Enrolling your child into a care center can be a nerve-wracking, time-consuming, overwhelming task.
There’s a lot to consider, from convenience, to cost, to reviews, curriculum, and more.
If you have a daycare nearby called Creative World School, you may have driven past and found yourself wondering if it’d be a good place for your infant or toddler.
Is Creative World School worth it? Here’s a full review.
Creative World School has a terrific curriculum and a number of locations with absolutely rave parent reviews. However, more than a few Creative World locations have some pretty nasty online reviews alleging everything from neglect to dirty facilities. Tour your local location and meet the teachers and management for yourself to learn more about whether this is the right daycare for you.
Let’s take a closer look at the curriculum, day-to-day, pros, cons, and more!
What is Creative World School?
Billy and Duane McCabe founded and opened the first Creative World School fifty years ago, in 1970.
There are thirty Creative World Schools across five states in the US: Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Missouri, and Texas.
The school cares for and educates infants as young as six weeks old to children up to the age of ten.
Today, Creative World School is one of few early childhood facilities across the United States to be accredited by Cognia, previously known as AdvancedEd.
Fewer than 10% of early childhood facilities are accredited, making this school one of the best Early and Elementary Education centers.
Creative World School Teaching Philosophy Explained
This facility fully implements iSTEAM into its education program.
iSTEAM stands for “Inquiry is Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math.”
Their high participation-style technique integrates STEAM learning opportunities throughout the day and encourages children to inquire about each of these critical learning topics.
The purpose of iSTEAM is less about learning each topic but more about fostering a love of learning and the development of the children’s’ curiosities.
Creative World School also believes in the three E’s: education, exploration, and enrichment.
Their unique teaching approach sets them apart from other centers because education is designed to suit young childrens’ learning styles rather than adults’ (which is usually standard).
Creative World School believes that asking thoughtful, open-ended questions and giving children the opportunity to explore their own minds and question the world around them is the best way to educate.
They do not believe in memorization or practice drills, but instead, experiences that encourage childrens’ participation to promote their social, physical, and cognitive development.
Creative World School is all about hands-on experiences and discovery.
Open-ended engagements allow children to critically think, think creatively, make independent decisions, and see the results of their actions.
This exploration technique improves fine motor skills, critical thinking, socialization, and more.
Children are always closely supervised by their teachers but are allowed to find their independence.
This school is great about introducing new activities, materials, toys, puzzles, books, stories, ideas, and more.
Having a fresh rotation of these opportunities prevents boredom, encourages exploration, exposes children to new ideas, and also lets each child find and then pursue newly developed personal interests.
The classrooms are organized, clean, and clutter-free so that children have the physical and mental space to explore.
Health and Wellness Beliefs and Practices
While Creative World School has always taken health and safety seriously, they have really doubled down on their wellness practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to see their Complete COVID-19 Safety Response.
Here are some of their practices:
- They encourage parents to take their child’s temperature every day before school
- Staff administer wellness checks periodically throughout the day
- Sick, unwell, or uncomfortable children are separated from the class. A staff member will contact the family for pickup.
- All children have to be symptom-free for at least 24 hours before returning to Creative World School.
- Each facility has a designated pick-up and drop-off area and specific protocols to maintain social distancing.
- All adults must wear face coverings to enter the facility.
- Additional handwashing practices are promoted throughout the day for children, staff, and other adults.
- Each facility has also increased its sanitation protocols. The building, classrooms, and playgrounds are disinfected daily before opening, during naptime, and after closing. Toys and other high-touch areas are sanitized throughout the day too.
Creative World School Day to Day Procedures/ Typical Day
Each location operates differently, and none of the facilities freely share their daily procedures or routines.
For the infant age group, the school staff learn every child’s home routines, such as mealtimes, naptimes, and frequency of the meals and naps, and work around that.
For older children, there is a mix of quiet and active times. They also vary between small groups and large groups, independent play, parallel play, and co-op playtimes.
None of the teachers are given desks in any of the facilities. This is because the teachers are exceptionally watchful, hands-on, and involved with each of the kids throughout the day.
They also get down on the child’s level and communicate in a friendly, engaging way.
However, children are divided up into six age categories for education. The six groups are:
- Infants, ages six weeks to twelve months old.
- Toddlers, ages twelve months to twenty-four months old.
- Two-Year-Olds, aged two years old.
- Preschool, ages three to four years old.
- Pre-Kindergarten, ages four to five years old.
- School-Age, ages six years old to ten years old.
(Learn more about the difference between daycare and preschool here.)
Drop Off and Pick Up
Every facility has a specific drop-off and pick-up area. If adults are to enter the school, they must be wearing a face covering of some kind to protect other adults and children.
Most of the schools are open from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm, but their hours vary from location to location.
Reports and Communication
Creative World School has an app for parents and teachers to communicate with one another. Emails and phone calls are also permitted.
The facilities do not have live streaming cameras due to safety and privacy concerns. However, parents are allowed to visit the facility at any time to see their child and participate in the day-to-day activities.
The school app also called the CW app, is updated in real-time with nap and feeding information and also shares important developmental milestones with the parents throughout the day.
Meals and Nutrition
Children eat “Family Style” meals right in their familiar classrooms.
Teachers eat with the children, and the children can help the teacher set up tables and then eat their meal at their own pace with no pressure.
