About Us

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Kelly Perez

Preschool Director

Ms. Kelly Perez holds a BA in applied behavioral science from National-Louis University and holds two American Montessori Society teaching credentials, Infant-Toddler (birth through age three) and Early Childhood (ages two-and-a-half through six). Kelly was nominated for the 2017 Golden Apple Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award. Her professional affiliations include the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health. Since 1987, Kelly has supported all aspects in building and delivering high quality early childhood programs. She has brought her experience as a teacher, teacher educator and consultant, classroom and curriculum developer, parent coach, program administrator and director to Smart Love since 2010.

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Sarah Fink

Preschool Teacher

Ms. Sarah Fink is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at National Louis University. She has worked for over four years with infants and toddlers as a daycare teacher and as a caregiver. After a successful career in merchandizing and design, Sarah realized that her passion was with working with parents and young children to foster healthy and happy family connections. At Smart Love, she combines her artistic and early childhood education backgrounds to create fun and engaging experiences.

Amy Knapp

Preschool Teacher

Ms. Amy Knapp completed her Associates degree in early childhood education from Parkland College in Champaign, IL.   She has experience working with young children in an instructional setting and has recently provided swimming lessons for children of all ages.  She has a passion for working with children and is excited to be joining the Smart Love team.

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Amanda McGee

Playschool Teacher

Ms. Amanda McGee received her BS in Sociology from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. She then worked in non-profit program management for several years with organizations like Make-A-Wish and the American Cancer Society. Most recently, she worked as part of the Child Life Services team for UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco where she developed a passion for child development. She expanded her early childhood education training in the areas of curriculum development and creativity and in infant, toddler and preschool play and the importance of responsive teaching.   She is thrilled to work with Smart Love toddlers and bring her unique perspective to the community. 



Natalie & Ben Heineman Smart Love Center


Smart Love Preschool is now located in the Natalie & Ben Heineman Smart Love Center at 2222 N. Kedzie Blvd. in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. The gracious prairie style home has recently been completely renovated and features a large outdoor area and a spacious light-filled interior for our highly regarded preschool, parent and child programs and year-round gardening curriculum.


Natalie & Ben Heineman Smart Love Center

2222 N. Kedzie Blvd.

Chicago, IL 60647

Oak Park Location

1010 Lake Street, Suite 500

Oak Park, IL 60301

Preschool: 773.665.8052 ext. 1

Counseling: 773.665.8052 ext. 4

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