Our Staff

Meet the faces behind the Kid Works magic
Dinuka Ranasinghe

Dinuka Ranasinghe

Owner / Director

Born in England, raised in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, lived in London, Washington D.C and New York, Dinuka eventually found her home in Long Beach, California with her husband. Having graduated with an LL.B (Hons) from the University of Sussex, England, she was then admitted to the New York Bar. In 2008 she decided to follow her heart working…

Amy Chiu

Amy Chiu


Once an aspiring academic, Amy found her true passion as an early childhood educator after becoming a mother. During the time that she stayed at home to raise her babies, she went back to school to earn her certificate in Early Childhood Education and then a Master’s of Science in Education. Prior to joining Kid Works, she worked as a…

Lisa Escobar

Lisa Escobar


Lisa has been caring for children for over twenty years. She has three children, two of whom are Kid Works alumni. Lisa continues to further her knowledge of children through workshops and seminars. Her love for emergent literacy and creative art are evident. “We are all growing here at Kid Works. It has been such an honor and privilege to…

Dana Ferrarelli

Dana Ferrarelli


Dana is a third generation Californian and a Long Beach native with over 30 years of experience working with children. Married in 1980, she graduated from Long Beach City College in 1982 with a degree in Child Development. She continued in Early Childhood Education studies and was certified in 1984. She began teaching in 1983 and accepted the opportunity of…

Rachael Cabos

Rachael Cabos

Center Assistant

Please forgive us, greatness cannot be rushed and we’re in the works on Rachael’s bio, check back soon for more information.

Jennifer Scharnikow

Jennifer was raised in Burbank and grew up knowing she wanted to be a teacher. She moved to Long Beach in 1994 to attend CSULB , then transferred to Orange Coast to begin her Early Childhood education. She volunteered at Kid Works in 1998 after which she was hired to be a teacher. During her years here she has worked…

Cary Saltsgaver

Cary Saltsgaver

Yoga Instructor

I teach mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. I plant seeds of peace, love, and happiness in everyone I meet. I reach out with compassionate understanding to lift the spirit of everyone I touch. These practices bring transformation to people of all ages in ways that words cannot fully describe.

Samantha Ortiz

Samantha Ortiz

Administrative Assistant


From our Parents and Students

I’m sad. I miss my friends at school. I love that school.

David – Kid Works Student

Both my children attended Kid Works and loved it. Their program is the best and provides age appropriate skills for preschoolers to learn and grow.  The staff and facility are amazing and the schedule is also great for working families.  My boys have thrived at Kid Works and being part of this community has been a true gift to our family.

Tara H.

We discovered Kid Works from a friend and have loved the experience. The staff feel like family and it’s hard to get my son to leave in the evening. He is free to be dirty and encouraged to be hands on with all of the various and ever changing activities. There is a garden growing vegetables, water stations, pet bunnies, pet birds, and pet rats..etc. One day my parents came to pick up my son and he was busing his own dishes from snack time. He immediately came home and wanted to help with our dishes. Things like this are ever day events at Kid Works. We are so happy our friend recommended this wonderful preschool.

Dan J.

Awesome school, awesome teachers, awesome owner.  My son attended here when he was 3 years old.  The school opened up his imagination and artistic skills.  He is now 6 and doing great in Kinder.  Our second child, who is 3 years old, now attends Kid Works and loves it even more.  This place is a must visit if you are looking for a place that will care for your toddlers.

Ken E.

We absolutely love Kidworks! Our daughter has so enjoyed it there. The teachers and administration are friendly and just the right amount of firm. The school is so, so organized. Lot’s of process and procedure, which is great for busy mommas!

Leslie B.

This is our first year with our son, and we couldn’t be happier!  The teachers feel like family and our son LOVES being at preschool.  Their concept is very much up our alley; play and exploration 😉  They even have an organic garden, mud play and yoga!”

Linda P.

I feel really good about our son being at Kid Works. As a parent with over-protective tendencies, I don’t feel the typical pangs of concern that I am prone to. I feel that he is not only incredibly safe there, but also very well nurtured in an environment that teaches him to be his own little man. I am so grateful for his experiences and growth, I cannot recommend Kid Works highly enough.

Shannon B.

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