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The Program

Mon - Wed - Fri

1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Ages 3 years old - 5 years old

no potty training necessary

following Carmel Clay School calendar

Snacks included- healthy bento box options from Cafe Baby with fresh fruits & veggies

Field Study opportunities include Musical Freedom, Intergenerational Learning, Outdoor Exploration, Adventures In Literacy & Gardening.
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Deposit & Tuition

The Learning Studio is competitively priced with other Reggio-inspired preschool concepts in the region.


includes: $50 registration fee & $100 supply fee due at time of enrollment
First two weeks tuition of $268 by July 15th, 2018

Weekly Tuition Option


Weekly payment begins
Sept. 3rd, 2018 & ends May 27th, 2019

Paid by auto-deduct on Monday each week spreading tuition over the entire school year.

Monthly Tuition Option


Monthly payment begins
Sept. 1st, 2018 & ends May 1st, 2019

Paid by auto-deduct on the 1st of each month spreading tuition over the entire school year.
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Annual Tuition Option


Save 5% or $223.73 by paying tuition in full by Sept. 1st, 2018!

Tuition rates are per child based on 106 instructional school days Aug 15th, 2018 – May 29th, 2019.

Weekly & Monthly tuition payments permitted by auto-deduction payment arrangement.

The Philosophy

Inspired by the internationally recognized Reggio Emilia philosophy, The Learning Studio focuses on the whole child, believing that every child has “One Hundred Languages” and is full of wonder and endless potential. Children are naturally curious about their world and should have the opportunity to explore and investigate things that provoke thoughts, discussions, questions, interests and creativity. Young imaginations with no limits can create their very own area of discovery based on their evolving interests, while stretching their social skills and building character. 

The Mission

Our mission is to provide a space for children to construct knowledge about themselves and their world through collaborative inquiry. We uphold the image of the child as competent, capable and an integral part of our community. We believe that through embracing their sense of wonder and nurturing their natural curiosity through the power of play, they will have a lifelong love of learning.

The Space

“The space has to be a sort of aquarium that mirrors the ideas, values, attitudes and cultures of the people who live in it.”

-Loris Malaguzzi, The Hundred Languages of Children

At The Learning Studio, the environment is seen as a “third teacher” and reflects the image of the child. Our spaces are thoughtfully arranged to foster creative exploration, interaction and socialization. Our open and inviting spaces offer real life materials, natural light, and share the story of the 100 languages of our children through documentation of their work! 

Piazza/Gathering Space

Our piazza is a large gathering space within The Learning Studio. Children are invited to express themselves through music and movement, explore light and shadow, collaborate on a group project, or families may gather for events in this space. We have a unique digital interactive floor called BEAM. BEAM is an interactive system that creates a play experience like no other. Children will have so much fun while developing gross motor skills and spatial awareness.

Dramatic Play

Open ended dramatic play provides numerous opportunities for developmental growth. A favorite of many children is to act out “home” roles. They try to understand their surrounding dynamics through pretend play. Sorting out conflicts while learning problem solving skills, creating an imaginary worlds & choosing the roles they want to play help lay foundational executive function skills.

Atelier/Art Studio

Children will have the opportunity to use their imaginations without limitations and create using a variety of materials and mediums including but not limited to clay, acrylics, water colors, oil pastels, wire, loose parts, wood, recycled materials, and more. At The Learning Studio, we encourage children to enjoy focusing on the process and not the final outcome while experimenting with materials in new and creative ways.

Logic Nook

The concepts of consequence, comparison, mapping & classification are introduced throughout this type of play. Consequence becomes evident socially and physically as structures are planned, built and possibly destructed. Sorting of different objects by color & size develops comparative thinking and classification skills. Planning a build utilizes mapping and planning skills that lay the foundation for advanced executive functions. Fine motor skills are tested and developed.

Reading Nook

Books for everyone. Turning the pages of an actual book ignites senses in all of us. Little ones can enjoy pages that are rough or soft with pictures or words. Beginner readers will find literature just right for them. We have an incredible selection of books that children can select from and read under our beautiful Dream Tree! We also have a wonderful parent resource section.

The Director & Lead Teacher

Niki Monkul

Nicole Monkul

Nicole has a BS in Elementary Education and Mild Interventions (children with exceptional needs) along with a Literary Specialist License from The University of Indianapolis. She is currently completing her MA in Educational Administration & Supervision with certificate in Early Childhood Program Administration from Ball State University. With 11 years of experience teaching young learners in preschool & kindergarten public school settings she has a strong all-inclusive focus. Her strengths are her ability to provide meaningful projects, hands-on experiences, social & emotional support and foundational learning through play. She believes observing in children and asking thought provoking questions to deepen their understanding of the world. Niki is beyond thrilled to join The Learning Studio family!


