A Special Section of The Record-Review March 23, 2012
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Inside Kids! Parenting: Seeing the other side of the fence of mothering choices....... 3A
MARCH 23, 2012
Kids! Cover Contest Winner Evan Siemers
It’s playtime! Why independent and group play matter (so much).......... 4A
hannon Siemers usually misses great photo ops such as this one of her nearly 3-year-old son Evan playing in the leaves at his grandparents house in North Salem. But not this time! “It was great because every time I grab the camera I miss the shot, so to get this was exciting,” Mom said. “I’m not a very good picture-taker.” Bedford resident Evan just loves the outdoors as you can see. Whether it’s the fall and he’s playing with leaves, or just an ordinary day in the neighborhood playing with cars or running around with his friends, Evan is enthusiastic about whatever he’s doing. “He’s a happy boy who loves life,” Mom said, adding, “He’s a people person.” Evan also shares his mom and dad’s love of the Bedford Village Fire Department. Dad Jason is the chief, mom is a member and so is her father. “He loves being around the fire trucks and everything that goes along with that,” Mom said. “It’s exciting for us. You wonder one day when he grows up if he’ll follow in his parents’ footsteps or maybe even strive to be a chief like his father.”
Breaking the habit: Thumb sucking and pacifers can be risky business...6A Beyond baby talk: Early intervention key for kids’ speech growth .... 8A A world without germs? Handwashing the key to health ........... 10A From nursery to big kids’ room: Time to redecorate! ...................... 12A Lactation consultants: Help for sucessful breastfeeding ................ 14A Advice for parents of hyperactive children........................................ 18A Cover Contest Kids.................... 27A Parent’s Guide: Summer Enrichment. programs...................................... 26A
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MARCH 23, 2012
Seeing the other side of the fence
Breaking through the stereotypes of mothering choices BY JACKIE LUPO
eidi Michaels knows how easy it is to get “lost in the woods” of full-time motherhood. “I got married young,” said Michaels, who worked in the music field and was a video buyer at the corporate headquarters of Waldenbooks before she became a mother. “I have two step-kids and then I had three more, so I pretty much gave up a career to become a full-time mom. With such a busy household, I felt I had lost myself. I began asking myself, ‘What am I going to be when I grow up?’” Today, Michaels, a Katonah resident, is a life coach whose clients include women trying to find that elusive balance between kids and career. She often finds that both the working moms and the athome moms that she counsels have two things in common: strong opinions about what the other group of moms should be doing, and a tendency to feel that whichever role they themselves choose, they’re not performing it well enough.
“Working moms and at-home moms have a disconnect. And I hate to say it, but it seems there’s so much judgment,” said Michaels. “We need to disarm this.” What do things look like from each side of the fence? Moms who work full time might feel that the stay-at-home moms resent them for not bringing homemade cookies to the PTA bake sale or volunteering for committees. Or, those working moms might overcompensate by baking even more cookies or volunteering for more committees than their stayat-home neighbors. Working moms may feel that their children’s schools favor the at-home mothers, who are available to help out during the school day and to work on homework projects that demand hours of parent participation. Stay-at-home moms may feel isolated from their peers and, if they’re new moms, they may miss the predictability of their old jobs. They may also feel they have a lot to prove. Are they doing enough? Are they respected for what they do? Having looked at the worlds of working moms and stay-at-home moms from CONTINUED ON PAGE 24A
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MARCH 23, 2012
Why independent and group play matter (so much) BY LAURIE SULLIVAN
age physical play and manipulative play.” With independent play, kids can use those skills in a group. “It’s the same play, but the social piece is different. The sensory piece is more chaotic,” she said. “If, for example, a child isn’t good at kicking a ball, they may not want to do that in a group and perhaps parents should work with the child to improve those skills. Kids need experience with balls.”
addy cake, paddy cake baker’s man, bake me a cake as fast as you can…” Believe it or not, this age-old game of Paddy Cake is one of a baby’s first forays into group, interactive play. But independent play really starts at birth. Newborns delight in discovering their fingers and toes. Dimpled hands reach out for chubby little feet as baby rock backs and forth! They are quite content to explore and play by themselves. So why are both independent and group play so important for kids? According to Robbie Levy, program director of Dynamic Kids in White Plains, both independent and group play are essential to a child’s development. “They start to experience both with a caregiver. They learn to be soothed and comforted and explore their bodies, and work on their physical development,” Levy said. “When they move into group play they begin to play Paddy Cake.” Ever watch a baby delight in playing dropsies — baby dropping a toy or bottle, with the adult playing retriever? Yup, that’s group play too. By 18 months, toddlers will parallel play while in a group. “Some 2- and 3-year-olds are ready for group play,” Levy said. “They learn the rules, take turns. They learn, for example, what a broom is, they know it is used to sweep.” According to Levy, when kids turn 3 they’re into more imaginative play. The broom becomes a horse or a dance partner. “They use play to work through emotional situations,” Levy said. “They learn separation. It helps explain the world. They start to make up rules for games and play their own games.” By 4-4.5, kids are capable of painting, holding a pencil, climbing. “From an attentional point of view at this age they’re capable of sticking to an activity,” Levy said. “They can do craft activities or motor activities, climbing, etc.” They also go from playing next to other kids to really playing WITH other kids. Pull the plug on electronic toys Levy, the founder of Dynamic Kids, which offers pediatric physical and occupational therapy and provides early intervention to help kids reach their full potential, also lectures around the country on the surging problem of young children spending too much time playing with electronic devices and games, and not enough time playing with traditional toys and games. She believes that it’s important for caregivers to encourage independent play, but not the use of electronics such as TV, handhelds, iPads and computers. Levy said the use of these devices “is a
