Brooklyn Free Space
Stacy Roupas, Director
Daniela Vancurova, Assistant Director
Inside Mission for Today Holy Tabernacle
Sixth Ave between 2nd & 3rd Streets, Center Slope
We accept children that are between the ages of 2 years 5 months and 4 years 8 months by September 30th of the upcoming school year.
Jitterbug Room (ages 2yrs 5mo – 2yrs 11mo)*: 12 children, 3 teachers, full-time and part-time available;
Dragonfly Room (ages 3yrs – 3yrs 8mo)*: 15–16 children, 3 teachers, full-time and part-time available;
Sunshine Room (ages 3yrs 7mo – 4yrs 5mo)*: 17 children, 3 teachers, full-time only;
Rainbow Room (ages 3yrs 9mo and up)*: 17 children, 3 teachers, full-time only.
*all age ranges are approximate
All children attend school five days per week. This daily school experience, combined with narrow age ranges in our younger classrooms, help young developing children to form a close-knit group who grow and learn individually and together.
Full-time students attend from 9AM to 3PM, while part-time students attend 9AM to 12:30PM. We offer Early Bird (8AM–9AM) and After School (3PM–6PM) care. BFS operates in accordance with the NYC public school calendar.
Brooklyn Free Space holds an Open House for prospective students’ parents in January. There are school tours by appointment in the mornings following the Open House. To be eligible for enrollment, families must submit a completed application and fee for each applying child to Brooklyn Free Space. New members are chosen each year by lottery from those applications that are submitted by the appropriate deadline. Returning or alumni families and siblings are given the opportunity to enroll prior to administration of the lottery if space permits. We keep a waitlist and may accept applications throughout the year to fill any vacancies that arise. Check our web site for more information about the admissions process, events and deadlines.
Brooklyn Free Space admits students of any religion, race, color, disability, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, disability, national or ethnic origin, or the sexual orientation of students’ families, in the administration of its educational and admissions policies.
BFS is a cooperative preschool. We hire an educational director, teachers, a part-time administrator, and a cleaning person, but our members—the families of children enrolled in our school—carry out and ensure the school’s other vital functions. BFS coop membership entails attendance at general meetings and taking on a coop job. The various jobs include: committee work (Fundraising, Maintenance, etc.), serving as an elected officer of the Steering Committee, or taking on a specific individual responsibility (e.g. Legal Resource or Tech Expert).
Members may choose to pay a monthly tuition surcharge to “buy out” of contributing work time to the school. Buy-out families are expected to attend General Meetings, vote in membership votes, and subscribe to the coop families’ email discussion/announcement list. The availability of buy-out option is limited in order to ensure that the school continues to function properly and in the spirit of cooperation.
We value the active involvement of families in our program, both through committee and classroom participation. School then becomes a shared experience that we hope will continue throughout the educational process.
Comments from the Provider
Brooklyn Free Space is a licensed and accredited cooperative preschool for children between the ages of 2.5 and 4.8 years. We have been caring for and educating young children in Park Slope and surrounding neighborhoods for over 30 years and are proud to have a full-time teaching staff of dedicated, experienced professionals. In addition, we supplement the classroom experience with specialized instructors for art, music, dance and movement.
In a caring and positive atmosphere, we create a warm and happy place for preschoolers to learn. Play is at the heart of our curriculum. As they play, children learn about others and how to build relationships, and they also learn more about themselves. We emphasize process rather than product, fostering a sense of accomplishment and pride. We teach love of learning by allowing children to feel success without pressure. Sensory, motor, perceptual and language skills are introduced through learning themes, and we offer children a wide range of activities and materials with which to experiment. In addition, we supplement the classroom experience through the use of specialized instructors for art, music, and movement.
Four spacious classrooms accommodate a total of up to 62 children. BFS is located on Sixth Avenue, one block from JJ Byrne Park. The children participate in outdoor activities daily (except on inclement weather days) and we also have a large indoor play area.
