The Mowen Family

The Bartos Child and Family center is hands-down the BEST childcare center in Shippensburg. Arguably, the BEST in all of south-central PA! First off, Mary Poppins runs the toddler rooms. Perhaps not Mary Poppins herself, but an individual that matches her in patience, care, and a slight element of magic. Naomi, the lead toddler teacher, is genuinely interested in every child and creates developmentally appropriate curriculum to help the smaller ones thrive. From indoor camping, gardening, water tables, and painting with your feet, the toddler teachers are dedicated to providing the best experience no matter how many toddlers they have to wrangle into snow pants, smocks, and bathing suits. We personally appreciated how much they encouraged the toddlers to perform daily tasks on their own and become independent.

Next, there is the younger preschool class which is lead by Mother Goose. Lisa, the lead teacher in Preschool A, is an incredible teacher whose experience shines through her daily acts. The amount of organic learning that takes places each week in Preschool A is nothing short of amazing! Meaningful and diversified themes get my kid excited and genuinely interested and engaged. Bugs, habitats, farm animals, seasons, and many more themes circulate through this group. This age group can be so challenging with navigating the emotional roller coasters but Lisa and her assistant teachers do amazing work to build the emotional and social skills. In a way that only Mother Goose could do it, the flexible structure in the organized chaos has really helped my daughter develop a love of learning, empathy toward others, and confidence in herself.

Then, the older Preschool class is lead by Wonder Woman. Although my child has yet to be in Erin’s classroom, it is already evident how invaluable her role is as the Preschool B teacher. From what I’ve experienced, the Preschool B class is run like a kindergarten classroom to help prepare the kids for school but with the extra patience and personal attention required for this age group. Erin is definitely Wonder Woman because if you can imagine the madness of kindergarten, she takes on the same challenge but with younger children. She’s amazing!

Last, the whole center is run by a Disney Princess. Always smiling and helping out the classrooms when needed, Stephanie greets you with a small giggle and a shoulder shrug. Being tasked with overall regulation has to be exhausting. I’ve had a glimpse at the scheduling chart she uses to make sure ratios stay in check and the center continues to operate while meeting and exceeding all guidelines. Keeping the environment safe for everyone is very appreciated.

One final remark on the support staff and community. The assistant teachers are well versed in child care and they take the time to get to know you on a personal level. All families are welcoming and it’s fun to watch friendships bud at these young ages and see them evolve as they enter school. We are so grateful to be a part of this community and hold this center and the staff in the highest regard!