challenge” and has been for the past five years. Kids are held captive to these devices indoors and they discourage outdoor, physical play. Levy cited a study by the American Pediatric Society published last year that set guidelines for kids 2 and under, recommending that they should not have any “screen time” — that includes TV and electronic devices of any kind. Levy said kids spend hours and hours a day, sometimes upward of eight hours, using these devices. So what can parents do about limiting their use? “It’s very hard for parents to put limits on it,” Levy said. “The people who make the programs for these devices lead parents astray. They make them seem like they’re good for kids. They say kids are going to write early, etc. We’re seeing kids who have problems like not being able to grip a pencil.” Levy said kids need to have a combination of quiet independent play without electronics and group activity that are not adult directed. “Kids are losing the ability to use their own activities and have quiet time,” Levy said. “Parents often mistake the use of electronic toys as quiet time, but it’s not the same thing. They need time to just sit and look at books, use toys to come up with things on their own.” Kids also need to spend time outdoors in a safe environment and play with
building toys and manipulative, sensory toys like Play-Doh. Levy noted that “a lot of parents don’t like their houses to be messy, but it’s really important for kids to have those things.” It’s critical that parents get down on the floor and play with their child since they’re the child’s first teacher and help with their social, emotional and language development. Levy said that kids are spending a lot of time in strollers and in carriers and parents are on the phone and not talking to their children. “It used to be that when you were walking you talked to your child, pointed out a flower, but now parents are on the phone and in cars there’s music playing or again, parents are on the phone, not talking to their child,” Levy said. “These are missed opportunities. I don’t think parents realize that.” So what can parents do to encourage independent play? Levy advised that first parents should take away or limit the playing time with electronics and be role models for their children. “When parents go outside and do things, kids will,” said Levy. “Make good use of leisure time. Kids can model that behavior. It’s important for parents to sit on the floor with them or participate in table games. And if a child only sticks to one thing that they’re good at, say if a child only colors, parents should encour-
Why are both so important? Dawn Meyerski, the program director at Mount Kisco Childcare Center, explained that with independent play kids have the opportunity to develop their own individual interests and do problem solving. By playing independently, Meyerski said it fosters risk taking and builds confidence. Kids are willing to try out lots of different kinds of ideas and “they don’t have to worry about being silly in front of others … It allows kids the freedom to explore, interpret without the group.” Parents can encourage kids to play independently by providing them with toys and materials that match their interests, such as Legos, puzzles, baby dolls, etc. And kids should also have the “opportunity to play with kids in the neighborhood alone” so that they can invent “their own rules without structure.” Like Levy, Meyerski also believes that parents should play with their kids. She said it’s important and a good way for kids to learn about winning and losing and taking turns. However, generally it’s not a good idea for parents to let kids win. “If kids lose all the time, you should encourage them to win. It’s a fine line that you walk [in letting them win] all the time,” Meyerski said. “You don’t want them to always win, but you don’t want them to always lose.” She also agreed with Levy, saying independent play makes it easier to participate in group play, and vice versa. “Independent play gives kids the confidence to play with kids in the block area and they’re more likely to assert themselves,” Meyerski said. “The more practice you have at a skill, the more likely you are to assert yourself in a group.” Group play also allows a child to watch other kids at play and it gives him or her “energy.” She stressed that if a child sees other kids build blocks in a certain way it might encourage the child to go home and try it on his or her own. “At the center we make sure that kids have both experiences,” said Meyerski. “We understand the need that kids have to explore their own interests. We teach kids to respect each other and respect their failures and their successes. Through your failures you learn how to be successful.” Meyerski is fascinated by “the way kids develop in play.” A group of toddlers in CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
MARCH 23, 2012 CONTINUED FROM THE PREVIOUS PAGE
a group will parallel play and by 3 and 4 they start to play cooperatively. There are exceptions, Meyerski said, noting that some 2-year-olds are capable of group play and some 4-year-olds are not. Learning and playing together Joann Ferrigno is the camp director at Somerset, a nonprofit camp at St. Matthews Church in Bedford, and also a K-2 reading teacher at Primrose Elementary School in Katonah. Somerset is a reading and writing summer camp for kids entering kindergarten through fifth grade that incorporates learning with play. At camp the children have already integrated into group play and learning, so Ferrigno sees the benefits of team effort. “Even in learning, it’s important to work together,” she said. “You think of things from other kids you might not have thought of before. When they’re writing somebody might say, ‘Do you want to include, say this?’ You share your thoughts and in return the other kids are giving you feedback about your work.” Ferrigno, who is a “big believer in group dynamics and cooperation,” doesn’t allow phones or computers at camp and encourages creative play. As with Levy, Ferrigno sees the use of electronic games as more and more of a problem because it’s taking away kids’ ability to talk to “a real live person.” At school they are starting to see kids with language and communication difficulties, even those kids entering kindergarten.
In her role as teacher, she explained that when they have teacher conferences, the kids sit outside together and each has a computer game and they don’t talk to each other, other than to say they won or lost. “I don’t like what I see,” Ferrigno said. “It worries me and the other teachers because there’s no cooperative playing. When you see a successful person it’s a person who knows how to work with others. I think working and playing cooperatively is an important thing. It all goes hand in hand. You don’t learn by yourself … you need to have cooperation.” She went on to say that it’s important that kids, especially only children, learn how to wait their turn. Somerset encourages kids to be creative. When they play outside, they make up their own games, with teachers and volunteers out there keeping an eye on them. If a child is working on something and “wants to sit by the stream, we really encourage them to play with the group because cooperative learning and play, I feel, is very important.” In the camp’s Destination Imagination program the kids work in teams to come up with the best solution to solving a problem, “kind of like a think tank.” Last year the children were challenged to come up with the solution on how to make a boat float. The kids were put into small groups and put to task to come up with ideas. For this camp director, play is learning and it works best when kids do it together.
THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 5A
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PAGE 6A | THE RECORD- REVIEW
MARCH 23, 2012
Breaking the habit
Thumb sucking and pacifers can be risky business
BY JACKIE LUPO
ucking is the most basic human instinct. Fetuses can be seen in sonograms sucking their thumbs in utero. Human infants need to suck to feed from the mother’s breast, and they respond to a touch on the cheek by rooting for their mother’s nipple moments after birth. And as babies grow, they may suck on a thumb, finger or pacifier as a way of self-soothing.
