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, 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, PlayGroup and Camp Programs
Alison L. Vris graduated from Merrimack College in Andover, Massachusetts in 2015 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Religion and Theology. During this time in her life, she volunteered for 4 years for Horizons for Homeless Children and provided free childcare for youths between the ages of one and twelve. She was employed by N.F.I pathways and worked as a direct care counselor in a group home that provided short term services to youth in transitional stages. Alison is committed to making the world a better place for all beings, especially the children of the world. She is currently in her last year of a Mental Health and Wellness graduate program at New York University where she has focused her studies on developmental psychology. Currently, she is doing an internship at Affective Services where she provides comprehensive services, including Play Therapy to children. She also co-facilitates group therapy for children and helps to navigate meaningful conversations and breakthroughs amongst youth. Alison is certified in CPR and First Aid by the American Red Cross. Mom to 2 year old Gabriel, Alison has been with KAW since September of 2019!
Assistant Teacher, Kids at Work PlayGroup
Nicole Rodriguez is currently a masters candidate at Hunter College in Early Childhood School Counseling, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hunter as well. An NYC native and graduate of LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, Nicole also brings her considerable musical talents to the Kids at Work PlayGroup! In addition to her work within her degree program, Nicole has 4 years of early childhood experience within classroom and 1:1 settings. Nicole has been with KAW since September of 2019!
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!
Kendra Jo Brook
Lead Teacher, Cooking, Assistant/Music Teacher, PlayGroup Gentle Separation
Kendra Jo Brook is a Montana native and a NYC-based actor, bluegrass fiddler, and teaching artist. She holds her B.A.C. in Musical Theatre from Bowling Green State University. Kendra grew up playing folk music in her family’s band and also spent many summers attending the Montana Fiddle Camp, old-time jam sessions, and fiddle contests and hoedowns. Through these experiences she gained a great appreciation for aural folk music traditions and sharing music with people, especially children!
Kendra comes to KAW with three years of Pre-K music teaching experience, as well as experience as a children’s theatre director and nanny.
She recently released her solo bluegrass album in April 2019, which also features her sister and fellow KAW lead teacher Brittany Brook. Kendra has been with Kids at Work since November of 2018!
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 is certified in CPR and First Aid for children and adults by the American Red Cross. 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 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!
Madeline is an actor, singer, and teaching artist originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her BFA in Theatre and Performance from Emerson College, where she also studied theatre education and theatre for young audiences. In the past year since moving to NYC, Madeline has been working as a teaching artist with Bluelaces Theatre Company, which brings immersive, sensory-based theatre to audiences with autism and other developmental differences, as well as as a substitute teacher for ages preschool-8th grade. She’s also a babysitter extraordinaire – one of her students once solemnly told her, “You have babysitter energy.” She’s so happy to be working with kiddos again at Kids at Work. Madeline has been with Kids at Work since September of 2019!
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!