When I went back to work part time and needed childcare, my daughter was a year and a half. Until then her father and I had been juggling her care and she hadn’t even had a baby-sitter. Besides some time spent with extended family, she had always been with one or both of us. This new job I had, however, was going to necessitate finding an outside alternative, and it it turned out I got lucky. We needed to have odd hours in the middle of the day three days a week, and as my luck would have it, I found the perfect place. Run by two local women who had masters in early childhood education from Bank Street, they offered me the perfect plan.
I had brought Lili with me and she seemed to like it there, although she clung very tightly to me. One of the women who worked with the little ones asked me what her name was, and when I told her she said “Lilianna, come to Tessie.” My daughter put her arms out and she more or less sat on Tessie’s lap for the remainder of the year. I felt so relieved and immediately made the decision to sign her up there for those beginning three half-days.
The first day I left her there I found myself overwhelmed with emotion and stood outside at the bus stop holding back tears. Lili was fine. I was a wreck. Both of us adjusted, and the problem of childcare was solved for us. Those years at her preschool were fantastic. She developed social skills, had sweet little friends from multi-cultural backgrounds, and was introduced to new learning materials that, combined with the exposure I was giving her at home, set her off nicely on her education path.
We have a special preschool focus in this issue, and some of our communities’ best programs are represented. This is a great time of year to be considering it for the fall or even the summer, and I hope everyone will take a look at the options we present here. Many of the programs are offering specialized immersion in things like other languages, music and art, early STEAM introduction, and of course Montessori.
We now know the importance of good educational early childcare, and it’s rare to find a family that is not signed up for something. With the city’s public system offering free Pre K FOR ALL, our city’s children will all now be benefitting from programs that will stimulate their learning process and fine tune their social abilities. It’s very exciting!
Thanks for reading!
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