Member Perks Provider Giocare Playschool
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Your discount: 5% off
Families will receive 5% off the deposit amount for preschool with proof of Park Slope Parent membership.
Summer camp for 2.5 yr oldsI love Giocare! I have been sending my kids there since 2018. They have a great summer camp program that involves spending a lot of time outside and going on local field trips.
24m+ daycare recommendation?We've had our kids at Honeydew (though not the Safari location), Giocare, and Zusin and are big fans of all.
ISO Advice on PreK Programs: Giocare, Brooklyn Treehouse, Chai TotsI have a kid in 3K at Giocare and I can only recommend their program! My second is going there next Fall for the 2s program.
ISO Advice on PreK Programs: Giocare, Brooklyn Treehouse, Chai TotsWe are at Giocare. It's our 3rd year there through 2 kids. They are really wonderful overall. Ellen, the director, is a great communicator and is very well organized. The teachers are very sweet. They get the kids out and about in the neighborhood 1x-2x per day. Even if it's rainy they'll at least get a walk around the block. They are really good about having coverage for school breaks and summer. AND they serve ALL FOOD. No packing lunches.
Summer camp for 4 year oldsGiocare runs a nice program for the littles.
3k programs???We live in WT and commute to our old neighborhood, Park Slope, to bring our son to Pre-K, also where he went to 3-K. It is an awesome school and we're sad that after 3 years there, he has to go off to Kindergarten! The school is Giocare, 15th St. and 5th Ave. I have no idea if they have any spots in their 3-K program, but I believe it would be worth it for you to get on their list, if you are able to drive/commute there.
Review from the Fall 2021 Early Childhood Education SurveyType of facility: 3K Review: We love Giocare. The philosophy is so child centered and developmentally appropriate and the program is robust and exciting. The teachers are wonderful and responsive. It is my son's first school/childcare experience and he adjusted so quickly and loves school. They spend a ton of time outside which we love - going to playgrounds and Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery and local farmers markets. They also have regular classes with speciality teachers like sports and arts and they've just started yoga and music in the park. My son has learned so much and talks nonstop at home about school. It's really just so fantastic - we feel so lucky! What amenities does the facility provide? Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? Nothing Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? We're very happy with Giocare's Covid protocols. They've been very cautious while maintaining the importance aspects of their programming. The kids are safe and joyful in the midst of a pandemic. All staff are vaccinated and masks are universal and consistent. They provide an option for weekly testing which has been such an advantage.
Review from the Fall 2021 Early Childhood Education SurveyType of facility: Daycare and Pre K Review: Our son went to the daycare when he was 2 and then summer school and is now enrolled in the Pre-K program. He loves it herer. We really enjoyed the teachers and he really seems to be having lots of fun during his time here. There is a bright wheel app that updates us frequently on his day, naps and meals. The school is extra cautious regarding COVID protocols and all kids need to wear masks all day except eating and napping. The teachers and assistants update us frequently and we have really enjoyed our time here . We would definitely resent our son here if we could do it over again. A+++++++ What amenities does the facility provide? Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? Not really, Giocare and ellen really update us on all issues and communicates well Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? Giocare is very cautious about wearing masks and safety and communication, they really care to ensure that all students are protected.
Review from the Fall 2021 Early Childhood Education SurveyType of facility: 2, 3K, pre-k Review: Very community focused. Fun environment. Great staff. What amenities does the facility provide? Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? Our school has gone above and beyond!
Review from the Fall 2021 Early Childhood Education SurveyType of facility: Preschool Review: Our child has been attending Giocare for a few months and it's been a fantastic experience so far. We love that the kids get plenty of outdoor time (walks to playgrounds and parks), and a really great diversity of activities (art, outdoor activities, learning stations, etc). The teachers and staff are incredibly responsive, communicative, and great with the kids - our child is so happy everyday at both pickup and drop off - in the time that she's been at Giocare, she's already learned and grown so much. We also appreciate that they have been working on creating more opportunities for community building despite all of the hurdles from COVID. What amenities does the facility provide? Has early morning hours, Provides meals What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? Nothing that I can think of! Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? Giocare has done an amazing job with managing through the pandemic situation and keeping the kids safe and the program available and open. Everyone wears masks and the teachers and staff have helped our child with getting used to wearing her mask throughout the day. They also offer weekly testing for the kids and staff - and that has been helpful in providing transparency. They are extremely communicative in terms of any situation that arises, and in the event that a class is closed due to exposure they also offer remote learning resources.
Review from the Fall 2021 Early Childhood Education SurveyType of facility: 3K Review: Giocare is the most caring community of administrators, teachers, and families! We have loved watching our daughter grow in the 2s and 3s program and feel strongly that we could not have picked a better preschool. What amenities does the facility provide? Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? Amazing pandemic safety protocol. Weekly testing, lots of outdoor time, masks, HEPA filters. We've had a few classroom covid cases with no spread. I have a lot of confidence in the administration on their pandemic safety protocols.
PreschoolsMy son started in the 2s program this fall at Giocare and we really like it. It’s reasonably priced, and they participate in 3K and UPK — so next year the cost will go down considerably.
Review from the 2021 Summer Camp SurveyName of camp: Giocare Playschool Location: 15th St/5th Avenue, Brooklyn How old was your child when they attended camp this summer? 5 Review: Giocare does everything it does well. This summer the gave the kids daily adventures exploring so much of what the neighborhood has to offer, integrating fun, learning, and play. Counsellors and staff are well-versed in child development, and collaboratively navigate the bumps of early childhood amid a pandemic with grace and good humor. Most days were spent mostly outside, trekking to various playgrounds, splash-ads, and local gems like the Botanical Garden and Greenwood Cemetery. Indoor activities were safe and fun -- games, crafts by the talented art teacher. There was also sports/yoga in the park. What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? Nothing. Pre-Covid the camp ventured farther afield and had twice weekly swimming, which will hopefully return next summer. Would you like to add anything related to COVID and how the camp handled it? They were thoughtful, clear and safe in a consistent way that made it easy to follow the rules without feeling burdened by protocols. The kids had a blast.
Review from the 2020–2021 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: Our daughter has thrived at Giocare. They are a small nurturing community, every teacher seems to know everything about her, and she loves going each day and talking about all the things she learned when she comes home. They were super patient with potty training, provide excellent feedback about what’s going on in the classroom despite Covid limitation, and have great hours and holiday camp coverage. We are so grateful to have found Giocare! Facility amenities: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals What would you change about the program? Longer days
Review from the 2020–2021 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: My older child spent 3 years at Giocare and it has been an amazing experience for all of us! The teachers are Giocare are warm and creative. They are also very sensitive to the needs of each child. They were the first to notice our child's learning differences and encourage us to seek help. 3 years later, we are so glad to sought help early and we feel he is on strong footing heading into kindergarten. We have also found Giocare to have a wonderful parent community. We have made many friends at Giocare and love the community feel of the school. We were initially drawn to Giocare because it offers meals and holiday camps, which make things easier for working parents. We are sending our second child there because we know he will have a ton of fun and come away with friendships and knowledge that will set him up well for the next stage in life. Facility amenities: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals What would you change about the program? Nothing Is there anything you would like to add about how the school handled the pandemic? Communication excellent and safety always came first.
Review from the 2019–2020 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: We have been so happy with Giocare. Due to the pandemic we made a last minute decision to pull our daughter from her public pre-K. Luckily Giocare was able to convert our spot to UPK (they are a private institution that also participates in UPK). The kids spend soooo much time outdoors. They are fed meals and snacks (we don't even need to pack water), which are not provided by the DOE, and generally seem really healthy and tasty. Overall, the teachers and staff are really warm and welcoming. We couldn't be happier with our experience. Amenities offered: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? I only wish it was not on such a busy street. Other than that, I have no complaints.
Review from the 2019–2020 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: This is our second time around at Giocare, for our younger child. He attended preschool there and is currently attending Pre-K. It's wonderful! They are offering Pre-K for All 5 days a week with afterschool. His teachers are loving, caring, and very experienced educators. They know my son well and are helping him to develop while maintaining an engaging, fun, play-based environment. Everyone wears masks and I think they have done a great job mitigating for COVID-19 with additional safety and hygiene measures, as well as maximizing time outdoors. Amenities offered: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? Nothing!
