Single mom established Schiller Park day care center
Teacher Sue Gerambia (left) of Elmwood Park assists Thomas Klos (right), 4, of Franklin Park with counting numbers at A-Karrasel Playhouse day care center in Schiller Park. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 10, 2012 8:20AM
When Lori Magnifico-Purta found herself as a single mother in 1997, she didn’t want to put her daughter in a traditional day care while she went to work.
So, she started her own day care facility.
Now called “A Karrasel Day Care,” Magnifico-Purta opened Magnifico’s Playhouse in Schiller Park. The facility serves kids from Franklin Park, Schiller Park and beyond.
“I didn’t want the typical day care. (My facility) looks exactly like a home,” Magnifico-Purta said. “You’d never know it was a day care, except there’s a sign in front.
“The building is set up inside with rooms that actually in the architectural drawing are the bedrooms, but each one is a classroom.”
The program provides services for infants, and 2- to 5-year-olds.
“They start out coming in during morning hours and have to be there by 9 a.m.,” Magnifico-Purta said. “For two hours, they have free play.
“They can play with any of the toys they want. Then breakfast is served. We have an in-house cook and all the meals are homemade.”
Magnifico-Purta said the day care is where children learn education basics. All of the staff members have early childhood education training.
“We have circle time, where we go over numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, colors, shapes and songs,” Magnifico-Purta said. “It is so important because it starts their cognitive learning abilities.
“It is the basis of their learning. Now, it is important to start in kindergarten knowing all the basics.”
The 4- and 5-year-olds also attend field trips.
“They go to the pumpkin farm, a matinee show, or ‘Disney on Ice,’” Magnifico-Purta said.
Betty, the director of the center, said that the children benefit from the home-like environment.
“It is a great place,” Betty said. “The teachers are interactive with all the children, and it is a small place, so the children get to know their teachers.”
Magnifico-Purta sold the business in 2009 to Tony Morelli, and the name was changed to A-Karrasel Day Care. The children do not want to leave the center at the end of the day, Magnifico-Purta said.
“They would argue with their parents and say ‘I’m going to stay,’” Magnifico-Purta said. “They have playmates and teachers they like.
“The majority of teachers are moms also, so they have that home love. If a child gets a scratch or falls, they get a Popsicle or sucker like you would do for own child. The children are to be treated as your own.”
For information on the facility, call (847) 671-3192. The center is located at 4248 Grace St.