Arbor Circle’s KEEP Making a Difference

Simon*, a four-year-old, has seen things we hope children never have to. He has a history of trauma due to witnessing domestic violence by his father against his mother, Angelina. Because of his experiences, Simon struggled to contain his aggression while attending daycare.

Arbor Circle’s Keep Early Education Positive (KEEP) program offers comprehensive support and consultation to childcare providers, teachers, and parents when a child ages 0-5 is facing any kind of difficulty in childcare or preschool. KEEP provides intervention and support so that children have a more successful experience in their early education.

Prior to KEEP services, Angelina reported Simon’s daycare was not equipped to handle his aggression. She stated that he would “throw frequent daily tantrums where he was throwing tables and chairs, screaming, and could not be calmed down for about an hour or more.”

With the help of a KEEP mental health consultant, Angelina says that recently, “he got angry, but didn't throw anything. He told his teacher he was mad and she asked him to sit in the calm down chair, and he went and calmed himself down.”

Angelina is very happy with the team at KEEP and proud of the progress that Simon has made.

During COVID-19, KEEP staff have been able to provide educational and developmental activities that would have normally been completed in the classroom to the parent and child in their homes. KEEP was also able to partner with Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative to provide 200 calm down jars (sensory bottles) for children in the community.

Arbor Circle’s KEEP program was made possible because of the generosity of Kent County taxpayers and the voter-approved Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage. If you’d like to learn more about KEEP, visit or reach out to Shelby Herpst at or 616.456.6571.

* Names have been changed for privacy

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