A More Quiet Place to Learn
Kids at Work was created in Manhattan in 2007 by early childhood educator and mother Julie Averill. Started as one Saturday art class operating out of a shared space on W10th Street, Kids at Work, now located within its brand new space at 123 West 20th Street, has grown into one of Chelsea’s best-kept secrets – a very small community of children, parents, and caregivers making real discoveries together. Kids at Work signature classes are focused on educational best practices, such as process-oriented and child-choice driven activities. Supplementing our signature classes in art, music, movement, and cooking are other well-known partner programs in soccer, yoga, dance, Spanish, and sign language!
In Kids at Work’s signature classes, you’ll find seasoned, mature teachers that undergo extensive and ongoing training in appropriate interactions with babies and young children. We also feature low turnover, with many of our teachers remaining committed to our students for 3 years and counting!
Perhaps best of all is that Kids at Work is the only multi-subject center that features an ALL DROP-IN schedule, meaning that students may attend any class, any day, any time with a package, or attend on a single drop-in basis. 80% of students attend Kids at Work 2-3 times per week and take advantage of numerous discounts. This policy also creates a tight-knit “village” for your child to be a part of within a small family-owned business – a home away from home! Kids at Work is primarily a ‘word of mouth’ center and does very little marketing and advertising so – Congratulations! You’ve found us!
Read what parents have to say about Kids at Work!
Meet Our Staff
Founder & Owner of Kids at Work, Lead Teacher Inch by Inch & Mess it Up Programs
Julie Averill, a mom herself, has been working with babies and young children through age 5 for the last fourteen years. Working with young children and their families is Julie’s passion – from witnessing a baby’s first steps to seeing a toddler’s eyes light up at the sight of a new discovery, to helping a young child conquer separation anxiety. You will see Julie in the classroom on the floor with children in our Jam Sessions Babies and Toddlers, Mess it Up, and Inch By Inch classes, and all new clients are sure to receive a personal email from her welcoming them to Kids at Work!
Julie’s formal education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Hartford, and in addition to her hands-on experience with babies and young children, has also completed The RIE I: Theory and Observation course in infant and toddler development and care, and is currently a RIE Practicum Student.
Julie works to curate an amazingly compassionate and mature team of early childhood professionals to work with the children at Kids at Work and is involved in training them in the Kids at Work philosophy for an entire semester before allowing them to teach classes of their own. Julie also holds a masters in orchestral flute from Manhattan School of Music.
Julie and her husband Dmitry have two sons, ages 7 and 4, and live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Administrative Manager, Substitute PlayGroup teacher
Jenna holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Louisville. She recently completed her program at NYU earning an MA in Sociology of Education. She lives in the east village with her cat Cotton enjoying everything the neighborhood has to offer. She loves finding new restaurants, visiting museums, and going to the movies. She recently fell in love with the Great British Bake Off TV show and enjoys cooking and baking at home. Working with kids has always been a passion of hers which she has been fortunate enough to do for the last several years. Most recently she held an administrative position and taught art with a company dedicated to educating children aged newborn to five years old. She also has experience working with elementary school age children in an after-school program and with kids 5-12 years old at an arts summer camp.
Lead Teacher, PlayGroup, Camp, Cooking Programs
Raquel Salazar holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, and is ABA Certified. Raquel also holds Teacher Assistant Certification Level I and is fluent in Spanish. Raquel’s experience in the classroom extends from typical early childhood into special education, where she has also worked with adults with severe developmental delays. Raquel also holds a degree in Speech Therapy and plans to pursue a masters in Speech Pathology in the coming years.
Raquel brings her warm, fun-loving personality to all of our programs. Children feel safe, loved, and welcome whenever Raquel is around! Raquel is Certified by the American Red Cross in CPR for the Professional Rescuer as well as Advanced First Aid. She has been with KAW since September 2015!
Lead Teacher, Sun Sessions, Jam Sessions, Toddle Around Programs
A professional musician, producer, and filmmaker, Ian Turner has been teaching infants – preschoolers at Kids at Work for the last several years. Ian holds a BA from Bard College, and has taught music for the Woodstock Day School and Let It Out Productions. He was a musical director for the Woodstock Youth Theatre, and has musically directed numerous shows for theatre directors Daniel Fish, and Susanna Gellert among others. Ian has also taught toddlers at Music for Aardvarks in Brooklyn. Ian has been with KAW since 2011!
