Play Together NYC: Play-Based Preschool Accepting Applications for 3s and Alternative 4s Programs

Founder and recognized leader in the field of child development, Nyla Kamlet, works one-on-one with all Play Together NYC students.
Founder and recognized leader in the field of child development, Nyla Kamlet, works one-on-one with all Play Together NYC students.

Play is front and center in every way at Play Together NYC, a close-knit Manhattan preschool dedicated to individual attention, small class sizes, and a rich varied curriculum that preps young minds for Kindergarten and beyond. Right now, the school is accepting applications for their 3s Program, as well as their new Alternative 4s Program, which offers a part-time option to families that have chosen not to apply to UPK or whose placement was unsatisfactory. Play Together NYC also offers in Pre-K for All, and while all of the 2020-2021 seats in the city's free program are filled up, incoming 3s students will have first-priority for next year—and what a relief for parents that is.

Founded and directed by Licensed Clinical Social Worker and recognized leader in the field of child development, Nyla Kamlet, the Upper West Side preschool's play-based curriculum was designed to focus on joyful learning and individualized plans. Knowing that each child is unique and has his or her own interests, skills, and pace of development, Nyla works with each child and family to create a custom Personal Development Plan that includes both educational and social goals. Throughout the year, she works one-on-one with students across all programs to review those goals and lend support.

The 3s Program runs four or five days a week, 9:00am to 1:00pm, and focuses on children's sense of self within a group setting. Students take part in circle time, filled with singing, speaking, turn-taking, and pre-reading skills; do art projects meant to target both visual and fine motor skills; regularly engage in group play with blocks and other building materials; and end the day with a story and emotions review.

Running five full days a week, 8:30am to 2:50pm, their UPK program is part of the free citywide public Pre-K initiative. It focuses on science, literacy, math, and cognitive reasoning skills, which are brought to life with games, small group learning, art projects, and playtime. Led by Literacy Specialist, Melissa Allen, MSEd, Play Together NYC's program integrates literacy into all activities, focusing on acquiring pre-reading skills through play. Kids also begin to develop handwriting skills, not always a part of UPK curricula.

Play Together NYC is also introducing a new Alternative 4s Program, offered three days a week from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. Launched in response to these uncertain economic times, this program follows the same themes as the UPK program, but is more tightly focused on the literacy and handwriting skills most crucial to preparing for Kindergarten.

While small group learning has always been integral to Play Together NYC​, in response to COVID-19, the 3s class will be capped at six children with two teachers this fall, and the Alternative 4s program will be capped at four children and one teacher. These small class sizes meet the CDC guidelines and will allow both programs to run even if public schools do not open in September. Of course, other safety precautions will be put in place to prevent the spread of illness as well, including but not limited to staggered pick up and drop off times, teachers wearing masks, daily temperature checks for students and staff, individual tray tables for meals, and regular hand washing.

If you're interested in learning more about this joyful play-based preschool, complete a contact form on Play Together NYC's website. You can also schedule a tour and obtain an application by emailing

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