Why Choose Turner & Kauper Child Care? (Rev. 3b)
are retiring. Turner & Kauper Child Care is NOT taking any
new infants at this time. We enjoy talking to new parents searching for
child care. Call us at 612-825-4423, ask for Marian.
Best staff ratio: one adult per three kids, or better, nearly all the time, nearly every day.
130+ years of cumulative staff experience.
Thousands of hours of cumulative staff training.
Field Trips: forty to one hundred fifty per year, everywhere,
plus daily walks all over the neighborhood, including many nearby
More Education: nearly constant personal
conversations, explanations, music, stories, singing, made-up songs,
rhymes, noticing numbers, words and
everywhere, "everday science" all around us, science experiments, fantasy and imagination,
on a personal level, often one-to-one, all the time.
Large, wooded, fenced yard with custom, near "park quality" playground.
Five top quality telescopes, more telescopes of better quality than any other day care or school in Minnesota.
Our confidence, everyday, in every way, that our children will be fantastic, the best that they can be.
The owners, Michael and Marian, each have over 40 years experience. With our
principle employees, Sybil, Erica, and Patty, we have roughly 137 years
experience providing child care. We also hire young people, usually
teens who went here as children, for their energy, fun, and keen insight
into what our child care home is all about.
Our staff ratio is
excellent, the best you will find. Most of the time, you will see three
or four adults present. Other day care homes usually have one or two.
Our average staff ratio is one adult for every two or three children.
Even so, our fees are only slightly above average for family child care and below average for center care..
All of us have
taken hundreds of hours of training classes, up to and
including post graduate level. The owners, Michael & Marian, or
M&M, have also taught many child care classes, at child care
conferences, including conferences which we ourselves have organized. We
have taught child care classes in Minneapolis, greater Minnesota,
Atlanta, California, Iowa, and several cities in Great Britain.
We also produced The Family Day Care Radio Show for KFAI Community Radio
once a week for almost twenty years, close to 900 shows, providing leadership and training
for child care providers and parents all over the metro.
What is special about us, and valuable, is that we teach life long
safety, not just safety while the children are closely supervised. No
home or day care is ever completely safe, and anyone who claims perfect
safety is sadly and dangerously mistaken.
We teach our children
to be safe even when providers or parents have a
momentary lapse, when children are playing on their own, and when the
children are older, and may not be supervised all the time. Humans
learn the best possible safety thru carefully chosen, age-appropriate
risks, tried again and again, starting as babies and continuing for
To raise a healthy, confident, life-long-safe child,
safety and risk must be balanced. Children must, absolutely MUST,
experience some bumps, mistakes, and challenges, to learn impulse control,
self-respect, and judgement. No amount of telling and showing alone can
do this job. We adults may control the environment, help, supervise, and offer advice, but only
experience can mold a successful child.
To this end we take the
kids on more field trips than any other day care, and we provide an
on-site adventure playground, complete with two play climbers, two play
houses, swing set, child-size climbing trees, a mud place, well-stocked bike
shed, and a concrete bike and scooter area with two basket ball hoops.
Our children also participate in building, creating,
fixing, repairing, and maintaining their own family day care home.
Other ways we are safer than most other day care homes:
we have installed Ground Fault Interrupter (GFIC) electrical circuits
throughout the entire house, and not just in the bath and basement where
they are required by law. If a child puts a finger or toy into a GFIC
outlet, the current shuts off instantly, before the child can be hurt.
circuits are superior to outlet covers (which we also use). This
expensive option greatly exceeds licensing requirements. If an
appliance has an electrical defect, the GFIC will not supply power. The
appliance cannot run until it is repaired or re-placed.
Storm: We and all other day care homes hold regular fire and storm
drills. We have a “storm radio” which is crank and solar powered,
developed by the UN for Africa. The kids crank it up, and we listen for
reports. Child involment breeds confidence and courage.
