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.
Jake Friedman has worked with children under five years old in New York City for the past four years and is incredibly excited to join the Kids at Work team. Jake holds a Bachelors of Music from New York University and has worked as a teaching artist in person and online, specializing in music and movement Jake has a passion for working in Education. In the music industry Jake has performed throughout New York State and beyond as a vocalist, violinist, and pianist. Jake loves language learning and is always continuing to learn, currently speaking at basic levels in Hebrew and Mandarin. Jake will be joining KAW as the Administrative Manager!
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!
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!
Kevin is a NYC native and has been with KAW since June 2019. Kevin holds an Associate degree in Digital Arts and came to KAW with creativity in arts. His passion of working with children evolved from his mother who’s now a retired middle school teacher. Kevin’s interests are arts, sports, music, traveling, and cooking. Kevin is also knowledgeable about the Kids At Work facility. His friendly, talkative, calm and confident demeanor are an astonishing addition to the workplace.
Tamar Eckstein holds a Bachelors Degree in American Studies and Education from Oberlin College. During college, she spent a semester studying Scandinavian Early Childcare in Denmark and working in a Danish Preschool. This experience, along with several summers teaching art at Shire Village Camp in Western Massachusetts, cemented her love of working with children and teaching art. Tamar is deeply passionate about child development and play based learning. She is an artist herself, working mostly with clay as a potter. Tamar is so excited to be part of the Kids at Work team!
Lead Teacher, Mess it Up
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, Online Spanish Music
Leah is a singer, actress, musician, songwriter and teacher originally from Detroit, Michigan. Leah has been lucky enough to travel the world performing and has developed a passion for sharing this love of music through teaching! Leah has over a decade of experience working with children as a birthday party leader, sing-a-long jammer, babysitter, classroom helper, and private lesson instructor. She holds a BFA in Music Theatre from Elon University. Come see Leah in Sun Sessions (Hudson River Park & Madison Square Park) as well as Toddle Around Classes.
Lead Teacher, Toddle Around
Ian Miller is a is a multi-faceted musician originally from St. Louis, MO. Ian has worked in a variety of educational settings as an accomplished pianist. Ian has played for the Story Pirates, the Young People’s Chorus of NYC, the Yale School of Drama, and, most recently, for rehearsals of the Broadway revival of West Side Story. Ian studied music at Yale University. Come see Ian at Sun Sessions (Washington Square Park) and in Toddle Around classes!
Lead Teacher, Toddle Around
Melody Stolpp holds a BFA in musical theater from Boston Conservatory and is currently working on her Masters degree in general psychology. She has several years of early childhood education under her belt. Helping to foster a love of music in little ones is one of Melody’s greatest joys. Come see Teacher Melody in our Gentle Separation program as well as Toddle Around classes!
Assistant Music Teacher, Gentle Separation, Lead Teacher, Toddle Around
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!
Lead Teacher, Online Jam Sessions
Check out Lukas’s “grown-up” music here!