“The habits from using a paciΩer and sucking a thumb or Ωngers and putting objects in the mouth can not only harm the teeth and how they erupt but speech, and how they eat, and other issues.” — Dr. Paula Fabbie
A natural behavior Throughout infancy, sucking is a natural behavior. The combination of an infant’s mouth and a mother’s soft, yielding breast is ideal for healthy feeding and correct development of the baby’s mouth and facial structure. The action of sucking also causes the brain to produce endorphins, making sucking a highly pleasurable activity for babies. But the same behavior that is good for infants can be harmful for older babies and children, when they are not sucking on a mother’s nipple, but on a pacifier, thumb or finger. And the problems can get worse the longer pacifier or thumb sucking continues. While a mother’s nipple is soft and flexible, other things babies suck on, such as
pacifiers or thumbs, are not — and as a result, the developing structures inside the baby’s mouth can be affected. What’s more, once a child passes the age when sucking is no longer a necessary, natural behavior, excessive thumb or pacifier sucking can become a habit that’s very difficult to break. Many people think a 2-year-old with a thumb in his mouth looks cute. Fewer people think the same about an 8-year-old thumb sucker with buck teeth, a receding chin and a tendency to breathe with his or her mouth open. Unfortunately, even the most beautiful baby can develop serious changes to the teeth, jaws and overall facial structure if a natural and normal activity — thumb sucking — continues too long. Similar problems can result if a baby is allowed to use a pacifier beyond the toddler stage. “It’s a pretty common problem, and it’s very hard to stop,” said Gary Heitzler, D.D.S. of Hastings Pediatric Dental. “It definitely could cause malformation of the jaws and teeth.” Dr. Heitzler said thumb sucking and pacifier use could change the growth and formation of the palate. “Some kids can get away with it,” he said. “It depends on how hard a sucking seal they’re forming. But we always try to have them stop be-
tween 2 and 4.” Thumb sucking or pacifier use during the first few years of life is usually harmless, and most toddlers gradually give up the sucking habit on their own. Some kids find the habit hard to break, though. And for the really vigorous thumb suckers, the constant pressure of a thumb against the roof of the mouth can cause the palate to grow in a high, arched shape instead of a nice, rounded one. When the shape of the inside of the mouth is distorted, so is the positioning of the teeth. Common results include malocclusion — when the teeth in the upper and lower jaw don’t meet properly; protruding or buck teeth; teeth that are crooked and widely spaced; and excessive development of the upper jaw along with underdevelopment of the lower jaw. According to the American Dental Association, “Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to experience difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs.” If you’re not sure how hard your child is sucking his thumb, a sure tip-off is a “popping” sound when he removes his thumb from his mouth. Paula Fabbie, an orofacial myologist in Highland, helps clients, from young chilCONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
MARCH 23, 2012 CONTINUED FROM THE PREVIOUS PAGE
dren to adults, overcome oral habits that cause problems with oral and facial development and the health issues that result. “The habits from using a pacifier and sucking a thumb or fingers and putting objects in the mouth can not only harm the teeth and how they erupt but speech, and how they eat, and other issues,” Fabbie said. She explained that along with the palate, teeth and jaw not developing properly, there could be additional problems with the correct placement of the tongue in the mouth, and with the muscular development of the lips. Children can have problems with speech, may breathe through their mouths because the lips don’t close properly, and even have issues such as snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.
tive approach to behavior modification. He suggests giving children positive reinforcement, praising them when they are not actively sucking — what he calls, “catching them when they’re being good.” Sometimes, a bribe can break a habit. A little girl, for example, might be convinced to stop sucking her thumb with the promise, say, of a beautiful manicure at the local nail salon. Negative reinforcement — punishing children by taking away privileges or scolding, seldom works and can even make the problem worse, since it can cause the child to become tense and upset, and revert to sucking even more. Aversion therapy involves changing the thumb sucking experience from a pleasant experience to an unpleasant one. There are all sorts of bitter, horrible-tasting products on the market that can be applied to the nails. These work quickly for some kids, and not at all for others: they just get used to the taste and go on sucking. Some people say this method of stopping thumb sucking is cruel, but if the result of using it is that a child stops ruining the shape of his mouth and teeth, how cruel is it, really, in the long run? That’s for the parent to decide. Mechanical intervention also has mixed results. Some kids are highly motivated to stop sucking, especially older ones who are teased at school for sucking their thumbs in front of other children. Heitzler recommends putting a little band-aid over the thumb as a reminder. Wearing mittens to bed, or even a sock over the hands, works
Breaking the habit The earlier kids can break the sucking habit, the more likely it is that they can avoid permanent damage. But doing that can be hard. “A thumb and pacifier affect the teeth the same way, but it’s easier to take away the pacifier,” said Heitzler. Thumb sucking is harder to stop unless the child is really motivated. And even then, she may revert to thumb sucking in her sleep if the habit is not completely broken. There are three basic approaches to stopping thumb sucking: behavior modification, aversion therapy and mechanical intervention. Robert Rosenberg, M.D. of RA_9.833x6.667 PS ad_Layout 1 3/6/12 10:22 AM Hartsdale Pediatrics, recommends a posi-
CONTINUED ON PAGE 17A
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THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 7A
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MARCH 23, 2012
Beyond baby talk
Early intervention key for kids’ speech growth BY MARY LEGRAND
aby talk, as defined by Merriam-Webster: “The syntactically imperfect speech or phonetically modified forms used by small children learning to talk.” Or, alternatively: “The consciously imperfect or altered speech used by adults in speaking to small children.” Whichever way you look at it, baby talk is not the best way to speak. If you’re a parent of a toddler or preschooler and wondering if the child’s speech is progressing correctly, the issue can be worrisome, to say the least. But it turns out there are other, more serious issues speech experts say parents should be more concerned about. Baby talk is a bit of a misnomer in this day and age. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the professional, scientific and credentialing association for 145,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech, language, and hearing scientists. The group’s website lists speech-related behaviors by children at certain ages that should trigger referrals to speech and language professionals. For example, children should be seen by a professional if by age 3 they cannot be understood by family and/or caregivers; correctly produce vowels and such sounds as p, b, m and w in words; or repeat certain words when not understood without becoming frustrated. Other triggers are appropriate when children are 4 and 5 years of age. Robbie Levy, owner/director of Dynamic Kids in White Plains, a multidisciplinary pediatric therapy center, said children benefit from complementary services that address occupational, verbal and social needs. “Many of the kids we see will come in
for more than one service, or they come in at first for one and then at another time for another service,” Levy said. “We see more boys than girls, but there are plenty of girls who need to come. Interestingly, behavior plays a part in that children who have good behavior tend to be referred less. Sometimes a child who’s quiet is assumed to be fine.” The range of children’s speech development “is very large,” Levy said. “Parents who suspect a problem often have a wait-and-see approach, and doctors may support that as well.” Levy feels that parents who think a child needs help should not wait to begin advocating on that child’s behalf. “We have an early intervention point of view at Dynamic Kids and have a tendency to err on the opposite side,” she said. “Our
frame of reference is that the earlier you intervene, the better the outcome is. You don’t want to be an alarmist, but on the other hand, if you wait too long it takes longer to deal with.” Children who come to Dynamic Kids for help with speech usually arrive because a parent or preschool thinks help is needed. “Most children in this area go to school from a very young age,” Levy said. “Since they can be compared to their peers it’s very easy to see when a child is not keeping up. Most parents know this already, though, because if you go to a playground, play date, play group, you see that your child is not performing. You start asking around, going on the Internet, talking to other people. That’s how most parents start finding the services themselves.”
