo’s passion and love for his work is evident the second you see him in the classroom. He feels he has a calling to help guide the future generation in becoming well-rounded kind-hearted individuals. Majoring in Healthcare Administration and Pre-Med, Mr. Ugoo would like to pair his love of science and his love of children by becoming a pediatrician. Mr. Ugoo’s childcare experience includes volunteering with the Children’s Ministry at his church every Sunday for more than five years - working with infants through preschool age children. He also has worked with the YMCA Aftercare Program at a local elementary school, right here in Livingston. Mr. Ugoo has teaching experience with college-age students as well, helping his peers with Biology and Chemistry at the university tutor center. His career goal is to become a pediatrician and work with children in the healthcare field.
Meet Ms. Karen
Ms. Karen brings a very warm, nurturing energy to our building. She joins our team with over ten years experience in early childhood education at a daycare / preschool facility in her hometown, the Community School of Nutley. Ms. Karen’s ten years experience as a teacher in an early learning center, are in addition to her nearly ten years experience as a stay-at-home mom to her two now very successful and educated adult sons. Ms. Karen studied Early Childhood Development at Kean University and also earned her Dental Assistant Associates Degree from UMDNJ. In addition to her education experience, Ms. Karen worked for 15 years as an Assistant in Oral Surgery to put her boys through college, and is now coming back to her first love - early childhood education. Growing up in a traditional NJ Italian family, she is also a fantastic cook, and has brings her own love and flair to our kitchen.
Meet Ms. Renee
Ms. Renee joined Little Explorers with over 30 years of early childhood experience. She has two adult children of her own, and began her work as a preschool teacher at the center her son attended when he was just three years old. She earned and has consistently renewed and maintained her CDA Early Childhood Teaching Certification since the 1980s and has attended countless trainings through her work as a member of the NJEA, while working in both Head Start preschool and public school programs. Ms. Renee is always willing and able to bring her special care and love to each and every classroom. An avid reader, Ms. Renee loves reading with the children. She also loves getting down on the floor and playing with kids in order to build strong interpersonal relationships and encourage social and emotional development. When not here sharing her generous spirit with our Little Explorers children, families, and staff, Ms. Renee works with adolescent girls living in a group home environment in the evenings and on weekends.
Meet Ms. Maria
Ms. Maria is honored to be a part of the Little Explorers team, working together to educate and support each Little Explorers child throughout their early learning journey. Since earning her BS in Business Management / Marketing from Kaplan University, Ms. Maria has had over ten years of experience in working with young children in both daycare and elementary school settings, with children from infancy through early teenage years. Most recently, Ms. Maria worked at St. Aloysius Academy in Jersey City as a second and third grade teacher. Upon moving to the area, Ms. Maria quickly found a home at Little Explorers!
As a young child, she knew instantaneously that working with children was her passion and vocation. She feels that the most rewarding gift in this profession is witnessing each child’s the growth and progress. She enjoys seeing the smiles on the students’ faces as they learn and explore their talents. Ms. Maria is a mother of four precious children, with whom she enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and watching movies during her leisure time.
*We are always looking for responsible, caring individuals to join our team. If interested in making a difference in the lives of young children and their families, please submit your resume to email@example.com.*
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