SW Minneapolis

Create. Laugh. Learn.

Alma Guzmán
Rachel McGill
Assistant Director
EFC SW Minneapolis

Now Open!

Especially for Children has opened a new location in Southwest Minneapolis! The SW Minneapolis EFC, located in the King Field neighborhood at E 39th Street and Stevens Ave., is just three blocks off Nicollet Ave. S.


Along with high quality, play-based programming and dedicated and caring teaching staff, the center features a large indoor gym and access to a dynamic local park space. An expansive and engaging nature-based playground will be built over the summer. Newly remodeled classrooms are filled with natural light, creating a bright and warm space for children to grow and thrive. The center has close access to convenient commuter paths and the nearby energy of the city but is tucked back into the neighborhood, providing a quiet and calm environment.



We are excited to be making major progress on the new playground! Please see below for more details on our nature-based playground.

Infants and Young Toddlers:

The area in front of the office windows will be dedicated to our youngest classrooms. There will be spaces to crawl/walk/push/roll, a small hill with a low climbing deck where children can move up and down, as well as shady places to relax and explore. Ground cover will have a variety of textures to stimulate and promote sensory exploration.



Older Toddlers and Preschoolers:

The large area of the playground will be divided into two zones. The lower zone (below the small retaining wall) will generally be for toddlers, and the upper area for preschoolers. But there will be many opportunities for classrooms to explore both spaces and have access to different elements.


The lower zone (toddlers) will have a hill with a built-in slide where children can climb and explore in a variety of ways. There will be a large sand play area with a playhouse to spark their imaginations. There will also be open space for running and free play.


The upper zone (preschool) will feature a wooden log climbing structure that will provide opportunities to challenge both strength and balance. There will be a sand and water play area with a working water pump! In the sand area, there will also be space for “loose parts” play. In addition, we will keep an open space for large movement and games (including our soccer lessons).


Overall, the playground design will incorporate natural elements and purposeful landscape design in ways that encourage children to engage with the environment.

Hours and Map

3908 Stevens Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55409



7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., M-F

Meet Our Teaching Staff



Hola! My name is Alma, and I am the director at our new Especially for Children location in SW Minneapolis. I recently started at EFC after discovering their vision and philosophy without a doubt EFC matched my values and principles. I am a Social Worker and over the years I managed to direct my career and combine it with my Early Education Teacher certification. I have worked different roles in my career and enjoyed being a teacher of all ages, being an assistant to a director, and for a long time being a director. I have taken the opportunity to train myself every year in different areas and thus be able to continue learning about how to support children in their development. I never imagined how much we can help children if we are good role models. I am certainly looking forward to working with this community and being able to establish a great bond. When I am not here, I really enjoy quality time with my family. Something that we love in the summer is traveling in canoes. I teach some people the Spanish language as it is my first language, and we are also animals lovers, so you should know that I have 2 dogs and 4 chickens. Lastly, I really love art and creating things out of vinyl and resin.


Assistant Director


Hello. My name is Rachel, and I am the assistant director here at Especially for Children in SW Minneapolis. I graduated from St. Catherine University with a BA in Psychology in 2020. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to learn more about child development, challenging behaviors, and children with special needs and have used that knowledge to support the children and staff I work with. I have enjoyed working with children for as long as I can remember, and I am so happy my journey led me to Especially for Children. Before coming to EFC, I worked as a Pre-K teacher, an Assistant Director at Soccer Shots, and a Parent Aware coach. I am excited to bring my experience here! When I am not at work I enjoy hiking with my dog, spending time with family at the cabin, and traveling to football stadiums with my husband.


Teaching Staff


My name is Tarie Thomas and I have been working with children from infants to school-agers for about 10 years on/off. I will be the infant and toddler float teacher here at Especially for Children. I have worked as a Nanny before, Childcare Centers, and Minneapolis Public Schools. I enjoy reading, doing arts and crafts, being outside with kids, and of course the sensory table or any science experiment. I so far have my associate degree in early childhood education from Rasmussen College in Bloomington, but I am close to finishing my bachelor’s degree soon!!! I enjoy going for walks around my neighborhood, watching scary Movies or A&E channel, reading books about different parts of History or Thrillers, I do enjoy fashion (But as you can see Leggings and hoodies are my favorite), and I enjoy cooking meals at home that are vegetarian.



Hi! My name is Ingrid and I have worked with kids aged 6 weeks to 12 years old since 2021. I received my bachelors degree from the University of Minnesota in developmental psychology and Spanish studies. I have lived in Minneapolis since I was 5 years old and love walking and biking around all the different neighborhoods. In my free time, I also like to cook, bake, read, and try new food at all the great restaurants in the Twin Cities.



I have worked in education since 2013, and I am so excited to be working at EFC! I graduated with a master’s in education from the University of Puget Sound, and although I have experience working in early childhood, I primarily taught middle and high school aged students these past ten years. Recently, I have returned to school to get another Master’s in Counseling and Psychological Services, and I am loving it so far! My favorite thing about EFC is that their values align with my own, and our teaching philosophies are the same.



Hi, My name is Rachel! I am from South Minneapolis. I have worked with children since 2016, in early childcare and St. Paul public middle/high school. I graduated HS in 2016, and EGCC in 2020 with an associate degree. I also have experience with Special Education. I work with Preschool at Especially for Children, and I am loving it. I’m expecting my first daughter, and currently can’t wait to meet her. On my free time, I love to shop, clean, eat, take walks, and hang out with friends. I also do lash extensions, and model as a hobby, and side gig.



Hello! My name is Allie. I have 13 years of experience working in early childhood (10 of that being toddlers). I truly believe toddlers are very capable humans and love to see those many “aha” moments throughout the day. I am excited to get to know your children and you! In my free time I love to paint, spend time with friends, and my cat Wednesday!


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