Affordable Day Care Thrives

Photo Credit: Lori Ann Doyon

Small World Early Childhood Center at 211 Ainslie Street has been serving the community for nearly fifty years.  The center’s school year began on September 13 along with NYC public schools. 

A child’s day at Small World begins.  After a hot breakfast, children gather for the morning meeting, and then off to classrooms for fun and learning.  Teachers work with kids in small groups while the rest enjoy structured play.  A visit to the beautiful rooftop play space is next where the children can work on gross motor skills aka have fun; there are also indoor play spaces.  A children’s favorite, story time, is at 11:45 a.m., when they hear stories about near and far places.  Meals are prepared on premises and dietary restrictions are accommodated.  Children who leave at 3 p.m. participate in a closing circle.   For many working parents who need extra childcare there is an option to pick up their child at 6 p.m.; their children rotate learning and playtime and motor skills activities and receive another snack.

“As a board member who helped save Small World along with Council Member Reynoso and many concerned residents, it’s such a pleasure to see children in the same great rooftop play space,” said Phil Caponegro, Conselyea Street Block Association president.

Frank Citera, Conselyea Street Block Association vice president, said, “All of us who fought to keep the center open and affordable for all children take pleasure in seeing this building occupied by toddlers as well as seniors.”

UPK and 3K are free services.  The extra child care after 3 p.m. is an added expense.   Those who can afford it pay private tuition.  For those who need a more affordable option the City offers assistance for families that are eligible.

A family can pay as little as $1 a week per child for part-time childcare depending on family size and income.  $1 would be the weekly rate for a two-family household earning from $0–$1,437 in monthly gross income.

Research studies abound that laud the long-term benefits of early childcare.  The Perry and Abecedarian research experiments showed that high-quality childcare could lead to higher levels of education, employment, and health, in addition to avoiding the fall into a negative life path.

COVID-19 has highlighted the necessity of childcare.  Staci White observed, “more illness in the first two weeks of the school year, and more tantrums and separation from parents from any prior year.  Definitely a need for children to build up social skills and immunity after a year of being in a bubble.  Overall the kids are happy to be back at Small World.”

Also COVID-19 highlighted the need for childcare from the parents’ perspective.  Women represented half of the workforce in 2020—a number that post-pandemic fell by 56 percent, as many became the default caretaker.  Giving up their jobs to take care of their kids cut the family’s income significantly.

For info about Small World Early Childhood Center call: 718-963-0330 ext. 12

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge.

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