The Sarah Lawrence College Early Childhood Center (SLC ECC) is not your typical preschool by any means. The director, Lorayne Carbon, is absolutely phenomenal. She is compassionate, intelligent, and very much "hands-on." She always goes above and beyond her job. She knows everything that is going on -- she even knows when a student has a playdate scheduled with another student! She is involved with all the students in each class and cares so much about each of them and their families. The program at SLC ECC is child centered, valuing what is best for the individual child. My son started out in the Two's Program, which is well thought out and unlike any other program in the area. The genuine warmth of people like Shirley, who runs the office, the dedicated teachers, and the special friendships that develop between students and families contribute to it being a truly wonderful place. You will appreciate the focus on creative play and nature. Schedule a visit and you will see.
Perfect first school experience! My first child attended 2s-1st grade and left the ECC confident and more than prepared for 2nd grade, socially, emotionally, and academically. My second child attended 2s-4s/pre-k and I kick myself everyday for not gifting her the ECC kindergarten experience, but she too is enthusiastic and confident even as a young kindergartener in a new school. And although we moved 30 minutes away, my 3rd child is enrolled in the 2s program, there just isn't anything like the ECC. Like the other children, he's having a positive first-time school experience, with developmentally appropriate experiences in a nurturing environment with top-notch teachers, and a community of families that feel like lifelong friends.
Sarah Lawrence College's Early Childhood Center is a progressive, lab school community for preschool-aged children. It's child-centered and play-based. This is a short review. I wrote a much more extensive one on Yelp because I was limited in space on this site. My family loves this school. My child is excited every morning to go to because the environment nurtures and encourages his natural curiosity to learn. The staff at the ECC are true professionals. They have graduate degrees in early childhood education, many have been teaching for decades, and they all love a good geek-out on anything kid related. If you are looking for a place that does flashcard drills and gives 3 year olds homework, look elsewhere. This is a preschool where children are given the space and opportunity to be children and learn in developmentally appropriate ways, which research shows prepares them so well for later academic study. It is also a place where your child will develop their love and passion for learning. The community is very diverse-economically, socially, ethnically, and racially and my child is exposed to what the real world looks like.
My husband and I wanted a play-based preschool for our son, so we signed him up. What we didn't realize is that this school is also child-led, and what that means for ECC is that there are no organized games, no songs, no crafts, and very few stories. Basically the children have free play, outside and inside, almost the entire time, sometimes with very little adult interaction or supervision. You could get a similar experience, for a lot less money and with more adult supervision, just getting together every day at a park with some other kids and parents.
This is an amazing school. I went to the ECC for two years. I had so much fun. I met new friends and learned lots! I highly recommend it. I am in second grade now and I will always remember this school.
I love the ECC. It is a warm, supportive environment for the parents and the kids. Lorayne, the director, is incredibly present and supportive for each family. Also, there's a progressive approach to early childhood learning that is so refreshing and hard to find in this area.
Really great school setting. A house, a yard, an emphasis on play & the surrounding environment. It's a fun place for everyone, parents included! The director is exceptional. I highly recommend considering the reality though of not sending your child here for 1st grade (the last year SLC has). My child had a very difficult transition into 2nd grade. The emphasis on play is not appropriate for any child going into most other schools. If only SLC had an elementary school. Then, a Waldorf or Montessori school would be a wonderful match for the middle school years.