Meet our Family
Every staff member at Open Space strives to develop a positive and meaningful relationship with the families. Our staff always makes the extra effort to ensure that each family member feels respected and valued at Open Space. By selecting us as your primary childcare provider, we are your extended Family!
Ms. Kanwal has been working in the education field for over 10 years and has worked with children ranging from infants up to school-aged, but has found her passion to be in Early Childhood. During her time in the early childhood field, Ms. Kanwal has worked as a classroom teacher for various age groups as well as on the Leadership team as an Assistant Director managing not only day to day operations but also focusing on overall center programming and teacher development. Ms. Kanwal has a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing in Early Childhood Education from Stephen F Austin State University and has recently obtained her Master’s Degree from Erikson Institute in Child Development specializing in Administration. In her free time, Ms. Kanwal enjoys volunteering for youth programs, reading, yoga and Zumba!
Hi! I am Ms. Sweta, alternatively known as Ethan’s mom! I am so very excited to be part of the Open Space family as a teacher and assistant director. I’ve been in early childhood education for almost 8 years and it is absolutely my life’s passion. I’ve had many roles in education–volunteer, floater, assistant, teacher, program manager, developmental therapist. I’ve loved them all and have learned so much along the way. In 2017, I completed my Master’s degree in early childhood education with the unyielding knowledge that this is the work I was meant to do. I love learning alongside my kiddos and helping to untangle questions about the world and all the amazing things in it. I look forward to being your partner in the care and education of your little ones and I thank you for trusting me and this school I believe so much in.
Hello, my name is Patricia Mosby. I have been working with children for over 17 years. The children who I have worked with range in age from 6 weeks to 12 years of age. After working with various ages groups, I found my passion to be working with infants. I am excited to continue my journey at Open Space Early Learning Center as a teacher in the infant program. I am originally from Greenville, Mississippi, where I was born but I moved to Chicago in 1989. I am a very reliable, responsible person and have great patience with children. I cannot wait to meet each of you and your children. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Hello, my name is Ms. Kristyna. I am originally from Czech Republic and recently moved to the Chicago area and am very excited to be here. I have been working with children for the last two years and have had experience with children in various age groups, nationalities and cultures. I graduated from the college of Social and Pre-school Pedagogy and love being able to work with young children. They always give off so much positive energy to everyone around them. In my free time, I love cooking, traveling and riding bicycles. I am very excited to join the Open Space family and to get to know all of the children here.
Hi my name is Ms Mia. I have been working in early childhood centers for 6 years, however, I started working with children when I was 15 years old. I have an Associates in Early Childhood along with my CDA Credential and strive to be a life-long learner. I believe that children are our future and they need a positive and loving place and caregivers to help them grow and learn. It is such a rewarding experience watching a child learn how to talk, walk, run, express themselves using words and emotions, and play independently and with their peers. My favorite things to do in my free time are watching movies and spending time with my family and friends.
Hi, my name is Crystal Benavidez. I have been working with children for about 5 years now and have grown both personally and professionally throughout my time around the young ones. I recently obtained my Associates in Applied Science within the Child Development field, focusing on birth through preschool. I believe children need a hands on experience which can help foster and help them develop their discovery skills as well as their cognitive and emotional abilities. I enjoy creating new and fun activities for children to help them continue to discover the world around them. In my free time, I like to paint, go to the movies and spend time with my daughters. I am looking forward to my new journey with Open Space and meeting all of the children and families!
Hi, I’m Gillian and I am so excited to be at Open Space and join the team. I have 5 years of experience of working with children while I was nannying. I have also worked in the food service and hospitality industry for 6 years. I recently moved to the Chicago area from Iowa and I am excited to explore a new city. I also love to read and cook in my free time. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone at Open Space and meeting all of the children and families. If there is anything that I can do to help support you and your family, please let me know!
Greetings! I am Elizabeth but many of my family and friends call me Eli. First of all, I want to say that I am so excited and grateful to be part of the Open Space family! I am new working with kids; I have been working with kids for a little over a year now. I started working with kids at first to help out a good friend of mine with her art studio. Being exposed to such a fun, creative environment has inspired me to pursue a career in childcare or perhaps even child welfare. I truly feel kids learn best in a nurturing environment where they can explore what it is being a kid. I enjoy biking, swimming, and absolutely love cats! Please don’t hesitate to say hi if you see me around!
My name is Mandy. I have taken care of babies and toddlers since I was a kid myself, helping babysit until I was old enough to babysit on my own. My experience in childcare centers is around ten years in three states, all very different. I have mostly worked in infant and young toddler rooms and have been a float between these rooms as well as a lead teacher for the last four years in a young toddler room in Washington state. I went to college for four years for social work and have taken various courses in early childhood education from the basics to some of the different ways children learn through play. My teaching philosophy would be that children learn through play and exploration and lots of talking and open-ended questions. babies and toddlers learn through using their senses and should have plenty of sensory activities in both fine motor and gross motor play. Things I do in my free time for fun would include time outdoors and crafting activities such as scrapbooking and pretty planning. Some of my favorite things are adventures/maps/galaxy themes and I love Disney, Marvel, and archaeology.
Hi there! My name is Ms. Olivia! I have been working in childcare for two years and I have loved every minute! Every child I have taught and each preschool I have worked at has taught me more about children and my passion for childcare. While I mainly have an educational background in theater and acting, I am looking forward to continuing my career in teaching. I hope to soon return to school for a degree in early childhood education and eventually work toward becoming a child psychologist. I believe with all my heart that all children are deserving of love, attention and respect. I agree that there are “no bad kids” in this world and that empathy is crucial to creating a supportive and compassionate environment for every student. I bring a lot of empathy to my work with the kiddos which I learned from growing up in a community theater. A fun fact about me- I was in 27 productions as a kid and I bring the creativity I learned from them into everything I do. Thanks and I hope to see you soon at Open Space Early Learning Center!
Hi I’m Miss Hannah! I’m so excited to be starting here at Open Space. Over the years I have worked in childcare programming with ages 6mo. -18 years old. For the past two years, I have been the lead teacher of a 2 year old classroom in Lincoln Park. I have taught both here and overseas in Africa. I attended Trinity international University for college and obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a sociology minor. I’m currently taking more ECE classes.I love watching kids grow and develop. It’s so rewarding to help foster that growth. I believe learning and growth happens best with strong relationships. It’s important to me to get to know each child and family individually to help each child grow to their greatest potential. When teaching I try to make the theme as tangible as possible through play and immersion. I focus on social emotional skills and fostering independence and peer relationships.When I’m not teaching I love to explore, craft, and eat. I’m always looking for new things to see and new foods to try. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of partnering with you in your child’s learning journey!
Hello! My name is Marilyn. I have always enjoyed working with kids and I helped care for many since I was a young girl. I have previously worked as a CNA and I also currently tutor various kids. I really love working with kids in all age groups. I have decided to seek a role as a teacher and pursue a career in childhood education. Kids are so fun and we can all learn so much from each other. Some things I really enjoy are jigsaw puzzles, reading, dancing, and solving math problems.
Hello, I am Jesica. I love kids and have worked around them for a good portion of my life. I studied high school at Whitmer High and studied creative writing at the University of Toledo. I believe school should be a safe place where kids feel comfortable to grow and learn. A teacher should not just be an educator, but a confidant–someone who your kids feel comfortable coming to. I love to read and write, and I’m trying to get back into exercise.