Finding Your Village at Two Birds

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This article is written in partnership with Two Birds.

After the last few years, it feels like we’re all seeking connection more than ever before. And for new parents, that need is even more pressing – finding your village, your friends, and your support system is so important.  

That’s where Two Birds comes in. Founded by two local parents who opened their first location in 2019, Two Birds offers full day early childhood education with an onsite coworking space and an instant, inclusive community for its members. 

Child with paintThe Origin Story: Childcare + Family Support = Two Birds

Kelsey Lents and JP Coakley, founders of Two Birds, met in business school. Both new parents at the time, they experienced the challenges so many of us face – managing work and childcare, while also trying to be active community members. 

Without a solution readily available, they decided to create one themselves.

Kelsey and JP envisioned high quality childcare with other amenities for parents like nursing lounges and a beautiful co-working space (and it really is beautiful thanks to Kelsey’s background in architecture and workspace design). 

Today, it has become that and so much more, adding in weekend classes for kids and adult classes to meet fellow parents. It’s a whole-family experience that’s three-pronged – the workspace, the education, and the community.

The Education

The childcare and preschool serves infants through Pre-K 4 students in a full day program, Monday through Friday, year round.

The curriculum is play-based and Reggio Emilia-inspired. Reggio educators see children as competent and curious. They offer open-ended materials and focus on connection between the students and the materials, their teachers, and each other. This makes the programming “emergent,” meaning it’s responsive to the children and their interests. 

No Reggio-based program would be complete without a studio, so all Two Birds children (even the babies!) get dedicated studio time with an experienced educator to explore materials and create beautiful artwork. For infants, studio time may feature clay exploration. Older children would take it a step further to create sculptures.

Don’t be fooled – a Reggio curriculum goes way beyond arts and crafts. There is a purpose to every exploration, and that purposefulness is one of my favorite aspects of this teaching philosophy. 

At Two Birds, a purposeful program is created with the support of the in-house curriculum team. The team works with the teachers both inside and outside the classroom, planning the curriculum and creating high-impact experiences for the children.

If it’s not obvious already, Two Birds provides so much more than daycare. It has even partnered with the city of DC to be part of its Pre-K expansion program. And perhaps best of all, you don’t need to go through the DC lottery to enroll for the Pre-K 3 or 4 class. Just sign up here!

The Workspace

I don’t know about you, but working from home with little children running around feels close to impossible. In today’s world where so many of us are working remotely or freelance, a dedicated workspace can make all the difference.  

Two Birds offers a traditional co-working space, just down the hall from the school, with the added bonus of members who are all in similar phases of life. Work in peace without the threat of your screaming child making an appearance on your Zoom call? Done. Talk to other parents of young children about sleep schedules, kid-friendly restaurants, and community events? Also done.

In addition to the typical co-working amenities like wi-fi, coffee, and private rooms if needed, each location (Tenleytown, West End, and Alexandria) has a fully-licensed childcare center and preschool just next door. Access to this space is just one of the complimentary perks of being a Two Birds member. 

The Extracurriculars

Two Birds was designed to feel like a second home for its members. Kelsey and JP have thoughtfully designed extra programming for children and parents that add an element of comfort and community. 

For the kids, this means weekend classes (soccer, yoga, Tae Kwon Do, zumba, STEM, music, and more) are provided on site at no extra charge. For parents, this means no need to spend an inordinate amount of time searching for activities online, paying an arm and a leg for an 8-week session, and spending weekends driving all over the city to get your kids to class. Win-win!  

There are also extracurriculars for parents that are designed to build community and give some built in downtime before the evening craziness at home. 

Right now at Tenleytown, for example, there’s a knitting class for parents at 4:00. They use this time to unwind while socializing and creating winter hats for their kids, again at no extra charge. 

The classes and workshops complete the Two Birds experience. This makes it more than simply a place to work or a childcare provider. We all know it takes a village, and this is where you’ll find yours.

Get to Know Two Birds

It is the perfect time to explore Two Birds! Contact the team to check out the Tenleytown or Old Town location, or to get details about the West End location opening in June. 

If you’re in DC, you won’t want to wait too long, especially if you have a rising Pre-K 3 or 4 student. Get in before the DC Lottery applications are due, and enjoy all the benefits of the Two Birds experience!

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