Review from the 2019–2020 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: We LOVE Giocare. Our soon started in the 2s class and is now in the 3s. Its an all around wonderful place. We have been so impressed by staff and administration in running everything especially through COVID. They communicate regularly and are always very responsive to any inquiries. Our son has also really benefited from how the day is structured and the mix of creative activities from week to week. Overall, highly recommend. Amenities offered: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals
Review from the 2019–2020 Daycare, Preschool, Pre-K, and K SurveyReview: We have been very pleased with Giocare. The teachers are kind and caring, and the staff has done a fantastic job coping with the challenges of pandemic preschool. We are especially thrilled at how much learning has moved outdoors. Our child has grown in confidence and ability in just two months there, and we are excited for what the rest of the year will bring. Amenities offered: Has after-school options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals
Recommending Giocare (if you have children entering Prek and 1st-3rd grade)I see below that our son's preschool has space this summer for their camp. I wanted to plug this wonderful school and community. Giocare is one of the best things that happened for our family during this past year. Ellen and her teachers managed to be super organized, putting every safety precaution in place, communicating it to us clearly and effectively along the way. Our son was in their classes for two years and summer camp last year, and despite our fears with all the unknown, they quickly more than reassured us that they were safe and conscientious about everything that we were worrying about every day. The teachers are warm, communicative, and loving, and our first, shy child has thrived in their care. If you're looking for a summer camp option that will be fun and educational, and safe, I cannot recommend Giocare enough. If your child is entering preK they will also have one or two preK classes for him or her - this past year unlike the public school locations, our son was able to safely attend preK full time, for which we are forever grateful. I personally can't wait for our second to turn two and be with them until he's in kindergarten.
Daycare options for 2-year-old with EI supportI want to recommend Giocare. They have an inclusive environment and will work with parents, therapists, EI & CPSE to get the kids the support they need. They welcome children with all kinds of needs and know how to differentiate instruction and care based on each individual child.
Day CampsGiocare is great. They spend a lot of time outside in normal times and doubled down due to COVID. They had a park permit last year and also cycled through local playgrounds and Greenwood. In normal times they also go to a pool each week, but I don't know which one. Our 2016 daughter went there full-time last summer and will go again this year.
South Slope pre-school ?We love Giocare. Our older son will be in UPK there and our younger in the 2’s program next year. (Our older one is in the 3’s program now and was in 2’s and then camp last year.) They have a wonderful community of families and educators there and have been really communicative in the chaos of the past year. There so many other pluses and I’d be happy to elaborate if you want more details.
Reviews of South Slope Kindergarten OptionsMy daughter went to Giocare 3 years ago. It's a small daycare with a Pre-K option. It was great. They went to playgrounds a lot, but no yard. The Pre-K was on an upper floor and was very well sunlit.
Giocare Playschool v. Prospect Kids Academy (Park Slope Location)We were facing the same choice 3 years ago with our older kid and are so glad we chose Giocare! We have found an amazing community in Giocare and staff that are incredibly talented and caring. Our kid has thrived there and is now in their UPK program. One of the reasons he is thriving is that Giocare identified his sensory processing issues and guided us through the process of getting DOE services. I think we would have been lost without them. We considered PKA, but were put off by the many days off we would have had to take off from work for field trips and DOE holidays. Giocare has holiday camp on many holidays, so we don't need to worry about childcare on those days. Giocare also offers food, so we don't have to worry about that either. They are both great schools and you can't go wrong with either. But for us, Giocare won out and we are sending our now 18 month old there next year.
Daycare/PreSchool for my 2.5 year old?Check out Giocare. My son went there for 3’s and pre-k, and camp and my daughter 2.5 is there now. They have hours from 7:45-6, they provide lunch and two snacks and might have part-time spots available. Giocare is amazing. The kids are outside for a large portion of the day, it’s very engaging and they have great communication with parents.
PreschoolOur daughter is at Giocare on 15th St at 5th Ave and we love it. She's in the Pre-K program and was there last year too. They've been doing a great job with the Covid upheaval both last year when they had to suddenly go remote and this year with new safety protocols. I don't know if they still have spots, but you can email Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org We love the program and the teachers. They spend lots of time outside and go on field trips around the neighborhood. They have school day and full-day (until 6pm) options. And in normal times offer minicamps on holidays and school breaks including summer camp. As a huge bonus, they participate in UPK for the 4 year olds so you'll have priority to stay for next year.
UPK available at GiocareI agree with all the positive sentiments for Giocare. My daughter went there for several years including UPK and the summer camp they just had. Can’t recommend them enough.
UPK available at GiocareIf anyone is looking for a PreK progarm, Giocare may be the one of the best places on earth. Both of my kids went there, and they've been amazing in any circumstances, but my youngest was in PreK this past year, and they certainly stand out in terms of their ability to navigate the wellbeing of the children in their programs as well as their staff, and the greater community. My kids reference something from their Giocare days regularly. I highly recommend it -- the director Ellen is a very special person, who has cultivated a unique place.
UPK available at GiocareMy daughter went to Giocare for UPK and they were wonderful!
Review from the 2020 Summer Camp SurveyAge of child: 6 Comment: This was our child's 3rd year at Giocare Camp. It was a different year because of the Covid restrictions, and they couldn't do the usual day trips and pool trips. But the wonderful staff made it nurturing and fun, while having the highest safety standards (all campers and teachers wore masks). Our child absolutely loved camp and was sad to leave. He learned and grew a lot, and had so much fun with friends and teachers. We also got photos during the day, which was so cool. What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? I would have a longer day by at least an hour (it was a shortened day in Summer 2020). Anything related to COVID and how the camp handled it you'd like to add? Handled very well, which we attribute to the excellent director and teachers who truly cared about safety.
Review from the 2020 Summer Camp SurveyAge of child: 4 Comment: It was awesome. They did an incredible job during COVID 19 of creating a safe, fun, active camp where my child truly learned and grew, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am heartbroken that she cannot attend camp all year long and we will be back next year!! Anything related to COVID and how the camp handled it you'd like to add? Great job-masks. Almost all outdoor, but centered relationships and play. 8 weeks of camp and 0 sicknesses or shutdowns.
Review from the 2020 Summer Camp SurveyAge of child: 4 Comment: They always prioritize outdoor play, especially in the summer, and doubly so this year with COVID. They did a great job of keeping the groups separate, washing hands, etc, while still having a great time. What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? I wish they could have offered a full day program like they do in non-COVID times. Anything related to COVID and how the camp handled it you'd like to add? They did a really good job of communicating with the parents throughout the end of the school year and then summer camp. It was hard for everyone, but we are so happy we've been at Giocare throughout this.
Review from the 2020 Summer Camp SurveyAge of child: 4 Comment: Very well run, almost all outside, small groups What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? We wish it had an after camp or longer day option but they really tried to keep the kids outside so that would have hard. It also started really early (8am!) Anything related to COVID and how the camp handled it you'd like to add? They were very organized, had contactless drop off and pick up, and kept kids outside and in small groups that were kept separate to minimize contact.
Review from the 2020 Summer Camp SurveyAge of child: 4.5 Comment: 95% of the time was spent outdoors which we liked. My child complained sometimes about how much he had to walk since they went all the way back to school to pick up lunch and the back out again. What would you change about the program, if anything, and why? Maybe Stay outside all day instead of going back to school. Anything related to COVID and how the camp handled it you'd like to add? They did a great job with taking precautions. All kids and staff wore masks full time. No one got sick.
Daycare or school that requires masks?Without a doubt, I would recommend Giocare. The kids wear masks all day (except eating) and are outside and actively engaged all day long. The communication between teachers and parents is excellent.
in person child care centers/schools for full time...I’ll add to Giocare having spots we’re enrolled full time for 3s, we did 2s last year and absolutely love the program!
