FAQ’s

Q: What about your backgrounds?

A: Ms. Maysa moved to Arizona from Canada at the start of 2005. After the birth of her first daughter, Nikki, Maysa had found it to be difficult to be away from her immediate family. Nikki’s relatively young grandparents wanted to be closer to her first grandchild, too.

Maysa initially received her postsecondary education in business management and sales. However, being a mother for the first time had been a life-changing experience and motivated her to learn more about the early childhood education. So, she decided to pursue her Master’s degree in education.

Maysa received her Master in elementary education with emphasis in curriculum and instruction from the University of Ottawa. After she obtained her State of Arizona K-8 teaching certification, she started to experience teaching in the District of Creighton, and being in the classroom with some of our underprivileged children in phoenix.

As the head of our school and its financial officer, Mr. Aram’s background is more in science and management. He’d spent in his management position for nine years in Ottawa, before he joined his family (Maysa & Nikki) here in phoenix.

When the idea of “let’s run our own preschool and childcare!” was cooking in Maysa’s and Aram’s  heads, the birth of their second child, Melissa, has just given them no better reason than just let’s do it: Like the shining light!

The premise for acquiring A Step Ahead in Ahwatukee was obvious from start. If a preschool or a childcare is a good fit for our own daughter, Melissa, it would also be an appropriate place to invest and grow into. Moreover, we were aware that Ahwatukee and ZIP area of (85048) turned out to be the second best place to live and work in the United States. The school’s location also happened to be close to our home. In addition, we believe that our center has got an excellent structure, including spacious rooms and big playground.

Q: What is A Step Ahead Preschool’s vision?

A: Our vision is to establish a childcare and preschool that will meet the needs of our local population, in particular the young and working parents. A place that could also be considered “a second home” for the most precious gifts of our parents’ lives.

A Step Ahead should not only be providing warmth and safety for our parents’ children, but also engage them in the creative and mind-stimulating activities. We wanted to build a progressive and academically challenging preschool. This demands a relevant curriculum and proactive programs to stimulate learning in our students. To achieve our higher standards for the early childhood education, having caring and informed teachers, who desire to make a difference in the lives of our children, we believe, is essential. At A Step Ahead preschool, our objective is to employ and attract the most qualified and experienced teachers and teacher aides. More importantly, it is our focus to build a type of team members, who admire active precipitation in our children’s learning and to basically enjoy their positions every single day.

Q: Are you going beyond a “corporate or brand-name preschool”?

A: Mrs. Maysa Fini is a very enthusiastic and dynamic teacher. Her academic training has focused on early childhood curriculum development. All that, has helped her become a successful and intelligent childcare and preschool operator.

Mr. Aram’s role is to ensure a strong and efficient administration. As he explains it: I consider myself an involved father, who cares dearly about the safety, health, and education of my children, and I feel the same for all students at A Step Ahead childcare and preschool. What he brings to the center is his almost 10 years of experience in customer care and staff training and mastery in communication. Aram’s favorite statement is: “I am a strong believer in community service and direct communication with our parents. I enjoy listening to their feedback.”

An additional word from Maysa & Aram:

We like to explain this as simple as we can, since we would like “A Step Ahead” not to be evaluated by the glossy corporate flyers, but by our deeds. We are responsible for the health, safety, education, and, of course, fun of our students. We love to hear from parents; their views determine our success as a childcare provider, as well as meeting our academic objectives. We are not for profit school or to raise our tuition expense irresponsibly. We intend and enjoy to be proactive and involved in our day-to-day operation.

Q: Where are you from and what did you do before starting the ownership of A Step Ahead Preschool and Montessori?

A: Both of us moved here (Chandler, Arizona) from Canada right about the start of 2005. After the birth of our daughter, Nikki, Maysa found it to be very difficult to be away from her family. Nikki’s relatively young grandparents also desired to be closer to her grandchild.

Maysa’s primary background was in business management and sales, but being a mother for the first time persuaded her to learn more about the early childhood education. So, she decided to do her Master’s in elementary education with emphasis in curriculum and instruction. Maysa graduated from University of Ottawa in Tempe in 2007, and has since become a state of Arizona certified K-8 teacher. She’d experienced teaching underprivileged students in the Creighton School District for about two years.

Aram’s background, however, is in nutritional science and management. He’d left his corporate profession in Ottawa, Canada, after nine years to be the part of the move to Arizona as well.

When the idea of “let’s run our own preschool and childcare!” was envisaged in their heads, the birth of their second child, Melissa, has just given it no better reason to do it: like a shining light!

Q: Why did you open your business in Ahwatukee?

A: The premise for our selection was clear from the start: if the preschool or childcare is an ideal fit for our own daughter, it would also be an appropriate place to invest and develop. We are also informed that Ahwatukee ZIP code 85048 turned out to be the second best place to live and work in United States (reported by NPR). Our chosen location also happened to be very close to our home. In addition, we believe that our center has got an excellent structure, including spacious rooms and big playground.

Q: How did you get the idea to open your business?

A: Our vision is to establish a childcare provider that will meet the needs of our local population, in particular the young and working parents; a place that can also be considered a second home. This childcare should not only be able to provide the warmth and safety of a child’s home to our children, but also engage them with creative and mind-stimulating activities. We wanted to build a progressive and academically challenged preschool. This requires having up-to-date curricula and involved and caring teachers. At “A Step Ahead”, our objective is to employ the experienced teachers and aides; but, more importantly, is to focus on building a type of personnel that admires active precipitation in children’s learning and basically, to enjoy their position every single day.

Q: What types of services do you provide?

A: The infants’ room is equipped to care for infants from six weeks to about 1 year old. We have two large rooms to accommodate our one- and two-year- olds. There is a large center in the middle of the facility for our 3- and 4-year-olds. We also have a large Montessori classroom, which provides an open learning environment for up to 15 students. Overall, our childcare and preschool is licensed for 106 students, and we have 4800 sq. feet of indoor space to utilize. Our hot lunch program is prepared daily in our licensed kitchen, and we provide snacks several times during the day. It is our passion to select healthy choices for our children, like juice (not from concentrate) or multigrain crackers or bars, along with multiple servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every week.

Q: What does your business offer that no one else does?

A: Mrs. Fini is a young, enthusiastic, and dynamic teacher, whose advanced academic training, focused on early childhood curriculum development, will help her become a successful and sharp childcare and preschool operator.

My role, as her partner, will ensure a strong and streamlined administration. I consider myself an involved father, who cares dearly about the safety, health, and education of my children as well as the ones we care for in our childcare and preschool. What I bring to our center is my almost 10 years of experience in customer care and staff training in corporate retail. I am a strong believer in community service and direct communication with our parents. I enjoy listening to their feedback.

Q: What does your business have in store for the future?

A: At this time, we are working on security features of our center as well as building a cooler and summer-friendly playground by adding a misting system to encourage outside activities. On an academic front, we intend to introduce a comprehensive curriculum for every age group in our center.

In the afternoon, after nap time, we are going to have indoor fitness activities, like samba, yoga, music & movement and gymnastics.

Q: Anything else you want the community to know about you or your business?

A: We like to explain this as simple as we can, since we are not to be judged by our words, but by our deeds. We are responsible for the health, safety, education, and, of course, fun of our students. We love to hear from parents; their views determine our success as a childcare provider, as well as meeting our academic objectives. We are not about making quick profit or raising our tuition fees irresponsibly. We intend to be proactive and involved in our day-to-day operations.

Hours of Operation

6:30am to 6:00pm
Monday through Friday