Little Knights Expand to New Classroom


Annie Libbey

The Little Knights’ new room opens up new spots for teachers with young children.

The Little Knights program is a helpful tool for the Benilde-St. Margaret’s teachers who have preschool aged children, providing daycare for kids who are at least a year old. Due to the long waiting list and Minnesota’s new childcare regulations, the program is introducing a new teacher and classroom to expand the Little Knights community.

The existing classroom for the Little Knights room has been at full capacity for a while. Teachers have been wanting for the school to add another classroom so that more children can be in their childcare. The convenience of the program makes it very appealing to BSM teachers with young children. Parents can take their children with them to work and have peace of mind, knowing their kids are in the same building as them. “There are a lot of teachers and staff that have children that want to come here, and they’ve [been on the]… waiting list for a while,” Little Knights teacher Gretchen Sandberg said.

This summer, Minnesota changed their regulations regarding child care for programs within a larger system. Prior to this year, BSM was only allowed to have one classroom, which limited the amount of children that could be admitted as Little Knights. “Minnesota just changed the ruling, so this summer you can have two rooms with two separate licenses. So when that was available, then Heidi Wolf [the head of Little Knights] thought it would be a good idea to open another room,” Sandberg said.

I’m re-inspired by setting up the classroom and meeting the children, as well as working with different age groups

— Gretchen Sandberg

Because of the addition of a new classroom with its own separate licensure, the program needed a new teacher. Heidi Wolf, the lead teacher of the Little Knights, already knew Sandberg and thought that this would be the perfect position for her. She is new to the BSM community, but has worked in childcare for almost 20 years and is hopeful for what is to come. “[I’m excited for] being in a new environment and working with new people. I’m re-inspired by setting up the classroom and meeting the children, as well as working with different age groups,” Sandberg said.

Along with Sandberg’s new position comes the opportunity to design a new classroom for the Little Knights. The current children have been a part of the brainstorming process for what they would like to have in the second room. “There are certain areas that I feel are important, such as a building area, art area, a quiet corner for reading, a house area, and then a lot of space for them to move around. And I wanted to have it be a safe space that kind of feels like home,” Sandberg said.

Another aspect that needed to get worked out was how the new room would be incorporated into the existing Little Knights’ schedule. The plan is that the new room will be on the same agenda that the other room is, but they will mostly be kept separate. The times that they will be combined is when the Little Knights have outdoor playtime. The kids will be distributed between the two rooms, but the original placement will not be set in stone. “If it will be better for a couple of the kids to be in here, they can switch around…it’s what works best for the children, we’ll make it work,” Sandberg said.