• Fully licensed by the New York City Department of Health
• Experienced and professional staff with an average of 9.5 years at Free Space
• Low child-to-teacher ratio
• Directors have more than 38 years of combined experience in early childhood education
• Active parent participation
• A nonprofit educational corporation
Review from the Fall 2021 Early Childhood Education SurveyType of facility: preschool, upk Review: We have been so happy with our decision to enroll our son in the youngest class at BFS. While we loved our former daycare, we wanted to enroll him here to be closer to our daughter's school, and it worked out for the best! He is learning so much, having so much fun, and making lots of friends. The teachers are outstanding -- they really relate to kids at their level and encourage learning and exploration. They are masters at what they do and really seem to love their jobs. It's such an incredibly warm, welcoming community, and we truly couldn't be happier. What amenities does the facility provide? Has after-school options, Has early morning hours What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? They follow the DOE schedule, but it would be nice if they offered camps or coverage on many of the DOE holidays. They also have a very long phase-in schedule in the beginning, which felt unnecessary (and was a burden to us as working parents). Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? They have gotten a class of 2-3 year olds wearing masks regularly. They go outside every day and communicate clearly when there's an illness in the class, etc.
Review from the Fall 2021 Early Childhood Education SurveyType of facility: Pre-K Review: Our daughter absolutely loves BFS! Her lead teacher Bob, in the Sunshine classroom is really just a gem! They do an amazing job cultivating an emergent curriculum in the Reggio Emilia approach and it is amazing to see how the kids interests are picked up and build curriculum. They are well aware of social dynamics and social-emotional learning and development and what they do always feels very intentional. I also love that they do a ton of cooking in the classroom and so the kids make all kinds of special snacks together including homemade waffles, “nacho Tuesday”, and other things. I can’t say enough good things! I also happen to love that it is a coop school because the level of community building among families is awesome. Even though that is somewhat reduced due to the pandemic we feel very welcomed by the community and have already made parent-friends as our daughter has made friends with her classmates. It’s such a great community and in the end that was actually what drew us to choose this program over another one that seemed really great but was not a coop. And we are very busy working parents, but the excuse to be involved and contribute is totally worth it! What amenities does the facility provide? Has after-school options, Has early morning hours What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? The school is looking for a new space and will likely move in 2022/2023 (still in or near Park Slope). The building is fine, but a modern new space would definitely be an improvement. That said, to the kids, they don’t care at all. Our daughter is thrilled to go there everyday! Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? The school has done a great job with pandemic safety. All children in our classroom are mask compliant and all staff are vaccinated. They tests the kids bi-weekly via a cheek swab and do health screenings, etc.
Review from the Fall 2021 Early Childhood Education SurveyType of facility: Pre-K Review: This is my son's first year at BFS; my daughter was a student at BFS the previous two years, and we are thrilled to be back. It is a true community, warm, inviting and inclusive, and my son starts and finishes his school day with a huge smile. Every teacher is incredible and really goes the extra mile to keep parents informed. What amenities does the facility provide? Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Snacks are provided, and kids spend lots of outdoor time at JJ Byrne, the park or on neighborhood walks Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? The school has handled the pandemic as seamlessly as one could hope. Masks are mandated, teachers are vaccinated, and the school has even begun offering optional in-school Covid testing for students.
PreschoolsOur daughter is 2 and started at Brooklyn Free Space this fall. We are thoroughly enjoying the school: the teachers are caring educators, the parent community is supportive, and we like the involvement the Co-Op structure offers. There are a number of great options in Park Slope but we certainly recommend BFS.
PreschoolsMy daughter started at Brooklyn Free Space (2nd Street and 6th Ave) last school year and is in PreK for All (free!) there this year. Great teachers and a really nice community of parents as it’s a cooperative preschool.
Review from the 2020–2021 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: My daughter enjoyed two wonderful years at Brooklyn Free Space. It is truly a warm, nurturing environment, and the teachers are attentive, creative and kind. BFS is a coop school, so you have the opportunity to get involved and engage with fellow families. My son starts preschool there this fall, and I'm grateful he'll get the full BFS experience, too. Facility amenities: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, There is a small outdoor space with picnic tables, but the children get ample, meaningful outside time at neighboring playgrounds and the park. What would you change about the program? Nothing, we really have been so happy with BFS Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? The school handled the pandemic incredibly well. Everyone wore masks, kids spent significant time outdoors, appropriate protocols were followed, and there was total transparency / great communication.
