Mabel Hernandez - October, 2018
BBDSIII love this school, I loved it since I attended the open house and saw how much love and detail they put on the decoration of the new school, the space is bright and cozy. My kids had been blooming under the loving care of Miss Mabi and all the assistances on the babys toddler room. They come so happy on the morning, and I struggle to convince them to come with me home when I pick them up. Ms Mabel is very attentive and accomodative to the kids needs, I do believe, she genuily care about the students wellbeing. I leave them in the morning with a feeling in my heart, they will be ok.I wish my kids are able to access this kind of care for the years to come. Thank You from the bottom of my heart
MG - August 2016
My daughter started going to this school when she was 2 and half years old, and she will be graduating Building Blocks next week to go to Kindergarten. Both my husband and I were very happy with how teachers and staff educated my daughter. I live 5 minutes from this school, and multiple neighbor moms recommended this school to me when my daughter was a baby. I see the reason why. The staff are very caring. They have a lot of different activities to offer–art projects, sign language, music class, exercise classes etc.. My daughter understands and responds in Spanish because of their immersion environment. They really helped my daughter to learn so much.
By the way, I am surprised to read the other person’s review—the one by Martin N. Not sure who you are, but was your child Asian? Several months ago, I saw an Asian boy in my daughter’s classroom go into a seizure when I picked her up at the end of the day around 5:30pm. When I walked in, this boy fell onto the floor because of seizure. I notified the staff right away, and the principal Ms. Mabel came immediately to handle the situation by calling 911 and directing her staff what to do. I was quite impressed by how they handled it. Some staff were trying to keep other students in the same room calm too. Kids were curious and scared to see what happened. If they called you at 5:54pm, I’d think that’s pretty good, considering how much chaos the staff had to deal with when this boy went into a seizure. I’d rather have them attend my daughter in sickness immediately than worrying about calling me to let me know. Maybe this is a different incident from what Martin N mentioned. I don’t know. I felt bad for the boy for being sick, but I was glad to see how professionally the school staff handled the situation.
I also noticed that parents in this school are quite kind to each other. I appreciated getting to know them and being a part of this community. I would recommend this school to anyone’s child without hesitation.
Stephanie G. - August 2016
Our son has been at Building Blocks for a year and we are thrilled with the school. He has blossomed and flourished and learned so much. He regularly teaches us words and songs in Spanish. He loves his teachers and his friends. This is a neighborhood gem that I would recommend to any parent looking for a warm and loving environment for their children!
Monica L. - July 2016
Both of my kids go to this school and we love it! We must love it because we live basically in Manassas yet we take them all the way to falls church because its the only school we trust.The teacher actually was my moms best friend and my mom said that she has a lot of love and compassion so to find out she was taking care of my little princess it made me love the school even more. They do what they can when they can, my husband and myself do not easily trust any place and we reviewed many other schools until we finally said that it was this school that my kids are going to be treated the best. I have seen school where the teachers are just siting and making the kids grab books instead of them getting off their butt to get it themselves, ive seen a school where two kids argued over a toy and when the teacher took it away the child sat on the floor, so she grabbed him by the arm and pulled him up by yanking his arm which is some thing we do NOT want, and Building Blocks is that kind of school. Lastly I want to add that my son shows signs of autism, hes not officially diagnosed but he can be hard to understand, yet I have never seen a teacher lose their patience with him, ive stood mrs. mabel’s office and watched how my kids were treated at random times some times when i leave or before i pick them up, i don’t see mistreatment, if you are looking for a school that treats their children with so much love and care and handles rough situations to the best of their abilities then this is the school.
Alissa O. - January 2016
We feel so lucky to have found this preschool for our 2.5 year old daughter. We are relatively new to the area and I was initially nervous that I couldn’t find many reviews online, but our experience has been wonderful. It is such a warm and loving environment – my daughter runs to give her teachers and the school’s director a hug every morning when we arrive. Almost all of the teachers have been there for many years, and it is clear that they truly care about the kids and about doing a great job. I definitely feel that my daughter is learning a lot (including some Spanish), and I love that she is happy to go to school every day. To top it off, the price is very reasonable and they have few days off compared with other daycares. I would highly recommend this preschool.
