Mother Owned & Operated
First Steps Preschool originated in Lincoln in 2006. It established itself as a highly regarded, reputable daycare and preschool in Southern Delaware. At the time of the origination the State of Delaware was making significant changes in the child care industry in their efforts to improve the standards of care, including minimum requirements for staff qualifications, a reduction of child to staff ratios, as well as implementing additonal rules and regulations. First Steps Preschool Administration and staff not only complied with the new regulations as they came about, but set forth an effort to exceed the standards of care where applicable (ie. intalling miniature toilets to acommodate our smaller chiildren). Meeting the standards that the owners set forth for the center at the time of origin resulted in no receipt of income to themselves for the first twelve months, as any profit needed to go towards updating the cirriculum, purchasing manipulatives, teaching tools and books, purchasing playground equipment and anything else that would benefit the children enrolled at the center.
The additional center came about in 2011 when they were afforded the opportunity to acquire another site, now First Steps Preschool-Milford.
Christina and Carrie utilize the many roles that they have had in their lives (spouse, parent, therapist, teacher, friend, employee, and consumer) to set the standards for the centers. They strive to meet the children's "needs" and the parent's "wants." Equally important is addressing the community's needs and preparing the children for a school system that continues to face significant challenges and adversity due to budget constraints, and recognizing the challenges that children, parents, teachers and society, in general, are facing today.
These ideals can be observed in the teachers at First Steps Preschool as well, as they demonstrate so passionately every day. Christina and Carrie adhere to the knowlege that a center is only as good as it's teachers and make every effort not only to hire the most qualified, but the most dedicated. They are proud of the services that their staff provide and strive to maintain staff who have and maintain a good moral compass, ethical outlook, understanding, and work ethic, and demonstrate social skills, sensibiities, integrity, compassion. Their roles and responsibilities have many challenges and they strive to be the teacher that the child needs at that moment in time.
Christina Allen attended Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia and holds a Master's Degree in Art Therapy from Hahnemann University (now Drexel). In addition to working at First Steps Preschool, she works part time as an Art therapist, assisting parents in achieving reunification with their children that were removed by the Division of Youth and Family Services for allegations of abuse and neglect. She has worked in the mental health field for 18 years with both adults and children, though children primarily.
Christina also has worked as an Art Therapist at a school based youth services program for three years serving a high school population and on a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit and Child Partial Care Program at South Jersey Hospital Systems for seven years.
Christina applies her education and experience in mental health to assist children and families at First Steps Preschool with regards to identifying and addressing concerns related to the children's mental, social and emotional development. No therapeutic services are provided in the center though outside referrals can be made with parent's approval. However, the latest developments in behavior modification, the implemenation of a strong social skills program, the teaching of appropriate anger management techniques and frustration tolerance skills and encouraging an appropriate expression of feelings is a standard at both centers. Children feelings are vaildated and they are encouraged to idenfity their feelings and use approprite verbalizations to express themselves, when possible.
Christina is married and is the mother of four daughters.