By Karl Heine

The Children’s College, located on the Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) campus, offers a homely and comfortable environment for children to grow and learn. With a quaint location and family-like faculty, the Children’s College offers education for kids aged two years and nine months up to five years old.

Located in the Life Fitness Center near the top of campus, the Children’s College is open from 7:15 AM to 5:15 PM, Monday-Friday. A paid preschool, the Children’s College does not offer drop off childcare. Instead, the preschool offers lessons and activities throughout the day to teach the young minds.

“I’ve been in childcare for over 20 years, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Tonya Sarkinen, the woman who founded and still runs the program to this day. “It’s a small, intimate school for preschool-aged kids.”

Opened on September 2, 2008 after Sarkinen took over the old child care center, the Children’s College is enjoying its 11th year of business.

Sarkinen herself is well educated in childcare, with a degree in Early Childhood Educational Studies and a minor in Psychology from Salem State University. Clearly apt for the position, Sarkinen was also smart enough to surround herself with competent and capable employees.

With five staff member positions at the Children’s College, Sarkinen knows just what she is looking for to hire the right help and build a close-knit workplace.

“We’re like a family,” said Children’s College employee Yanasia Mendes. “Compared to other places, you’re a lot more comfortable with parents [here at 4Cs].”

Mendes made sure to credit the employees’ strong communication with the members of the children’s families as a very important part of what they do at the Children’s College. Mendes has been working there for three years off and on, and she says that she really likes working there for Sarkinen.

With a play set in the room, not to mention a fenced in open area filled with toys and play structures, it is not hard to see why the children attending this College have so much fun.

Lexi Molina, another employee of the Children’s College, described her workplace as comfortable and homely. Molina has only been at the Children’s College for a few weeks this time around, but she also worked there for four years previously.

With planned day-to-day activities, such as ‘Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom’ and ‘Let’s Be Partners’, the Children’s College offers a structured yet fun environment for its young members. The daily schedule offers a balance of both play and learning, creating a really fun environment for the kids. The children also get a rest for about an hour and a half during the afternoon, a well-deserved break amidst the formative experiences.

The Children’s College is not only available for 4Cs students, but also to the general public. One full day of care costs $49, while a full week will cost $225. Half-days, which end at 12:30 PM, are $32. For school-age students, before and after school care is available for just $12 a day, while the normal hours of care will cost them $42.

The Children’s College here on campus at 4Cs offers an enriching environment to cultivate preschool-aged minds. Open to anyone, not just students, the preschool is a great chance for children to play, learn and have positive experiences that will help mold them into the people they will become.

Photo courtesy of Tonya Sarkinen