There are different kinds of speech issues, Levy said. “Some kids babble, just making sounds; others have echolalia and just repeat what they hear and don’t come up with their own speech. Often you see that in the autistic population, so they mimic back what they hear on television or what their parents say. That would be a concern.” Low speech volume often is confused with baby talk, Levy noted, adding that sometimes a shy child can talk in a way that seems more immature than his or her real age. “And there are some children who can’t participate in the back and forth of a conversation,” she said. “They may be able to speak words on their own, but they can’t necessarily do it in a conversation.” CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
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Levy also cautioned that young children having problems in other aspects of their lives “might revert to a more immature language pattern, and if they’re really frustrated, could walk away and not participate.” A relatively high number of children in Westchester County receive early intervention for a variety of developmental issues including speech. “Most professionals really feel that early intervention is the way to go, and there’s not the stigma anymore about receiving services that there used to be,” Levy said. “The great thing about early intervention is that you can intervene for a short period of time and be finished. Way back when, you would wait until the child was 7 or 8. This is a much faster service, and then also you don’t have the behavioral ramifications of all that frustration.” It’s also easier, Levy said, to undo learned patterns of speech and behavior if the child is being trained to undo them sooner rather than later: “Children are much less apt to want to try new behaviors when they’re older, but when they’re 3 or 4 are much more apt to try something new.” Cheryl Small Jackson of the Center for Small Jewels in New Rochelle, an organization that supports children and families as they move through the developmental stages, said she does not see many children whose speech would be defined as “baby talk.”
“The whole notion of baby talk was good at one point, maybe 15 or 20 years ago, but I don’t know if it’s the right term anymore,” Jackson said. “We’re really looking now for certain flags, what should parents be concerned about with speech and language. The children who end up in early intervention are using gestures, or they don’t have any form of communication or very little communication. Rather than kids maintaining or holding on to baby talk, there are children who are not developing these early skills at all.” As with other local service providers, some children treated at the Center for Small Jewels are brought in because their parents suspected a developmental delay; others come through referral by a pediatrician or school. Jackson agrees that there’s no need to wait for help. “There’s no reason to assume a child is going to grow out of something,” she said. “There’s a lot of research that proves that if children do get the intervention that their speech can definitely improve. Sometimes mothers will come in and say that something’s not right, but their husband or in-laws tell them to wait because a relative spoke similarly at the same age and ended up being okay. “But we know now that the earlier we can get to this, the better it will be. We have clear documentation that the brain is plastic. When we put good stuff into children, the brain will integrate it and they will learn, and, in most cases, the speech will become age-appropriate.”
THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 9A
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MARCH 23, 2012
A world without germs?
Hand-washing, antibacterials the key to health
BY MARY LEGRAND
t seems so simple, really. The best way to avoid contracting illnesses such as colds and flu is to wash one’s hands. Adults should already know this, of course, but how do parents impart this important information to their young children without worrying the little ones too much? One way, some experts say, is to keep the process simple, and to make sure that hand-washing becomes a regular household routine each and every day. To learn how to make this fun for the family, there’s plenty of help out there, including at the Westchester County Department of Health website, which offers pages of useful hints to “stop disease in its tracks” through its Healthy Hands Club initiative. WCDOH suggests we all wash our hands, using soap and running water, after touching animals, after playing outside, after coughing and sneezing, before and after eating, and after using the bathroom. Katherine Evans Hough, M.D., FAAP, is a pediatrician in general practice at CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
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Pediatrics on Hudson in Hastings-onHudson. Her recommendation to parents is to make hand-washing “part of your everyday normal routine, after you fall on the ground, after you go to the bathroom, after you blow your nose. Then it becomes automatic.” Parents are the most important models for their children, so this regular routine goes for adults as well, she emphasized. Progress is being made and people are becoming accustomed to doing this, thanks to increased awareness of the benefits of hand-washing. For many local young children in day care or preschool, hand-washing is “a given,” Dr. Hough said. “In a lot of nursery schools it’s a requirement that students wash their hands upon arrival, a practice that started back when H1N1, or swine flu, was circulating. People became a little more conscious.” There’s less chance that children will get overly worried about germs if parents and schools make hand-washing part of the everyday routine, Hough continued. “As children get older and ask why we’re doing this, we can talk about how germs can be transmitted, how we wash our hands to keep ourselves healthy,” she said. “Before that, just help younger children wash their hands without explaining too much why it’s being done.” While the county health department says hand-washing is the “single greatest public health service a person can
do,” it calls alcohol-based hand sanitizers the “second best line of defense against germs.” Pay attention to the percentage of alcohol in the solution, though. It should be at least 60 percent, according to the health department, whose representatives caution that sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and “are not effective when hands are visibly dirty.” Whether using soap and water or sanitizer gel, technique counts, and, perhaps, so does singing ability. When washing hands, it’s important to scrub long enough, about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Wet hands thoroughly, using warm water; apply soap liberally, scrubbing every part of both hands for at least 20 seconds, or as long as it takes to sing the ditty two times. Rinse and dry hands, and, for good measure, particularly in public settings, turn off the water taps and open the door with a paper towel. “We’re getting the message out so that kids and adults know that washing their hands is one of the most effective ways to avoid getting sick,” Hough said. “Of course there are other excellent disease preventatives, like vaccination, but in actuality hand washing is a really simple solution. We do it here in the office before and after we see every patient.” Hough referred to the Centers for Disease Prevention’s website which, like Westchester County’s health department site, offers information about handwashing kits, which are increasingly be-
THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 11A
ing used at schools to instruct students about the proper techniques. A drop of ultraviolet hand washing lotion is put in a child’s hands. The child is instructed to rub in the lotion and stick his or her hands under a black light, where “fake germs” will glow under the light. The child is then asked to rewash his or her hands and repeat the process, inevitably showing fewer germs on the second try. Dr. Katherine Frederick, a pediatrician with Scarsdale’s River Valley Pediatrics, a small, board-certified group of pediatric and adolescent physicians, said that some parents have become more anxious in recent years about germs, especially since the swine flu outbreak. Rather than pass that concern to their children, “One of the best things parents can do is simply model good behavior for the children by washing their own hands before dinner and after they use the bathroom,” Dr. Frederick said. “The important thing is to not make hand-washing into a big deal, so the children don’t get scared by it. Hand-washing can be a part of their routine, like saying grace is for some families before they eat a meal.” Frederick also emphasized the importance of washing one’s hands each and every time the bathroom is visited, particularly for boys, especially older boys, who might not think they need to wash their hands after “just” urinating in a toilet or urinal. “You need to wash any time you touch a toilet handle,” she said. “There are plenty of germs there, too.”