2019-2020 Year ReviewWe absolutely LOVE Giocare. Our son is in the 2s program and it has been fantastic for him - he's learning and having a ton of fun. The structure is great and the combination of activities - art, yoga, out to the playground and checking out stores in the neighborhood - have made for a fun but also enriching experience. Director and staff are also all great and really flexible. The program provides early drop off and extended day until 6 pm as well as coverage for holidays which has been a huge plus for us. Highly recommend! … About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals …
2019-2020 Year ReviewI can't express my appreciation for Ellen, Jessica and all of the Giocare staff enough. They have created something really special for children and their families. It's small enough that all staff know all the children, and children benefit from having the same teachers for several years as well as working with specialized instructors (art, music, sports). They really understand providing quality childcare from a developmental perspective and take pride in understanding each child's strengths and vulnerabilities. The emphasis on play-based learning and plenty of outdoor time --which includes playgrounds and exploring the neighborhood stores and services -- is remarkable. Staff still ask specific questions about my older child who completed PreK two years ago! … About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals … What would you change? Nothing.
2019-2020 Year ReviewOur son started at Giocare at age 3 after being cared for only by parents and close family. He walked in the first day, said goodbye to mom and dad, and never looked back. He loves his teachers and his friends and the art teacher. He loves going to the playground each day and eats the entire lunch and fruits and vegetables provided. He naps over an hour along with all the other 3's. They have afterschool, early drop off, holiday camps. They are flexible and accommodating. There are monthly gatherings for parents. They even organize information sessions on local kindergartens with alumni parents. Can't say enough great things about the administration and the teachers. … About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals … What would you change? Would add Spanish
2019-2020 Year ReviewWe are having a wonderful year in the 3's program at Giocare. The teachers are wonderful and they have created a great space for the kids. The administrators are dedicated to knowing what they can do to serve their families. They provide all meals and there are camp sessions during most school holidays. They take the kids out to the playground twice a day (for those that stay for after school) which is important to us. We are very happy there. … About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals, Prioritizes outdoor play …
Preschool or a second year at daycare?We ended up getting a spot in the 2’s program at Giocare Playschool in South Slope and have been very happy there. It’s play-based, so it only feels a bit more structured than the daycare he was in (Honeydew, which is right next door and where our younger son is now) and they still provide lunch and a snack. Also they have holiday camp available most of the days that kids have off on the academic calendar and also offer summer camp. I feel like the majority of daycares offer similar enrichment activities to what preschools offer anyway, so I wouldn’t worry much about your child not getting the benefit of a more rigorous curriculum. My son’s daycare had art, Spanish, music and movement teachers who visited throughout the week and most importantly he was learning social skills from being around other kids and interacting with other adults. As long as you trust the caregivers, they show affection to your child And he is happy where he is, I think most of the differences are a matter of convenience to be honest. Maybe the differences are more noticeable in the 3’s program, but for a 2 year old I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
Preschool recommendations for almost 2s?I don't know the exact rules and dates, but our preschool, Giocare Playschool, does allow children to start after they turn 2, even if it's after the start of the school year. I am not entirely certain, but I do believe that children with December birthdays joined my son's 2s class after their birthdays.
2's Programs South SlopeI love Giocare! Our kid has been there since last year and is now in the 3s class. The kids learn through play and he is always so happy at the end of every day. They send a lot of pictures, so I can see that he loves yoga class and building towers with friends. We had some behavioral issues in his second month and I was really happy with the way they handled them. They discovered that sensory play helped him calm his big emotions and he’s been doing really well since then. They foster independence, but also provide affection when he needs it. He loves his teachers and friends and says so every day.
Feedback on Giocare's Summer program?My oldest attends Giocare Pre-K currently and attended (and will attend again) the summer program. We really enjoy it there and as a 3.5 yr old she will have a blast! Everyday has a fun program of some kind and each week is different. The hours are excellent as it provides full day coverage (early drop off and late-6pm pick up) and lunch and snacks are covered! I can't be certain, but i'm pretty sure your child will be swimming once a week and they have excellent swim safety with an aquatics director and ample swimming supervision. The counsellors are typically all of the staff from the school year (ie: education professionals).
Feedback on Giocare's Summer program?My older son went to Giocare summer camp last year, at age 4. We liked the program a lot! He got a lot of exposure to swimming with twice-weekly pool visits, they literally went ALL over the city (Natural History Museum, Coney Island, bowling and more). They send you a bunch of photos and a daily wrap up, which was A. Lot. Of. Info. We got along well with the teachers and camp directors. The only drawback was that I was hoping my son would be able to attend minicamps there once school started again, which they alluded he would be able to. But then they never let me enroll him him because their minicamps were always full with current students. For that reason, my son (who is now 5 and in kindergarten) will be going to Park Slope Day Camp this summer.
Experience with Giocare?Our son is in the UPK program at Giocare. He has been at the school since he was 2–full-time, 5 days a week. We love it. The teachers are super responsive. The kids go outside twice a day. And the teachers pick up on kids’ interests and incorporate them into the class. Kids with special needs are seamlessly integrated into the class and the teachers foster an inclusive environment for all.
camps for rising Kindergarteners?We did Giocare day camp last summer and it was great! Consistent teachers, full day options available (8am-6pm I believe) weekly field trip all over Brooklyn and some Manhattan (taking bus and subway), swimming weekly (as a kindergartener+ you go twice a week), twice a day outdoor time to sprinkler parks and playgrounds, lunch and snacks included (!!!!), available literally every week of the summer! It’s a working parent dream in my opinion!
ISO: 2's Program Recc's in Park SlopeWe love Giocare for 2s and 3s program and hope to stay next year for UPK. The facility doesn't have it's own outdoor space but they walk the kiddos to the playground twice a day. On days that it's too yucky to play outside, they take walks to the grocery store or pet store or subway station. They do serve hot lunch via Red Rabbit catering and they provide fruits and veggies in the morning and afternoon for snack.
Looking for 3s & PreK program with PHYSICAL ACTIVITYGiocare preschool! They have once a day outdoor activity at a local playground and then again in the after school program all year round . They also have an excellent "Sports and Games" teacher who works with the 2s, 3s and preK classes once a week.
Review from the 2018/2019 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyOur child loved being able to connect to the community over time up through PreK as it’s a small school. They are always out in the neighborhood experiencing interacting with local business owners and community helpers. They go to area playgrounds each day, and twice a day if in aftercare. My child has become confident, engaged, and more resilient while at Giocare. The PreK program is inquiry based and play based while also providing new skills within communication, literacy and numeracy domains. Teachers are committed to their work and the community. They are supported professionally and have opportunities to work collaboratively. There is very little teacher turnover. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals What would you change? Giocare is limited by space. They are planning an expansion this year. Initially I thought having on-site outdoor space was a major check list item, but I’d actually prefer they are out and traveling to neighborhood playgrounds. It has allowed for much more skill building that’s inherent in becoming a little person out in the world. I believe they get more physical activity than they would at a small yard attached to a facility.
2018 Summer Camp ReviewsAge of child: 2.5 yo Summer 2018 Review: The schedule and activities were pretty great. Really nice outings and trips to playgrounds, parks, etc. The inside space was ok, but in a basement. Some staff were great, some seemed more plugged in than others. They were really flexible with scheduling as well.
2018 Summer Camp ReviewsAge of child: 3.5 years old Summer 2018 Review: Loved the field trips—Prospect Park Zoo, Transit Museum, Bakery and weekly art in the park, running in the playground. Counselors were fantastic and communicative with us.
2018 Summer Camp ReviewsSummer 2018 Review: Each age group is split for their appropriate development and abilities. Each week has a theme but each day of the week is the same-Monday is Sports and Games, Tuesday is art, Wednesday is swimming, Thursday is field trip and Friday is sprinklers. Camp starts at 8:30 (I believe they also provide early drop off 7:45/8) and offers extended care to 6pm. Kids in the 3/4yr old group go outside twice a day, snacks and lunch are served! The staff are enthusiastic, well trained and return year after year. They are also the teachers who provide care and education throughout the year. Age of child: 4
2018 Birthday Party ReviewWe used the Giocare Playspot for our daughter’s 4th bday party. We had 16 kids from 1-5 years old and all had a blast! Giocare allows you to use all their toys, their coloring supplies and their kitchen space and tables (there are many other perks too). If the weather is good, you can use their small outdoor space. It was perfect for us! Two bathrooms, change table, stroller parking (and street parking), very low key management, but very responsive and a great price! Hidden gem of a location!
2018 ReviewOur almost 4-year-old is at giocare full-time and in the afterschool program. He loves it. They go to the playground, have center time, read, art, etc. The teachers know the kids well and create a loving environment.
