It’s more than a daycare. It’s more than a babysitting service or a place to drop off one’s child for the day. It’s more, because teaching, shaping, and caring for children is of the highest priority. Kiddie Kampus’ five-star ranking, opportunities for student involvement, and Christian values serve as the foundational reasons why this daycare proves to be more.
When Maranatha first founded Kiddie Kampus in 2000, the university had little idea as to how influential and expansive this daycare could grow. While it has provided services to Maranatha faculty and staff members over the years, it extensively reaches the people of Watertown and surrounding communities. Kiddie Kampus Director, Melissa Chapman, describes it as a “community mainstay.”
Five Star Ranking
Kiddie Kampus continues to gain trust and credibility through quality childcare services, as evidenced in its five-star ranking. A Wisconsin child-care ranking system known as YoungStar awards these rankings based on classroom environment, teaching strategies, and more. After receiving the initial five-star ranking, Kiddie Kampus has maintained this ranking for four years.
One essential element to Kiddie Kampus’ mission is “to provide those pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education a venue to learn how to excel in the Early Childhood field.” Kiddie Kampus is located across the street from Maranatha and therefore serves as a prime area for college students to receive needed experience with children. According to Chapman, Kiddie Kampus provides Maranatha’s students with more opportunities than most realize. For many, it fills a basic need of employment but simultaneously provides them with work in a field in which they love and need experience for their major.
Those pursuing a two-year degree in Early Childhood Education can accomplish their fieldwork at Kiddie Kampus. The students can work very closely with the lead teachers in their classrooms which allows mentorship relationships to be built. Early Childhood graduates have been hired later as lead teachers in a classroom. Music Education majors also benefit from Kiddie Kampus in that they learn how to teach music to children of all ages. Even nursing students come to observe the children as part of their training. For students of all majors, Kiddie Kampus serves as a training ground and provides needed hands-on experience.
What Makes Kiddie Kampus different?
Chapman immediately attributed the difference in Kiddie Kampus to its core as a faith-based organization.
“Almost without fail when I give tours, the prospective parents comment, ‘Wow! The atmosphere here is so different than other centers I’ve been in.’”
Chapman states that while many parents “can’t put their finger on it,” she explains to them that the faith-based teaching throughout the center is what makes Kiddie Kampus so unique.
Chapman describes Kiddie Kampus as her ministry, and states, “We might be the only Jesus these children ever see.”
Kiddie Kampus is more. It continues to provide quality service to the Watertown community and functions as a helpful training ground for Maranatha students. While the families it serves and the workers it employs may change over the years, the foundational Christian values of Kiddie Kampus remain consistent.