Intergenerational Program: All Family Members and Caregivers Welcome! From babies to Grandparents!

About Us, Our Philosophy & Approach

The REAL Early Childhood Curriculum ©

Valuing who a child is rather than measuring a child’s value by “what” he or she can do


The science of early childhood research, including research on the brain, has uncovered the foundational and highly inter-related and co-influencing Four Major tasks of Early Childhood, the development of:

Innate self-worth/esteem
—the healthy valuing of oneself (Self-Worth/ Esteem is very, very different from narcissism)

—the respectful valuing of all human beings

Self-regulation, or inner self-discipline
—the true motivation for self-discipline is the combination of healthy self-worth esteem and humanity-esteem—we want good things for ourselves and all others

Tools of The Mind

—maximizing the tools of the mind:  thinking, communicating, planning, collaborating, implementing, learning, and creating skills and capacities we humans have –thus we provide individualized social-emotional, physical, and academic learning and development opportunities for each and every child

Children’s UNMET NEEDS for consistent loving care travel with the child until, and/or if, those needs are met

Thus, The REAL Early Childhood Curriculum © is:

R—relevant and research-based to help children accomplish the major tasks of early childhood development
E—enlightening and empowering each and every irreplaceable child
A—authentically individualized to meet each child’s unique needs
L—loving, because love and care are the real foundation of education in early childhood

Our Mantra & "The Candle Song"

We end each class day with our Mantra and “The Candle Song”.

“The Candle Song“

Together our group sings the Candle Song to each and every individual child and person present in our community each day. We honor a gift of humanity that is present within each of us, such as kindness, gentleness, caring, honesty, empathy, listening, sharing, friendship or helping community.

Candle Song ©

(____________Name of person) has the gift of (kindness or another of the gifts) within,

(Name of person) is a gift in our lives.

© Copyright Maureen Collins. All rights reserved.

Our Mantra

Our mantra reminds us of our reverence for all life and of our “way of life” priorities.

“Cutting Edge” Research-based Approach

Unique “Cutting Edge”, and Research-based Features of Enlightened and Empowered Kids Preschool, Inc., NFP

Some of our unique , research-based, cutting edge features to help you give your child/ren the best possible foundation  for meeting all of life’s opportunities and challenges~~

  • Welcoming– and includes all family members of enrolled children free of charge—BABIES and TODDLERS ARE WELCOME to attend with their parent/caregivers/families
  • Focused simultaneously and interactively on the interrelated development of the Four Major Tasks of early childhood, development of:
    • Self-Worth-Esteem
    • Humanity-Esteem
    • Inner Discipline
    • The “Tools of the Mind”—thinking, communicating, planning, collaborating, and implementing
  • Developmentally appropriate for children ages 1 ½ through 6 years
  • Family/Community-Centered and Play-based!!!  Our three-hour programs offer both guided and “free” play
  • Individualized, designed to meet the needs and challenges and develop the gifts and strengths of EVERY child
  • Intergenerational—welcomes, includes, and appreciates seniors and people of all ages into our programs
  • Welcoming and inclusive of ALL children–with and without special needs
  • Collaborative—ALL community members hold a respected and recognized voice in program decisions!
  • Designed to pro-actively support, nurture, and teach Parents and Families:
    • How to build healthy and strong relationships with EACH child
    • How to help children learn to independently develop strong and healthy relationships with others
    • How to help children learn to play with others in REAL PLAY—communicative; socially-interactive; kind and caring
    • How to teach children “anything”, from loving behaviors to academics, and using modeling and practices drawn from the best practices of the wide array of recognized and valid early childhood curricula, including Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emelia, Playbased, and Academically-based programs
    • How to measure each child’s progress and design effective individualized learning and lessons, using Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, in collaboration with the instructor Dr. Maureen Collins, Ed.D., ISBE certified in Early Childhood, Special Education, and English as a Second Language
    • How to “find the time” to appreciate, value, and find joyful and fun interactions with ALL community members
    • How to develop and instill your own family values within your children throughout each day!

About Dr. Maureen Collins


Maureen has worked with young children and families for over 30 years.  She has Illinois teaching certification in special education, English as a Second Language, and Early Childhood teaching. Maureen specializes in play and communication therapy for young children and their families.

Call or email for current information on class offerings or with questions regarding your child’s needs and our curriculum offerings.  Please feel free to contact Maureen at:  630-440-6644, cell and/or

Copyright 2017 Enlightened Empowered Kids