All My Children: Eco-Conscious, Child-Centered Care to the Lower East Side

One of the most nerve-racking decisions we face as parents is figuring out whom to trust with our children when the time comes to head back to work or find a preschool. We want our babes to be in a nurturing and safe environment where all their needs are met, and someone really appreciates the wonderful, unique, amazingness of them. Families in the outer boroughs already know Mommy Poppins sponsor All My Children Daycare and Nursery School and its creative, individualized approach to group childcare; recently, the school opened a new location, making it possible for Manhattan and Lower East Side families to access its years of experience as well.

The beautiful Lower East Side location opened in November 2014, but All My Children has been a NYC staple for 20 years, with 12 other locations throughout Brooklyn and Queens. The new center brings eco-consciousness to the forefront, from its bright, airy classrooms, which are separated from one another by unique, see-through glass gardens, to the environmentally-friendly furniture and toys that fill the spaces, to the twice daily, organically-prepared meals and snacks served to the kids.

The hydroponic garden walls that decorate each classroom are also a living illustration of the school's educational philosophy. At All My Children, the staff views each child as a seed, unique in his or her own way. There is no cookie-cutter care—teachers allow their curriculum to be guided by the interests of their students. Parents are seen as partners in this mission, too, and the centers offer a true open-door policy. Breastfeeding moms are welcome anytime if their schedules allow them to come to nurse; other parents can stop by on their lunch hour. Parents are also encouraged to share feedback and suggestions for the staff to research and include in day-to-day activities.

The Lower East Side location at 112 Ridge Street was chosen as the chain's first Manhattan spot because of the neighborhood's booming family population. Though there are a number of government-funded centers in the area, All My Children saw a need for a more traditional, private-pay alternative that also accepts government vouchers and offers scholarships, thus serving the neighborhood's varied demographics.

At capacity, the location will serve 80 children from ages 6 months to 5 years and provide a Universal PreK program. Aside from the two levels of classrooms, the center also has exclusive access to an outdoor space, and all children are able to get fresh air daily, weather permitting. There is also a large indoor space that serves as a yoga and gym room for all classes.

The center has immediate openings for all ages and offers regular hours from 8am to 4pm, with extended hours until 6pm. Recognizing the area's unique workforce—where many parents work freelance or odd hours—part-time schedules and even hourly care are offered.

For more information about All My Children, visit its website or call 212-466-6262 to schedule a private tour. And be sure to look at our Preschool Guide for more info on NYC schools.

This post is sponsored by All My Children, but the opinions are those solely of the author.

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