Since 2004, sisters Gladys Ruiz and Lissy Rodriguez have grown a small daycare, Little Children’s Schoolhouse (LCSH), into a supportive community of learning and play for young children. With now three locations in Brookline, LCSH introduced their After School Program on October 3 for students in kindergarten through grade three. The After School Program will run out of their 31 Boylston Street location in the building previously occupied by Boston Interiors.

Originally from Peru, Ruiz and Rodriguez have been active in the Brookline community for over 20 years. After attending college in Boston and working in early child development for over 10 years, Ruiz opened Little Children’s Schoolhouse. Shortly thereafter, Rodriguez joined her, and their business grew significantly, prompting the sisters to open two additional locations. Their 31 Boylston Street location opened in 2015 and is a state-of-the-art facility designed to foster productive play for young children. From large classrooms to a vast library, Ruiz and Rodriguez tailored every aspect of the building to ensure that children have access to numerous resources that encourage learning.

After opening this location, the team at LCSH encountered increasing demand for an After School Program. Ruiz and Rodriguez realized that such program could assist parents and provide learning opportunities for children. As parents themselves, the sisters understand the peace of mind that an After School Program can offer.

“As a parent, you look for a program in which you know that your child will be safe and will be happy,” said Rodriguez. “Then you realize that in the meantime, they’ll get their homework done and learn something new, and then you say to yourself, ‘Wow! I can also pick both of my kids up at the same time!’”

The new After School Program will achieve exactly that. In addition to ensuring that homework is completed, children in the new program will have the opportunity to explore extracurricular interests in activities ranging from music to chess. The program supervisors will also design a supplementary curriculum that complements students’ school lessons. Furthermore, participants in the After School Program will have time to unwind and release energy through playtime in between school and homework. LCSH has an all-season playground on-site in addition to several inside play areas.

Their location in the heart of Brookline Village in close proximity to Pierce Elementary School is another asset to parents. LCSH is offering a pickup service to walk enrolled students from Pierce Elementary School to the LCSH building.

Gladys and Lissy make every effort to be available to the students and their parents. As Brookline residents, they are able to keep the school open on many school holidays and snow days. In addition to knowing each of their students by name, the two are always available at LCSH to answer and address any questions or concerns that arise from parents.

The success of LCSH thus far has acted as fuel for Ruiz and Rodriguez to further advance their facilities in order to create a welcoming learning environment for children while continuing to address and meet the needs of parents. The sisters see each opportunity for growth as one of learning, and the After School Program is no exception. Previously, LCSH has worked mostly with younger children, and this is the first time they are welcoming students older than Pre-K. Ruiz and Rodriguez plan to keep a watchful eye on the new program to ensure that its expectations are met.

The After School Program will begin in October at the Boylston Street location. The team at LCSH hopes to see the program expand to provide further opportunities for children and parents in the Brookline community.

Visit their website to schedule a tour of the new facility.

Written by Danielle Myers