Taking care of lives

. July 9, 2013.

The troubles faced by working moms are no secret to Jiemin Jacobson. The former engineer and mother of two experienced them herself when she started raising her own family. “There was a lot of guilt,” said Jacobson, 46, a Saline resident. Today, Jacobson helps kids who come to her Saline-based Children’s Creative Learning Center reach their potential. The center provides childcare for working parents of youths, from infants to school age. There’s also a summer camp and after school programs. “We focus on language, social, emotional and physical development,” said Jacobson. The center tries to build strong caring relationships with every child. “Each teacher has a small group of children. They bond with them,” said Jacobson. “The child knows this person real well so they feel safe. When they feel safe they can learn.”

All senses engaged

Making learning exciting is the center’s goal. We have a philosophy. We believe children learn faster with fun,” she said. “We believe when children are interested in what they are doing they learn the best.” There are several playgrounds for youth sports. “We have climbing structures and a track for them to run around and a basketball court,” said Jacobson. “We do a lot of art and sensory activities, too. Children learn through their five senses.”

Little ones have the chance to study science and nature at the center, with kids enrolled in the summer camp enjoying everything from a trip to the Farmer’s Market to a visit to the planetarium at the Ann Arbor Museum of Natural History. Jacobson’s life today is very different than what she experienced back home in China. “I enjoy my work now more than anything else,” she said. “This work is the most important– I’m not taking care of machines I’m taking care of a life.” She hasn’t forgotten the lessons she learned at home. “When my older one was younger my parents helped me. It’s a tradition in China.

"Families are close and help each other,” she said. Today, she applies those traditional family values to the children who visit the center. “When I’m taking care of other people’s children, I always think of what I would do if it was my own child. I always ask myself, what would I do if this parent is beside me?”

Expanding Horizons

At the center, children have the chance to learn to speak Chinese with teachers who are native speakers. “We believe no matter what second language children are exposed to, it helps their brain development,” said Jacobson. “It will also help them learn other languages.” Jacobson said the center respects each youngster’s individual skills and talents. “If this child will learn better by listening we do this. If they learn better by seeing we do that. We provide an opportunity for children to learn in their way,” said Jacobson.

The center has changed her own life, she said. “When you take care of children you grow as the children grow. “

The Children’s Creative Learning Center is located at 5939 Saline Ann Arbor Rd. in Saline. For more information about programs and enrollment, call them at 734-429-9292 or visit them at