Gel hand sanitizers such as Purel are helpful in many circumstances where soap and water are not available, Frederick said, noting that parents of newborns and older infants should keep a bottle in or attached to their diaper bags for use after each diaper change, or “any time they touch the baby.” Frederick noted the common misperception that illness can be caused by changes in the weather. Hot air, cold winds and the multiple meteorological options in between are not to blame. It’s touching germs and then touching your face that lead to transmission of illness. Washing your hands and using sanitizer even more often than you think necessary is better than erring on the side of underuse, said Frederick, who mentioned being on a cruise recently and appreciating the effort made by the cruise line staff in being outside each dining venue “going crazy spritzing on the hand sanitizer.” For parents with children who are preschool age or younger, it comes down to adult intervention, Frederick said: “You can’t trust kids to be responsible with this, so with really little children it’s got to be the teachers or parents who make sure the kids’ hands are clean or that they’re using just the right amount of hand sanitizer.” To learn more about the Westchester County Department of Health’s Healthy Hands Club and to download activities such as a hand-washing word find, word scramble and connect-the-dots page, go to westchestergov.com.
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MARCH 23, 2012
From nursery to big kids’ room
Time to redecorate!
BY EVE MARX
n her 25-plus years as an interior designer, Nancy Almeida of Nancy Almeida Interior Design & Decoration said that some of the most challenging work has been rooms for children. “I say this because unlike other rooms in a home, parents want their child’s room to look a certain way, to have a good sense of style and function, and also have the ability to grow with the child — from baby to at least 10 years of age,” Almeida said. “The child, on the other hand, wants a ‘fun’ room — and fun can be defined in many different ways!” The key, she said, is to start with a good foundation that is versatile in form. “Your child can grow with it, while keeping in mind that the child wants a fun look, too.” She said she accomplishes this foundation often with color, while avoiding cookie cutter versions of baby pink or blue: “Instead, I use colors such as sherbet shades of greens, yellows, purples or oranges, and infuse other colors so that the room has a style, but also has a young appeal as well.” Painting or wallpapering an accent wall is also a good way to punch color into a room, as well as applying wall art. “Another interesting color that I propose to parents that don’t want to do the greens, yellows, purples or oranges is gray,” Almeida said. “Gray is quickly becoming the new neutral and is often replacing past neutrals such as white and cream.” Almeida advises that a soft hue of gray creates a warm palette that can be built upon with other colors. “It is also a color that you will not tire of easily and will grow with the child,” she noted. Besides the unifying element of color, Almeida said that functionality is an integral element in designing children’s rooms. “You want to choose furniture that will grow with the child,” she said. At Country Willow Kids in Bedford
Hills, the store offers beautiful, wellmade, sturdy furniture that will grow with any child. Many customers of the shop are indeed shopping for the future, said a Country Willow sales associate. Beautiful hardwood bedroom components that a child can grow with include the store’s signature “Smart Space” systems such as The Capital,” which includes two beds, stairs, a desk and nine drawers, or the “University” plan, which includes two beds, a study area, a lot of storage and stairs. These mixable and moveable components easily can take a child from toddler years straight through high school if need be. Other “grow with you” ideas at Country Willow include furnishing the room with captain’s beds, platform beds and bunk beds that can be taken apart and used as twins. Even infant furniture can grow with the child, Almeida said. “Some furniture designers have created cribs that can be converted into a settee or daybed,” she said. She also recommended buying furniture that can be painted as the child grows to change the look of the room. At CiCi Crib in Armonk, owner Christina Doherty’s aesthetic is inspired by a wide range of influences from vintage toys to modern architecture. The shop is filled with carefully selected items from around the world, bearing in mind that the focus is children (although some great flower chairs she recently blogged about on her website at Roche Bubois would be great in a girl’s room, or even the living room). To shake things up, Doherty likes incorporating bedding not manufactured specifically for children. For example, for one client who was looking to decorate a young boy’s room, she came up with a selection of patterns designed by Trina Turk for Schumacher. “How exciting to do kids bedding in something so unexpected,” she said. For another client who wanted to update her daughter’s room without hav-
Nancy Almeida’s vision for this bedroom was a hit for one little girl. ing to buy new furniture the designer and the client conceived of a plan to change the window treatments and to cover the headboard in fabric. The result was something fresh and hip, to reflect the daughter’s changing age status. For parents concerned that their child needs a darker environment to get a good night’s sleep, shades lined with blackout will keep out sunlight and allow the child to sleep better. Children can be quite vocal about how they would like to decorate their rooms. Doherty had a client whose son insisted on a purple color scheme. “That was a puzzle,” she said. Parenting experts advise that children have a say in how they
want their room to be. “It’s very important for your child to love his or her room,” Almeida said. “After all, it is their special space in the house and where they will be entertaining their friends. They want to feel proud of their room.” And it is true that as your child morphs into a teenager, their rooms become ever more important to them. How the child’s room will look can become a battlefield of contention. “As your child grows into a teenager you will find that their rooms become even more important to them and there is often a struggle between what the parent wants and what the CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
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budding teenager wants,â€? Almeida said. This is where the advice of an interior designer is priceless as he or she can navigate these rocky roads and act as a go-between. â€œI just finished designing two girlsâ€™ bedrooms and I know it was done more easily with my involvement as the parents wanted one thing and the girls wanted something else,â€? Almeida said. â€œWith my help, we were able to accomplish beautiful rooms that both parents and daughters are happy with.â€? But what about newborns who, luckily for the parents, donâ€™t have any say? The biggest change in infant furniture trends is toward the stripped down, modern crib, Doherty said. While many parents prefer the timeless sweetness of
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PAGE 14A | THE RECORD- REVIEW
MARCH 23, 2012
Help for successful breastfeeding BY JACKIE LUPO
and private practices. Some are also doctors, nurses, midwives, nutritionists or women with a background in counseling for breastfeeding organizations. In order to be certified, they must go through a rigorous education program that includes training in not only the anatomical and physiological aspects of breastfeeding, but also the practical, psychological and emotional elements. Other professionals, such as maternity department nurses, midwives and doulas may also provide breastfeeding support. Whether a mother looks to an IBCLC or another consultant, these professionals can provide needed support and information — and also serve as a buffer between new parents and the well-meaning, but often outdated advice of family and friends. “Most of the time, moms have a sense of what’s not right,” Charpentier said. She recommended that parents “take a prenatal class and know what normal looks like. Knowing what it looks like