Breastmilk, formula, puree, and baby food practices are not disclosed to the general public.
Parents must call their local Creative World School to find out how mealtime and feeding work.
Teacher to Child Ratio
The teacher-to-child ratio varies from age range to age range and from location to location. To check out your local Creative World School’s ratio, click here to contact them directly.
Every location is run differently (and that’s true for all daycares, not just Creative World), so the best thing you can do is take a tour and prepare yourself with lots of good daycare questions to ask.
Creative World School Tuition Examples
Tuition ranges from location to location and also by age. To see your specific location’s tuition, click here and then contact the school directly.
One reviewer mentioned that tuition was $200 a week for her three-year-old son.
Another reviewer said “you get what you pay for, this place cost more than your average daycare in Orlando area, but is worth every penny”.
An Orlando reviewer said “They are just money hungry. I will just go down the street to another daycare where its not as pretty as this place but hey I will save $500 dollars per month”.
The average cost of infant daycare, according to Move.org, is somewhere between $600-1000 per month.
Based on what I’ve paid in the past, this number is pretty generous. Big name daycares like Creative World tend to cost quite a bit more, on average.
What Real Parents Are Saying About Creative World Schools
Most Creative World Daycare online reviews range from 1.5 to 4.8 stars. This is quite the range!
Here are some of the most common compliments and complaints about the system as a whole. You will have to look up the reviews of your local school for the best accuracy.
Most commonly cited pros:
- Caring, communicative teachers
- Good curriculum (many mention how they love iSTEAM)
- Lots of exploration for the kids
Desiree Rabette of Oviedo, FL says:
“We love the monthly themes and how engaged the children are in the lessons. I also love that they’re not confined to one room all day, that they get to go to the exploratorium and outside, and that there are learning centers to rotate through. The staff keeps us informed and are amazing to work with!”
B.S. of Winter Garden, FL says:
“I love the hands on learning starts in the infant room. I feel like my baby is constantly learning something new. Seeing all the pictures and the constant updates gives me such peace of mind knowing he is taken care of.”
Ashley Foabeh of Tampa, FL says:
“My daughter is so comfortable here. Her teacher Ms. Waheeda, is awesome. she is so patient with the kids and very loving. she is obviously very versed with what kids that age group need.”
Sophia Aouizir of Cypress Springs, FL says:
“So far this is the best preschool where u can find management very involved, safety and kindness is number one priority for creative world, my son loves going to school daily and dnt leave before giving his awesome teachers hugs ..My 4 years already writing his name and knows many sight words, I can’t speak enough how happy we are with creative world . Thank you to the owners to the directors and all staff… 5 stars school all the way”
Most commonly cited cons:
- Lack of supervision for the children
- Incompetence- lost items and lying staff members
- Neglect- illegal child to teacher ratio, unchanged diapers, and unfed children
- Poor training, and bad management for employees
Minion S. of Virginia says:
“They are liers and they cut corners to save $ without caring about your child safety. The management do not care abt your child. They lost my son bottles each day, he was only 12 weeks old. My son had rash all over his body because they let him sit with wet diaper. They didnt even keep record n their tablet entry was wrong, it was the worst nightmare ever for any mom.“
Amy M. of Orlando, FL says:
“On many occasions, I picked up my kids to learn their class of 20 was being looked after by only one caregiver (against Florida state regulations). On another occasion, the only “teacher” in the pre-k class for the day has never been licensed as a caregiver.
“The first half of the year was fantastic, the center was owned and run by highly qualified people. Sadly, now, under new ownership and management, it’s just become a new way to make a dollar. Look elsewhere for vpk and/or daycare needs.”
An anonymous staff member from Zephyrhills, FL says:
“The teachers do not do their jobs and the owner is never willing to work with you to solve problems. I never had help, and was left alone with 15 kids, which is over my ratio”
Another anonymous staff member from Land O’ Lakes, FL says:
“The owners are only concerned with making a profit. They have no education in childcare. The decisions are based on making money and not on providing quality childcare. Their expectations for staff hours are ridiculous. When working with children, no one should work open to close.”
One recurring theme I kept noticing is that some locations had stellar, glowing reviews, while other locations were filled with upset parents, staff, and children.
Online reviews can be hit or miss, and there’s no way to guarantee their accuracy, but seeing so many negative reviews is cause for alarm.
For Creative World School, we highly recommend that you look into your specific local facility, rather than the system as a whole.
Each center is franchised, and therefore, has completely different management and protocols, which is why these reviews range so vastly.
Creative World School is a mixed bag of nuts.
Some locations are beloved and have raving reviews; others are noted to be dirty, understaffed, poorly managed, and actually illegal with childcare practices and teacher-to-child ratios.
While this school is accredited, it seems to be secretive about how it operates, how the staff and teachers treat children, and what the children will be learning. This is a red flag when it comes to daycare and early childhood education facilities.
If you are interested in enrolling your child in a center, pay close attention to the reviews and ratings of your local Creative World School. Also, be sure to speak to other local parents with children enrolled to get an accurate picture of what to expect.
For more information, check out our other daycare reviews:
- Is Primrose School Worth It?
- Is Children’s Lighthouse Worth It?
- Is Carrington Academy worth it?
- Is Kindercare worth it?
- List of all the best daycares and preschools
Hope this helps!