Review from the 2019–2020 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: This is our daughter's third year at Brooklyn Free Space, a progressive, child-led, play based preschool. We decided to send her because of the school's focus on child led play, socio-emotional learning and diversity through the hands of the experienced staff, some of whom have been with the school more than 20 years! We have had a great experience watching her blossom through the nurturing stability the school provided since she was 2.5 years old and now watching her grow into her city-funded Pre-K for all year . The warm co-op family community has led to some of our best kid and adult friendships and helped us get through this tumultuous year. Bonus for figuring out a way to safely offer everyday in-person instruction through Sept 2020 (which she would not have got at any other city Pre-K site). 100% would send her again. Amenities offered: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Had large indoor gross motor space, separate atelier for arts
Review from the 2019–2020 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: Wonderful cooperative preschool and community where my little one has been thriving, despite everything that has been going on this year the transition from part time daycare to full time preschool was smooth and she loves it, misses the staff and her fellow classmates on the weekends and holidays. There really is a sense of community amongst the parents and I love how involved BFS is in the neighborhood. The kids enjoy walks everyday and visit the local playground for lots of outdoor activities, they also have an artist/atelier on site and do lots of art work; we get a report at the end of the day and lots of pictures. Amenities offered: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? The price - it is not FREE.
Review from the 2019–2020 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: We love the school and the community of families. We would do it all over again and have! Amenities offered: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Has snacks, community events, so on. What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? Nothing, truly!
Allergy friendly preschool recommendations?A little further afield, but my allergy kiddo goes to Brooklyn Free Space in park slope and I’ve been very happy with their efforts. It’s a nut free school and they have him eat with kids that have allergy free lunches. When he started last year the teachers were really good about working with him to ask the right questions (as I just attempted complete avoidance up to that point). Now he knows to ask if items have nuts or seeds. The teachers also send me pictures of packaging if they aren’t confident it’s ok for him.
Feedback on Brooklyn Free Space?We were in BFS for the 2019-2020 school year which ended suddenly in March :( They go to JJ Byrne literally every day so I don't think the outdoor space issue should be a deal breaker. Can't say enough good things about BFS. Compared to my son's school now (we moved), which only does 20 minutes of Zoom in the morning on Covid-closure days (or snow days, or alien attacks because that's definitely in the works I can feel it), BFS did a lot more, including one-on-one calls that my kid really loved. They also did art supply pickups and other cool things. Feel free to reach out with questions, always happy to plug them!
Welcome to the NEW 2018 Kids Group!A.'s been enrolled in a 2s program at Brooklyn Free Space in Park Slope since September and is loving it and really thriving there. Highly recommend it for anyone who's looking.
Welcome to the NEW 2018 Kids Group!J. is currently enrolled at Brooklyn Free Space - we LOVE the school! J. has been back in person 5 days a week full day and she loves it.
Brooklyn Free Space shout outDear PSP community, I feel for all you parents navigating school and care for your kids during this pandemic year. I wanted to share that the preschool cooperative, Brooklyn Free Space, that my daughter attends has a few spots available, if some families are still considering trying preschool options. The school has spots available for its 3s and 4s program. My oldest son attended BFS the previous two years and now my daughter is thoroughly enjoying her experience. I cannot speak more highly of the school pre and peri covid. The school is now open full time and has an after school option, and the classes are spending lots of time outdoors. When the school has been remote, teachers have gone above and beyond to support the kids and parents. If you are traveling down 6th avenue towards third street, you cannot miss it. The school now has these cute kids sized picnic tables outside. Check out the website: https://www.brooklynfreespace.org/
in person child care centers/schools for full time...I can only speak for Montessori Day School and Brooklyn Free Space. Both are great child-led schools that may have space, I recommend reaching out.
2019-2020 Year ReviewReview: An excellent preschool for early childhood education and development that allows a child's play and inquisitive nature to direct learning that is guided by their teachers. There is a strong emphasis on process rather than product. The school also recognizes the importance of outdoor play and kids go to playground almost daily and older children have an opportunity for forest school in the fall and spring. … About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, has art, music as well as a yoga seminar in the winter …
Review from the 2019 PSP Daycare, Preschool SurveyThere is not enough space to sing the praises of BFS. It is a gem. This program is simply amazing. The teachers are incredible and the coop structure creates an amazing community of parents. They have an amazing art teacher who goes into color theory and does light studies. It is an emilio reggio program which is play based and the children explore learning through interests and their environment. For older classes they have forest school units in prospect park. they also offer UPK which is a perk. DETAILS: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours
Review from the 2019 PSP Daycare, Preschool SurveyThe UPK Program at BFS is really terrific, and the head teacher for the Rainbow room Oi is especially good at helping every child come out of their shell. It's amazing how much every kid is able to learn and grow over the course of the year, and it is a really special, progressive, creative learning environment. The classroom comes alive through every child's interests over the course of the year, and the teachers are great at communicating what happens every day. I couldn't think of a better learning environment for early childhood education. DETAILS: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours What you would change: It would be great if they served lunch, but I understand why they don't.