2018 ReviewOur daughter is currently in the 3’s program and we love Giocare. I highly recommend them. They go out every afternoon to play, they read, participate in art, play in different centers/table activities and games. There isn’t much communication at hand off, unless something noteworthy occurs (ie: accident). The teachers are kind, safe and engaged.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyOur son is shy in social settings, so transitioning to school was hard. The teachers and administration were great about working with us to make it as easy as possible. On days where drop off had tears, we had pictures of him happy and participating within 5 minutes. We get great daily updates with pictures about his day. He loves art and the fun tools and projects they work on. Despite only going part time, we feel included in the school community. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals, No private outdoor space, but they go on walks and/or to the park every day.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyMy child loves the books, the art classes with Ms. Kate, the teachers and the frequent visits to the park. She has bonded with her teachers and with her classmates and that is lovely to see. I am also very pleased with the way the teachers interact with the children and teach them to understand how they feel and react to different situations and to interact with each other. My child sometimes has strong reactions to things and the teachers do a great job helping her name her feelings, think about why she might be feeling that way and how to feel better. The best part about Giocare is the director, Ellen. She is warm, friendly and flexible- willing to chat about how my child is doing and what I can do to help with her development. I love that she is smart and focused on providing care for all children, and willing to discuss any difficulties we might be having. She is also very responsible and keeps parents well-informed, partly because she is a mom herself. Another fantastic thing about Giocare are the frequent opportunities for one-on-one interactions that parents have with the teachers. I feel that they are taking very good care of my child and that she is learning many critical skills such as language, emotional regulation and socialization. Importantly, she is also very happy at Giocare; she almost always comes home in a vibrant, happy mood with lots of things to share about her day. If you are concerned about the many days off in the department of education school year, which Giocare does follow, know that they run an affordable Holiday camp most days off- great for working parents without family nearby. And lastly, if you're a super attached mama that wants to know how your child is doing throughout the day, Giocare offers parents pictures of the day. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals, Takes children to the park weather permitting, sometimes twice a day. What would you change? A bigger space would be nice, but they go to the park so frequently, it's not a big deal.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyWe are completing our last year at Giocare as our daughter will be going to kindergarten in the fall. We can’t say enough good things about Giocare! The teachers have been wonderful and really helped our child develop a love of learning. Giocare has been a motivating and engaging learning experience for our daughter and we will truly miss our Giocare family! We are grateful that our daughter can continue summer camp at Giocare. It’s a really special place that fosters learning in a truly child-centered way. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals, Students walk to a nearby park at least once a day. What would you change? Nothing! The teachers and staff have been responsive and we know they care deeply about our daughter.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyTeachers provide an engaging, play-based learning environment that is very welcoming. Our daughter truly loves going to Giocare each day to see her friends and teachers! The director, assistant director, and teachers are all so supportive of the children and are committed to their positive growth and development. They are also highly communicative about each child's progress (e.g., through daily activity summaries, weekly newsletters, and parent-teacher conferences), as well as about routine events and schedules. Highly recommended! About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals, Flexible scheduling, including availability of optional camps during many DOE-scheduled breaks.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyRobust playschool with abundant resources to be flexible whatever childcare needs we have. We love the teachers, we love the attitude of the management in always being ready and able to help us with the unpredictable nature of having small kids. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyI was very impressed with the progress my child made during his time at Giocare on every level, educational (especially writing), emotional and physical. He enjoys going to school and talks about his experience. The program is run very professionally and the teachers and principals are very knowledgeable, open/flexible and kind. It’s been an all around great experience for both the child and his parents. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyThis is a wonderful preschool to send your children to. The administration & staff are all lovely and responsive. The children go outside on a daily basis, they have art, songs, and are exposed to the neighborhood around them. We actually had two kids in the 2 and 3 programs so it was nice to see happy faces when we picked them up. The school is very active in inviting parents to visit the classroom to learn what the kids are working on. The director of the school is awesome, she is very approachable and knowledgeable. There is just an amazing attention to detail with this school. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals. What would you change? Outdoor space.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyPlay Based program. Our child loves it and is thriving beautifully! About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, For a monthly fee, you can have hot lunch provided.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyWe have two kids in the program (including prek) and both are enjoying themselves immensely and learning a lot. There is ample feedback from the classroom, in daily photo and written summaries. Ellen, the director, and Jessica, the assistant director are very approachable and really thoughtful about each child’s developmental needs. Learning and activities are organized around themes that might be shared around classrooms, but at a level appropriate to each age. I appreciate all of the outings to neighborhood stores. There is also an effort to work with families around scheduling needs, so that early drop off and after school options aren’t as rigid as other places. It feels like a real community and families seem to stay in the program for several years. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals, No outdoor space but there is at least one daily outdoor activity — local playground or other outing in bad weather What would you change? The 9-5 schedule on school “camp” days.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveySmall and attuned to student need. Exposure to neighborhood imbedded in curriculum. Growth mindset about students and what strengths they’re bringing. Effective communication and emphasis on building capacity in each child. Safety in building and in neighborhood is paramount. A myriad of external specialists come in for regular parts of the day (physical education teacher, yoga/music teacher, art teacher). About the facility: Has afterschool options, Provides meals, No outdoor space, but children go to one of two playgrounds every day and sometimes twice. Neighborhood walks and local business visits a part of learning experiences. What would you change? The space isn’t as glamorous as others, but I also think this lends itself to more creativity and exposure to what’s going on outside, which is an emphasis.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyStructured preschool program for 2, 3s and pre-K. My daughter is in for the 3's program. They go outside everyday to local playgrounds or exploring the neighborhood (twice if you're child is in aftercare), you are given the option to pay for a hot meal (through Red Rabbit), snacks are fruit and vegetables, families are sent daily photos and a report of your child's day and a weekly newsletter is sent for your child's class. They have parent teacher conferences too to ensure their is strong parent/teacher communication. I feel very involved in my child's education and that I'm part of a school community. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals, early morning drop off starts at 8am, afterschool ends at 6pm What would you change? They are closed for all DOE holidays, but do offer "camp".
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyGreat program, my child has been very happy here. She likes the play areas, she likes the puppets, she likes the teachers. It feels like a warm and welcoming family. They really encourage families to communicate and organize playdates, and my child has made many friends. About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals What would you change? The lack of outdoor space is not perfect but the room is very light and airy.
Review from the 2017/2018 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyEveryone here is unbelievably attentive to what each kid needs and is communicative with parents on a daily basis with a report and photos. The projects and activities vary and are well thought out. Administration is always quick to alert to any illness issues and are thoughtful about keeping parents in the loop. My son had had a fantastic year here! Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals.
Re: ISO: Summer camps that provide lunch (and breakfast?)Giocare is serving lunch (and I think snacks) as an option this summer. They are a wonderful school, I'm sure the summer program will be just as excellent!
Thanks, and summary of drop-off playgroup responsesI'm a stay-at-home mom and my son has never been left for any long amounts of time with even a babysitter so I understand how you feel but I think it matters what the point of leaving your child is. Is it just to get used to you not being there? If so, I would use babysitters or a friend maybe even a friend with another baby. For us that worked out much better than a babysitter because my son was very familiar and there was another child to distract him. We did it at our house so it made it easier since only one variable (me) changed. I would also say that while leaving him for increasing amounts of time might sound like it would be more gentle it also might make it harder for him/her to get used to the new environment and have time to see the benefits. It's totally understandable that a child may cry for several minutes upon getting dropped off at day care for the first time (even those that have been going for a while) and then several more minutes to find something enjoyable and get used to you not being there and then you'd be back. But I'm not sure that this even exists, though I'm sure you could find a place that you pay for the whole time but can pick up earlier. Then, there's the option that you mentioned where you are present but someone else is watching the child. Giocare in South Slope does this and in the fall they are beginning and alternative preschool a couple days a week for 2 hours for children 18 months plus.
