Students Art Display at Alvar Library

We are so excited to announce that Kids of Excellence has partnered with Alvar Library to display some of our student's artwork for a mini art exhibition for the month of April! Located in the Bywater, Alvar Library includes a children's resource center, crafts, and storytime! Drop by to experience our student's art display and check out a book! 913 Alvar St. New Orleans, LA 70117


Kids of Excellence Earns National Accreditation!

For more information contact:

Precious Acker, Kids of Excellence



For immediate release:

April 8, 2019



Kids of Excellence Earns

National NAEYC Accreditation

Program recognized among the top in the nation by earning accreditation


Kids of Excellence Child Development Center and Kids of Excellence Learning Center located in New Orleans, LA has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children.

 NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high-quality early learning environments. “We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Kristi Givens, Executive Director and Owner. Since opening our doors 20 years ago, Kids of Excellence envisioned a world where every child has equal access to quality education, unending curiosity, and limitless opportunities. Kristi and KOE staff are thrilled to continue to create an environment where kids learn to create, collaborate, think critically, and explore learning at their own pace. At KOE we recognize that children’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional, and language and literacy development are built on a foundation of children’s positive interactions with adults, peers, and their environment. We are driven by our dedication to positively impact the families of our community and our commitment to prepare students to thrive. 

 To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Kids of Excellence went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years.

In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition. In the city of New Orleans, Kids of Excellence is 1 of 7 centers NAEYC accredited, and 1 of 25 NAEYC accredited in the state of Louisiana.

“NAEYC-Accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day,” said Kristen Johnson, senior director of Early Learning Program Accreditation at NAEYC. “Earning NAEYC Accreditation makes Kids of Excellence an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community.”

What Does Accreditation Mean For You And Your Child?

For more information about NAEYC Accreditation, visit the NAEYC website.

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Understanding STEM in Play-Based Curriculum

Students pictured above building with Kodo Kids Discovery Ramp Exploration Kit

“There are no greater natural scientists and engineers than young children. Inquisitive learners who learn STEM concepts through play. High quality early learning environments provide children with the structure in which to build upon their natural inclination to explore, to build, and to question.”- JD Chesloff, Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care


What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In Early Childhood education these areas of learning look like the following: Science activities include exploring water and sand, comparing and contrasting natural materials like rocks and soil, rolling balls across the room, and looking through a magnifying glass to count how many legs are on the bug that was caught during outdoor play. Technology activities include identifying simple machines like gears and wheels and pulleys. Engineering in preschool happens in the block area. The children are planning and designing structures every day with little teacher direction. Math activities include counting and matching shapes and making patterns. Measuring is easy too, especially with unit blocks where two of one size equal one of the next size up.

 (STEM sprouts teacher Guide, Boston Children's Museum.)

What Does STEM Look Like in a Classroom: Teaching STEM to Early Learners

At Kids of Excellence our curriculum is designed to foster the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of the children we serve through play, encouraging students’ natural curiosity. Students develop STEM concepts daily in the classrooms as they build with small blocks, problem solve, and play with manipulative toys each day.

Play Integration

Play is a primary means by which children explore the world, investigate its properties, and build an understanding about how the world works. Through play students engage in STEM concepts daily, they actively pose problems, explore solutions, and develop understandings of real world concepts of form and function. For example, students develop cognitive skills like math and problem solving in Dramatic Play through pretend grocery store, problem solving through imaginative play to determine “how much money will I need for this item?”, “how many items will I need for the family?” or using tools like a register to count money. 

Student Collaboration

In each center we promote collaboration and teamwork for our students, it is important that our students learn how to positively navigate social relationships by working and playing together. Through STEM learning students co-operate, take turns, and share equipment as part of a group. They are taught to express their ideas and to also be active listeners, teaching them to respect and value their own work and ideas, and those of others. For example, students often participate in team building in the Block Center collectively explore and work together to build structures, identify problems, and predicting solutions through reasoning and mathematical concepts.

Teacher Involvement

Our students are natural scientists! The role of the teacher is to be an active and supportive participant in our students learning. Teachers should observe, support, and extend students play by asking open-ended questions related to the concepts being explored. For example, to optimize learning teachers should ask “what” questions instead of “why” questions. “What” questions focus on what is happening, what you are noticing, and what you are doing, “what did you try” or “what do you think will happen”. “What” questions help students develop valuable communication and observation skills and builds student’s confidence by giving them questions they can answer as experts.

STEM Activities at Home

Cooking Activity: Explore your kitchen with your child and allow them to help you prepare a meal, select a recipe and follow the recipe incorporating collaboration, order sequencing, cutting, measuring, and mixing. Challenge them by asking what question, “what comes next” or “how many cups of water to add”. 

Build structures without blocks: Together with your child collect objects like straws and tape, plastic cups, playdoh and straws, or even marshmallows and pretzels, allow your child to link pieces together to create and build 2 and 3-dimensional shapes, structures, and towers. Challenge their creativity by asking them “what are you going to build today”, “how high can you make a tower of cups”, or “how many shapes in your structure”?

Explore Color: Create a cool color wheel using skittles, a plate, and warm water. Let your child put a circle of skittles on the outskirts of a plate and then add warm water, the colors from the sweets will run together in the center of the plate, communicate throughout the activity ask questions about the colors, “what colors will we see”.

 Go on a nature walk: Take a reusable bag and encourage your child to collect interesting objects. When you get home, help your child sort treasures into categories, ask questions about color, texture, size, and shape.