Welcome to Especially for Children’s Coon Rapids Child Development Center. We serve infant through preschool age children in a caring and educational environment. A warm and friendly teaching staff is here to provide support for your child as well as engage him in learning activities that foster all areas of development.
Through the play-based Creative Curriculum®, your child will experience wonderful opportunities to grow socially, intellectually, physically, and emotionally, and will prepare for entering kindergarten. Find out more about the Learning Curriculum and Developmental Goals here. Throughout the year we invite families to connect with one another at fun-filled events including the Mother’s Day Breakfast, Ice Cream Social, Holiday Concert and Halloween Party.
We have been serving families in the Coon Rapids area since 1995 in the quiet Evergreen Business Park behind the YMCA, just blocks away from Springbrook Nature Center. We invite you to visit the Especially for Children Coon Rapids School to see for yourself what a positive learning environment this can be for your child and family.
Hi, my name is Lisa Ward, and I am the Director at Especially for Children Coon Rapids. I started with EFC in December 2015. I have my degree in Early Childhood and have been in the field since 1986, working as a director since 1991. In my spare time, I enjoy time at the cabin, gardening and exploring the state on the motorcycle. I love getting to know the children and their families that entrust their most valuable possessions to my amazing team of teachers and me.
I’ve been with Especially for Children since September of 2020. I love working with children and watching them grow and develop. My favorite thing to do with the kids is read them books. My experience in health care has guided me in understanding the development of a person. My favorite pastime outside of work is fishing, hiking and taking my dog to the park. It’s a great opportunity to work and grow with EFC.
Hello, my name is Brenda and I work in the preschool room. I studied Child Development at Anoka Hennepin Technical College. I have been apart of the EFC team since 2001. I enjoy watching each child learn and the excitement they get from each new experience. I enjoy walking outside and supporting Minnesota sports teams.
I was born and raised in South Minneapolis and relocated to Coon Rapids 20 years ago. I retired from Xcel Energy, where I worked in the Corporate Compliance and Business Ethics Department and was also a Contracts Specialist. I became bored with retirement and took a position as Nursery Supervisor at Faith Lutheran. I started working at EFC in January of 2015. I am very much enjoying my second career in childcare. I love to read and do scrapbooking. My real passion is my grand daughter, who is now a senior at Blaine High School and is on the Varsity Dance Team – Go Bengals!
My name is Dawn and I am excited to join the crew at EFC. I have been working with children since 2011 when I opened my own home daycare then moved into the center setting. From there I worked for a before/afterschool program with the Anoka Hennepin Schools. I am so happy to be back working with Toddlers; they have such unique personalities, and I love to watch them explore and grow. I have been married for over 30 years. My husband and I have 4 kid–3 girls and 1 son. We have 9 grandkids that we love and enjoy. My spare time is spent hanging out with my family, going to events to watch the grandkids, doing arts/crafts and word search and also watching the Twins/Vikings.
I started with Especially for Children in December of 2020 and I already love it. I worked at another school before I came here to be the Toddler Teacher. I just graduated with my A.A. in Human Services, now I am going back to get my B.A. in Social Work to work in the CPS field. I also am fluent in American Sign Language and I tend to use it while working at EFC and in my Social Work career. When I am not working or going to school, I like to sing, go on adventures, be with my family and friends and just relax. When I am working, my favorite part of the day is group time with the children. I love seeing them smile with the new things they are learning.
I started working at Especially for children in 2020. I have been working in preschool programs since 2014. I love working with children and seeing them grow each and every day. I have a degree in photography and love to take pictures. Outside of work I love to go hiking, paddle boarding, and dancing.
Hello, my name is Susan. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from St. Cloud State University. I have taught preschool and toddlers in the past and have also run an in-home childcare. I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to teach pre-kindergarten and EFC! I have 2 children of my own who are also enrolled at EFC. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and crafting.
Hello, my name is Rochelle and I work in the pre-kindergarten room. I have many years of experience teaching preschool children. Also, I have worked in a kindergarten classroom as well. I enjoy teaching preschoolers kindergarten readiness skills. I look forward to working with you and your children.
I have been working with all age groups of kids since 2015, I started out my career at another center and joined EFC in August 2019. I enjoy every moment of working with kids, they are so bright and eager to learn at this age, they are always coming up with new things and the creativity of their minds is amazing! The preschool age is so much fun. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, family & friends. I also like to do puzzles and challenge myself everyday by trying new things. I am also the crazy cat lady and have a calico cat who is our pride and joy.
Hello, I am Susan (Sue) I attended North Suburban Hennepin Technical Center for Child Development in 1977. I married in 1979, raised 4 daughters in Oak Grove on 7 acres. I continue to enjoy maintaining our property, caring for one of our daughter’s 2 horses, our 2 small dogs and 1 cat. I worked in St. Francis ISD 15 from 1989-1991 in various positions, ranging from the summer Kids Connection, Title I math/reading program to office professional – attendance/ enrollment. I retired in April 2019. I missed working with small children here at EFC and am so pleased to be working once again in the field I started in. I have a deep passion for children, their growth and learning. Life is grand.
Hi my name is Lisa K. I have been working with children for 25+ years. I have an early childhood education. I enjoy working with all ages. I have three children of my own. I live in Andover.
We have been fortunate to be part of the Coon Rapids Especially for Children family for over 4 years. Our oldest son began in the infant room four years ago and is now in his last year of preschool at EFC. My younger son also began in the infant room and is now a toddler. My husband and I are continuously thankful that we found such a safe and nurturing environment for our young boys. Our children look forward to going to school every day and often don’t want to leave. The activities and curriculum provided for our children are engaging, age appropriate, and focused on lifelong skills, such as nutrition. The biggest advantage to EFC compared to other centers we visited is the quality of the staff. All of the staff at this center truly cares about our children and our family. Our boys talk lovingly about their teachers all of the time. We would not hesitate to recommend the Coon Rapids EFC center to anyone.
The field trips…to the local nature center and Creative Movement and Music programs have been wonderful for my child. My child LOVES art and I am convinced that is because of the wonderful stimulation he receives at school.
I am the mother of two girls who previously attended EFC Coon Rapids. I have nothing but good things to say about it. My girls are very shy, and take extra encouragement when it comes to being away from me as well as making new friends, and the teachers at EFC helped them in every way possible to do so. They were very loving and caring. The girls also learned so much while they were there, they did so many activities (like walking to the nature center down the street.) My oldest daughter made her first friend at EFC. Unfortunately, because we moved over 20 miles away, we had to leave the center. The teachers in my kids’ classrooms made them goodbye cards, and we still get emails from the center inviting us to events and have always been welcome to stop in and visit. EFC is by far the best child care center I have ever seen (and that’s coming from someone who previously worked in childcare themselves!) They helped my oldest grow into a more social child, and they helped my youngest gain positive childcare experiences (she started when she was just a baby.) I am very grateful for EFC and all the teachers there, and we miss the center very much!