Review from the 2017 PSP Summer Camp SurveyMy daughter went to Giocare for preschool so it was wonderful to be back (after her first year of kindergarten). She loved seeing her old friends and teachers again and being back in a familiar place. But even if your kid didn't go to Giocare for preschool, it's still a lovely, low-key, fun, nurturing camp. The best thing about camp this year is that they started having swimming lessons for the kids twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays! Included in the price of camp! We've been trying for years to get our kid to be more comfortable with the water, and these few weeks of swimming lessons have done the trick far better than we ever could. The second best thing is that you have the option to sign up for lunch to be provided by the school's vendor for the low price of $16/week, which means you never have to worry about packing a lunch for field trip or swim days or any other day, for that matter. They go on a fun field trip every Wednesday and work the theme of the field trip into their activities throughout the week. They keep them busy with fun things and go to a splash pad on the days they don't go to the pool, but also give them enough down time so that they don't come home exhausted every day. Camp and aftercare are very reasonably priced. The only thing my daughter didn't like was that aftercamp was mostly younger kids, but that's not anything the camp can control! If you could change anything, what would it be? Nothing. Age of child: 5 Based on a Summer 2017 experience
Review from the 2017 PSP Summer Camp SurveyOur 3-year-old loved going to the playground at least once, but often twice a day. He loved the visit to see the ponies at Kensington Stables and the trip to the fire station. Age of child: 3 years Based on a Summer 2017 experience
Review from the 2017 PSP Summer Camp Surveylots of great trips and age appropriate. If you could change anything, what would it be? Age of child: 5 Based on a Summer 2017 experience
Review from the 2016/2017 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyType: Preschool About the facility: Has outdoor space, Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals Review: My daughter was at Giocare for Threes and Pre-K. I can't say enough good things about the program-the nurturing environment created by the teachers, the accessibility of the teachers and director, the play based approach they take to learning, the wonderful art projects, and most of all, how much my daughter LOVED going to school every day. She's learned so much over the past year, I am consistently amazed at her development and knowledge of all things around her. My son will be starting in the 2s program next year and I feel lucky to have found such a great community for my children.
Review from the 2016/2017 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyType: Preschool About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals Review: hands on learning, interaction with other age groups (2's, 3's, and preK), frequent class trips, exploring the neighborhood, daily use of local outdoor playgrounds when the weather is good, art, music, and sports teachers throughout the week, responsive director that will make appropriate changes as needed in response to feedback, emphasis on building a supportive school community, provides helpful talks/resources for parents.
Review from the 2016/2017 PSP Daycare, Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten SurveyLocation: 5th Avenue and 15t Street Type: Preschool About the facility: Has afterschool options, Has early morning hours, Provides meals, does not have outdoor space but they take the kids outside to a playground at least once a day Review: My daughter loved all aspects of the program. She liked all her teachers, the kids, the activities, the lunches, snacks, everything.
Re: Giocare vs. bishop fordOur 3-year-old attends Giocare. We love it. The curriculum is developmentally appropriate; the kids learn through play. The teachers really know the students and their interests and are very responsive to them. The hours are great--8am-6pm is an option. And they offer healthy lunch via Red Rabbit. One example I think typifies the level of engagement the teachers have with the students. [our sonn]'s teachers took the class to visit the fire station. (They know kids can be scared of firefighters in their gear when rescuing them from a fire, so they want them to get to know them.) He was terrified of the firefighters dressed in their gear. But to conquer his fear afterward, he has played "fireman" almost non-stop. To foster this, his teachers made sure there was a fireman's hat in the classroom, coat, fire truck and hose. He suits up in them right after walking in the classroom door (and after washing his hands). He loves going to school. He has become even more independent since starting there this school year. (He puts on his coat by flipping it over his head and turns arms and legs right side out because his teachers taught him how to do so.) We get a daily report, what activities they did, where they went, what they ate, and photos and videos. The daily report helps us discuss his day and find out more about his interests. The teachers and directors are always available for questions and thought-partnering. There is a parents' committee where parents can help the directors and the directors share information with the parents. It feels very collaborative. We are thrilled that Giocare offers the UPK program and are very much looking forward to remaining there until [our son] starts K.
Review for Giocare Playschool (2's preschool)My 3 year-old son attends Giocare Playschool on 15th Street and 5th Avenue, and we want to give the preschool a shout-out. While we live in central Slope, we schlep to Giocare every M-F because we love it. Our 3-year-old son has blossomed there. He was previously in a day care that was closer to our home, but we found it lacking in developmentally-appropriate, child-centered teaching. At Giocare, the teachers are guides and resources, helping our son navigate the world. They notice his interests and foster them. Most recently, he is in a fireman stage. This began because the class visited the local fire station. Our son was scared of the firefighters in their coats and hats, but okay when they took them off. Since the visit, he has been working through his fear through dramatic play as a fireman. To foster this, the teachers made sure our son has a fireman's hat and coat and a "hose" to practice putting out fires. They have sung songs about firemen and talked about keeping the kids safe. Our son's new favorite toy is his fire truck. He is conquering his fear, learning about the world, and becoming even more observant of the world around him. Other benefits of the school, include an optional summer camp, the ability to stay for after school until 6:00 p.m., daily (sometimes twice) visits to the local playgrounds,healthy snacks and lunches, daily electronic updates including photos of the kids' activities, weekly newsletters about the curriculum and kids' progress, and super available teachers and administrators. Also, the school is an approved, universal pre-K site. So, our kids can attend GIocare until they head to kindergarten at our local elementary school. We cannot wait for our 5-month old to be old enough to join the 2's class!
[PSP Stay At Home Moms] summer drop off classes/preschool for 2 year old?Try the drop off toddler classes at Giocare Play Spot. I think you can get a 10 class pass for mornings. (Review submitted May 2016)
Winter ActivitiesGiocare's Playspot is an option. It's on 6th Ave and 18th St., across from the playground.
Summer Camp Survey 2016Age of child: 3.5 Review: Lots of field trips, water play, arts and crafts, exploring, and learning about sports. Fun activities included pony riding in prospect park, museums, pier 6, and neighborhood playgrounds.
Review submitted via the PSP Daycare/Preschool 2016 SurveyProgram: 3s program + extended hours Age: 3-4 years Review: Our family absolutely loves Giocare, and it was the large number of glowing reviews for a relatively new program that got us to look into the school in the first place. The school is moving all its classes to a centralized commercial space next year, but for now it is a home-based program with several classes in different residential spaces, including the director Ellen's home. I think Giocare is unique because it manages to be homey, family-like, and fun but intellectually stimulating and educationally solid at the same time. We really like that the program is play-based, and the kids learn so much through this philosophy. We're confident that our daughter will be more than ready for kindergarten in the fall. They take lots of field trips to fun places and have special classes every week like art, phys ed, and Bilingual Birdies. Healthy snacks and lunches are also provided as part of the program, which is a lifesaver. Our daughter loves going to school and is sad when there are vacations. She has made a bunch of new friends, and all the kids in her class seem really sweet. The parents are all low-key as well. The teachers are caring and attentive, and Ellen is very involved in the daily operations of the school and always available when you have a question. Giocare has created a warm and nurturing environment that we're happy to be a part of.
Review submitted via the PSP Daycare/Preschool 2016 SurveyProgram: Universal Pre-K Age: 2-3 years4-5 years Review: Wow. The director is amazing. Smart, very knowledgeable about early childhood development, caring, communicative with parents in the best way. If there is ever a concern, she speaks openly and honestly, communicating all the information she has and offers intelligent solutions. This is our third year in her play-based school. Our oldest has thrived there. Now that he is 4, we are getting a private school education for free, thanks to DeBlasio's universal Pre-K program which funds his class this year. This year our youngest joined 5 mornings/wk. We trust her completely with our children, for learning, as well as physical and emotional safety. Impressively, the pre-k class of 10 kids had at least 3 or 4 who tested into the gifted and talented program. Two of them, got 99th percentile. An astounding percentage, especially given that they don't concern themselves with test prep, just good education. The new location on 15th Street has beautiful big windows, allowing for light and observations of the street below. The downstairs space is expected to have fun features to promote development (I think a padded play area for gross motor, maybe a stage too). I can't praise it enough. PSP note, this member previously reviewed this facility in 2014.
Review submitted via the PSP Daycare/Preschool 2016 SurveyProgram: UPK and toddler class Age: 2-3 years4-5 years Review: Giocare is a wonderful, wonderful place. My children, who are two years apart and very different, have both thrived in the care of their warm, loving and engaging teachers. Giocare takes children from 18 months and older, groups children by age, and engages them in play and exploration, letting them spend as much time as possible outdoors. The communication and collaboration with parents is excellent. Ellen works hard to make Giocare truly a community and not just a preschool. I couldn't recommend it more highly. PSP note, this member previously reviewed this facility in 2015.