Angel K. - November 2015
My grandson attends this school and he has learned so much! He is 2 and can count to 20 and recognizes most of his ABC’s, and can count and sing in Spanish. The teachers and (the administrator Mabel) are kind, warm, and have a heart for the children. They are always available to meet or speak with the parents if needed and truly work to understand each child and stage of learning. Just last Friday, the school had a program for the parents and family and you could tell that all of the teachers foster wonderful relationships with the children by their interactions. I truly love this school and my grandson loves his teachers and the school as well!
Alex and Shannon - October 2015
We are very fortunate to have found this little gem near the heart of Falls Church when we moved to the area last year. Our son loves Building Blocks Day School and every day his face lights-up when it’s “time to go to school”. The teachers are great with the kids and take their roles and curriculum very seriously. Our son is not only achieving all of his developmental milestones, he’s exceeding all expectations and we know the school has A LOT to do with that. They truly are the best parenting partners you can ask for. I am also a native Spanish speaker and to me it’s incredibly important that my son learns the language properly. Mrs. Mabel (founder and director) has made this a top priority as well as the school’s mission in addition to providing a meaningful and enriching experience. An added bonus? They also provide an American Sign Language immersion curriculum. My son can already sign the entire alphabet. How cool is that? We absolutely recommend Building Blocks Day School to anyone.
Carolina Rivero - October 2015
Building blocks it is a school based on love and respect. The teachers are really caring with the children and treat them as family. The curriculum is rich and varied. My son is bilingual and they have been a great support in that regard.
Michelle - August 2015
Our son attended Building Blocks since he was 3/12 and graduated from Pre K. The teachers and staff were absolutely amazing. The school programs (Christmas, graduation, etc.) were extremely creative and we enjoyed them tremendously. They are so personalized and the students enjoyed them as well. The Pre-K class has been such a stepping stone to prepare our son for Kindergarten. The teachers have really done their homework and prepared them for each aspect of transition including a mock lunch line! During our first year of Kindergarten, we were thrilled to know that our son had already learned what they were asking of the students over the summer. His reading test scores were well above average and he was socially prepared. You can tell that the teachers and the staff take great pride in the preparation and want them each to succeed and feel comfortable in the transition. We miss Building Blocks so much and have cherished our experience!
Susan and Andy - August 2014
Dear Ms. Mabel,
We are writing this letter to let you know how much our boys, Lake and Bode, have loved Building Blocks Day School. We adore the other students who have become great friends of our boys; and the colorful classrooms and school hallways, with the hand-painted murals, have been an extra special greeting each day. Building Blocks is a happy, safe place for our boys and we feel SO LUCKY to have found your amazing school! Above all else, we’ve especially loved the wonderful and loving teachers! Thank you for all you’ve done to help our boys grow and learn. They’ve been truly excited to attend school every day, which – as a parent – has been an incredible blessing!
We can’t thank you enough for providing us with exceptional care, and for giving us such a fantastic preschool experience. We’ll remember you fondly as we move on to our next adventure in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Kirsten - August 2014
Building Blocks is an extension of our family. Our older son has just finished four years there and is now entering Kindergarten as a very well-prepared 5 year old. Our younger son is entering his second year as a Building Blocks student.
We have been delighted with the academic instruction, the activities (Spanish, sign language, music, and sports), and the personal attention and love given to each child. The teachers and staff care deeply about the Building Blocks students, and get to know their individual needs and personalities. We’ve also appreciated the logistical benefits of full-year, full-day school — plus snacks and lunches.
We cannot imagine our kids being anywhere else for preschool, and encourage all families to consider Building Blocks!
Michelle - July 2014
Our son has been at Building Blocks since he was 3/12. The teachers and staff are absolutely amazing. The school programs (Christmas, graduation, etc.) are extremely creative and we have enjoyed them tremendously. They are so personalized and the students enjoy them as well. The Pre-K class has been such a stepping stone to prepare our son for Kindergarten. The teachers have really done their homework and prepare them for each aspect of transition including a mock lunch line! When we went to Kindergarten orientation, we were thrilled to know that our son had already learned what they were asking of the students over the summer. He is well on his way to reading and his writing is excellent. You can tell that the teachers and the staff take great pride in the preparation and want them each to succeed and feel comfortable in the transition. We will miss Building Blocks so much and have cherished our experience! Thank you!