Review from the 2018/2019 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyMy son is thriving at this pre-school. He feels excited to go to school every day. Kids are learning but the emphasis is on play and exploration. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, no outdoor space but JJByrne is nearby
Review from the 2018/2019 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyWe are in the 2s program at BFS. We chose it because of its warm, loving community that focuses on diversity of all kinds. Immediately felt a connection and were elated when we got in through the lottery. Our child has thrived under the warm guidance, so much so that asks to go on the weekend. They follow a totally child led play based curriculum with a strong focus on exposing the kids to their surroundings and the arts. Every day our child comes home dining a new song, telling us new stories and happy as clam. We are so happy to have found the BFS community! About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Huge indoor play space
Review from the 2018/2019 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyBFS is a progressive co-operative school that has been around for 30 years. It follows Bank Street and the Reggio Emilia approach which are child-centered and utilize self-directed, experiential learning. The teachers present an activity to the children and where it goes is up to the kids and they build further activities for the following days based on the kids’ interest. The ratio of teacher-student is very low. They have before care and after care. You do need to pack your child’s lunch but they provide a snack. It’s a happy, wonderful school that sets children up well to be lifelong learners. The space isn’t great; they rent from a tired church and are actively looking for a new space. You might find another preschool that’s as good but you won’t find one that’s better! About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Big indoor space with lots of walks to JJ Bryne What would you change? The space
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyThis school is the embodiment of community. From the administration to teachers to fellow parents the environment is one of friendship, love, play, creativity, and very much rooted in community. They have a very casual feel but the “lessons”/ curriculum is pointedly and creativity curated and implemented by skilled and passionate teachers. What a gem, My son loves this school and has excelled all around. The teachers take the time to talk with parents, they create a harmonious environment for learning. There is a coop requirement- which is not a huge time commitment and adds to the sense of community. They offer upk which is a huge perk. This feels more like a family than a school. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, They go to jj Byrne to play/ has an indoor play space. Snack provided.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyOur son started at Brooklyn Free Space in the Jitterbug classroom when he was 2 years and 9 months old. He has thrived and we have been consistently impressed with how well the teachers have gotten to know him and really see him for who he is. Daniella - the lead teacher - is amazing, as is Aida. The teachers really pay close attention to the children and what they are interested in and tailor daily activities based on those interests. This year, the focus of the classroom has been on birds, and it has been incredible to see what a deep interest our son has taken in the subject. The BFS approach appears to instill a deep love of learning for learning's sake, and isnt' focused on rigid lesson plans. We commute a long way to and from school, but it really has been worth it. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours. What would you change? BFS is a parental coop and as such, is as organized as the particular parents running different events. Some events are run more smoothly and efficiently than others. There is a earthy, DIY vibe about the place, which suits us, but may not be what people would expect for how much they pay monthly.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyMy son is in the Jitterbug classroom and he couldn't be happier and either could we! It is an incredibly warm and nurturing environment. The teachers are engaged and follow the children's areas of interest, every day is a new adventure and our son loves to go to 'school'. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyOur family has been at BFS for 3 years now, and we love everything about it. The community of parents and teachers is awesome - parents and teachers work together in an amazing way, there is a lot of communication, and there are lots of opportunities to participate. Both of my kids have had a great experience at BFS. Children get to learn and develop their skills through play, imagination, sensory experience, etc. I love the commitment to diversity as well. Has outdoor space, Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyThe program is very well though out. Each class has three education professionals for approximately 10-15 kids. The school primarily utilizes the Montesori method which my daughter loved. She really took advantage of the freedom to discover/develop her curiosity and love of art/dance. Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, There is very limited outdoor space but the kids walk to JJ Byrne (one block away) almost every day.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyWe are so happy to be here . It wasn’t my first choice but I am so happy we were rejected from PSCCC! The teachers have been there many many years( some 10 , some 30) The educational director is the real deal . She watches classes and interacts with children every day and has years of higher education child development. The community of parents is fun . The classrooms are filled with creative, though provoking objects, games , books , toys and sensory exploration materials . They make it to JJ Byrne every day and there is also a very special, large inside gym-type room with mats and climbing blocks and a light table and tricycles that is a big hit before and after school or on rainy days . We have only had one year there in the youngest classroom (Jitterbug ) and I (as a picky , critical person ) am amazed at how impressive I find these teachers . It is play based learning with a lot of thought and care behind each activity. I know compared to friends at Huggs and Brooklyn preschool of Science (who aren’t happy ) how mich more feedback we get throughout the year . We get a short list-form “daily journal” emailed each day listing the activities , the books read, the children who slept etc. and we talk to one teacher individually at pickup each day . Also , every weekend a photo and video digest is mailed to us from our individual classrooms . As well, we have parent teacher conferences and a parent community forum and before the year started there was a welcome picnic and a home visit from the teachers ! What I am saying is that this school is incredible . I feel lucky to have found it . Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours. What would you change? Perhaps the cleaning of bathrooms and group space could be more thorough.
