Research has shown therapy dogs can reduce stress and provide a sense of connection in difficult situations. Given the impact therapy dogs can have on student well-being, schools and universities are increasingly adopting therapy dog programs as an inexpensive way of providing social and emotional support for students.
Cupcake is an AKC Bischon who is being trained as a therapy dog here at KidTown! Her primary function will be to retrieve items and provide emotional support to students in crisis. Cupcake is not a pet and will be formally trained so that she can be certified to do hospital visits and more! Cupcake is hypoallergenic, does not shed and is extremely friendly. Animal friends help our learners to develop a sense of responsibility, respect for other living things, and how to consider the needs and feelings of others.
The benefits of having therapy dogs in the classroom include:
Physical benefits. Interaction with therapy dogs has been shown to reduce blood pressure,
provide physical stimulation and assist with pain management.
Social benefits. A visiting therapy dog promotes greater self-esteem and focused
interaction with other students and teachers.
Cognitive benefits. It has been empirically proven that therapy dogs stimulate
memory and problem-solving skills.
Emotional and mental health benefits. A recent national survey of adolescent mental health
found that about 8 to 10 percent of teens ages 13 to 18 have an anxiety disorder. A therapy dog can
lift moods in the classroom, often provoking laughter. The therapy dog is also there to offer
friendship and a shoulder to lean on for students.
Educational and Experience Requirements:
• At least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or GED
• Pass the required state and KidTown background checks
• One year experience in a licensed daycare center
• Shall have completed two non-credit DCF approved courses in
early childhood education
• Possess the basic knowledge of DCF rules and regulations
• Shall be current in infant and toddler CPR with AED and First Aid
• Must be proficient with using Apple devices
• Shall have a health examination by a licensed physician within
30 days of employment that states the following
• The individual is physically and emotionally able to work with children
• The individual has had a negative tuberculin test
• The individual is clear from illness harmful to children
• Competitive pay
• Paid time off
• Dental insurance
• Vision insurance
• Discounted child care
• Professional development assistance
To ensure that KidTown Learning Center program philosophy is maintained,
an individual must demonstrate a passion for children and a high level of
In addition, an individual seeking employment must execute all assigned duties
in an excellent manner. Reasonable accommodations may be made to ensure
that individuals with disabilities can perform essential tasks.
Must be proficient with apple devices.