Ian is so much more than just an ‘entertainer’ for young children – he is interested in affecting their lives in a positive way on an intimate level. Children interested in music (aka all children) can’t do better than experiencing Ian play the guitar and sing!
Check out Ian’s “grown-up” music here!
Lead Teacher, Sun Sessions, Jam Sessions, Toddle Around Programs
Kéren Tayar, a native of Israel and NYC, holds a Bachelors in Music with a concentration in Music Therapy, from Berklee College of Music.
Kéren has assisted in music therapy sessions with all manner of clients, including children with disabilities and the elderly with dementia. Babies and toddlers respond to Kéren’s genuine and gentle manner as well as her considerable talents on voice and guitar. As a child, Kéren appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, among other productions in New York City. Kéren has been with Kids at Work since February 2014.
Lead Teacher, Jam Sessions and Sun Sessions Programs, Assistant/Music Teacher, PlayGroup
Brittany Brook is Montana-raised folk artist and performer with a Big-Sky-Country heart for teaching. Because she grew up in a family band and surrounded by heroic music teachers, she is very passionate about sharing music with kids! She specializes in acoustic rhythm strumming and finger-picking for folk, rock, bluegrass, and Americana music styles.
Brittany has taught kids 3 months to 18 years old for over a decade in music, theater, and performance! She is also a singer/songwriter, a professional actor and the lead guitarist for the all-women’s bluegrass folk bands The Brook Sisters and The Snowy Mountain Sisters. Brittany would be incomplete without her incredible husband, Matthew Whitfield, her fiddling sister, Kendra Jo, and her wonderful family back in Montana! Brittany holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Idaho. Brittany has been with KAW since January 2017!
Check out Brittany’s “grown-up” music here!
Assistant Teacher, PlayGroup, Cooking and Camp
Debora Abreu is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education at Queens College. Prior to coming to Kids at Work in January 2018, Teacher Debora worked as an assistant for 2 years at Growing Together and All Children’s Childcare in Queens. Debora also works as a baseball coach for children aged 3-12 years and has an Associates Degree in Physical Education from Kingsborough Community College. A native New Yorker, Teacher Debora’s family is originally from Indonesia, and Debora is fluent in Indonesian. Debora is Certified by the American Red Cross in CPR for the Professional Rescuer as well as Advanced First Aid. Debora’s calm and quiet demeanor is a wonderful complement to our teaching team at Kids at Work!
Facilities Manager, Assistant Teacher
Quintin grew up in a big family with a strong sense of the community. His diverse work experience and open-heartedness make him an essential part of Kids At Work’s day-to-day operations. Quintin’s work experience includes but is not limited to a counselor at a sports camp, an after-school assistant teacher for a non-profit and an assistant coach at a children’s gymnastics program. In his free time, Quintin enjoys going to art galleries and spending time with his nephews. Quintin has been with KAW since August of 2017!
Teacher Carmen has worked with babies and toddlers in the Mi Manzana Spanish music and movement program for that last year and a half. Carmen also has experience as an assistant teacher at the Explore & Discover daycare in Gramercy. Carmen has a BFA in Acting from The New School as well as a certificate from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Teacher Carmen has played guitar and sung all her adult life, and has a warm, inviting presence that babies and toddlers love! Originally from Argentina, Carmen is fluent in Spanish and English.
Assistant & Music Teacher, PlayGroup Lead Teacher, Mi Manzana
Teacher Lukas has been with KAW since January, 2018. Lukas holds Bachelors Degrees from both the New England Conservatory of Music and Tufts University in Drama and Contemporary Music. Lukas came to Kids at Work with experience teaching school-aged children in classrooms at an outreach program in Boston. Lukas has learned quickly from our more experienced staff and is a gifted teacher of babies and toddlers, as well! Lukas also speaks German and French!
Assistant & Music Teacher, PlayGroup
Check out Lukas’s “grown-up” music here!