Meet Our Staff

Julie Averill

Founder & Owner of Kids at Work

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 Toddle Around, Mess it Up, and Gentle Separation classes. 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. In addition to her hands-on experience with babies and young children, she has also completed The RIE I: Theory and Observation course in infant and toddler development and care.

Julie works to curate an amazingly compassionate and mature team of early childhood professionals to work with the children at Kids at Work. Julie also holds a masters in orchestral flute from Manhattan School of Music.

Julie and her husband Dmitry have two sons born in 2011 and 2014, and live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Erin Browning

General Manager
Erin Browning is a performer, teaching artist, and early childhood educator. She holds a BFA in Theatre from New York University. With over 5 years of professional experience working with children in NYC and New Jersey, she is so excited to be a part of the Kids at Work team! She is passionate about sharing her love of the arts with children, and emphasizes creativity, imagination, and play in her work. Erin has been a team member at Kids at Work since December 2022.

Jatayia Major

Lead Teacher, Preschool Prep Separation and Curriculum Specialist
Jatayia has been working with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers as a lead teacher for 5 plus years, and in the education field for over a decade! Jatayia is currently pursuing a combination bachelors and masters degree in early childhood education at Hunter College. Jatayia comes to KAW with rich, interesting, creative ideas and a progressive mindset. She thrives at finding fun and creative ways to teach children. Jatayia now has a reputable rapport with our Preschool Prep graduate families who consistently praise her for her dedication and success with their little ones in the classroom. A mom herself, Jatayia has a 14 year old son and a 2 year old girl at home! Jatayia is CPR/First Aid certified and maintains Mandated Reporter and Child Abuse Prevention certificates. She has been a team member at Kids at Work since June 2022.

Lyric Ikeomu

Front Desk and Party Planner
Lyric is a Performer, Teaching Artist, and Choreographer originally from Seattle Washington. She holds a bachelor's degree in Dance education K-12 from Brigham Young University. With more than 5 years of professional experience teaching children, Lyric is excited to be a part of the Kids at Work team here in NYC. She is passionate about sharing her love of creativity and play with youth and the world! Lyric has been a team member at Kids at Work since September 2023.

Nicole Brandao

Preschool Prep Separation and Summer Camp, Assistant Teacher
Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an art minor. She is currently pursing a Masters for Fall 22 at NYU in public health policy. Nicole loves to explore art, museums, the city and doing fun activities with her 10 year old daughter. She also loves traveling, hiking and reading in her free time. She is so excited to join the team this summer and to work with the kids! Nicole has been a team member at Kids at Work since May 2022.

Vanessa Beloyianis

Preschool Prep Separation, Assistant Teacher
Vanessa has over a decade of experience working with children in NYC, and for the past three years, she has led play-based classes for babies and toddlers. She also has two young daughters of her own, and after the birth of her first, she became passionate about supporting new parents and completed her CAPPA Postpartum Doula Training. Vanessa has a BA from Vassar College in Architectural History, and her Master's in Interior Design from Pratt Institute. When she isn't teaching, she designs fun and functional spaces for kids - from bedrooms, to playrooms, to classrooms, and anything in between! She is forever inspired by the wonder of babies, toddlers and children, and is thrilled to be part of the team at KAW. Vanessa has been a team member at Kids at Work since May 2023.

Spencer Perlman

Preschool Prep Separation, Assistant Teacher
Spencer is from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He joins Kids at Work with 3 years of experience working in the "Kidville University" program, a preschool alternative for children aged 2-3 years old located in New York City, as well as holding positions at Kidville as a Birthday Party manager and class leader. Spencer also spent 3 years teaching karate to young children during the pandemic! Spencer is certified in First Aid and CPR. He attended Pace University for his BFA in Film/TV Acting and currently lives in a Moishe House on the UWS. Spencer loves working with kids, and he very much looks forward to one day having kids of his own.

Melody Stolpp

Lead Teacher, Music and Cooking
Melody Stolpp holds a BFA in musical theater from Boston Conservatory and is currently working on her Masters degree in general psychology. In her free time, she writes songs and performs in her band, Sweetbreads. You can check out Melody's "grown-up" music here! 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. She's thrilled to be a part of the Kids at Work team and can't wait to jam out with your kids! Melody has been a team member at Kids at Work since February 2021.

Sophie DeLeo

Lead Teacher, Music and Ballet
Sophie DeLeo is an actor, singer, and songwriter with a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Hartt School. Since 2015, she has been teaching music, drama, and songwriting to kids of all ages and she’s so excited to join the team at Kids at Work! You can check out Sophie's "grown-up" music here! Visit to learn more about her and see where you might be able to catch her performing next. Sophia has worked extensively with infants and toddlers at Musibambino on Manhattan's Upper West Side. She has been a team member at Kids at Work since April 2022.

Marlena Ospina

Lead Teacher, Music
Marlena Ospina is a performance artist, musician, and clown who lives in Brooklyn. She studied vocal performance and theatre at New York University and spent high school teaching dance and music lessons to children as well as working as a summer camp counselor. Marlena speaks English and Spanish and also writes music in both languages! She loves to cook, read, and learn about Bigfoot. Marlena has been a team member at Kids at Work since August 2022.

Kaya Rosenthal

Lead Teacher, Ballet
A dance and theater lover from day one, Kaya performed with community arts organizations throughout her childhood, including the prestigious American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Kaya started her dance training with The Madison City Ballet Company, studying classical ballet technique. She continued her ballet training at The Petaluma Ballet. After moving to Los Angeles, Millenium and The Edge became Kaya's stomping grounds where she studied multiple dance styles including: ballet, hip hop, jazz, and tap. She has been teaching dance, starting with children as young as 16 months, for the past 7 years and loves working with young dancers to help them develop and find their own love for movement. Kaya has been a team member at Kids at Work since September 2019.

Kevin Hardy

Assistant Teacher and Facilities Manager
Kevin is a NYC native and has been with KAW for over 4 years. 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. Kevin has been a team member at Kids at Work since June 2019.

Quintin Joyner

Assistant Teacher and Facilities Assistant

As a veteran of the Kids at Work team, Quintin has taken on numerous roles and responsibilities over the years. From Preschool Prep and drop-ins, to Birthday Parties and facilities, he has done it all at Kids at Work! In addition to class settings, Quintin has over 5 years of experience working with children one-on-one as a babysitter/caregiver. He has been a team member at Kids at Work since July 2017!

Kelcie Crino

Facilities/Assistant Teacher and Party Manager
Kelcie Crino has worked extensively with a variety of ages over the years, with children and families from all backgrounds. She has worked with the founder's personal family for over 5 years. She is extremely passionate about her job, and acknowledges and cherishes the impact she can have on a child, and the joy that they can create together. Kelcie is energetic, patient, and a constant source of encouragement for all the children she has the pleasure of working with. Kelcie has been a team member at Kids at Work since January 2024.

Carmen Borla

Substitute 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. Carmen has been a team member at Kids at Work since 2017.

Sarah Bardin

Summer Camp Lead Teacher
Sarah has been a full-time preschool teacher for the past 10 years in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She has a masters degree in early childhood education from Hunter College, and an MFA in creative writing from The New School. In her work, she focuses on developing trusting and joyful relationships between children and teachers. During the year Sarah currently teaches pre-k at Grace Church School in Brooklyn Heights. She is excited to spend time with 2- and 3-year olds this summer! Before discovering her love for teaching, Sarah worked as a children's book editor, among other things, and enjoys reading both children's and adult fiction. She has been a team member at Kids at Work since April 2022.