Julie Lowen is a game changer, a visionary who implemented a new approach to early education. The Founder of Children’s Paradise, Lowen’s innovative Learning Centers stand apart from any other. Her facilities are welcoming, spacious and state-of-the-art, which sets the stage for exceptional learning. Children’s Paradise is a Tier 5 on the QCC (Quality Counts California Quality Rating and Improvement System) for quality early care and education in California.
While her method to childcare and early learning is inspirational, Lowen said she herself is inspired by the children she sees, who along with their families have overcome a variety of obstacles. “I am inspired by families who sacrifice to adopt children, offer their own homes to the homeless and take on the role of the giver and helpers within our world without expecting praise, recognition, an award nor some type of a benevolent government to shoulder the responsibility. I am inspired by women who give their children life despite unbelievable odds stacked against them. I am inspired by fathers who show up and make their children know how much they are loved. Everything good, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good-report inspires me.”
The Children’s Paradise Inc. model does not segregate children or families based upon their income, rather they accept funding from more than 15 different funding sources. This method of funding for early care and education allows all children to attend their programs. They also provide “Smarty Patch Scholarships” which allow children without access to any funding to also attend their programs equally with their peers. Last year alone Children’s Paradise offered more than $600,000 in Smarty Patch Scholarships to meet the needs of children in North San Diego County.
Lowen’s long range vision for childcare is that Early Care and Education Centers would become “the hubs within the community where families find all of the supports they need to raise strong and resilient children. These centers should be places where stay-at-home parents connect to play and find resources. These hubs should be the places working families rely upon as they seek exceptional care and education for their children and a place where routine medical care and advice can be easily accessed on the way to or from work.”
She also envisions Learning Centers that would house WIC, developmental assessments, food-bank supports, Cal-Fresh, medical-insurance access along with other supports so that families can access them more efficiently and conveniently. Lowen stated: “The Early Care and Education Center must be the place which connects the community to the seamless supports each family may need but are unable to access because of time, income or mobility limitations.”
When asked how she defines success, Lowen replied: “A success is simply a failure who refuses to quit! I am not sure where I first heard this but I can tell you that in my life this is certainly true. Every human being has the capacity for success and the capacity for failure. In fact we all succeed and fail daily. Being willing to get up, fight back, ask questions, learn, grow and do it over-and-over again is the key to lifelong success. At Children’s Paradise we define success as the thousands of smiles we create and sustain every day.”
Rhonda J Oliver
2/21/2020 06:36:06 am
Julie Lowen is definitely a “Game Changer.” My family has been involved with Children’s Paradise for over 15 years. As foster and adoptive parents, Julie and her staff have supported us and Children’s Paradise has been a mainstay in our lives. Thank you for recognizing Julie Lowen!!
2/22/2020 11:37:34 am
Rhonda, you are definitely one of my favorite heroes. As I watch the loving tender care you give to children living with abuse and neglect I am inspired by the stories of success as I watch these precious babies grow into happy and well adjusted children. Being here for you and your family is an honor. We can't wait to see how all of these precious children will change our world because of the compassion and love you give every day. To say I love you would be an understatement.
4/13/2020 02:49:40 pm
2/21/2020 06:45:12 am
I can speak first hand how Children's Paradise has gone out of their way for my family and I. Not only did they find programs to provide a safe place for my children to be while I sought employment, but they offer me a position here at Children's Paradise. They continue to push me to better myself and support me on my journey as a single mother to further my education. So why stop there. I am a mother of an autistic child that has been kicked out of many program for reason he cant control. Not at Children's Paradise. My son finally found a second home where they have a team dedicated to meet the individual needs of the children and children have a place where they don't have to fit into a mold. I back this program 100% and cant wait to see what the future holds for Children's Paradise.
2/22/2020 11:40:53 am
Your tenacity as a Mother just always keeps me in awe. To watch you advocate for your children and work to connect them to the very best education possible sends chills everywhere. Every child works with differing abilities. When we give spaces for children to thrive and when the adults in their lives modify ourselves to meet their needs... we truly change the world for the better. Caring for you and your babies is a gift. You are family and our loyalty and respect is set in stone. Mother of the Year is not enough to recognize your amazing love.
2/21/2020 10:24:32 am
Wish she treated her staff that way. Hopefully with all the money she receives she can give the centers money to provide QUALITY. It looks pretty on the outside but once you’re in you see how poorly it’s ran. Constant low staff . Why? Bc they don’t take care of their employees. The ones that stay are the ones they feel they have no choice.
2/22/2020 11:49:42 am
The facilities both inside and outside receive an incredible amount of love and attention because these are the places children play and teachers engage children in the art of learning. Facilities must be worthy of children and the team loving them. Without the center team it would be impossible to deliver the quality our ratings indicate but pretending I can do this on my own is a myth. I am one person who is passionate about providing the best and who dedicates 60 to 80 hours per week to the cause. It also takes a team of positive, loving, respectful and educated teachers to deliver high quality. CPI can provide tuition assistance, amazing staff gifts, recognition, ample materials, health benefits, a 401K, liberal leave policies, a full-time staff trainer, fun staff parties, daily coffee and snacks, t-shirts, a full team of subs and more... but... If 10% of the staff have poor attitudes, call in often, fail to engage educational opportunities and openly disrespect other people this behavior brings down the whole team. I challenge you to engage education, choose joy, be dependable and support your team. CPI team members who do this have a very bright future and make far more money than those who don't. I challenge you to become a Game-Changer too!
2/21/2020 01:54:56 pm
Although it seems Julie has a great vision for her centers, it doesn't seem to be implemented, she might want to inspect what she expects. The previous comment on low staff and poor quality is spot on. As a parent it is obvious they are low staffed and quality of care continues to diminish. Julie might want to dig into the quality of her centers and not assume and follow through with her vision.
2/22/2020 11:58:41 am
Working with more than 200 dedicated team members is an honor. Everyday each member of our staff works tirelessly to insure the resources we have reach into the classroom to benefit your child. Our job is to create a partnership with parents so that we can consistently hear about concerns and follow up to implement respectful changes which will impact the children in our centers with high quality. I am in the centers weekly as is our maintenance team, transportation team, education team and training team. While we are not always perfect we are exceptional at listening and using new information to inform our practices. I challenge you to share your concerns with your center Director. She has a Master's Degree and has dedicated her life to educating young children. Your Director also has a huge team she can engage to address any concerns with professionalism and respect for your role as your child's most important teacher. With your help we promise we will learn and grow so that you know your child is receiving the best early care and education possible. You have my word.
2/21/2020 09:56:57 pm
We love you Julie! As being a child who was raised through the houses of Children’s Paradise, I will always appreciate you and your legacy! You rock girlfriend.
2/22/2020 12:02:05 pm
I cannot believe you are so grown and beautiful Sarah. Caring for you and actually having you in a classroom I taught was such a joy! I will never forget you and Rhianna conspiring against me to get that extra minute of play or watching you as you giggled on your mats instead of sleeping! Lol! Your family is in my heart forever and I love to watch your posts on FaceBook as this gives me a peek at the amazing people you still are. Such an honor to know you are still one of my babies...
3/10/2020 06:07:35 am
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4/9/2020 03:04:01 am
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4/13/2020 02:48:53 pm
7/16/2020 11:10:14 pm
This would all be so nice if it were true. Her staff don’t match her vision and by not holding them accountable for their actions she may as well be doing the entire opposite of her dream here. You can’t this wonderful , helpful vision but employ people who are flat out disrespectful, lazy, and uncooperative with parents and children. I had high hopes but was let down .
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