For a working parent, childcare is their utmost concern. Andrea Kittendorf, director of Kidz Clubhouse, on 4735 West River Drive in Comstock Park, has some advice about choosing childcare.
“When looking for a quality childcare program families should visit www.michigan.gov and research child care licensing reports,” said Kittendorf. “I also suggest looking at daily programming, cleanliness of the facility, staff training andcertifications, and staff turnaround.
“I started Kidz Clubhouse because I have always been passionate about children and their wellbeing,” said Kittendorf, adding she was able to start the business in July 2008 with help from her father Phillip Parsh, who is the owner. “I find joy in watching children grow and meet their milestones.”
Kidz Clubhouse offers childcare to children six weeks to twelve years old, but specialize in birth to five years old. Reservations are required to guarantee availability. They have both spur-of-the-moment as well as scheduled full-time or part-time care. Kittendorf, who lives in Comstock Park, said she decided to locate in Comstock Park because she likes the community.
“When we found our current location, it was just a shell with outer walls, so I was able to customize the building to Kidz Clubhouse needs,” she said.
The building is approximately 3500 square feet. Besides the building there is an outdoor area with a play structure along with other materials for the children. Inside, there’s the drop-off area, a room for infants and toddlers, and a room for preschoolers. Each area is designed around positively influencing all areas of a child’s development – physical, social, emotional, and cognitive – with age appropriate toys and learning activities. Kittendorf said the main objective at Kidz Clubhouse is to make every day “a positive and fun filled day” for the children while providing them a safe and secure environment. She said Kidz Clubhouse aims to meet children’s needs and parents’ schedules with flexible childcare hours.
They are licensed to care for 45 children at one time. There are currently seven full-time employees and eight part-time. The number of employees can fluctuate with the number of children. The lead teachers have a minimum of an early childhood education degree. Kittendorf has her early childhood education degree from Grand Rapids Community College.
Before starting Kidz Clubhouse, Kittendorf worked for Wyoming Public Schools. Besides doing clerical work, she worked in the child care room at the alternative school where high schoolers with small children could leave them while attending classes. That background and having children of her own made her realize the importance and need for dependable and flexible child care in the area.
Kidz Clubhouse contributes to Northwest Little League teams, Comstock Park Athletic Boosters, and the Comstock Park Education Foundation. “I am also passionate about helping build the lacrosse program at Comstock Park,” Kittendorf said, noting that two of her sons play.
Kittendorf, grew up in Walker and graduated from Kenowa Hills High School. She and her husband moved to Comstock Park in 2004. They have three sons (a senior, a sophomore and a fifth-grader) who attend Comstock Park Schools. When she isn’t working she enjoys crafting, golfing, and spending quality time with her family.