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Company Info

Almost Home is a remarkable child care in Ridgefield, CT and serves many young children in the greater Danbury area for 23 years. Almost Home was founded in 1991 by Jennifer and Scott Soodek and ran the business for over 2 decades. I am Shanti and my husband is Sairam Simhadri. We are honored to be the owners’ of Almost Home and very excited to procure the business in 2013. We have two incredible daughters. Both of us are experienced business owners and have been in the corporate IT field for a number of years, but we’ve accomplished to do what we truly enjoy – being with kids! We have the Bachelor’s degree in Computers and Science and possessed our business finesse from our family background.

The importance of sharing love and caring for the young ones comes naturally to us, thanks to the family values which were embedded in us since our childhood. We strongly believe that children are the biggest source of happiness and make life much more fun and worth living.

Almost Home has been in operation in Ridgefield since 1991, continuously providing a warm, nurturing and safe environment for young children. It is wonderful to be surrounded by the devoted staff and adorable children. My husband and I are committed to continue teaching and caring for children with all it takes to offer the best program possible. As a family owned business, we keep up the “family values” as we move ahead in this exciting new endeavor for us. We continue to pursue and make Almost Home always a better place for our children.

Ridgefield is an amazing community. We have been welcomed so warmly and would like to welcome you to come and visit us at Almost Home and see for yourself what an amazing facility and program we offer.

Meet our Director’s…

BunnyBunny Swift Kolf

has worked at Almost Home since 1992. She began her Almost Home career as a head teacher in the Toddler Two’s. She was promoted to Director of the newly formed Almost Home School Age Program. She developed the kindergarten curriculum and was the program’s very first teacher. As Almost Home expanded, Bunny was promoted to the Director of the center that opened at 100 Danbury Road and then moved over to our current location at 35 Copps Hill Rd and works as a Center Director. Bunny holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhode Island College with a major in psychology and minor in sociology. She obtained her elementary certification while doing graduate work at the University of Rhode Island.Bunny is a long time local gal having grown up in Ridgefield . She currently lives in Brookfield with her husband and three children.

FranFran Kelley

has worked at Almost Home since 1998. She began her Almost Home career as a substitute teacherworking along side her 21 year old daughter who worked at Almost Home throughout her high school andcollege career. Almost Home quickly fell in love with Fran and convinced her to leave her 15 year career as a Paraprofessional with the New Fairfield Public School system. Fran started as a Head Teacher in the Toddler Program and the following year moved into the Preschool Program. She was promoted to Center Director at the 159 Danbury Road location. In 2005 when Almost Home moved to Copps Hill Road, Fran moved as well as a Center Director. Fran obtained her CDA (Child Development Accreditation) in 2001. She grew up in New Fairfield and still lives there today with her husband. She is a proud mother and loving grandmother!

Meet Our Teachers


Please meet JoAnne, one of our amazing pre-school teachers and has been working at Almost Home since 1998 and in the pre-school class from 2004. She loves developing interesting thematic units each month and incorporating great literature as a teaching tool. JoAnne is a long time Ridgefield resident and the proud mother of two grown children.


Please meet Ann Marie, who is our pre-school teacher with 20 years of experience as a pre-school teacher, the last three at Almost Home. She is dedicated to providing a well-balanced curriculum that prepares children with the skills and tools they will need for Kindergarten. Her favorite things to do in the classrooms are to read funny stories and sing songs with the children. Ann Marie has lived in Ridgefield for 30 years and has three grown children.


Please meet Suzanne, one of our longtime pre-school teachers who has been working at Almost Home since 2004. Suzanne’s love for literature is easily seen in her class as she integrates literary themes into the curriculum. Her calm and pleasant demeanor creates an atmosphere in which children feel instantly safe and secure. She loves to develop new activities for the children incorporating readiness skills in Language Arts, Math and Science.


Please meet Joan, one of our founding teachers at Almost Home. Joan started working with the pre-school class in 1991 and has continued to provide the children of Almost Home with the love, affection and kindness they deserve. Joan is responsible for helping to create the pre-school curriculum over the years and continues to be committed to providing an age appropriate program in which children are encouraged to think creatively and become independent problem solvers. Joan is well admired by the children’s families and staff at Almost Home.


Please meet Patti who is another terrific toddler teacher and has been working at Almost Home since 2012. She has 30 years of experience working with young children. Patti’s classroom is always buzzing and the walls are filled with creative art work from top to bottom. She loves the outdoors and works to integrate nature and the environment into the curriculum.


Please meet Stacy, one of our gracious toddler teachers and has been working at Almost home since 2005. She is working primarily with the toddler program who loves to sing and always has age appropriate music on in the classroom. Stacy has lived in Ridgefield for her entire life and loves the community and the beautiful town.


Please meet Gretchen, one of our spectacular toddler teachers who has been working at Almost Home since 2001.Gretchen loves using her artistic abilities to enhance the children’s art experiences in the weekly themes for her class. She works with her sister Kelly. Gretchen is a log time resident of Danbury and is the proud mom of two children. Her oldest attended Almost Home up until Kindergarten and her youngest is thriving in a toddler room.


Please meet Kelly, one of our outstanding toddler teachers who has been working at Almost Home since 2003.She loves developing creative sensory and gross motor activities each week. She works with her sister Gretchen. Together, the two make up a dynamic duo. Kelly is long time resident of Danbury.


Please meet Shannaida one of our amazing toddler teachers. Shannaida has been working at Almost Home since 2006.She has 2 boys of her own that enjoyed coming to Almost Home when they were young. She loves the toddler age and even teaches Spanish to the children. She is very warm and nurturing. In fact when you walk by her room, you will often find a toddler cuddled up in her lap.


Please meet Raquel who has been a toddler teacher at Almost Home since 2004. Raquel enjoys the individual personalities of each child she works with and is always striving to find the best ways to nurture the unique qualities of each toddler in her class. She is bi lingual and teaches the children Spanish. She is the proud mom of two boys who also attend Almost Home programs.


Please meet Maggie, one of caring infant teachers and has been working at Almost Home since 2013. Maggie loves her babies so much and forms a strong relationship with both the parents and the children she works with. She understands the unique differences that each child possesses and develops routines that meet the individual needs of each child. When you walk by her room, if she is not feeding or changing the baby, you will likely observe her singing and dancing with her babies.


Please meet Keshia, one of our infant teachers who has been working at Almost Home since 2007. Keshia loves her babies and always seems to know just how to connect with each one to best understand and meet individual needs of each child. Keisha always has a smile on her face and a baby in her arms.


Please meet Jocelyn, one of our infant/toddler teachers who has been working at Almost Home since 2012 with a variety of age groups. She is very flexible, energetic, creative and fun. She is well loved and admired by all the children she cares for. She is equally respected by the parents and is always available to share a story or information about the day’s events.


Please meet Joanne, one of our remarkable Infant teachers. She has been working at Almost Home since 2013. Joanne owned and operated a child care business for over 20 years prior to coming to Almost Home. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with her. Joanne enjoys connecting with each child and helping them reach their individual developmental goals with love and positive encouragement.


Please meet Kim, one of our wonderful infant teachers who has been working at Almost Home since 2013. Kim always enjoys being around her babies and loves them like they are her own. She lives in Danbury with her husband and her teenage daughter.




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