Cheryl Chandler Wraps Up a Child Care Career Focused on Play

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Cheryl Chandler, a double Wheelock alumna (’76/’92), was faced with a decision when her twin sons were a year old in 1983. After realizing “My criteria was that if I couldn’t teach there, then I couldn’t put my children there,” she responded with an act of creation and launched the SuperTots Nursery School. SuperTots first served one-year-olds, then expanded each year to accommodate two, three, and four year old children. Grounded in a philosophy that embraces the learning that emerges through play, SuperTots amassed a sizeable waiting list within its first three years of operation. “I love when a parent says to me, ‘Are they learning anything by doing this?’ when they’re playing at the water table or climbing up some structure and only one person can fit on the ladder, and they have to negotiate how to do that. Every moment is like that for me.” Thirty-three years (and four grown sons) later, Chandler is prepared to close the school – after her youngest enrolled students head to kindergarten. She is cognizant of the role her Wheelock education played in the development of SuperTots, noting “it helps me know exactly what to say, what to do, [and] to never forget that I’m learning all the time.”

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