A business that focuses on offering enrichment programs to young children recently expanded into Buffalo Grove.
Kids and Company now operates at 1425 Busch Parkway, the fourth location for the 10-year-old company. Vernon Hills resident Steve Hoffman, a former middle schoolteacher in Florida, owns two centers near Orlando and another in Schaumburg at 1071 S. Roselle Road.
Hoffman says the centers are licensed child-care facilities, but not full-day care centers. The goal at the new center is to encourage the physical, social, emotional, creative and cognitive development of young children.
The center, open to preschool-aged children, teaches social and academic skills through hands-on activities in large, colorful play areas. "It's a very unique, large facility," Hoffman said. Instead of "enclosing" children in a single class, the children rotate through a series of educationally based areas that focus on art, drama, music, math and other areas, he said.
The Storytime Theatre, Construction Zone, Art Studio, Science & Discovery Center, Make Believe Neighborhood and Big Idea Center are some designated areas at the Buffalo Grove center, which also offers birthday parties.
"It's a wonderful place where kids move around from room to room," Hoffman said. All employees are certified teachers with Kim Woycke of Arlington Heights serving as the director.
A goal at the center, licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, is to provide learning experiences through play, Hoffman said.
Prices for classes, which run in three- to six-week sessions, start at $34 a week when the child attends twice a week.
Hoffman, 54, and his wife Sherry are raising two children, ages 8 and 4, in Vernon Hills.
Hoffman said it's tough launching a business in the current economic climate. "People are a lot more sensitive to price right now," he said. Instead of sending children five days a week, people are more likely to look at three, he added.
For more information, check out theclubforkids.net.