others have been breastfeeding for millions of years. It’s a natural process, whose benefits for both babies and mothers are now backed up by tons of scientific research. But if breastfeeding is so natural, why do so many mothers experience problems nursing their babies? And why has a whole new profession called lactation consulting sprung up to address these problems? In past generations, said Erica Charpentier, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) based in Mount Kisco, “You had families around you who you lived in the middle of, who had experience. When people were giving birth, they were in a setting conducive to breastfeeding success.” Charpentier is one of 25,000 IBCLCs worldwide. This new category of health professional includes consultants workHilltop Summerdoctors’ Ad.qxd:Layout 1 3/13/12 ing in hospitals, offices, clinics
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when things are going well can be incredibly valuable.” Having a private consultation with a lactation expert can help prevent small issues from becoming bigger ones. “When breastfeeding is off to a good start, there shouldn’t be any pain or anxiety when anticipating breastfeeding,” Charpentier said. “If you find that’s what’s going on, it would probably be helpful to talk to somebody. Basically, any mother who has pain while nursing, a baby who is not gaining well or a baby with some kind of sucking or swallowing problem,” can benefit from a consultation, said Charpentier. “It’s not just pain. It’s anything that’s preventing you or your child from having that relationship.” A lost tradition Even mothers who are enthusiastic about breastfeeding are likely to be on the receiving end of misguided information that can affect how successful they are at breastfeeding and how long they continue with it. Many of today’s mothers belong to the first generation of women in their family to breastfeed in a century. Breastfeeding went from an almost universal practice in the late 1800s to a rarity by the 1950s, when only about a quarter of all babies started out life being breastfed. Mid-century customs around the childbirth experience were very different from what they are today. Most mothers
What the research says
oday, experts encourage mothers to breastfeed for the entire first year of life if possible, but for at least the first six months. The U.S. government has been coming out with progressively stronger statements in favor of breastfeeding for three decades. In a 2011 report, “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the results of a systematic review of all the major research about breastfeeding in developed countries. Some of the findings: • Formula feeding has health risks for babies. They are more likely to have common childhood ailments such as diarrhea and ear infections. Babies who are exclusively formulafed for the first six months of life have a risk of ear infections 100 percent higher than infants who are breastfed exclusively during the first six months. • Formula-fed infants are 250 percent more likely to be hospitalized with lower respiratory disease during the first year of life than babies
who have been exclusively breastfed for at least four months. • Infants who are never breastfed are 56 percent more likely to suffer Sudden Infant Death Syndrome than breastfed babies. • Higher rates of necrotizing enterocolitis, a severe gastrointestinal infection that can cause destruction of colon tissue, are found in vulnerable premature infants who are formula-fed. • Formula-feeding appears to be associated with a higher incidence of common conditions later in life, including childhood obesity, asthma and type 2 diabetes, all three of which have been increasing over time in the U.S. • Breastfeeding can also confer significant health benefits to mothers. Several studies have found that breastfeeding can lower the risk of breast cancer. • Studies indicate that women who have never breastfed have a 27 percent greater chance of developing ovarian cancer than women who have breastfed for some period of time. — Jackie Lupo
THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 15A
delivered their babies under anesthesia. When they left the hospital, they were given complicated recipes for the preparation of formula and strict instructions on instituting a schedule of feedings. The culture changed during the next generation, as more mothers began to embrace the practices of natural childbirth, feeding on demand and breastfeeding. But during the same period, infant formula manufacturers stepped up their marketing campaigns to promote their products as “scientific” alternatives to breast milk. New mothers were routinely sent home with discharge packs containing free samples of infant formula. In fact, as awareness of breastfeeding grew over the last half of the century, formula companies became even more aggressive in their techniques, enlisting hospitals and medical practitioners as marketing partners. The entrenchment of formula marketing via hospitals continues today, even though the American Academy of Pediatrics and the governments of the United States and other developed countries have all stated — unequivocally — that formula does not provide the quality of nutrition that babies get from mother’s milk. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, three-quarters of U.S. infants now start out life being breastfed. Within three months after giving birth, more than two-thirds of breastfeeding mothers have already begun using formula. By the CONTINUED ON PAGE 16A
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Breastfeeding CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15A
time the baby is 6 months old, less than half of mothers are still breastfeeding. Although mothers who have just delivered their babies may receive some advice from hospital staff, the nature of today’s in-hospital childbirth experience is seldom conducive to establishing good breastfeeding practices. “In the hospital, every hospital has a breastfeeding coordinator and you should be able to get advice from them. Usually they have a group morning breastfeeding session,” said Robert Rosenberg, M.D., of Hartsdale Pediatrics. “The trouble with the hospitals is that with the two-day discharge, your breast milk is not going to come in for 96 hours.” Dr. Rosenberg recommends that new mothers visit the pediatrician within 24 to 48 hours of discharge. He also applauds the idea of calling a lactation consultant. “I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “Lactation consultants can help, since we don’t have a tradition of breastfeeding. Lactation consultants have a lot to offer.” He notes that mothers don’t have to wait until problems arise to call a consultant. “If you’re motivated to breastfeed and you have some anxieties, I think it would be helpful,” he said. Lactation consultants see clients before and after childbirth. Some of their
services are purely educational and preventive, while others are aimed at solving problems that are interfering with nursing success. Getting help early “For the most part, women can create an excellent milk supply,” said Beth Shulman, an IBCLC in Hastings. But when mothers come home with a new baby — especially first-time mothers — they may not know when they should ask for help. That’s where private consultations and postnatal breastfeeding groups come in. For example, while breastfeeding is being established, “intermittent discomfort is something normal, but pain is an indication that something is not right and should be — and could be — improved by better positioning, or something going on with the baby’s suck,” Shulman said. “It’s an indication to call for help. I would say that getting help early in the breastfeeding experience is really valuable because as each day goes by, the difficulties can go unresolved, and it makes the experience more difficult in general.” When mothers have trouble establishing a good milk supply, “Most frequently it’s unrelated to her physiology, but more related to the way breastfeeding got started early on, in terms of the supply-demand situation,” Shulman said. “Also, the birth experience can influence milk supply.” She explained that medical intervention during childbirth, or having a Caesarean section, can interfere with the early establishment of a
good milk supply. “You can come back from that,” she said. “Every woman’s body is a little different. Some women’s milk supply responds more to various factors than others. It’s a very individual thing.” OK to seek help “Years ago, when I started working as a lactation consultant, moms were sometimes disappointed with themselves if they needed help because they felt this was a natural process,” Shulman said. “There has been a shift that I’m very happy with. Breastfeeding is a learned behavior. There are a lot of people who want to be helpful based on their experience. But there’s evidence-based information that can really inform people, in a very professional way. Moms are lucky now.” Shulman likes to have both parents come to the prenatal classes or consultations: “I feel if the mom has the support of her family, of her partner, she’s most likely to succeed if the partner is on board and part of the team. I think it’s a family thing. I also feel that when couples have a sense of what is coming in that first week or two after the baby is born, it helps people to cope with the early days.” Shulman noted that parents are often surprised at how frequently and how long babies have to nurse in the first weeks after birth. “The supply of milk depends on the baby’s demand,” she explained. “The time spent on the breast and the amount of milk removed from the breast goes to the brain and determines the amount of milk made. So the baby needs full access
MARCH 23, 2012
to the breast whenever desired.” Shulman runs a twice-monthly breastfeeding support group at Pediatrics on Hudson in Hastings. Breastfeeding groups help moms establish connections with other new nursing mothers. They also give mothers the peer support to continue breastfeeding longer. Breast milk continues to confer benefits to older babies and toddlers, even when the child has begun to eat solid food. The composition of breast milk changes according to the needs of the child, and continues to be superior to formula at any stage of the baby’s life. Yet the longer a mother breastfeeds, the more likely she is to encounter criticism, even from people who applauded her efforts to breastfeed when the baby was born. Your own decision A mother’s decision to breastfeed — whether to do it, and how long to do it — is a personal one. Lactation consultants do all they can to help mothers who want to breastfeed. But it may not be right for everyone. “I really try not to be dogmatic about breastfeeding,” said Shulman. “There are people who have problems with this, and I really feel my role as a lactation consultant is to offer proper, evidence-based information in a supportive way, so couples can make their own decisions about the best way to feed their baby. “I try really hard to be nonjudgmental about what people choose to do.”
MARCH 23, 2012
Thumb sucking CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7A
for some nighttime thumb suckers. There are also thumb coverings that look like gloves, but that cover only the thumbs. Of course, all these strategies work only as long as the band-aid or mitten stays on the hand, since kids can remove them at will. It is possible to buy “thumb guards” made of plastic. They strap on the hands and make it impossible to suck the thumbs, but some determined children have been known to figure out how to remove them, or to chew right through them. If all else fails and a dentist or orthodontist determines that a child is on the way to developing serious problems, a consultation with an orofacial myologist may help. “An orthodontist will never put braces on a child who still sucks his thumb,” said Heitzler. The habit has to be broken first, or the act of sucking will defeat the whole purpose of braces. Fabbie noted that it’s important not just to break the sucking habit, but to undo the other problems that go along with it, such as improper placement of the tongue in the mouth. “A child has a habit that is causing the problem,” she said. “You can put the braces on, but when you take the braces off, if the child isn’t retrained it will go right back.” During therapy, said Fabbie, “We retrain the tongue and lips, and retrain the supporting muscles to keep the beautiful faces we hope to have.”
THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 17A
Pacifier dos and don’ts
acifiers should not be used by children over 2 to 3 years of age because of the risk of damaging the jaws and teeth. But they are generally harmless for younger infants if they are used correctly, and they can even have health benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics, in a 2011 report on safe sleeping environments for infants, recommends offering a pacifier to young babies at nap and sleep time: “Although the mechanism is yet unclear, studies have reported a protective effect of pacifiers on the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,” the report states. The protective effect is believed to continue throughout the sleep period even if the pacifier falls out of the baby’s mouth. If you do decide to let your baby use a pacifier, take these precautions: • Do choose a one-piece pacifier if possible. Two-piece pacifiers can come apart with vigorous use. • Do choose a pacifier with air vents in the shield. • Do be sure the pacifier shield is wider than the baby’s mouth. Discard tiny pacifiers after the baby has
outgrown them. • Do choose a pacifier with a symmetrical nipple that will stay in the right sucking position in the baby’s mouth. • Do clean the pacifier frequently with soap and water, or at least in clean running water. • Don’t use a pacifier that is broken or damaged in any way. Check pacifiers for cracks, and pull on the
nipple before giving it to the child to be sure it is not damaged. • Don’t coat a pacifier with any substance such as sugar or syrup. In particular, never give a baby honey or corn syrup, whether on a pacifier, a finger, or in any other form, as these products can cause botulism in infants. • Don’t hang a pacifier around the baby’s neck. Pacifiers attached to a ribbon clipped on to a baby’s clothes should only be used under constant supervision. A baby should never be left alone with a pacifier clipped to a stuffed animal in the crib; suffocation can result. • Don’t clean a dropped pacifier by putting it in your own mouth. Even mom’s mouth has plenty of germs. • Don’t buy cheap, off-brand pacifiers. • Don’t use a pacifier before breast-feeding is well established. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting four to six weeks before introducing a pacifier. • Don’t let a toddler walk around with a pacifier in her mouth all day. It can cause orthodontic and speech problems later. — JACKIE LUPO
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PAGE 18A | THE RECORD- REVIEW
MARCH 23, 2012
Advice for parents of hyperactive children
lmost all children have times when their attention or behavior veers out of control. From rambunctious play to being distracted during homework time, parents often have to find creative solutions to keep their children on task. However, for some children, hyperactivity and inattentiveness are more than an occasional problem. “Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have behavior problems that are so frequent and severe they interfere with their ability to function adequately on a daily basis,” says Mark Wolraich, MD, FAAP, of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP has released new guidelines for physicians for diagnosing and treating ADHD in children between 4-18 years of age. The previous guidelines covered children between 6-12 years. Parents who are concerned about their child’s inattentiveness or hyperactivity should keep the following symptom guidelines in mind: • Early childhood (ages 3-7): It’s normal for children to sometimes run in circles or ask constant questions at this age. But if your child does them frequently, gets injured often and won’t sit down to eat or be read to, he or she may be displaying problematic hyperactive behavior. • Middle childhood (ages 7-12): During this age range, children should be able
There are many treatments to help children who are easily distracted. to complete games, but may occasionally act impulsively when excited. Problematic behavior usually includes frequently butting in to other children’s games, interrupting others, and fidgeting quite a bit even while watching television. • Adolescence (ages 13-18): Normal teens usually engage in some risky social behavior, while hyperactive teens have
trouble paying attention, are often restless and fidgety while doing quiet activities, interrupt and “bug” other people, and frequently have difficulties completing their school work. “ADHD is a chronic condition of the brain that can impact children’s learning, ability to regulate their behavior, social skills and self-esteem,” says Dr.