Giocare feedbackOur daughter attended Giocare in the 3s/4s class last year. Our daughter was 3 at the time and attended 3 days per week. We were very impressed with the school and highly recommend it. The only reason that she didn't stay there this year for preK was that Giocare wasn't able to offer part-time preK (because of the limitations of the PreK for All program).
Giocare feedbackMy [child] was at Giocare for almost 2 years and we loved it. The teachers are great. Extremely nurturing and responsible. And that's what I needed for my daughter at such a young age. [My child] is now in another school which again we love but still miss Giocare. The fact that she will be back in Giocare for summer camp says it all. Not sure what information you are looking for but feel free to reach out to me with any questions. Good luck.
Re: Giocare feedbackI just have to put in another positive review for Giocare. We are very unfortunately about to leave but only because we are moving State and one of the main things we will miss about Brooklyn is Giocare. Our son has been there for the last two years and even though our daughter was too young, she's been sitting in on the odd morning drop off, enough to know and love some of the kids and teachers. I am very sorry she won't be able to attend full time. As mentioned in other reviews, Ellen is amazing and the teachers are just wonderful. They have been so great with all of life's changes (esp the potty training!) and we can't be more thankful. We've also really enjoyed getting to know many of the parents. It became a community very quickly.
Re: [PSP] Giocare preschool feedbackWe had both our kids at Giocare until they entered pre-K at public school. Ellen Cerniglia is wonderful. She has a PhD in early childhood development from Columbia and also teaches the same at a college in the city, aside from running Giocare. I recall she used a blend of the Montessori and Waldorf methods, but she can give you a much more detailed explanation. Both our kids did get a jump start into reading, science, math, art, criticial thinking skills, and essential socialization. They even learned some Spanish, which led us to put them into a dual language Spanish program in public school. Our kids are at the top of their classes now, and I'm sure Giocare had a big part in that. We've stayed in touch with other Giocare alumni and their kids all seem to be thriving, too. In fact, my wife and I find ourselves wishing Ellen was the Superintendent for District 15 (Park Slope, Sunset Park, and Windsor Terrace), she's such a dynamo.
Preschool SearchLike others have posted, Giocare is a wonderful preschool and still accepting applications. My son has been attending since this fall and we are really happy there.
Preschool SearchI second the Giocare recommendation. it's exactly as you describe - caring, educational and playful. My 2 kids have done incredibly well there. Feel free to contact me if you need more info.
Preschool SearchTry Giocare playschool in the Southslope - we had a wonderful time!
ISO 2 or 3 day summer camp program for 5'sYou should check out Giocare in the South Slope.
Review submitted via Daycare SurveyMy two-year-old attends the Giocare toddler class and my older child is now in UPK at Giocare after going through the toddler and preschool classes. We have had only very positive experiences with both children throughout our time there. Ellen, the director, is responsive and flexible, and the teachers are all lovely. They've worked well with my family through major and minor changes as well as small struggles. My children both talk about about how much they like school. I always feel that they are safe, secure, and well cared for. They also learn a great deal but without pressure or pedantic instruction. The focus on play and the access to outdoor space is wonderful, as is the great communication (weekly newsletters, formal reports and conferences, up-to-date Shutterfly pictures). The other children also seem to be exceptionally lovely children for some reason, and the environment couldn't be more positive.
Re: [PSP] Anyone know any preschools in S Slope with space in January?Giocare recently added another location in the South Slope (two on 18th Street between 5-6 Aves, one on 23rd, and one on 21st, I believe). They might have room. I believe they have universal Pre-K at one of them, too. We had both our kids there and they're excellent.
South Slope day cares?Not sure what age range you're looking for, but I know more about the 2-year old and up options (they sometimes take 1.5 year olds and up, too). My 2-year old daughter is at Giocare on 20th and 5th (they have several locations), which we really like.
Review Submitted via 2014-2015 Daycare/Preschool SurveyProgram: 3-4's Length of time: 5 half days Child’s Age: 3-4 years Type of facility: Privately run daycare/preschool with multiple classes and teachers REVIEW: My child made great progress at Giocare. Her teachers did encourage her growth which is important. She was initially quite shy but blossomed and the school played an important part in this process. Ellen, the school's owner and director is fantastic and I wish that there were more of her because she is a great educator. Would you recommend? Recommend Would you send your child again? Maybe
Review Submitted via 2014-2015 Daycare/Preschool SurveyProgram: 3s and 4s program Length of time: 5 mornings per week Child’s Age: 3-4 years Type of facility: Privately run daycare/preschool with multiple classes and teachersThere is little/no parental involvement with the administration or running of the facility. REVIEW: What an amazing school! My now-4 year old has attended the school since he was 2 and we have loved it. Ellen, the director/owner/founder is a fantastic educator and communicator. She is easy going, even in the face of serious challenges. She and her staff are happy to communicate with the parents about everything they wish. She and her staff are patient with the kids and very supportive of kids' and parents' concerns. Our son is not good with transitions, and so had a hard time starting school when he was 2, but Ellen worked with him and us to make it work. He has also learned an incredible amount. He hasn't even started pre-k and he already recognizes all letters with ease and writes many of them too, has dozens of scientific investigations under his belt, and loves inquiring to learn. This past year, his teacher started a weekly newsletter that informs parents well about what has transpired, what is coming and what small things parents might be able to do to support their children's learning that week. They employ a play-based approach that has worked well for our kid. I could race endlessly about this school. Our son also attended camp there for 2 summers. Would you recommend? Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
Review Submitted via 2014-2015 Daycare/Preschool SurveyProgram: 2s program Length of time: part time Child’s Age: 1-2 years2-3 years Type of facility: Private, small playschool run out of a rented bottom floor of a townhouse.There is little/no parental involvement with the administration or running of the facility. REVIEW: We entered our 2-year-old in January 2015 when the 2s program began at this new Giocare location. Giocare already had programs in two other locations. It was the first time in daycare for our child and for most of the children attending. We were nervous but he's had a great experience and we are very happy with it. We were looking for a relaxed but somewhat structured environment where our child could have fun but still be exposed to organized activities where play was emphasized. This is what we got, and the teachers are very warm and loving, making the children feel comfortable. The children's day is structured into activities, but not rigid. Our child had a complex background which we explained to the director, who understood it well and offered to provide any extra assistance as needed. We had concerns early on about how our child was adjusting, which the director addressed immediately. She is always available by phone and email, which is very helpful and comforting, and which we try not to abuse! The school provides feedback through a parent teacher conference, which was helpful, and gives parents an opportunity to socialize about once a month, which we really liked. I would recommend Giocare to anyone who is interested in a relaxed learning/play environment with very warm teachers. Would you recommend? Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
Review Submitted via 2014-2015 Daycare/Preschool SurveyProgram: Toddler and pre-k Length of time: Full-time Child’s Age: 4-5 years Type of facility: Privately run daycare/preschool with multiple classes and teachersThere is little/no parental involvement with the administration or running of the facility. REVIEW: My son was in Giocare from when it started as a small playgroup to its current 3-site expansion. It is a wonderfully nurturing, stimulating program that blends the best if multiple philosophies while cultivating a loving, responsive and communal atmosphere. The teaching team is led by an expert director who leads and guides curricula and work to support each child's unique needs. It is still small and nimble with all kinds of magical touches and visiting teaching artists that complement the play-based philosophy. They differentiate instruction as necessary and competently managed transitions and supported children who had distinct, emerging needs. It has all the best of the larger, more well-known programs, with an intimacy that allows for active parent participation (based in parents' situations) and for a flexibility and responsiveness that is ideal. I love how well they integrated the different curricular themes, the pacing, use of tools and props to ensure that all learners' were building skills and feeling mastery. Although I know they aptly managed disciplinary situations, this was not an issue we dealt with directly. My child was confident, happy, and thriving and I could see his evolution and verbal development (particularly since he started off being very quiet and speaking little English). It is really well balanced, and they are very supportive to parents confronting the various challenging transitional issues. Would you recommend? Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
Review Submitted via 2014-2015 Daycare/Preschool SurveyLength of time: 3 half days Child’s Age: 2-3 years Type of facility: Private, small daycare/playschool experience run out of a person's home with a very small number of childrenThere is little/no parental involvement with the administration or running of the facility. REVIEW: My daughter thoroughly enjoyed Giocare and had a wonderful experience there. She was very shy and reluctant to go in the beginning and that changed very quickly. By the second week she was eager to go back. The philosophy was play-based with structure which fit very well with how we play at home. We received detailed, weekly newsletters of the happenings at the school as well as very thorough parent-teacher conferences where I learned invaluable insight into my child's development. Everyone there truly cared about my daughter and it showed every day. She really came out of her shell throughout the year and I owe most of that to the outstanding teachers at Giocare. Would you recommend? Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Maybe
Re: drop in summer camp?Giocare (giocareplaygroup.com) will let you sign up for individual days on days when they have openings. They only have 2 of their 3 sites open this summer, so they won’t have days open every day, but you can check. I don’t know if there’s a minimum number of days you have to sign up for.
