Note from Senior Director

As the Senior Director of Guiding Star, it has been a pleasure meeting and working with such a great group of diverse families and staff! Parent feedback about our program is essential in measuring how well we are doing. In this section I wanted to share the wonderful compliments parents have shared with me about our center. Feel free to call me at 301-656-9003 to get in touch with our families for yourself!  

Parents of More Than One Child Enrolled

“Hi Sylvia,

Kate and I have been meaning to draft this email for a while and finally we got it done.

Thanks for your recent notes on the staffing situation. Those emails are so helpful to the parents so that we know what to expect with drop-off/pick-up. And on that note, we had some feedback that we wanted to share with you in regards to the teachers. We are always happy to discuss further if you would like.

To start, we have to say that the teachers continue to impress us at Guiding Star – they are the greatest asset! We do tell them this, but we want to make sure we shared with you just how much we appreciate all that they do.

Ms. Virginia is beyond words amazing. She has made the transition so smooth for Matthew (and us). We are amazed at the variety of activities she can find for the small children to engage them at this critical stage. Her daily reports include so much detail, we feel as though we are a part of his day even while at work. Matthew just loves Ms. Virginia as was very clear after a long weekend by his huge welcoming smile when he first saw her on Monday morning. It is clear there is such a strong bond there and we really enjoy working with her and look forward to continuing to do so.

For Lucas, as we’ve mentioned before, the transition to the 3s class has been great. Ms. Anne has always been a favorite teacher for us ever since we first met her in the toddler room. Lucas has taken to her and her ability to provide the discipline needed in a caring, creative environment for these busy little guys. The detail she provides us in his monthly milestones reports are amazing along with any helpful suggestions/tips we get when catching up with her at the end of the day. This transition for Lucas has allowed us to work more closely with Ms. Anjuli and Ms. Sandy. While Ms. Sandy is not one of Lucas’ lead teachers, we do enjoy working with her and interacting with her and learning about the creative activities that she engages the older children in. The children are given a great sense of responsibility in Ms. Sandy’s eyes and Lucas has really stepped up to try to impress and get rewards such as line leader or feeding the fish – he loves it! And then Ms. Anjuli 🙂 We really have enjoyed Ms. Anjuli and know that Lucas is so fond of her. As we’ve mentioned before the daily reports are so wonderful and we like the new format with added details that changed in the last couple of weeks. Ms. Anjuli’s stories for the day really top off the report and give us some great discussions at dinner time when we all come home. Lucas is very proud to read his report out loud. The creativity in Ms. Anjuli’s lessons shows and Lucas is so proud to talk about what he has learned during the day. His letter recognition is really coming along thanks to Ms. Anjuli (and Ms. Anne) and we greatly appreciate her continued efforts to work with Lucas and others as we all strive towards potty training. She has played a key role with making potty training a priority and providing consistent opportunities throughout the day. We look forward to Ms. Anjuli returning to the preschool full-time in the next month.

Again, the teachers are terrific and they all seem so genuinely happy to work with the kids. It does not appear to be just another job to them and they are always so excited to see the kids in the morning and Lucas and Matthew are so happy to see them. This makes it much easier for us to know that the boys are so well taken care off when Kate and I are working long days. We enjoy our interaction with the teachers and we try to make them aware of how important they are to us.

We are also very happy with the added activities to their regular schedule such as Jump Bunch, Soccer Shots, etc. and hope that with the new kids coming into the preschool there will be more of those kinds of activities with greater participation. We would love to have more activities for the kids as well as adding Spanish (as was previously planned).

All the best and have a great weekend.”

-Kate & Gordon

Infant Parents

 “They both always have smiles on their faces when I am dropping him off and picking him up. That helps to encourage me that they are smiling throughout the day which makes a positive environment! They also both talk to Grady a lot which is important and he seems happy when I pick him up which is great! I love how you and Kechia make it easy for me to call in and find out how he is doing for the day- or when the last time he’s eaten since sometimes that is important for me to know (so I know when I should pump, etc). That has been really helpful and encouraging! Shaun and I also like how you communicate with us about updates in the classroom and the incident reports. We feel that you want to inform us as much as possible and that is also encouraging for us first-time parents!”


“We started looking at day care options in the summer of 2011 and toured two other facilities (Children in the Shoe and Family Academy of Bethesda).  After my experiences on the tours, we chose Guiding Star over the other two facilities for several reasons.  We found Sylvia to be very responsive to our questions and cooperative about scheduling a visit and the waitlist policies were very clear.  When I did my visit, I was impressed that all the children were happy—there wasn’t a single child crying or upset or acting out.  I was happy with the posted curriculum.

Katie started in Gentle Lambs I at 6wks old.  We were impressed with how quickly Katie took to the routine and how Ms. Virginia seemed to notice so much about her personality and development.  Now that she has been in Gentle Lambs II for a couple of months we continue to see the same kind of loving care.  We love getting her daily and monthly report cards.  There literally has not been a single day where she has cried when I dropped her off or not been happy when I picked her up.