Carolyn - January 2014
As background, I have two daughters in the school this year. My oldest daughter started last year in the Three’s class and now she is in the Pre-K class. My younger daughter started this September in the Two’s class. We have been very happy with the school. They provide a very loving, safe and engaging environment for our girls. Initially, our main purpose for putting them into school was because we needed full-time, all-day, year-round care for our kids because my husband and I both work full-time. We weren’t as focused on finding the right “curriculum” as we were on finding a place where our girls could be safe and loved and learn the basics (manners, respect, getting along with others, etc.). Turns out they have learned more on the education side than we could have imagined. In the Two’s class they learn mostly through music, active play and arts and crafts – but I’m really surprised at how much more my 2-year old knows after just 5 months at Building Blocks than my older daughter learned at a very good in-home day care at the same age. The Pre-K’s have a much more structured learning environment than the Two’s (as you would expect) and again, I’m just astounded at how much my 4-year old knows as she is preparing to enter Kindergarten next year. Another thing I’m impressed by (and my girls really enjoy) are the enrichment programs. Each Monday-Thursday they have a special “class” (Spanish, Music, Sign Language or “Jump Bunch”) and they also schedule a couple of fun field trips for the kids each year. Also, the kids get a lot of physical activity as they are on the playground multiple times a day or if the weather is poor, they have a nice big room where the kids have space to run around and release some energy. All of this on top of a great group of teachers, staff and other students. My kids love going to school and some days don’t want to leave to come home! Thank you!
David Martin - April 2012
Both of our boys love Building Blocks. The teachers, assistants and administration is top notch. We had a great home provider, tried a larger daycare in Arlington which was horrible and then gave Building Blocks a try. We could not be happier and neither could our boys. They love it. The program allows their curious minds to explore while completely preparing the kids for school and beyond. Field trips, art, exposure to different cultures, organized exercise and games and a true focus on being a community. It’s scary to trust the welfare of your kids to a larger school. You fear they will be nothing more than a number. Nothing could be further from the truth at Building Blocks. Kids who need a bit of extra individual attention receive it lovingly and willingly. They advance so quickly in this setting. We are confident that our 5 year old is more than prepared for Kindergarten and that our 3 yr old is being well prepared to excel in school, art, sports and learning how to function with other children. The bilingual and Sign Language skills of the staff are awesome. As much as we loved our small daycare, if I had it to do over again, I would have started our boys even earlier at Building Blocks.
Jan Cartwright - April 2012
We looked at a number of preschools and daycare centers in Falls Church and Arlington before we found Building Blocks. When first I walked in the door, I was struck by the loving and warm environment, compared with some of the more “institutional” schools that we toured. The teachers and directors know all the kids and their genuine love of the children really is reflected through their smiles, hugs, and patient guidance. The teachers work incredibly hard to prepare fun and instructive activities for the kids, from artwork to games to science experiments. In addition to the regular classroom activities, our daughter also loves and benefits from the Spanish, Sign Language, music, and sports classes at the school. As a parent, I see firsthand how Building Blocks is nurturing my daughter’s curiosity and enjoyment of exploration, as well as her cognitive and social skills. I know that she will be well prepared for school when that time comes, and more important, that she will love learning as a result of the foundation she is receiving at Building Blocks.
Rachel R. Van Tassel - October 2010
Our son was at Building Blocks Day School for about a year, starting when he was about 18 months. But, we recently moved too far from the school to make it feasible for him to attend. We were sad to go. The staff and teachers at Building Blocks were wonderful. His class was the 2 year old class taught by Mabel, Marisol and Maria, who were all very caring, patient, attentive and full of affection and questions from the minute we arrived each day, welcoming my son into his class. When we first started, this being the first full-day care for us, there was some transition time, but the teachers really worked with my son to help him feel comfortable. The curriculum changed regularly, always a new theme and art project in the works and we always had an abundance of artwork and stories and songs coming home. The classrooms are clean and bright and full of a variety of toys. I liked the routine that they instilled in my son…like washing hands before eating and after the “bathroom” even if it was a diaper change, brushing teeth, putting on jackets, putting away toys, they even worked some manners into him! …all the things I would work on with him at home, if I didn’t have to work. They would go outside a lot, which I liked…always making sure to give the kids water or wetting their brow or even a surprise popsicle on especially hot days. For bad weather days, the building has a multipurpose room where they kids and run and play so they aren’t stuck in the same room all day. Over the year I recall just one time the kids watching a tv…at the end of a Friday after a long week of bad weather…so I can’t fault that! And, it was a perfectly educational show. I only bring this up to compare another place I looked at, where on a fine day, kids were in a dark room glued to some obnoxious show.
