Who We Are & Why We Care.

OUR COMPANY HISTORY

Rock and Roll Daycare provides families with a premium, comprehensive, full-day, year-round childcare service. Our “boutique” storefront model of early childhood education provides care to children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. The proprietary Rock and Roll Education Method is based on the concept of “music everyday”. This unique educational model is based upon the teachings of Maria Montessori, Carl Orff, Schinichi Suzuki, and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze.

Rock and Roll Daycare believes that children learn best in a prepared environment designed for freedom of movement and exploration. Adults in the classroom act as guides to the children, focused on observing the children and providing assistance and lessons to them based upon the natural inclinations and interests of the child.

The inclusion of music into our educational model speaks to the spirituality of the child. Rock and Roll Daycare believes that to partake in music and art speaks to what it means to be human. Some of our deepest and most powerful experiences as a species come about through the expression of music. While countless studies posit that music is the basis for advanced speech, mathematics, reasoning, and memorization skills, Rock and Roll Daycare is of the opinion that music makes better people, and is a boon to mankind.

Company History

It’s best thought of as a love story. Boy meets girl, falls head over heels, marries the girl, and then a new cycle begins. Boy becomes a daddy, and now a new story begins...

It was mid-April when we knew, and it didn’t quite feel like the right timing. We were barely surviving on a touring musician’s salary, and were gearing up for another set of gigs across the country. We didn’t have health insurance, so the only hospital that would take us was 40 miles away. When considering the cost of what was ahead, we knew we didn’t have it. So, it must have been an angel that sent us to the door of a retired childcare CEO weeks later.

It’s best thought of as a love story. Boy meets girl, falls head over heels, marries the girl, and then a new cycle begins. Boy becomes a daddy, and now a new story begins...

It was mid-April when we knew, and it didn’t quite feel like the right timing. We were barely surviving on a touring musician’s salary, and were gearing up for another set of gigs across the country. We didn’t have health insurance, so the only hospital that would take us was 40 miles away. When considering the cost of what was ahead, we knew we didn’t have it. So, it must have been an angel that sent us to the door of a retired childcare CEO weeks later.

When my daughter was born, I felt a nervous excitement, the kind of shaky, uncertain thrill that comes at you when you step onto the stage. You know what you need to do, but you really don’t have any idea of how people are going to take it, or if they’re just going to stand up and walk out on you. Once you play that first note however, and you let your eyes wander out beyond the front row, you know that it’s time, and everything is suddenly different.

As I saw my daughter for the first time, I played that first note, and the world changed. I had received a gift, and it was now my responsibility to take care of what I’d been given.

Rock and Roll Daycare began as a gift to my daughter, and now my sons, and future children. I can’t help but wake up each day knowing that today is a new opportunity to nurture that gift.

People often ask what Rock and Roll Daycare is, and while we are a music based Montessori school for infants, toddlers, and preschool, my favorite answer is, Rock and Roll Daycare is a love story to my children.

This next section is part personal history and part company history. I’ve read enough founder’s stories to know that there is always a bit of curiosity about the strange lives of entrepreneurs, and with that, here’s a look into my own.

It was mid-April when we knew, and it didn’t quite feel like the right timing. We were barely surviving on a touring musician’s salary, and were gearing up for another set of gigs across the country. We didn’t have health insurance, so the only hospital that would take us was 40 miles away. When considering the cost of what was ahead, we knew we didn’t have it. So, it must have been an angel that sent us to the door of a retired childcare CEO weeks later.

When my daughter was born, I felt a nervous excitement, the kind of shaky, uncertain thrill that comes at you when you step onto the stage. You know what you need to do, but you really don’t have any idea of how people are going to take it, or if they’re just going to stand up and walk out on you. Once you play that first note however, and you let your eyes wander out beyond the front row, you know that it’s time, and everything is suddenly different.

As I saw my daughter for the first time, I played that first note, and the world changed. I had received a gift, and it was now my responsibility to take care of what I’d been given.

Rock and Roll Daycare began as a gift to my daughter, and now my sons, and future children. I can’t help but wake up each day knowing that today is a new opportunity to nurture that gift.

People often ask what Rock and Roll Daycare is, and while we are a music based Montessori school for infants, toddlers, and preschool, my favorite answer is, Rock and Roll Daycare is a love story to my children.

This next section is part personal history and part company history. I’ve read enough founder’s stories to know that there is always a bit of curiosity about the strange lives of entrepreneurs, and with that, here’s a look into my own.

My name is Christopher Thomas Vuk, and I grew up in Northeastern Iowa, about 10 miles outside of the small town of Shell Rock with a population of under 1300.

I grew up playing the violin, starting at age 6, and soon after the French Horn, piano, and trumpet. I participated in dozens of music festivals throughout the Midwest, performing in orchestra, concert band, marching band, jazz band, an unfortunate year in the Junior High chorus, and a short lived stint as a wedding musician in my own Maestro String Quartet. During high school, I spent four summers between upper state New York and San Diego, California, practicing the violin way too much, and eventually leading me towards the decision to become a professional concert violinist.

As a 16-year old college freshman, my family convinced me to enroll at the University of Northern Iowa (close to home) for a year before taking music conservatory auditions. And I did so, watching the events of September 11th, 2001 transpire from a Blimpies Subs at the college union. In the spring, I took my auditions, and landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Longy School of Music.