Review from the 2016/2017 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyAbout the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours Review: Both of our daughters attended BFS and had wonderful individual experiences there. It is an incredibly warm, nurturing environment where everyone is actively involved in the growth of the kids with time spent working with each individual making sure they are getting what they need to succeed. The class sizes are small, with 3 teachers in each, along with specialized instructors coming in to teach art, music, yoga, dance, etc. Our kids thrived there; learning more than we imagined, becoming strong, confident kids fully prepared for kindergarten upon leaving. The teachers & staff worked with us through any concerns/issues that came up during our time and we definitely feel like we are team. Our younger daughter used IEP/CPSE services along with the school and we found everyone involved to be deeply helpful and interested in providing exactly what was best for her. The attitude at BFS very welcoming and places a high value on diversity and tolerance. The school is a co-op, so they do ask families to put in extra work and attend regular meetings outside of school days. This can be tiring sometimes, but also allows you to feel actively included in your child's education. We are sad to say Goodbye! What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? The facility is not ideal, but the staff & families are working hard together to find a new one and make the best out of the current space.
Brooklyn Free space experience? (Jitterbug)It's a wonderful school with wonderful caring, thoughtful, intelligent staff. I couldn't say enough good things about it, and honestly, JJ Byrne is just a block away. (I was there for four straight years with two kids back-to-back.)
Re: Brooklyn Free space experience? (Jitterbug)Our daughter is finishing her 2nd year at Brooklyn Free Space and we have been unbelievably happy with her experience there. Our older daughter also went there for two years, and we feel like she had an excellent school foundation for Kindergarten & elementary school. Neither child was in the Jitterbug room, so I can't speak on that, but everything I've seen of the teachers & room has been wonderful and gentle. We've interacted with a couple of those teachers in other classrooms & afterschool, and the head teacher (Daniela) is also the Assistant Educational Director of the school and all around wonderful person & teacher. It's a small school with a close-knit community and we loved our times in the 3 other classrooms. BFS is an incredibly warm, nurturing environment where everyone is actively involved in the growth of the kids; with time spent working with each individual child making sure they are getting what they need to succeed. The class sizes are small, with 3 teachers in each along with specialized instructors coming in to teach art, yoga, music, etc. The "Big Room" upstairs is really great for physical play on rainy/cold days, but the kids DO go to JJ Byrne (and other playgrounds) on a daily basis (weather permitting). They take neighborhood walks, go to a playground and get fresh air almost every day. The afterschool program also goes to the playground daily. Our daughters are Very different people, but both have thrived there. They have learned & grown more than we imagined and became (are becoming) strong, confident kids fully prepared for kindergarten & beyond. The school has worked with us through any concerns/issues that came up during our years and we definitely feel like we are team in raising our kids. The school's attitude is very welcoming and places a high value on diversity and tolerance, which is incredibly important to us. The school is a co-op and does require families to put in some committee work and attend regular meetings outside of school days. This can be tiring sometimes, but also allows you to feel actively involved in your child's education. We were also able to pick co-op jobs that work with our schedule and interests.