What makes us different, and better, is that we have
installed hard-wired smoke and fire detectors on every level of the day
care home, and our three floors are interconnected. A fire anywhere in
the house sets off an alarm on every other floor. We also have many
battery-powered detectors in case of a power failure.
after we moved here, we spent $45,000 having all the original siding
removed and disposed of. We replaced the old siding with fancy
clear cedar, and then never painted it, to remove all possibility of
lead contamination. The interior has been painted with modern paint
to seal in the older paint.
Air and Water: We tested our air
for radon, and it is very low, far below federal limits. We tested
the water for lead, and lead level is extremely low, too low for the lab to measure.
All pipes are copper. We double filter our
drinking and cooking water, with an under sink filter.
Field Trips and Classes:
We take the day care children for field trips in a Honda Pilot and, if
more space is needed, a Honda Fit, both “top safety picks”. Using the
Pilot, and sometimes the Fit, we take the children on fifty to two
hundred driving field trips per year. We also go on 250 to 300 walking
field trips per year.
Our field trips include Red Cross swim
classes (every summer), libraries, grocery stores, toy stores, Salvation
Army, Dollar Store (to spend points), horse back riding, canoeing,
Bell Museum of Natural History, Science Museum, History of Television
Museum, both zoos, planetarium, flower conservatory, parent’s work
places, YWCA and YMCA, adventure playgrounds, local parks, kite flying,
model airplane flying, walks to Erica’s garden to eat tomatoes, several
beaches, various nature centers, and some of the homes
of our day care children. Currently we offer weekly classes in
Aikido, thru The Center for Mind-Body Oneness, and Patty is our in house music teacher.
Most day care homes and day care centers serve good food. We are
different, and better, in that we are expert at teaching children to
eat and enjoy all sorts of healthy and nutritious foods which children
are not supposed to like. This is perhaps the biggest difference
between us and other child day care settings. To me. exceptional
nutrition learning is our greatest and most difficult achievement.
We raise children who are the
opposite of pick eaters, again and again, with a high rate of success.
We follow nutrition research and trends, and we have evidence that fewer than
one american child in a thousand eats as well as our kids do every day.
Most of our kids, most of the time, are happy to eat, even compete to
eat, home-made baked beans; salmon, cod, Tilapia; tuna-noodle and tuna-barley salad;
sliced bell peppers
(without dip); 100% whole wheat bread, cake, rolls, bagels; roasted,
no-salt nuts and seeds; blackberries and blueberries; all sorts of
fruit; apples, pears, kiwi including the skin; bread crusts; home made
low-salt, whole wheat pizza; home made “Super Oatmeal” and “Super Hot
Cereal”; spaghetti with sauce of tomatoes, greens, refried beans, beef
or cheese; home made low-salt pesto; home made pumpkin pie, chocolate
tofu pie, and 100% whole wheat cookies.
We accomplish this in a low-stress, peaceful, and nurturing environment.
Media – books, movies, audio, TV, and computers:
Here too, our day care home is unusual. We believe that fun media may
be just as valuable and just as educational, as is “educational”
media. We feel that Superman, Dora the Explorer, and folk fairy
tales teach as much, or more, than Sesame Street, Umizoomi, and Word
Girl. Well chosen, age-appropriate media of all sorts is of great
usefulness to raise an educated, happy, and successful child.
We own a zillion books, a
truly fine collection, including American classics of child literature,
plus a whole world of folk tales. We also have a world-class
collection of comic books, video tape, and DVD’s. (and Netflix)
More unusual: we have a huge collection of audio stories and audio
books, from ten minutes to several hours long. This is another way in
which we stand out. Our kids listen to and enjoy long complex audio
stories, especially on long car rides out to the country, for Horse Back
Riding, or Adventure Playgrounds. Most other modern children do not
learn to absorb long audio stories, being addicted to TV and moview..
We also do lots of live story telling, especially folk tales and legends, from everywhere.
addition to books, tapes, and CD’s, we believe that TV and movies are
an essential and valuable part of Children’s Literature. We have and
use a huge collection. Every morning we start with about 20 to 30
minutes of Curious George, Umizoomi, Wild Kratts, or Max and Ruby, sans
commercials. The best way for kids to watch TV is to watch with an
active adult, who can pause the show, ask questions, and talk about what
is happening and why.