The lunch menu was varied and not just full of kid stuff. One other daycare we visited served Domino’s pizza every Friday and “lots of chicken nuggets cause the kids like them,” and in one place the teachers made the lunches, which I didn’t particularly like since it pulled them out of the classroom. At Building Blocks they have it catered in, which means the teachers stay with the kids and don’t have to worry about making meals, and they serve a great variety of stuff that I’m glad he had exposure to since it wasn’t necessarily all food we regularly eat at home, but turned out to be things he did like.
This school has great playgrounds…they are shady and there is a lot for the kids to do, and one for older kids (which was updated with a new structure while we were there) and one for younger. A big sandbox with lots of trucks and scoops was a hit with my little guy. With summertime came water play day…a huge undertaking by the staff, I thought, to set all that up…pools, toys, slides… The kids loved it. They had a moon bounce day, picnics, graduations, Christmas program, even field trips for the older kids…for as chaotic as those ideas seemed to me, the teachers were always in control and everything was organized and the kids had fun and my son was full of stories and excitement at the end of the day.
I liked that the majority of the staff were experienced adults and the few younger staff employed there were all very mature. In looking at other places, before Building Blocks and since our move, the immaturity of the staff has surprised me…asking to leave early, texting on their phones…and this I just saw on the 15 minute tour. I always felt that at Building Blocks the teachers were qualified and paying full attention to the kids and wanted to be there because they loved kids, not because it was just a job. I also loved that they used Spanish regularly throughout the day. They incorporated ASL and music into the day as well. Christine and Mabel and their staff at Building Blocks have a great school and I recommend it to any parent looking for a safe, fun, and loving place for their child to learn and grow.
Susan White - September 2010
Our son Aiden had been under Mabel Espinoza’s care since he was 3-months old and when she and Christine opened Building Blocks I could not imagine going anywhere else. Everyday when I drop him off I know that he will receive not only the best academic experience but he would be loved.
When Aiden started showing signs of speech and language delays Mabel and Christine talked to me about programs that would benefit Aiden and help him catch up to his peers. Because of their years of experience and loving nature I know that my son’s development is of primary concern to them. The teachers took special steps to give him specialized lessons, worked with his therapists on strategies, and kept us updated on his progress in the classroom.
Building Blocks has been a blessing to our family.
Carla Bass - January 2010
The first time we walked in the door at Building Blocks with our then 18-month-old son Lucas, my husband and I knew that it was the right place for him. We had just moved from outside of the United States to an entirely new city, and we were uncertain about many things – but not about this. The calm children, cheerful atmosphere and the evidently caring nature of the teachers were apparent as soon as we stepped inside. We, of course, went through the normal process of checking their state qualifications, references and considering other daycares, but our first impression had been right. Lucas adapted immediately to the organized but warm atmosphere.
The ways in which Christine, Mabel and the rest of the Building Blocks staff went above simply doing their jobs are too many to list. Once – as happens to many new Washington D.C.-area residents – our car was towed. I called Christine to tell her I might be a few minutes late while I went to get the car out of the tow yard, and she was only concerned for my safety. Although I did make it on time, I was glad to have that net of support. Building Blocks was not only good to the children – it was also good to the parents.
Lucas’ teachers never failed to notice his developmental milestones, give him personalized attention, offer advice when we asked about his behavior or make our son feel like he was a star. The well-developed curriculum kept Lucas always busy talking about his latest projects and adventures in class. It was never about just “keeping the kids busy.” The themes were carried out through field trips, special projects and programs and presentations at the school. But the teachers kept it fun and age appropriate – there was never any pressure to learn skills beyond their level. Building Blocks is also very efficient with their resources – they often use recycled materials for projects and buy high-quality, instead of trendy and expensive, equipment and learning materials.
Not only did Lucas learn about zoo animals, people around the world and the seasons, but Building Blocks also offers wonderful support to parents in character development. Children are expected to be polite and respectful – Lucas would sometimes remind us if we didn’t say our prayer at the dinner table “like we do at school.” We never felt like Building Blocks was just a babysitter for Lucas while we were at work. It was such a good environment for him that we tightened our belts a bit and continued to send him even when my husband was temporarily without work.
When we recently decided to move to another state soon after Lucas turned three, the hardest part about leaving was taking him out of his little school. Even now, weeks later, he will pick up his play telephone and call his last teacher there. “Ms. Helen, I’m in Houston! I won’t come back to school now, but I miss you. Bye-bye.” We miss you too, Building Blocks!