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 away from Kent Commons and ShoWare Center in downtown Kent, Washington. We started with about 15 kids in the program and now we have over 90 children attending different classes from 8:30am to 4:15pm. Just recently (in August 2018), we took the space across from us. We are able to open two new programs: (1) the cooperative preschool program for 1-3 years old, and (2) the elementary-school program for kindergartners, first and second graders. Our entire school have 6 different teachers (including me) teaching different classes throughout the week.

Let me share a little bit about my background.  My name is Kany (the students call me Mrs. Joa). I moved to Seattle from New York City about 16 years ago.  In 2005, I received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a TESOL certification. In 2012, 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 in 2013 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 2 and 65 years old.  I’ve taught English in different places around the world such as Japan, China, Korea, 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 4 young 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 full-time mother. Indeed watching my own children having fun and learning with other children is one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

After years of teaching students of all ages and raising my four 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/Book Time, (2) Art/Science, (3) Writing/Math, (4) Reading/Singing 1 & 2, (5) Spelling & Math Time, (6) Advanced PreK (AP) Math & Reading, (7) Sight Words, (8) Speed Reading, (9) PreK Tutoring on Phonics, (10) Spanish, (11) Piano, and (12) Karate. To find out more about our preschool program, please visit the preschool site here.

My greatest passion is to help children reach their full potential. Thus, in the summer I coordinate summer literacy camps for children from 3 to 11 years old. Our summer program is very special. We offer intensive reading and spelling classes to help preschoolers build a strong foundation of reading and writing skills before going to kindergarten. Moreover, our Kindergarten-5th grade summer program focuses on identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses. We assess their writing, reading, and math level and carefully customize their summer curriculum to ensure that their needs are met in a short period of time. To find out more what we offer in the summer, please visit our summer literacy page.

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

Best regards,

Dr. Kany Joa (Mrs. Joa)

My 3rd child’s number writing after 5 months of preschool. He is now 3 years and 5 months old, definitely has strong fine motor skills. My first 3 kids are all left-handed!

Kyle Writing 3y5m

My oldest child’s handwriting after 11 months attending Basic Steps Preschool. She was 4 years old.Santa Letter

My daughter learning how to write/copy a paragraph when she was 5 years old.Anna paragraph

She learned how to read and spell these basic sight words at 5.5 years old (from our tutoring program).SightWords

My oldest child started writing her own sentences at 5.5 years old!
SentencesMy second child started writing her own sentences at 4.5 years old!



My children started learning how to write Chinese characters and Spanish at age 4!
Chinese Spanish