Jenny Santeramo

Jenny has a BA in French and is completing her student teaching semester in Early Childhood Education. Jenny's strengths are her ability to provoke and deepen interests of children through use of materials and the physical environment, to gently guide children through thoughtfully designed provocations. She has taught preschool for many years and ran an in-home daycare. Jenny also creates the beautiful invitations to play at The Urban Chalkboard.

Program Development Consultant

Cheyenne Land-Requiz

Cheyenne has a BA in Human Development/Family Studies and a minor in Psychology from Indiana University. She has taught preschool for many years, and has experience owning and operating a licensed bilingual daycare/preschool. Cheyenne’s strengths are play-based, child-centered learning and the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching. She also facilitates Deconstructed Play at the Urban Chalkboard. She has two sons and enjoys making an impact on the lives of children during their most formative years!

A Typical Day

A day in The Learning Studio remains flexible and responsive to the needs and interests of the children. A “typical” day might look like this:

1:30 p.m.- Gentle Entry/Indoor/outdoor free play while children arrive (dramatic play, logic nook, reading nook)
2:00 p.m.- Afternoon gathering in the Piazza/welcome/sharing and singing/storytime/setting project intentions for the day
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.-Progressive Snack Time with bento boxes provided by Cafe Baby*(children self-serve snack when they feel hungry promoting independence and self-help skills)/Free play/Invitations and/or Provocations to explore (numeracy, shape recognition, color recognition, patterning light exploration, process art, sensory, STEM, etc.) /Project work in small cohorts in Atelier (long or short term projects based on the children’s interests)
3:20 – 3:40 p.m.– Large Group Activity in the Piazza (Yoga and Mindfulness focusing on building executive function skills- emotion regulation and impulse control, Music/Movement)
3:40 – 4:10 p.m.– Indoor/Outdoor Free Play (gardening, outdoor easel, outdoor sensory table, water play)/Revisiting project work in Atelier (Art Studio) if interested
4:10 – 4:20 p.m.– Closing meeting/reflect on experiences from our day/story or large group activity focusing on building collaboration
4:20 – 4:30 p.m.– Prepare belongings/independent or collaborative activity (puzzles, stories, etc)

Field Study Opportunities

Musical Freedom with Mr. Daniel

Mr. Daniel will educate and inspire our children as they engage in creative expression through songs, rhythmic movements and listening experiences. While moving, dancing and singing children will enhance focused listening skills, self-control, social, emotional, motor and language skills, all while learning about themselves and others. Bi-weekly & Included with tuition.

“You will find in my class a lot of the same things that other programs offer like singing, dancing, games and lots of instruments. You’ll also see a special freedom. It’s a freedom that I encourage to allow the children to be fully themselves at every opportunity, really. That means that the children help lead the class where they need it to go and it means that they get up and they move around when they want to and they say things, they sing, they shout things whenever they feel like it, or not. If they want to just hang back, they hang back. It’s really a pretty magical mix of my guidance and their unbridle energy and curiosity.”

–Mr. Daniel

Intergenerational Learning

Children will have the opportunity to build positive relationships and build social skills in a nurturing environment with older adults at a local senior living community. We will enjoy snack, stories, music and more while engaging in meaningful conversations and learning from the wisdom of our older generations. The benefits are mutual as both will feel a sense of community belonging while encouraging tolerance, awareness and appreciation.

“Wherever there are beginners and experts, old and young, there is some kind of learning going on, some kind of teaching. We are all pupils and we are all teachers.”

-Gilbert Highet

The Garden Project

Children will learn to become stewards of the environment by planting, watering, mulching, pruning and caring for a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Children will enjoy a full sensory experience with different things to see, touch, taste and smell. They will learn where their food comes from and will use fruit, veggies and herbs from the garden in cooking experiences and during our progressive snack.

Adventures In Early Literacy

Focus on key early literacy skills with Carmel Clay Public Library Children's Librarian Sharon Newill. Storytimes combine stories, fingerplays, action rhymes, music, and interaction while supporting and practicing critical early literacy skills. Early reading experiences bolster pre-reading and cognitive skills that will be put to use later in life.

Nature Days at Cool Creek

One way to foster a love of the outdoors is to expose children to meaningful outdoor experiences. Each month, children will have the opportunity for learning outdoors through play, risk taking, socialization, discovery, experimentation and exploration at Cool Creek Park & Nature Center.