Message from the Owner/Director

Working with children, parents, teachers and families is my passion.  Through Paidea, I have had the opportunity to form close, long-lasting relationships through daily interaction with the children and their families as well as staff.

Here are a few stories I want to share to give you an idea of why my work means so much to me:

Working with the Children

On various occasions, when children have an "off" day, causing them to act inappropriately in class, teachers will bring them to my office.  We use various strategies to help determine what is bothering them.  For example, I ask them questions, have them draw pictures, or sometimes we find the child just wants to be held.  I remember one little boy where nothing seemed to fit.  Then, when he was ready to go back to class, he turned to me and said, "I don't want to get my haircut today either!"  This is an example of one of Paidea’s principles. For every “fire” (behavior), there is always a “fuel” (reason). We deal with fuels, not just fires.

It is our job to help children learn to express their feelings and needs in appropriate ways, not just deal with inappropriate behaviors.

Working with Families

Supporting families is a very important part of my role at Paidea.  Two stories that are especially meaningful to me are these: 

  • I received a call from a parent whose father-in-law had passed away unexpectedly.  She was very upset and asked if I would help her tell the children.  I was saddened by her news, but honored that she looked to me to help convey this life changing experience to her children.
  • A former Paidea Parent called whose child, now in 2nd grade, was having trouble with friends.  She told me her son said, "Can we go talk to Lynn?"  I was flattered that he thought of me as an advocate to help, because it's these types of interpersonal and problem-solving skills we teach every day to our young children.
  • Providing parent education, whether 1:1 with parents or by teaching our Parent Night sessions, offers me the chance to help our parents grow as much as our children grow. This partnership enriches the Paidea experience, helps our parents be the best parents they can be, and creates the close relations I value so much.

Working with Teachers

The teachers are Paidea’s greatest strength.  They embrace our philosophy which strengthens our team as we continually add new ideas and work together to help children.   I love to mentor the teachers and watch them grow both professionally and personally.

There is a profound sense of 'community' among our staff that extends beyond Paidea.  We support each other in our work lives, and often spend time together outside of Paidea.  We've been horse-back riding, traveled to Duluth for the weekend, gone on a riverboat ride, and have shared many other wonderful memories.

I believe this sense of family is one reason these incredible teachers have remained at Paidea for so many years.

The Paidea Community

I am always amazed at the wonderful community we have at Paidea.  For example, in June, we have a picnic.  Each year, I watch 250-300 parents and children enjoy their evening.  They also join us to march in parades, or to clean up Paidea's yard during our "Spring Cleanup Day". Recently almost 200 people attended Paidea’s 30th birthday party! It warms my heart to watch our parents and children together.

At one time, a group of working moms, who were feeling the pressure of increased work loads and family pulls, decided they could help each other.  So they started meeting for lunch.  I was thrilled to receive an invitation to join their group.

Of course, it doesn't stop when children move on from Paidea.  Every spring, former "Paidea kids" now in high school and college call to see if there are job openings.  Four have taught alongside their pre-school teachers and many of them have invited us to their high school graduation parties.

I could go on and on.  These stories fill my heart and soul and bring me joy.  Paidea is a special place.  I invite you to come visit and see if Paidea is what you have been looking for.

Lynn Jessen
Owner / Director
Paidea Child Development Center


I don't think most school directors are this interested and available to the parents because they are most engaged in the bureaucracy of running a school.

Lynn H.

Paidea's (Lynn's) focus on social and emotional development and parent education are Paidea's signature strengths and what really set it apart. My children are learning foundational social skills that I can recognize will last them a lifetime. 

Denise M.

Lynn is the greatest asset that Paidea has... for our kids, the teachers and especially us parents. She is the person that helps the rest of us all do the best jobs that we can. I think it is Lynn's philosophies and the teacher's execution of those philosophies that brought most of our families to Paidea.

Susan V.



Child Development / Childcare for
Toddlers, Preschoolers, Schoolagers, & Kindergarten

Nurturing little ones since 1984!
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