In my profession as a neuroscientist, I have some background in developmental neuroscience and psychology.  The enrichment provided—from the toys to music to reading books—is what children need to help them grow and reach their potential.  One of my favorite activities I “stole” from Ms. Virginia was letting Katie play with tissue paper when she was ~4mo old.  She was fascinated by the texture and how you could hide and find objects with it.  If you give Katie a book, she knows how to flip the pages.  My mother is a reading specialist and has 1st graders who, unfortunately, do not know how to do this.  Her motor development was enhanced by the progression of tummy time to bumbo chair to exersaucer to the bar in front of the mirror to pull herself up on and from watching the slightly older kids.

We love how loved Katie is at school.”  
– Amanda
“We had a terrific experience at Guiding Star and are only leaving because we are leaving Bethesda.  We started at the Wilson Lane location with Jeanette & Jayantha.  They were fabulous and so caring and nurturing.  They helped me get Brennan on a schedule and also gave me tips/pointers on helping him sleep longer.  He got a lot of attention and really flourished there for his first months at Guiding Star.  When Brennan was a little about 4 months old we moved to the location on Old Georgetown Road with Menike & Susan (Tripta & Virginia also).  We’ve enjoyed our time with them as well!  They all are very caring and nurturing too and really helped our little guy feel comfortable and encouraged him to meet his milestones.  Because of this excellent care he’s very confident.  He’s always so happy to arrive and rarely wants to leave.  We will really miss all of the excellent care we’ve received while at Guiding Star.”
-Brennan’s parent

Preschool parent

” …one of the things I liked from the start about Guiding Star is that it provides opportunities for the children to be physically active regardless of the weather, since it has that “great room” they can run and ride tricycles in when it’s wet or cold outside, and that wonderful playground when the weather is nice. I’m very happy having Phoebe at Guiding Star as she adores Leonor and Anna, is making lots of friends, and also learns daily.”
-Bonnnie – Phoebe’s mom.

Preschool Parent

“Also, I wanted to say thanks for having such a wonderful preschool program! Every day I am amazed at what new things Talia is learning. She loved talking about the farm and zoo animals and is having a great time learning about the ocean animals now. Last night before we ate dinner she said we have to stop & say grace! It was so cute 🙂 I really appreciate that you took her in last fall. It was the best thing that happened for her. Thanks again!”

Toddler parent

“Tim and I have been incredibly happy with GS. I am always impressed when I see things that Jonah has learned (like pointing when asked to his mouth, eyes, etc. and learning some baby sign language). The staff are all wonderful and we are especially happy with Jonah’s current teachers–Miss Anne, Miss Renu, and Miss Namalie for her success, perseverance and patience in getting Jonah to eat! We also really appreciate the responsiveness of the teachers/center to requests (verbal or written down on their sheets).They genuinely seem to love the kids and this is the most important thing for us. In talking to my friends who also have children, they agree that knowing their children are receiving loving care is more important than all the other things that vary from daycare to daycare.”  – Rachel – Jonah’s mom

“We have had a fantastic experience having our son enrolled in the infant daycare program at Guiding Star.  The teachers are absolutely wonderful with the kids and Wesley really seems to enjoy being with the teachers and the other kids.  Every morning when we drop him off, he is smiling and happy to be there.  They are also very welcoming of questions and drop-in visits, which made us feel more comfortable being first-time parents.

Overall, our experience with Guiding Star has been excellent and has really made us feel more comfortable putting our son in daycare.  They have also played a valuable role in helping our son develop physically and mentally as he grows older and progresses through his milestones.”
– Wesley’s parent

Toddler Parent – Joy Home

“I love Pam, I think she’s great. She’s very organized and does lots of activities with the kids. I love that. I think her being there is an asset to the the toddler class and GS in general. And it’s so nice to get the projects that the kids do when we pick them up in the afternoon. I also love the notes she writes on the daily reports. I like to hear the funny things Damian did and it makes me feel like I didn’t miss out on anything.”

Two’s Parent

“First, let me tell you that we are very happy sending Amelia to Guiding Star. She obviously loves the activities, enjoys her teachers and learns a lot. And we are proud to have been your first enrollee!”

A Two’s parent who was with us for a short time from Chile:

“Dear Sylvia,

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go to the center today for Ignacio’s last day, but I wanted to especially thank you and all the staff for th kindness and good work you provided Ignacio with.
He is a much more mature, sociable, and bilingual little boy today than he was 9 months ago when he first went to the center. Age of course has helped to that, but I am certain that a big part of it is also thanks to you, and the teachers.
We had a great time here in Washington, and one of the reasons of that was because we were really confident that Ignacio was safe, being taken care of with kindness and having a lot of fun.
My best wishes for you, the teachers, and the children who made Ignacio’s life really enjoyable.”

Nicolas Munoz