Local Slope daycare?Don't know where in the neighborhood you are, but Giocare Playschool is a great place to check. (November 2014)
Re: [PSP] Daycare openings starting in JanuaryGiocare Playschool is a good choice. Ellen expanded her facility this year so it's likely she has capacity. Ellen has a PhD in Early Childhood Development from Columbia and is a professor besides, so she has an excellent program. We had both our kids there the last 4-5 years and can't say enough good things about it. (November 2014)
2014 Daycare/Preschool PSP reviewProgram: Toddler 2's Length of Time: 2 mornings a week Child's Age: 1-2 years Review: Giocare is a wonderful school with dedicated and loving teachers. My son has learned so much- songs, counting, social skills, and words- while in a stimulating environment that allows for free play bad freedom of expression. He had a hard time transitioning, but the teachers were supportive and loving to him. Now he loves going. Snacks are healthy (fruit and veggies) and I appreciate not having to pack snack. Recommend (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
2014 Daycare/Preschool PSP reviewLength of Time: part days 2x a week Child's Age: 2-3 years Review: The administrator, Ellen, is very concerned with the needs of my child and I feel very comfortable sending my child here. Recommend (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend Would you send your child again? Absolutely
2014 Summer Camp ReviewProgram: Age of Child: 4 Likes: Fun, flexible hours/days, good theme (used fairy tales each week which tied to crafts, activities and trips) What would you change? Nothing Would you send your child(ren) again? Yes Do you recommend? Highly recommend Do you have any other information to add? Really good with active boys and building a sense of community
Geocare Playschool?I think you mean Giocare Playschool? My daughter is finishing up her first year there now in the preschool location (there is also a toddler location) and we absolutely love it. Ellen, who is the director is an amazing woman and provides an enriching and exciting environment. I can tell you that all of the parents in my daughters class emphatically LOVE it. My son is going to start with the toddlers in the fall and esme will do after school there (she is doing Part day at 295).
Geocare Playschool?My son did the toddler class at Giocare as well and, I agree, Ellen the head teacher and owner is wonderful as a teacher and is also an all-around lovely person. My son had a wonderful experience there. I would highly recommend it.
Review from 2013 Summer Camp ExperienceAge of Child: 2 Likes: Homey environment, staff very responsive to parental inquiries/concerns, many excursions (zoo, puppet show, botanic garden, beach), flexible schedule Would you send your child(ren) again? Yes Do you recommend? Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Summer Camp ExperienceAge of Child: 3 Likes: Lots of fun activities and trips. Each two weeks had a theme and trips/activities were organized around the theme. Lots of outside time and fun. They are very patient with very active boys. I loved the level of communication and pictures. I got emails about anything out of the ordinary and could easily reach Ellen the director. What would you change? Nothing I can think of - was a great experience Would you send your child(ren) again? Yes Do you recommend? Highly recommend Do you have any other information to add? The director really has a great sense of children and their developmental needs.
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Length of time: 5 days per week Child's age: 3-4 years Review: My son has been at Giocare since he was 21 months old, beginning with a twice-weekly playgroup, and transitioning to 3 full days of preschool, beginning in the fall. Ellen Cerniglia, the director of Giocare, is truly a remarkable educator. She is insightful, communicative, creative, blends wonderful modalities, and works tirelessly to meet the unique needs of each child. I love that she uses elements of Reggio Emilia, Montessori, and other philosophies. Ellen teaches early childhood at the graduate level, so she is engaged teacher on many levels and up-to-date on the research. She recognizes the distinct assets of each child and is very affirming. She does not patholigize, but work with parents to strategize on challenges, and has really created a loving, nurturing learning environment. She is equally responsive and communicative with parents of young learners, who are also trying to figure out how and under what circumstances their child will thrive. I am educator who has worked with educational programs for 22 years, so I feel like I know a thing or two about learning, but I am not an expert in early childhood. Ellen and her new team are continually modifying, evolving and adjusting. This is an ideal learning environment. Ellen has also worked to create a community around her students, one that really engages parents and caretakers alike. She is responsive and understands the needs of working parents--this was very important for me in a stressful, new job. The balance is really supportive and affirming. My child has taken leaps and bounds and relishes his time at Giocare. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: preschool Length of time: 3 part days a week Child's age: 3-4 years Review: The greatest. I saw Ellen (program director) put up a little advertisement on Park Slope Parents and was unsure about sending my son to any preschool because of the financial reasons. At the time she was only offering a playgroup but then said in the fall of 2012 she was offering 3 days a week half day for 3 year olds. So I went to visit her place and even though it was in her home, (the 18th street location, she now has a new location also on 23rd street which is not her home) it was set up completely like a pre-k. I have an older son so I have seen a lot of those rooms and she had it set up just like a pre-k room with the separations and the book area and the carpet area, tables and project areas, etc. When I spoke to her and she listed her qualifications, I could tell she had a lot of experience. I could also tell she was completely on top of the business side of it too, more meaning having the right licensing and paperwork and really just having it all together getting good assistants, etc. She was great, and warm her assistants were awesome, my son really liked her and the assistant very much. Just all around better then I could ever expect for what at the time was a just starting out preschool/playgroup. And it is an awesome place, I have an older son who was in a very nice daycare/preschool but this one was better. The program director is really knowledgable about preschool education and it is all around great! Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Preschool Length of time: Full time, m/w/f Child's age: 4-5 years Review: Giocare is a wonderful place to send your child before preschool and beyond. The philosophy is play-based it's low-key but structured in a way that the kids are happy and learning. it's just an amazing place. Ellen is extremely helpful and kind. shes willing to do whatever to make sure everyone is informed and comfortable. she really pays attention to everyone's needs. She listens and she genuinely cares about her students!! She guided us through the process of my child being evaluated for special needs. she kept in contact with me to make sure we all knew about his progress and what we needed to work on and what he was doing well. She was extremely supportive when we started working with a SIET and OT. she was a part of his team and a key part of his progress. The two other teachers are just as fantastic, focused and caring. I never felt uncomfortable leaving him there and he never felt uncomfortable staying. I truly hope I will be able to send his younger sibling there in a few years. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend <<< PSP Note: this reviewer has recommended Giocare Playschool in the past >>>
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: preschool time and toddler time Length of time: full days, 5 days/week Child's age: 1-2 years3-4 years Review: My oldest daughter started at Giocare two years ago, when Ellen Cerniglia first opened her doors for drop-off play time. Ellen then expanded to a 3-day-a-week preschool, and is going full time this coming year. I'll be putting my 3.5 year old and nearly-2-year-old 5 days a week, full days. Ellen is not only incredible with the kids, full of energy and ideas, but also calm in the face of chaos, patient, gentle and a font of wisdom when it comes to all things kids. I've often called or email Ellen for advice on how to handle my daughter's behavior changes or sleep challenges or issues with her younger sister, and Ellen quickly replies with advice and reassurances. My daughter loves every minute of school and can't wait to head out the door in the morning. She considers Ellen and the other teachers her friends, and is constantly surprising me with the things she's learned, her expanding vocabulary, and her ability to work through complicated emotions. You can read about Ellen's philosophy on her website, which I think is similar to some of the other schools in the neighborhood, but all the evidence I need is how well my daughter is doing, how happy she is, and how responsive Ellen is to our whole family. I can't recommend this place highly enough. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Toddler Time Length of time: Part Days-2 Days/Wk Child's age: 2-3 years Review: My experience was Giocare exceeded my wildest expectations. As a newbie to everything, I did my due diligent on the playschool/pre-school front for my 2 year old. I wanted to find a small but structured facility that would care and engage him as much as he was being cared for and engaged at home with momma. Ms. Ellen and Ms. Dinelle provided my son with the structure, guidance and love he needed to adjust being away from home. Their core program and the feedback we received throughout the entire year was more then I would have ever expected. This was not daycare, this was an enrichment based, center focused, structured environment where little people can learn to be the best versions of themselves amongst their peers and adults. I cannot expressed the deep respect and appreciation I have for how much time, attention and care Ms. Ellen had with my son. 