Review submitted via the PSP 2016 PreK SurveyReview: My kid loves this program. She has thrived there. We love the community and the teachers. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals Review submitted via the PSP 2016 PreK Survey
Review submitted January 2016 via from Daycare SurveyWe have loved our continued time at Brooklyn Free Space. My child has three qualified, loving and attentive teachers in class, along with specialists that come in regularly for enrichment (music, art, yoga, etc). All of the teachers are committed, insanely patient, and attentive to each individual child. The school philosophy is play-based, child-led curriculum. The kids are reached at their level and interests, while prompting them to think farther and explore. The school is housed in an old church with some issues, but the designated preschool areas are always clean and completely safe. Children's artwork and words decorate every wall in a warm & cozy way. There is a large center room which functions as a playspace for indoor play on cold/wet days and space for kids to mingle and get out energy before & after school . The school is a co-op, so many parents are encouraged to get involved and work together. Co-op jobs are chosen at the beginning of the year and are not overwhelming. My child loves their teachers, classmates and going to school. We love that the teachers and staff are very easy to reach, provide (sometimes) daily, weekly & monthly updates and are very responsive to questions and requests.
Review Submitted via 2014-2015 Daycare/Preschool SurveyProgram: Sunshine Length of time: Full time and afterschool Child’s Age: 3-4 years Type of facility: Privately run daycare/preschool with multiple classes and teachersIt is also a co-op. REVIEW: BFS is wonderful. The school is play-based and child centered and it seems everything revolves around some sort of creative project or interaction with the world. Our daughter has loved it and thrived there. It is a co-op school that requires a certain level of parent involvement, which can at times be challenging but overall is worth it as it makes the school a close community. The Directors and teachers are excellent. It is a warm welcoming environment (although could use an upgrade on the building but we weren't bothered by that). We wish we could send our younger child next year but he is too young still -- people commute from all around for the school, which shows how fabulous it is. We had two parent teacher conferences and regular check ins via Email and at pick up or drop off. Our daughter went through an intense transition this year when we moved and the teachers handled it very well and spoke to us about it frequently. Would you recommend? Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
Review Submitted via 2014-2015 Daycare/Preschool SurveyNote: this member reviewed this facility in a prior year. Length of time: Full day, 5 days/week Child’s Age: 3-4 years4-5 years Type of facility: Brooklyn Free Space is a private preschool where the educational component of the school is run by a professional staff of directors who hire the teachers, and a parent co-cop runs all other aspects of the school. REVIEW: We loved our experience with Brooklyn Free Space. We sent our daughter here for two years: one preschool year and one pre-K year, and both years she had loving, well-trained, excellent teachers who helped her grow and thrive. BFS is a Reggio-Emelia inspired school, meaning it has an emergent child-led curriculum. Basically it's a place where kids are creative, where they discover things on their own, and where the teachers help kids learn by providing great questions and materials and activities, as opposed to worksheets. We didn't know much about this particular educational philosophy before we sent our kiddo to BFS, to be honest, but after seeing it in action we're passionate converts to child-based education. The school has a contract with the DOE to provide UPK, and the tuition for our Pre-K year was discounted. The parent community is wonderful: We made lasting friendships here. The school is a co-op, and people are really invested in making the school a good, growing place. The teachers are warm, creative, and encouraging, and there are three teachers per classroom as opposed to two, so this is probably the best student-teacher ratio our daughter's ever going to have. :/ They provide frequent (usually daily) feedback on what the kids are learning and doing in class. One of the factors that was most important for us is that it's a great option for working parents: All the children go five days a week, full day, so there's consistency and familiarity. More than half of the families there also take advantage of the after-school and early-bird programs. For us it was great that we didn't have to cobble together a bunch of days from various preschools to cover the whole working week. We felt great every day sending her to a school where we knew she'd learn, play, grow, and be loved. This place is special. Really. Would you recommend? Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
2014 Daycare/Preschool PSP reviewProgram: Length of Time: Full day and afterschool program Child's Age: 3-4 years Review: The teachers are incredibly warm and knowledgeable, the administration is highly competent in early education, and so invested in the success of the school and the experience of the students and families. The school offers a structured day with flexibility for the children to explore and inquire about their own interests and receive guidance from the teachers. The school is located in an old church, a tad rundown, but it's comfy and homey and provides adequate resources for the children. They are looking for a brand new space in the next few years. The teachers and administrators are very communicative and informative about what happens in the classroom. Recommend (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
