Along Second Avenue in New York City, you’ll come across an organization like no other. Explore + Discover Early Learning Center is an organization that provides both excellent and unique childcare in the heart of Manhattan. Infants and toddlers will feel right at home as they receive nurturing care, and learn life-long social and physical skills.
Bell Family had the opportunity to talk with the Co-Founder & President of Explore + Discover for a Q&A, to provide a quick guide for families on why this should be their new go-to for childcare.
Q: How does a family apply to be part of Explore + Discover? How much advance time should a family give for the application process? Do you offer all age programs?
Families begin the application process by calling and setting up a time to visit the center. Once the date/time are scheduled, prospective parents (with or without child/children) come in for a visit with our Director and/or Educational Director. This accomplishes a number of important objectives, including but not limited to:
- Giving us an opportunity to learn more about the child and family.
- Allowing us to more completely explain how the program operates, and answer any questions.
- Letting the family see the facility, and the program in action.
We recommend that if a family is considering applying to the program at that point, that they fill out an application and pay the application fee at the time of their visit. This allows the family to be in the queue, and if they should decide to take next steps to join the program, we have their information and are able to move things along fairly quickly.
Advance time is always recommended—we have some families who come to us when they are thinking of conceiving, which is wonderful (and frankly pretty forward-thinking from a family-planning POV). At the same time, we keep our doors open to families who may not make preparations in advance, and if we can accommodate them, we are happy to!
Q: What does a common day look like for an infant or toddler at Explore + Discover? What kind of activities can they expect to be apart of?
A typical day for a child at Explore + Discover involves a combination of open exploration, thoughtfully planned creative experiences, and careful attention to caregiving routines.
We believe that allowing children time for exploration through free play each day is vital for social and emotional growth. Each classroom environment is designed with the age and developmental level of the children in mind, offering high quality open-ended materials to encourage creative play.
We also offer a variety of open-ended art and musical experiences throughout the week. Art specialists, as well as classroom teachers, plan engaging activities as a creative outlet for the children. Painting, mark making or drawing, working with clay, and collage are just a sampling of the experiences in our art studio.
Many of our teachers play the guitar and each class is visited by the music teachers, where they listen to, and eventually sing along with familiar songs and rhymes. As part of our Music Before Words program, the children are exposed to a variety of instruments. They are encouraged to listen to the sounds, move to the music, and even touch or play each instrument.
A thoughtful focus on caregiving makes Explore + Discover unique. Feeding, sleeping, and diapering routines are looked at as a time for bonding and beginning to encourage independence.
Q: What are some key items you look to teach the children that attend Explore + Discover? Tell us about your mission.
At Explore + Discover, our goal is to set the foundation for children to become lifelong learners.
We encourage them to investigate their curiosities and wonderings by providing an engaging classroom environment and enriching open-ended materials.
We believe that teachers are partners in learning rather than the keepers of knowledge, therefore providing opportunities for exploration, creating, and questioning.
Using the children’s natural interests and developmental stage as a starting point, the teachers design curriculum unique to each group. By the time the children leave E+D, it is our hope that they have developed the self-confidence, problem solving skills, and inquisitiveness needed to navigate the upcoming years of school.
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell