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Focus Stories

Kid City USA Heathrow

by Susan Shalhoub

Featured Photo from Kid City USA Heathrow

When Khushboo Pundir and Nanditha Gummadapu met and created some magic with their Kid City USA early learning academy on Lake Mary Boulevard years ago, it was only the beginning.

The pair recently whipped up some Christmas magic, this time with a winter festival at Kid City USA’s new Heathrow location on AAA Drive. It was the first-ever such event for the Kid City USA owners – complete with, you guessed it, a magic show – but it won’t be their last.

The day of celebration for both schools included carnival games, face painting, craft activities, photos with Santa, and a Christmas show put on by Kid City USA students themselves, all in festive outfits. The event was a smashing success. It allowed the parents, who are often rushing in and out for pickup and drop-offs, to see their children and their friends on stage and to socialize with other Kid City USA moms and dads.

“The early years are so important,” says Khushboo, “and even more so during the holidays.”

Judging by all the parents waving at their children on stage and the camera phones that were in action, the first-ever Winter Festival was a hit! Nanditha and Khushboo plan to make the festival an annual event.

Early Beginnings
The owners of both Kid City USA locations met in an ironic place for future early-learning leaders: at a daycare facility their own children were attending. The two women – whose husbands worked together – quickly became friends, then business partners.

“Being parents of children in a childcare setting gave us an invaluable perspective,” says Khushboo, a trained physician. Nanditha is a Montessori teacher. Together, they switched course and set out to start their own child-development center.
Now, with the schools off the ground and thriving, Kid City USA students benefit from a STEAM-focused curriculum with a supportive network that guides and inspires both students and teachers. The school’s mission, says Nanditha, highlights early literacy and hands-on learning as tools for success.

Kid City USA also engages local experts to work with children on curriculum topics in creative ways that resonate. With its brightly colored bumblebee logo and slogan, Where Kids Can BEE Kids, the Kid City USA schools in Heathrow and Lake Mary employ high-quality, experienced teachers who put students first.

Replicating Success
The new location in Heathrow was the perfect expansion for Khushboo, Nanditha, their team members, and students, as the building had already been used as a childcare facility. Extensive renovation was not needed. They moved right in and customized the space, adding an area for sand play, for example.

The new Heathrow Kid City USA opened in July – with lots of extra square feet of space to accommodate more classrooms and more little feet.

In a charming, clean, home-like environment, both locations offer the latest ways to keep kids safe, prioritizing high security. All doors are alarmed, with closed-circuit TV cameras. Parents not only know their kids are secure, they know they are learning and happy.

Healthy fresh food is cooked daily on-site for students (who are easy to spot in their black or yellow Kids City USA shirts). Every child’s day is filled with learning, fun, and friendships, whether they are reading, creating art, having a snack, or, in the case of the babies, enjoying some tummy time.

The Winter Festival was a great kickoff to what promises to be a prosperous New Year at both Kid City USA locations.
Khushboo and Nanditha look forward to welcoming students at their new Heathrow school, exploring new programs, and providing value to parents wherever they can. Ensuring after-school students have their homework done before parent pickup is just one way to be a positive partner for local families.

Each Kid City USA school is backed by a strong corporate team, says Nanditha, which is important to parents.
“They are very helpful, supportive, and they make sure we are held accountable,” she says.

It all comes together to provide the very highest standards of care and education at Kid City USA Heathrow.

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