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: Part Days (Full Days available for 2013-2014 year) Child's age: 2-3 years3-4 years Review: I can't say enough about how happy I am about my experience with Giocare Playschool. The teachers are energetic, grounded, well-informed and kind. They're able to meet the needs of my thoughtful, creative 4-yr old daughter as well as my rambunctious 2-yr old son. My kids come back excited about their day, what they learned and how to treat one another. It's a home-based environment, which I found to be so much of an easier transition for them (and me). It's both comforting but also laid out in a way that really works as a school learning environment. There's a back yard that they play in and learn about gardening. Plus, there have been field trips to the firehouse, garden and library. The head teacher, Ellen, is highly trained in early childhood development, but also comes at teaching from her perspective of having three kids of her own. She's attentive to the kids, their individual needs and my needs as a parent. Whenever I've had concerns about my kids, she's been available to talk and help. It's like having extended family teaching your kids. Last but not least, they keep their prices reasonable and are flexible about payment options. I highly recommend it! Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend <<< PSP Note: this reviewer has recommended Giocare Playschool in the past >>>
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: NA Length of time: Part day 3 days/week Child's age: 3-4 years Review: I feel incredibly fortunate to have found Giocare. Ms. Ellen has an incredibly warm and welcoming presence and immediately made my daughter feel comfortable. Her teaching philosophy is based on learning thru play which I think is a great way to learn at this age. My daughter has learned and experienced a lot at school this year. The school is currently based out of her house which has worked great but she just rented a new location which will give them a little more room. Both locations have a backyard and the kids were outside essentially every day. Our experience at Giocare has been only positive and I highly 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: Playschool Length of time: Part time, 3 days Child's age: 3-4 years Review: When I was looking for preschool options for my son, I was looking for programs with individualized care, structure, and play based learning. A step up from the day care experiences he had in the past. I found it all with Ellen Cerniglia at Giocare. She and her staff provided a loving and educational and FUN first time school experience for my son. Ellen is a very thoughtful and helpful educator. She's an expert but never condescending and always collaborative. When my son was still struggling after the first few weeks with separation from me in the morning, Ellen and I emailed over several days to sculpt a plan. She spoke with my son to allow his input as well. The plan worked! This is just one example of many times when she's been supportive to me and other parents. The atmosphere at Giocare is friendly and open and flexible but it has a clear structure for the kids to follow. Creative and outdoor experiences are a priority. Everything from the ever changing sensory table to their monthly self portraits to baking and cooking provided a well rounded learning environment. Ellen responds to the interests of her students. When she noticed many of the children wanted to "sign in" at drop off like mom or dad, she provided an extra sheet for them to have a turn. I can't say enough about this special program. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Toddler Time Length of time: 2 part days a week Child's age: 2-3 years Review: My son really came into his own under this program. The compassion and skill of the teachers is wonderful. The philosophy is really play-based which I like, and the toddler time was perfect for our family since we were unsure how our son would do in a full time program. The transition at the beginning of the year was a challenge for my child but "Ms. Ellen", the head teacher, really believed in my son and I think he is really proud of himself (and we are too) as to how much he has come out of his shell in large part because of the encouragement of the teachers and the great program offered at Giocare. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Toddler Time Length of time: 2 days, 3 hours per day Child's age: 3-4 years Review: My child has had a great experience at Giocare. The teachers are energetic, caring and smart. My son began the program in the winter, not at the same time as the rest of the toddlers. At first he was hesitant to participate in circle time. The teachers there were patient, not forcing him to join but allowing him to come around on his own terms. They all excitedly told me about when he decided to join. In addition, my son made great strides with using the potty and social interactions. I enjoy all of the extra activities that Ms. Ellen plans for the toddlers: field trips to the library, botanical gardens, making ice cream and a family picnic. Also, Ms. Ellen does a great job communicating with the parents, even those who don't get to drop off/pick up their child. She regularly sends links to photos, lets us know about special activities, send us updates about what they are learning and conversation starters. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Toddler Time & Pre-school class Length of time: 2/3 days weekly Child's age: 3-4 years Review: We have had an extremely positive experience with Giocare - Ellen and her staff are great with kids, fantastic with parents, provide a safe, loving atmosphere - We whole-heartedly recommend Giocare for your toddler. If you're looking for play-based learning that concentrates on socialization, creativity, and fun Giocare is for you. Our son was more attached to adults than children and was very defensive at his first school. In 6 months he is much better socialized and no longer views school with suspicion and dread. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
Review from 2013 Daycare/Preschool PSP SurveyReview date June 2013 (for 2012-2013 year) Program: Toddler Time and Preschool Time Length of time: Part Days and 3 days per week Child's age: 3-4 years Review: Giocare is a loving, open, warm and play based environment. The teachers are fantastic. Highly educated, focused, invested in every child and very communicative with parents. The program is very creative with lots of wonderful activities for the children that follow themes and correspond with the time of year, etc. The philosophy seems to be one of learning through play and imagination in a way that's best suited for each child. While there is a focus on structure and cooperative play/learning we feel our child's individual needs were constantly being assessed and working together with us the teachers helped to address anything that needed our combined attention. The staff at Giocare go out of there way to communicate verbally but also in writing about their observations about the children. It's this amazing level of communication that really sets this program apart from others. Currently the program is located in the home of the director and lead teacher but an additional and separate location a few blocks away will be opening soon. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
(no subject)My son went to Giocare as well. Miss Ellen, the head teacher and owner, is truly wonderful. My son loved it. Would highly recommend it!
(no subject)ISO: Toddler drop-off classes without full-time commitment? My son goes to Toddler Time at Giocare Playschool in South Slope/Greenwood Heights. He loves it and I think it is a great program. It runs Tuesdays/Thursdays from 9-10:30 or you can do a half day from 9-12. http://giocareplayschool.com/
(no subject)Length of TIme: 1.5 hrs 3 days a week Child's Age: 2-3 years Review: Giocare's focus is about learning through play. My child is all about play and energy so I thought this program would be a good fit. It was a great experience for us. There is only one teacher so classes are small, which I liked. Progress reports were sent out periodically and mid year there was a one on one with the teacher. My child has a few issues that needed to be addressed, and she handled it with professionalism and devised a plan to improve the situation. She set up a site where we could see photos and video of the program, which was nice. She plans to broaden the program in the fall to longer days and incorporating the elements that a regular preschool has. Overall, her kindness, flexibility and spirit made me feel so comfortable leaving my child in her care. Do you recommend? (Hi/Rec/DoNot) Highly recommend
(no subject)My daughter loves going to preschool at Giocare Playschool. She's always excited about the day and the new activities waiting for her. Ellen, the head teacher, is cheerful, kind and patient. She's really well informed about early childhood education and makes sure the kids are exposed to age appropriate experiences. I love the casual classroom environment and the fact that the kids have enough elbow room to play. It's a great transition from being at home to being in a more structured Pre-K/Kindergarten classroom. I plan to send my son next year for the 2's program, and my daughter will continue onto the 3's program. I highly recommend.
(no subject)PROGRAM: 2's Length of Time: 1.5 hr a week, moving into 9 to 12 m-f, Fall 2012 2-3 years Wonderful low-key environment. Small class. Reasonably priced. Very experienced, calm and easygoing teacher. Great program for children who haven't been in daycare or other preschool environments who need to learn about sharing,playing together, cleaning up toys and transitioning into different activities. She helps with whatever the child is weaker in and lets you know how its progressing. Also good to give advice on how to keep things progressing at home. Do You Recommend? Highly recommend (Review date: December, 2011)
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