SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Creative Kids Academy (CKA) of South Plainfield, which offers apre-kindergarten program and as well as classes for 3 & 4 year olds and 2 & 3 year olds, is dedicated to making the first day of school - and every day thereafter - positive and rewarding for both children and parents. 

While some young children may walk through the doors at the start of a new school year without so much as a backwards glance, others may find themselves hesitant and anxious, especially when it’s time for their parents to leave. This may also be the case for those children who have been truly excited about coming in the weeks and days leading up to the first day. 

“Each child is different and, as a result, each child will handle change and new endeavors differently,” said Dan Rinaldi, owner of the Clinton Avenue school, noting that while there is no way to know ahead of time exactly how a child will react on the first day, engaging in a healthy dialogue about school with your child over the weeks leading up to the first day can help make the transition smoother.

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Rinaldi suggests parents and caregivers to use phrases such as ‘CKA is your school’ and to talk to children about 'cool things they are going to learn and do and the new friends they are going to make.' "For young children, a sense of ownership and confidence is key to a successful new beginning," he said, adding, “Drive by the school and say hello to their school, again, reinforcing that it’s their new place to learn and explore.”

Rinaldi also suggests parents continue their normal morning routine and be ahead of the game by getting things ready the evening before. “At drop off, give kisses and a hug, then rip the bandage off – leave quickly before you or your child starts to cry and go about your day. Within no time, you’ll be back to pick up and ready to do it all over again,” Rinaldi said.

According to Rinaldi, children aren’t the only ones who may experience mixed emotions on a child’s first day. Although parents are aware their child is being left in capable hands to learn new things, have fun, and make friends, many may experience sadness and or guilt about leaving their child, even if it’s just a few hours at time. 

“September is filled with a mix of emotions and certainly letting go of your child for any amount of time can be extremely difficult,” he said. “At CKA, we provide a home-like atmosphere so our kids can feel safe and confident. Our goal is to nurture students academically and socially while also serving as their second home.”

With small class sizes and low student-teacher ratios, CKA boasts an intimate atmosphere where children receive patient, dedicated and individualized attention. Additionally, the school offers part-time or full-time programs along with early and extended care options. 

A former teacher, Rinaldi said CKA is constantly strengthening its curricula to meet the needs of all learners and to keep up with all the changes in education. The school utilizes the Land of the Letter People, a standards–based curriculum that prepares children for early literacy and a love for reading, as well as the Handwriting Without Tears program, which offers an exciting and fun approach to writing and recognizing new words and their sounds. 

At CKA, the "Letter of the Week" is present in a variety of activities, including reading or cooking, with ‘Word Walls’ also used to reinforce the week’s letter. Additionally, at CKA, all educational services are balanced out with fun activities such as themed weeks, special ‘crazy hair’ or ‘crazy sock’ days, parties, a winter concert, trips and Swift Farm Petting Zoos as well as weekly visits from the Fun Bus and the Travelin' Tumblers. 

“We are dedicated to helping children develop the academic and the social skills they will need for years to come. We offer a well-balanced atmosphere and are dedicated to helping children feel safe and proud of who they are,” said Rinaldi. “At CKA, we are constructing the foundation for education and socialization while providing an environment where kids can still be kids.” 

The 2019-2020 academic year at CKA, which is located at 1615 Clinton Avenue, begins Wednesday, Sept. 4.For more information, call 908-753-4477 or visit

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