Our Team

Playworkers are adults who

  • Oversee the children playing but do not interfere in children’s play
  • Set up and clean up playful spaces
  • Provide loose parts materials
  • Assess risks and modify the physical environment to meet the needs of the children
  • Support children’s ideas
  • Promote child-directed play

Susan Caruso is the Director and Founder of Sunflower Creative Arts, a nonprofit organization that offers hands-on learning programs in Play, Nature, and the Arts for children and their parents. In June 2018, Susan started the Sunflower Play Initiative, a community outreach program that strives to give all children access to child-directed free play. She is a specialist in guiding children and adults to discover their passions, realize their potential and develop a strong personal voice. She has been an educator, master player, parenting mentor, musician and compassionate voice and advocate for children for over 30 years. Susan is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and an innovator in early childhood education. Her inspired, child-centered teaching approach led her to develop Sunflower’s educational model of respect for the individual, learning through experience and learning within the community.  In addition to directing Sunflower’s vision and philosophy, Susan enjoys sharing her insights and continuing to learn and grow daily by working with children, parents and teachers through teaching classes and workshops, consulting educators and youth organizations and presenting at conferences.