TV shows and movies have more happening than we usually notice.
In one episode of Curious George, the characters experience dozens of
important feelings, emotions, and ideas: Curiosity, puzzlement,
impulsiveness, patience, foolishness, fear, annoyance, disappointment,
discovery, exploration, effort, persistence, loneliness, boredom,
triumph, jealousy, kindness, generosity, satisfaction, anger, love, and
on and on. Real stories, well told, are both wider and deeper
than word and number drill.
are just as comfortable and supportive of the TV, movies, comic books
and folk tales as we are of “developmentally approved, educational,
age-graded” books and lessons.
We strictly limit screen-time.
Television must not prevent or replace other life activities, such as
games, exercise, outdoor play, chores, cooking, reading together, story time,
circle time, parades, puppet shows, blocks, fantasy play, music time,
Aikido classes, aerobics, food play, art, trains, Legos,
or other vital activities.
We wish we had time to squeeze in a bit more TV, but we juggle everything as best we can.
We have an open door policy, visitors welcome; good communication with
our parents; many open houses, pot luck dinners, and holiday
celebrations. We celebrate all sorts of
holidays from several traditions. We also publish a monthly newsletter,
and we support a secure, private, photo-sharing web site, with thousands of day care
photos and videos.
Learning About Money:
We pay the children
points for doing adult-type work. They do not get points for family
chores, but the kids do get points for jobs which help the day care:
vacuuming; shoveling snow; weeding; sweeping the front steps and walk;
pushing the baby in the baby swing; feeding the baby in the high chair;
planning and serving snack; and other activities which actually support
the day care.
Points may be spent at the Dollar Store; Salvation
Army; Target; Dreamhaven Books; or Toys ‘R’ Us. The kids save their
points and then buy things, with increasing care and sophistication, as
they learn about earning and saving.
We have four active compost piles, two are in tumbling barrels which can be rotated upside
down. The older kids help us take out compost and tumble the bins.
The finished compost is distributed by everyone who can walk, using
their toy pots and buckets from the gravel play area to carry compost to
trees, bushes, flower and vegetable gardens.
We have a monitored security system, with panic button.
We use fruit and veggie wash; especially for any food
which is likely to be imported, such as cantaloupe, grapes, and
Every year we put on protective gloves, and
walk all over the neighborhood, collecting trash in plastic bags, and
then throw away or re-cycle as needed. We post the photos of our trash
walk on our secure photo site or our private Facebook page.
Every child practices loading and unloading the dishwasher;
loading and running the clothes washer and dryer; and sweeping the
floo; washing the dining tabler. This work is required from ages two to twelve.
We love science, and we do science every day.
We are the only day care home with five top-quality telescopes plus a med-student grade stereo microscope.
We are also the only day care, pre-school, or school which owns a
hydrogen-alpha telescope for observing the Sun.
Michael and the children created the analemma in the day care back
yard, and then published an article in Sky& Telescope Magazine,
which is the biggest article ever published by S&T on astronomy with
Greatest Parent Annoyance:
We require that you label
all clothing, if at all possible, with your child(ren)’s name or
initials, including underwear, socks, hats, coats, shoes, snow pants,
boots, etc, etc. We need this because we do so many field trips, great
activities, and opportunities for the kids to get dirty. Clothes which
get dirty at day care are often washed at
Everybody learns how to do laundry and how to sort and fold laundry.
This summary of our ideas and activities is meant to help fill in gaps
in your interview with our day care, things we forget or do not have
time to mention. Also, we hope that this sampling of what we are about
will help us connect with clients who will be happy in our child care
home. We are unusual, not like other day care homes.
who fit our philosophy are very happy, others not as much. The ideas
which make us unusual, make us good, also make it important that we find
Thank you for your time and your consideration.
No parent has ever filed a complaint against our day care home.
M&M Child Care
612-825-4423 land line
612-483-0298 Michael's cell
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