Super Schools

The future of early childhood education is no longer the simple learning daycare center, but comprehensive environments where each child’s abilities, natural competencies and aptitudes are nurtured to develop new and inherent talents.
Text by Sandy Lindsey Photos by Antonio Eli | June 14, 2018 | Lifestyle

When it comes to education, KLA Schools is a innovative concept in early childhood development, an upscale childcare and preschool institution, serving children from 3 months through age 6. “The KLA Schools concept is inspired by a cutting-edge educational philosophy which is the Reggio Emilia Approach hailed by Newsweek as the best in the world,” says Roberto X. Ortega, President & CEO. “KLA is building a world-class community of schools that sets new standards for excellence within the children’s educational services industry.”
Reliance upon the Reggio Emilia Approach — an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education based on respect, responsibility and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum — provides KLA with a different approach than what has become the standard in American daycare and preschool facilities. “Many parents who are seeking the best for their children are drawn to KLA’s educational program, and the inspirational design of the schools,” adds Ortega. “While childcare and preschool centers often lay claim to having a superior education program or curriculum, few back up this claim with a concrete, verifiable explanation. We believe that children have a right to a high-quality education.”
Moreover, at the core of the concept is the child’s natural curiosity of their world coupled with a respect for the countless qualities and values that we believe each child is born with. Along with the support of parents, teachers and the community, children at KLA Schools are prepped to excel in their lives as well as in future educational settings. In addition to the innovative educational approach to early childhood education, what further sets KLA apart is the very low teacher-to-student ratio, but most importantly the experience of the brand and the quality of the staff.
In fact, Ortega inherited his passion for education from his grandfather who founded schools in South America. His wife, Candy, now the Educational Director of KLA Schools, grew up in Argentina and Brazil. After coming to the U.S. in 1994, she earned an Associates Degree in Child Development & a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. She then became a preschool teacher at a Reggio Emilia-inspired school.
The Ortegas, along with the support of their family, together with a great group of investors led by Luis Isaias from EC Educational Funding, LLC, and a team of educators, opened the first KLA School in Miami in 2008 in the heart of Brickell’s financial district. After that successful opening, they launched schools in Coral Gables, Aventura, Doral, Pembroke Pines, Miami Beach, Coconut Creek and Palmetto Bay. KLA Schools are also growing outside of Florida with schools in Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston and Plainfield (a suburb of Chicago)…all within just 5 years. “I think that having 11 centers open and 5 additional in the pipeline for a total of 16 in 5 years is quite an accomplishment,” says Ortega. “Also, having been able to operate nationally was a big achievement, too.” Future plans include exploring different markets where KLA Schools will be the best educational and care option for children. “This growth will highly depend on the support of our development group which includes my cousins Jorge, Jose Luis and Maria Velez, all of whom have been part of the team of promoters of KLA Schools since the very beginning,” shares Ortega. Despite this growth, the team remains very proud of being a company founded in Miami.
So what exactly has made KLA such a success? “I think that parents realize how important it is to go to a preschool where children are the center of everything that happens,” explains Ortega. “At KLA, the children are our focus. Our facilities are designed for them.” Despite its high ideals, the school isn’t elitist…in fact, the main demographic is the middle class and up. “We’re very proud of offering an exceptional educational program within a safe, secure and child-friendly environment with superior teacher qualifications and low teacher-to-student ratios.”
He also gives significant credit to his carefully chosen staff. “The team at KLA is the most important asset of the organization,” he says. “Their experience in the field gives us the assurance that our educational program is delivered according to our principles and guidelines. In Early Childhood Education, experience matters — and our organization has hundreds of years of combined experience in the field.“
In the end, for Ortega it’s essential for parents to carefully select where to enroll their kids during the early stages of their lives. “Early childhood education is fundamental in the social, emotional and cognitive development of children,” he says. “Therefore, selecting a good preschool is very important. We want them to feel appreciated and sure that their kids are getting the best possible education for their lives.”
The original incarnation of the Reggio Emilia approach dates back to the post-WWII villages around Reggio Emilia, Italy, where determined parents, teachers and founding educator Loris Malaguzzi wanted a better future for their children inspired by philosophers such as Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky, Gardner and Bruner. After deciding to revamp the rote curriculums of pre-war schooling, their ideals have come a long way since then. KLA is a truly progressive preschool with facilities and educational programs designed to reflect the needs of the 21st Century. And in an ever-evolving global marketplace where competition reigns, it’s more important than ever to give the next generation a leg up.
Simply put, the aim of KLA Schools is to provide the best early childhood education while inspiring children at a young age to develop new and inherent talents that will benefit them throughout life and well into their higher education experiences and eventual career paths. A goal doesn’t get any more noble than that.
KLA Schools is located at 600 SW 1st Ave.; 305.377.0391;;