I spent two rich years at Longy, including several ill-advised activities such as biking in the snow, mountain climbing in the dark, and pie eating contests, before transferring to Berklee College of Music in Boston where I graduated in 2006 at the age of 21. Immediately after graduating (literally, hours later), I was on a delayed flight to Washington DC to perform alongside Sesame Street for the first performance of nearly five months of back-to-back national tours. During the long bus rides and mind numbing video game binges, I decided to begin a music school (go figure!). Having submitted the business plan as my final college project at Berklee, I decided to give it ago. And so, 10 months after graduation, I opened my first company, the School of Groove at 883 Cambridge St. in Cambridge.

With no money, outside of the gift of a miraculous loan from a local Iowa bank (local kid makes good, perhaps?), the contemporary music school, School of Groove was built with the wonderful help of my mom and dad who have had a part to play in the construction of every building that my companies have ever operated (still true today!). We opened in March of 2007, and created a new outlet for contemporary music lessons in East Cambridge.

During this same time I was actively pursuing a performance career as a violinist in the Boston String Quartet. With performances in Carnegie Hall, for US presidents, recording with multiple Grammy winning artists and TV personalities, and working with over 15,000 high school students, I found myself performing over 100 times per year.

However, as stories, go, this one too has a predictable wrinkle that brought about an unusual result. I met the woman who would become my beautiful wife on January 15th of 2008. She took an internship with the School of Groove which I was operating, and after a year and a week of spontaneous adventure, we became engaged, and were married on August 22, 2009. She joined me on my national tours, and it was during one of these that the wrinkle occurred.

We discovered our pregnancy in early April 2011, and were soon after on the road again. As part of a peculiar set of circumstances, we happened to spend several days at the home of a woman who had previously operated several childcare facilities outside of Indianapolis in Zionsville, Indiana. Through the suggestions of my wife, and the looming costs of childcare in Boston for our forthcoming baby girl, we decided to leap into a new life adventure together.

Rock and Roll Daycare was birthed in June 2012, seven short months after the birth of our first child, Arella. For two years prior, we had been providing group music classes at several childcare centers throughout Boston. While we were excited to provide classes at centers throughout the city, it was somewhat frustrating to see the irregularity that centers were able to provide music classes to their children. Or that it had to be an “opt-in” or “extra” service that was charged to parents. When Zaure and I first found out about our pregnancy we briefly tossed around the idea of creating a childcare center for our daughter to attend. This was shortly followed by that peculiar meeting of a former childcare owner and director I described earlier who gave us many insights into the industry. Shortly afterwards, we came up with the idea to create a music based childcare center, and boldly name it, “Rock and Roll Daycare”. Our idea was to provide daily music classes to children in every classroom.

In November of 2011, we began to work with landlords to secure a space, and leased our first building at 535 Cambridge St., Cambridge. We went through mountains of paperwork to secure our city and state licenses, and we excitedly opened the next summer.

After our first year, we expanded to a second facility on Prospect St., which would triple our capacity. During this time we were able to move towards a Montessori curriculum, hiring Montessori certified trainers and teachers to help us realize this goal. We also hired our first music coordinator who began to oversee our entire music program.

In May 2014, we opened our third site at 527 Cambridge St. We were able to launch a new program, “Explorations” which would allow preschool and toddlers to explore, music, art, movement, drama, and engineering in a prepared Montessori environment.

2015 was the year of remodeling. In some ways it was a bittersweet end, but we saw through the end of the School of Groove as I sold the business to my drum teacher and assisted in moving the company down the street. All of sudden, former music studios were now full of infants!

In the tumultuous year of 2016, building on the success of the “Explorations” program, we developed our own proprietary music and culture curriculum, entitled Fiddlefox. Through this program (now consisting of 34 original books!), children at Rock and Roll Daycare have learned and performed 68 cultural folk songs in over 20 languages.

2017 saw the opening of a fourth location at 366 Broadway, Cambridge. This new program allowed us to increase our blueprint in the Central Square community of Cambridge, and provide additional placements for toddler and preschool children.

In 2018, we launched an academic curriculum program, entitled “Open Door Montessori”. By means of this program, all teachers at Rock and Roll Daycare are provided with monthly trainings, weekly coaching, and continuous development process. We were also voted “Best of Boston” by multiple publications including Boston Magazine.

Most recently, in 2019, we opened a fifth location at 215 Prospect St. in Cambridge, building upon the high level of interest in the Central Square area. Furthermore, we have started a City Transformation effort, “Joy Corp”, through which we at Rock and Roll Daycare actively seek to transform our city, by first transforming the lives of our neighborhoods by having a visible positive impact on the lives of our families, children, and neighborhood businesses.

Rock and Roll Daycare will be opening two additional units at 580 Cambridge St and 190 Concord Ave in Fall 2019, and new units at 20 Child St and 370 Broadway during 2020

TBD. Rock and Roll Franchising Company is expected to launch Fall 2019 and open the door towards national expansion efforts for the organization.

While the progenitor of the program, Arella Vuk, has now moved on to the world of Elementary School, the vision of Rock and Roll Daycare is well and now carries on in the lives of hundreds of children. Welcome to the world of Rock and Roll Daycare!

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