Wanda S. Alicea, Director
“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.”
It is through experience and personal growth that has brought me to this phase in my life, where I can provide to other parents what I desperately sought for my own. With that, it is with great pleasure to share with you a little of my history.
I attained a BA in Social Work in 1987 from Rutgers University and held aspirations of attending graduate school to study counseling; however, upon taking on the role of a mother in the late ‘90s, I decided to postpone my studies to pursue a career in the field of Early Childhood Education. It did not take long for me to realize how rewarding this work was! I discovered that working with children at an early age can provide a better, more grounded educational foundation for their future.
In 1998 I helped establish the Children First Child Care Center in West New York, NJ, and in 1999 I became the Executive Director of Union City Day Care Center (UCDCC) in Union City, NJ. Shortly thereafter, the development and construction of a second UCDCC began. During my tenure at UCDCC, I had the distinct privilege of hosting New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education, David Hespe. The Center was recognized by the Commissioner and received the distinguished honor of being one of the Best Early Learning Facilities in the State of New Jersey. Soon after, I undertook the onerous challenge of providing the same equality of care and learning paradigm to a center in Paterson, NJ. Under my direction and supervision, the Paterson center grew from 130 students holding various safety and licensing issues to a soon-to-be National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited center with over 300 children. Finally, by 2003 I had earned my Masters in Early Childhood Education and Supervision.
Respectively, after a little over a decade of working in the field and much soul searching, I decided to bring my vision to Hoboken and opened an early learning center of my own, Bright Beginnings. Subsequently, a year later, the sister facility, Adventures in Learning, opened in uptown Hoboken and soon after at the Business Center and we continue to grow and expand. All facilities offer an excellent curriculum, following appropriate early learning practices, and are all state-of-the-art centers in which families feel that their child is in the most cared for environment.
Our manifesto is to assure that all children reach beyond their educational expectations and do so by providing a strong service-learning component that would help make them lifelong learners and teachers. More importantly, each child is an individual and will develop a love of learning as a result of the developmentally appropriate techniques we implement in our curriculums. At Adventures in Learning and Bright Beginnings all children learn to explore, inquire and be loved regardless of their ability or behavior.