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.
Lead Teacher, Playgroup
Lead Teacher Stephanie Sollenberger holds a bachelors degree in early childhood education from James Madison University, and will embark on a masters in School Counseling this coming January (at night) at Hunter College. Stephanie has over three years of experience as a pre-k and toddler teacher at Bluebonnet School in Austin, TX. Most recently Stephanie worked as a first-grade teacher here in NYC at the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy. Stephanie is excited to return to a toddler/twos environment. Stephanie is CPR/First Aid Certified for children and adults and is a Certified Teacher in NY State. She has also done extensive training and certifications in “Conscious Discipline” as well as The Nurtured Heart Approach and The Explosive Child. Stephanie has been with KAW since September 2017!
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 has attended CPR training at Tribeca Pediatrics. 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 3 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. She has been working with toddlers and preschoolers in birthday party settings for the last 3 years.
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, Keren appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, among other productions in New York City. Keren has been with Kids at Work since February 2014.
Check out Kéren’s “grown-up” music here!
Lead Teacher, Toddle Around, Sun Sessions, & Jam Sessions Programs
Evan Nachimson brings over 5 years of early childhood experience to Kids at Work. A Berklee College of Music Graduate you can expect the highest knowledge of musicianship and creativity exposed for your child in a class with Evan. More importantly, you can expect positive reinforcement, compassion, and kindness as well! Evan worked as a nanny for different stars in the entertainment industry before bringing his two passions together by working with children in musical settings! Evan worked for 2 years at “Songs for Seeds” at Appleseeds on the Upper West Side and in Chelsea before joining KAW. Evan has been with KAW since March 2017.
Check out Evan’s “grown-up” music here!
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!
Lead Teacher, PlayGroup, Camp, and Cooking Programs
Adam Chisnall is an assistant teacher in our “Gentle Separation” programs. Adam came to Kids at Work with 2 years of professional daycare experience. Having worked with several lead teachers over the years, Adam is adept at making toddlers and twos comfortable and successful in the classroom with his respectful and compassionate nature. He also has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and freelances as a comedian, actor, and director in NYC. Adam has been with Kids at Work since June 2012!
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’s calm and quiet demeanor is a wonderful complement to our teaching team at Kids at Work!
Nastia Slepak has been working with children her whole life. Growing up in Moscow, she studied at a private high school with a concentration on the humanities and fine arts. Nastia has attended Moscow State University majoring in linguistics and worked as an ESL teacher for 10 years. In Moscow, Nastia worked at English PlaySchool Moscow, an international pre-school that had students from all over the world. All the studies were conducted in English and Nastia’s main responsibilities included daily art classes. Nastia moved to New York in 2014 and worked at River School as a teacher’s assistant. In 2015 Nastia started working at Kids At Work and has been with us ever since. She has acquired a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration on Child Development at Hunter College. Nastia is planning to go to Graduate School for Speech Pathology, in September 2019.
Administrative Manager, Lead Teacher Cooking Program
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!
Facilities Manager, Assistant Teacher
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!
Ali Dineen is an artist, performer, musician, and composer from Jackson Heights, Queens. She performs her original music and songs from the American folk tradition regularly in New York City and across the so-called United States. Ali’s original music draws upon multiple genres/traditions ranging from 1920s American jazz to Eastern European polyphony. Her lyrics are poetic and deeply personal and highlight the intersections between personal experience, larger histories, and systems of power. Ali teaches adult voice and vocal harmony classes at the Jalopy Theater and School of Music, and assistant directs the Jalopy Chorus with Eva Salina; She is also the music teacher at Pono Learning Center for children ages 3-12, and formerly worked as the lead teacher for 3 and 4-year-olds there, and teaches private lessons in voice, piano, accordion and guitar to students ages 2 – 100. Other projects include The Everything Is Fine Theater Company, the Bread and Puppet Theater, and a folk-duo collaboration with Feral Foster. She’s currently recording a new EP. Ali has been with Kids at Work since January of 2015!
Check out Ali’s “grown-up” music here!