Kidville, a new activities center for children ranging from newborns to age six, has planned a grand-opening Sunday on Post Road East and is scheduled to begin programs the next day.

The nearly 5,000-square-foot center is at 1572 Post Road East, the former Goodwill outlet, just east of the Maple Avenue intersection. A franchise of New York City-based Kidville, the center offers developmental classes in music, movement, painting and dance, plus a pre-school alternative program, the center said in a news release.

Sunday's open house is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature activities, refreshments, concerts by Kidville's "Rockin' Railroad" music program and raffles for free classes, according to the release.

Kidville also features an indoor play space and hosts themed birthday parties for children up to age nine.

The Westport center is the chain's 16th in the Tri-State area, according to the news release. Among other locations are Los Angeles, Dallas, Mumbai, Hong Kong, and Dubai.

Franchise owner Valerie Gutman, a Westport mother of two young children, said Kidville would fill a void in the town.

"I was missing a great place to take my own kids for classes that engage, entertain and foster social skills, she said in the news release. As a former Kidville member myself in New York City, Westport seemed like an ideal place to bring this concept."

The center's initial staff will include three full-time and 11 part-time employees, Kidville said.

Its early childhood director, Maria Rosa-Rockoff, has a degree in early-childhood education and 18 years experience as a lead nursery school teacher, according to the release, including 11 at the Learning Community Day School in Westport. Head teacher Sean Anderson has a master's degree in elementary education and is licensed to teach physical education in Connecticut, the center said.

Teaching assistants all are pursuing degrees at Fairfield or Sacred Heart universities in Fairfield and have undergone six days of Kidville training, the center said. All are certified in first aid and CPR, Kidville said.

In its "Best of" edition, New York Magazine in 2007 named Kidville "Best Tot Hot Spot."

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