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Kids immersed in language and culture at private school

Date Posted: 2007-08-31

Finally, a day care center that really takes youngsters under its wing and teaches as well as baby sits.

Baby123 is unique, offering bilingual, multi-cultural experiences for its young clients. The care center, open Mondays through Friday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., caters to military families from its convenient location near Camp Lester. Baby123 provides all the expected services in a clean facility with a tranquil atmosphere, and then goes the extra steps beyond.

Teachers speak both English and Japanese, and work with the children in both languages. Mornings the tots learn basic Japanese and American skills, including singing songs in both languages.

There’s also exposure to Japanese vocabulary and culture, and Baby123 teachers say even one-year-old kids begin picking up the Japanese within a couple weeks.

Baby123 keeps the teacher-child ratio low, to provide more individual attention to each child. The small kids learn to use scissors, spell and write their names, use pencils, count numbers and learn the alphabet. Daily art and drawing sessions fill the center’s days, and kids learn social interaction skills, receive potty training and learn to play in the adjacent park together.

Baby123’s owner says communication with parents is important, and “we write what the child does each day, what they learn, how their behavior was, how many times diapers are changed, and more.” Naps are a routine part of the center day. “Kids stay in day care for a long time,” the owner says, “so I want to make the place a second home for them here in Okinawa.”

Baby 123 also offers hourly care rates. “This is very convenient when you go to a lunch with your friends, go to nail salon or shopping, you can drop off your child at us, and pick her or him up i2~3 hours later. Half-day care, four hours a day, can be very useful for a parent who wants to have a little but own free time every day,” she said.

Baby123 is located across from Camp Lester, behind Ringer Hut, on the third floor of Community Mansion #301. Information and facility tours are available at 080-3954-7810. Baby123 charges on a monthly basis; there is no hourly care offered. “Working with children gives me so much energy and joy,” the owner says. “I love my work so much, and just before going home, kids always give me big hugs and kisses that make my rough days go away.”

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