Why Choose Turner & Kauper Child Care?  (Rev. 3b)

We 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.
More Field Trips:  forty to one hundred fifty per year, everywhere, plus daily walks all over the neighborhood, including many nearby destinations.
More Education:  nearly constant personal conversations, explanations, music, stories, singing, made-up songs, rhymes, noticing numbers, words and
        letters 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 life.  
     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.

More Safety:
     Other ways we are safer than most other day care homes:
     Electricity:  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.
     GFIC 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.

     Fire and 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 storm 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.

    Lead:  Soon 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.
     In 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.
      We 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.

Food Contaminants:
We use fruit and veggie wash;  especially for any food which is likely to be imported, such as cantaloupe, grapes, and tomatoes.

Earth Day:
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.

Everyday Chores:
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 children.

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 day care.
     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.
      Parents 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 compatible clients.
     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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