About Us


Our mission statement: “At Basic Steps Learning Center, we aim at providing a safe learning environment with high expectations to all learners so that they can achieve their full potential and have high hopes for their future.”


What do parents say about our preschool program?

“I really like the impact that Basic Steps Preschool in Kent has on our girl!”

“My daughter has learned so much in the short time that she has been there.”

“I was so impressed by the world map my grandson learned and made with colorful tissue papers. He said: “Grandma this is the United States and this is Europe and this is Antarctica.” I asked him: “Is Antarctica warm?” He said, “No, Grandma. It’s real cold with penguins and polar bears.” I am so pleased with his learning skills in your preschool!”

To read more reviews from parents, click here. 


Message from the Founder and Program Director:

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the Basic Steps Learning Center website!

Basic Steps Learning Center was established in July 2012. The first 2 classes we successfully opened were the art/science class and the reading/singing class at Kent Commons in the fall of 2012. After gaining the support from many parents, we then opened our learning center in January 2013.  Our classes now are held at Plaza by the Green, a retail plaza 5 minutes from Kent Commons and ShoWare Center in downtown Kent, Washington. We started with about 15 kids in the program and now we have over 80 children attending different classes from 8:30am to 5:10pm. We currently have 4 staff members at the center including me (Mrs. Joa, the Spanish & Chinese teacher), Ms. Rianne (our teacher assistant), Ms. Ashley (our full-time lead preschool teacher, summer K6 tutor, piano and guitar teacher), Ms. Rykiel and Ms. Molica (our part-time preschool teachers).

Let me share a little bit about my background.  My name is Kany and I moved to Seattle from New York City in 2003.  In 2005, I received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a TESOL certification. About 3 years ago, I completed my doctoral program in educational leadership at Seattle University, with an emphasis in educational psychology.  My dissertation study was about how to better motivate students into learning and help them be hopeful in their academic path. This study has been self-published on Amazon.com and the title is: “The Role of Hope in Students.”

I have many years of academic teaching experience.  I’ve taught children as well as adults throughout my teaching career.  My students’ ages range between 3 and 65 years old.  I’ve been an elementary school teacher in several countries around the world and also at Tukwila School District for 2 years. And for over 5 years, I was an ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor at Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

I am a mother of 3 children. When my oldest daughter turned 3, I decided to leave my teaching positions and focus on educating my own children.  Opening my own preschool program has allowed me to fulfill my passion in teaching and enjoy the role of being a mother. Indeed watching my own children having fun and learning with other children is one of the most fulfilling experiences for me.

After years of teaching students of all ages and raising my three little ones, I truly understand what young children need in order to be prepared for their first steps into academia. In fact, having my own child in the program helps me understand what parents really need and want from a preschool program. What makes my program so different from other daycare centers and preschool programs is my commitment to offering a combination of quality education, flexible class schedules and most of all, affordable tuition. We have different classes available for parents to register: (1) Social Development, (2) Art/Science, (3) Writing/Math, (4) Reading/Singing, (5) Spanish, (6) Chinese, (7) Piano, (8) Computer Arts, (9) PreK tutoring, and soon (10) Karate, and (11) Ballet. To find out more about our preschool program, please visit the preschool site here.

In the summer, we coordinate summer literacy camps for children from 3 to 12 years old. Students in the K-6 summer program will receive an informal assessment and customized curriculum to ensure that their needs are met. To design a well-fitted curriculum that help students learn the necessary skills to be successful in school, Basic Steps works with parents and teachers closely to better understand the child’s learning behaviors and styles.

Thank you for visiting our website! For more information about our educational programs, feel free to contact me here.

Best regards,

Dr. Kany Joa

My 4-year-old daughter’s handwriting after 11 months attending Basic Steps Preschool.Santa Letter