Our History

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Humble Beginnings

Now a fully-accredited, trusted name in early childhood development, Sparkles! began as a home-based, family business. Sonia Valdizan began the company in 1991 as a small, county-regulated business. Her dedication to the families she served quickly led to the operation growing into a state-regulated facility by 1994. With rapid growth came the search for a new location and the 1999 opening of the first center in Fairfax, Virginia.

Continued Growth

Sparkles! educators are selected for their experience and shared passion for providing quality child care. These values match Sonia’s vision of creating an unparalleled learning and growth environment in the childcare industry. This environment allows us to continue to, as she says, “grow and glow.”

We are committed to earning trust with the families that we serve, and to developing partnerships in the community. Our roots in home-based day care continue to be evident in the Sparkles! culture. The primary goal has always been one of support for the working parent. Our priority is to give parents the peace of mind that their child is in the best of hands while they are away. Additionally, we have integrated a number of resources and activities that help parents remain connected to their child throughout the day. These include secure video streaming and regular progress reports (learn more.)

In 2016, Sparkles! announced its “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders” initiative. This works in parallel with Creative Curriculum, a proven, research-based set of resources. The Creative Curriculum is designed to produce creative, confident thinkers that are prepared for school and life success. Our leadership initiative further encourages development in five key social skills that are necessary for children to excel today, tomorrow and for many years to come.

As Sparkles! looks to the future, we continue to explore innovative ideas to ever-improve as a support system for our families and our community. These efforts will help us to become an integral nurturing and educational part of your child’s life.


Our Philosophy

Our philosophy at Sparkles! is based on love and respect for the individual child and family.  We believe that children thrive in an environment where they can explore new opportunities, confidently experiment with ideas, and build on their skills. It is our responsibility to create an environment for children to learn through play and hands-on experiences. We are interracial, interfaith, and serve children from many ethnic backgrounds.  Although we have no religious affiliation, we encourage the awareness of the interconnection of all living things through reflective periods.

The following goals reflect our philosophy:

  • Nurture and protect children while separated from their parents
  • Provide a safe, loving and stimulating environment.
  • Help each family maintain their child’s good health and promote physical and emotional development.
  • Promote a child’s self-worth and self-esteem.
  • Foster social, emotional, and cognitive development.
  • Provide a support system for the families that we serve.
  • Teach values such as honesty, respect for all living things, forgiveness, and wisdom. These values will help the child learn to love themselves, each other, and the world around them. They also serve to develop the strength of character to make morally sound decisions.
  • Develop their “interpersonal communication” and leadership skills so that they may become tomorrow’s leaders in business, industry and the community.

We like to think of our center as a sanctuary – a safe place.  It is our belief that in a safe, healthy environment, children freely follow their natural instincts to learn and explore.

When children are away from their parents, we provide them with a safe and loving environment where they can feel secure. We feel that this environment is only achieved through strong partnerships with parents. Therefore, we encourage and maintain frequent communication. We also create committees to offer parents deeper involvement in their child’s care.

The Sparkles! Promise:

At Sparkles! we promise to:

  • Partner with you to best serve your child’s needs.
  • Provide a stimulating learning environment.
  • Help strengthen your family values.
  • Create a safe and loving environment for your child to thrive.
  • Give your child the same kind of care we want for our own children.
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