2014 Daycare/Preschool PSP reviewProgram: Length of Time: full time, 5 days Child's Age: 2-3 years3-4 years4-5 years Review: We love BFS. It was important to us to feel involved in a parent community, so we really like being part of a coop preschool. The coop is organized and energetic, and parents work collaboratively with the school's professional staff. One of the best things about the school is the parent community. We really do work together for the improvement of the school and feel ownership of the school together. The educational directors are fantastic: committed and intelligent. The teachers are wonderful, and are supported in their professional development by ongoing teacher training programs led by the educational directors and other experts. The school takes a Reggio Emelia approach, so classes are play-based and exploratory. The kids learn SO MUCH, it's constantly surprising, but always with a child-centered, play-centered philosophy (no worksheets here). Afterschool teachers are loving and talented. As working parents, we also feel fortunate to be at BFS. It's one of the best options we found. All the kids go 5 days a week, so they have the same classmates and the same teachers every day, and that consistency really helps. Plus, over half of the kids in the school also attend the afterschool programs, which are fun and loving and personalized. It's really organized to be a working-family-friendly environment. Here's the one downside: The school facility, in an old church, is quirky--it's not one of those shiny new preschools with ikea furniture everywhere. For some people, that can be a turnoff, but we kind of like how well-used it is. The part of the building used by the school is always clean and well-kept, but the building itself is old and has some problems. Recommend (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
2014 Daycare/Preschool PSP reviewProgram: Length of Time: Full Time Child's Age: 3-4 years Review: Parent led. Amazing teachers. Recommend (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
2014 Daycare/Preschool PSP reviewLength of Time: Full days 5/wk Child's Age: 4-5 years Review: The teachers were excellent and nurturing. There were 3 per class. Recommend (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
2014 Summer Camp ReviewProgram: Early Childhood (4-5) full day Age of Child: 5 Likes: She liked putting together the play and acting it out at the end of the week, going to JJ Byrne each day (though she wished that part of the day was longer). I thought the people who ran it were really nice, organized, responsive to emails, good about sending updates and photos during the week. What would you change? My daughter participated and was well behaved but was kind of lukewarm on the experience. Theater is maybe not her thing and I think she missed the camp at her preschool, where she'd been for a while. I didn't love that they used lots of incentives/rewards for good behavior and time outs for kids who weren't listening. She's also an active kid and said she would have liked more movement during the day. Would you send your child(ren) again? No Do you recommend? Recommend with reservations Do you have any other information to add?
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: PreSchool, Dragonfly Class Length of time: Full Day, 5 Days/week Child's age: 3-4 years Review: My daughter is finishing her 1st year at BFS and could not love it more. She is 3 and currently in the Dragonfly class. This was her first drop-off school-type experience and they helped her adjust easily. The school follows the Reggio Emilia philosophy of learning through child-led play, and as a co-op works closely with the input & efforts of the families. In the last few months there, she has grown & flourished in ways we never imagined. Her teachers are amazing; warm, loving, attentive, creative, energetic and in-tune with the minds of toddlers. We have watched her language develop immensely, her social stills become better daily as well as her independence skills. She has learned empathy and an ability to speak up for herself in a useful way. She comes home tired and happy, and eagerly looks forward to the next day at school. When we had issues with her being unwilling stay quiet at naptime, they handled it so well & solved the issue by giving her things to do to fight her boredom. They offered up leadership opportunities and challenging tasks; resulting in her learning how to write her letters! When we have needed it (ie new baby born) the early-bird & after school programs were easy to use and well worth the money. We have also taken advantage of an after school, on-site dance class offered through a partnership with BAX, and a sports class offered in partnership with Sportball. She loved both. The kids go outside almost daily (weather permitting) to nearby playgrounds & on neighborhood walks. They also go on a few field trips a year. When outside is not an option, they have a large indoor playroom to use as well. Her class has a ratio of 3 teachers to ~14 kids (4 half-day?), which has ensured that every one gets some individual attention when they need it. They also have visiting teachers in areas such as movement. music, art & yoga. They helped us fully potty train (daytime) and adjust smoothly to a new baby sister at home. We get weekly emails with classroom updates/activities & photos, as well as emails when big things happen during the day. They also let us know at pick-up what happened that day. There is a new key card security system that makes us feel safer, and all of the staff seem to recognize all the kids and their caregivers. Any issues that we've had come up, have been address & resolved easily. So happy with our experience there & definitely recommend it! Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Sunshine Length of time: Full Day 5 days/week Child's age: 4-5 years Review: Skilled teacher, very approachable teachers and directors, strong sense of community, rich classroom environment where "themes" are driven by the students interests Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Length of time: Full Time 5 days Child's age: 3-4 years Review: The teachers are all dedicated and caring educators...masters' degrees or in-process. They use the Reggio Emilia approach which is a way of watching and listening to children to see where they are going/want to explore/learn etc. They are extremely communicative and always put the children first. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyProgram: Dragonfly Length of time: 5 days/week Child's age: 3-4 years Review: I have been very happy with the experience at Brooklyn Free Space. The teacher-to-student ratio seemed perfect, and the teachers are all deeply committed to their work, incredibly patient, and in tune with the needs of each individual child. The school is in a slightly run-down church, but the space is always kept clean and safe and is decorated in such a way as to make the children feel at home. There is also a big central space for indoor play on poor weather days. The co-op work can be a great deal of responsibility, and was tough for our family, with two working parents. But the tradeoff was worth it, as we were so happy with the school, and in the end it also allowed us to spend more time with a great group of parents. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
(no subject)Review Date 2012 Program:Pre-K Length of TIme: Full time, 5 days a week Child's Age: 4-5 years Review: The school has an emergent curriculum model, which is an energizing and inspiring format for young kids. The teachers are caring and always have a clear, accurate understanding of my child's strengths and challenges. They offer early bird and after school schedules, which is really helpful. I particularly like the coop model because parents are very involved and the director is approachable, involved with the kids and very available to parents with questions and issues. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
(no subject)PROGRAM: Pre-K Length of Time: 5 days a week, Full Day 4-5 years Our daughter loves BFS and we are so glad she is there. Her teachers know her well, are highly trained and skilled at teaching preschoolers and creative in their lesson planning each week. The school is following a Reggio Emilia model, which means they keep close track of the children's interests and model weekly lessons on those interests. That said, there is lots of active play both indoors and out, the classroom is well-designed to facilitate fine-motor activities, creative play, reading and drawing/painting, etc. BFS just consulted with local OTs to add in more sensory-based equipment in the classrooms and in the indoor play area and adjusted the daily schedule to start the day with active play, both of which have helped reduce behavioral problems that are common to preschoolers with excess energy. The school is careful and thoughtful with start-of-school transitions and provides a lot of individualized help and support to parents dealing with specific issues. We get regular updates from the teachers, ad hoc as well as in regular meetings. Whenever I want to check in about our daughter's progress, her Head Teacher and the Educational Director make themselves available within 12-24 hours. We previously had our daughter in another preschool with an excellent reputation but where there was little room for play and staff were remote from the kids (and it was a LOT more expensive!). BFS is a far better setting for her and she has grown tremendously in her time there. Do You Recommend? Highly recommend (Review date: December, 2011)
(no subject)Length of Time: Full 3-4 years I have loved our experience at BFS. The atmosphere is so child-centered, and the approach so thoughtful of the individual child. The leadership is responsive and visionary, and the classroom activities are inspiring. My daughter doesn't want to leave each day and can't wait to get back! Do You Recommend? Highly recommend (Review date: December, 2011)
Review from Survey, 2010Program type: Full day, 5 days a week KID AGE:3-4 years We are very, very happy with Brooklyn Free Space, a coop preschool with a Reggio Emilio focus (based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community and emphasizing supported exploration and discovery based on the interests of the children). My daughter has three teachers, two of whom have been with the school for 20+ years; they are a seamless, caring team and have addressed her developmental needs with wisdom, calm and true kindness. Unlike my daughter's prior preschool, the Director is in the classroom weekly and readily available to me when I have questions. The school rents space from a church, so the space is quirky but really perfect for the kids' purposes. In addition to well-designed classrooms, there is a big open play space and additional spaces in the school for weekly enrichment programs (movement, music and art). I recommend the school without hesitation. Highly Recommend/Recommend or Do Not Recommend?--Highly recommend Review Date: Fall 2010
(no subject)hey are on 6th Ave between 2nd and 3rd St. There is probably a waiting list but the list does move and I know folks who got a slot as late as August. It's a great pre-school, classes are well balanced with similar age groupings and balanced gender, we've had a terrific year there and will send our daughter next year! (june 2010)