Wolraich. “But once a diagnosis is confirmed, ADHD treatments are available to help them control their behaviors.” To help parents understand the new guidance on ADHD, the AAP has published a detailed and updated consumer resource book entitled “ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know.” In it, parents can find the newest treatment options and management strategies that balance behavior therapy, medications and parenting techniques. For example, in preschool children with ADHD, pediatricians are now being instructed to first try behavioral interventions, such as group or individual parent training in behavior management techniques. For preschoolers with moderate to severe symptoms who don’t exhibit significant improvement after behavior therapy, medication may be considered. For elementary school children and adolescents, the AAP recommends both medications and behavior therapy. More information on the symptoms and treatment of ADHD can be found on the AAP’s website for parents, www. healthychildren.org/adhd. ADHD is a chronic condition that requires a team approach, according to experts, including input from patients, their parents, pediatricians, therapists and teachers. — STATEPOINT
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THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 19A
t The Record-Review 2012 t
PRESCHOOL GUIDE BEDFORD VILLAGE NURSERY SCHOOL
COUNTRY KIDS SCHOOLHOUSE
Main Street Bedford Village, NY 10506 (914) 234-3020
28 Virginia Ave. Bedford, NY 10506 (914) 234-0590 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathie Lent, Director
Ester Aguzzi, Director
Philosophy: The Bedford Village Nursery School operates a traditional child-centered prekindergarten program. Enrollment: 40 children Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 5:1; 3’s: 6:1; 4’s, 8:1 Calendar: September through June Hours: 9-11:45 a.m.; varied extended day program available Fees: Vary according to program Other: Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Member of Westchester Association for the Education of Young Children. Registered with NYS Department of Education
BET TORAH NURSERY SCHOOL 60 Smith Ave. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 666-7595 www.bettorah.org Mindy Citera, Director Philosophy: We seek to enhance the total development of each child socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively through a child-centered curriculum with an emphasis on Jewish values. Our goal is to provide interactive experiences that stimulate a child’s learning ability, while providing a safe, tender and caring environment that encourages a child to explore. We aim to build a partnership between home and school in order to foster the well-being of each child. All activities are designed to be developmentally and individually appropriate. Enrollment: 100 children Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s and 4’s, 6:1 Calendar: Sept. 2012-first week of June Hours: 9:15 a.m.-noon, with after-school enrichment until 2:30 p.m. Fees: Vary. From two-five days $3,739-$6,983 for 2012-13, with discounts for synagogue members Special programs: A summer camp program (Camp Keshet), Mommy and Me classes (infant and toddler programs) and a toddler separation class (Mom’s Day Out) round out our programs.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF NORTHERN WESTCHESTER 351 Main St. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 666-8069 Elizabeth Ostrye, Childcare Director Philosophy: The Boys & Girls Clubs Childcare Center believes that early childhood should be
a time of fun, warmth, security, exploration and discovery. Preschool children are creative and receptive; the staff strives to nurture and encourage these qualities. Our purpose is to provide an atmosphere that encourages social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth through developmentally appropriate practices. Enrollment: 52 children Student-teacher ratio: 3’s, 6:1; 4s, 7:1 Calendar: September through August, three, four or five days per week Hours: Options from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fees: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: five days, $9,450, four days $7,560, three days $5,670; 7-9 a.m.: five days $2,625, four days $2,100, three days $1,575; 8-9 a.m.: five days $1,313, four days $1,050, three days $788; 4-6 p.m.: five days $2,625, four days $2,100, three days $1,575. Special programs: Swimming, physical education, music, art Other: Licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services
BRUNSWICK SCHOOL 116 Maple Ave. Greenwich, CT 06830 (203) 625-5850 www.BrunswickSchool.org Gina Hurd, Director of Preschool Admission Philosophy: Brunswick School, founded in 1902, is an independent college preparatory day school for 940 boys in grades pre-K through 12. We believe in the potential of boys and have successfully developed an educational experience that emphasizes rigorous traditional learning, self-discipline and character development. The school’s motto, “Courage, Honor, Truth,” is a phrase familiar to students who have graced our halls and one that is followed in both word and deed. Enrollment: 32 (pre-K; must be 4 years old before Aug. 1)
Student-teacher ratio: 8:1 Hours: 8-11:45 a.m. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday); 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m. (Tuesday, Thursday); optional extended day (Monday, Wednesday) until 2:45 p.m. Fees: $26,400
THE CANAAN RIDGE SCHOOL 2810 Long Ridge Road Stamford, CT 06903 (203) 322-7191 www.CanaanRidgeSchool.org Virginia Sarvalon, Director Philosophy: Established in 1977 and incorporating Montessori principles, we provide freedom for the child within a prepared environment. Each child is approached on an individual basis and presented with developmentally appropriate materials. With this philosophy in mind, our goals are to provide a safe, stimulating and fun-filled environment, to encourage curiosity and enthusiasm, to develop a sense of community, and give children a strong foundation for future learning. Enrollment: 65 children, nursery through grade 4 Student-teacher ratio: Nursery and pre-K, 7:1; K-4, 6:1 Calendar: September through June. Summer session in June and July Hours: 3’s and 4’s: three-five days; morning program: 9-11:40 a.m.; full day: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; kindergarten, first through fourth grades: five days: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fees: Upon request Special programs: Daily academics, phonics reading program, French, Mandarin, chess and drama (for K-4 students), daily music and dance, arts and crafts. Science, computers and sports. After-school activities include sports, baking, ballet, science club, little artists and etiquette.
Philosophy: Country Kids Schoolhouse offers a rich, stimulating and fun environment for children. Whether enrolled in preschool, day care or before-/after-school care, we provide activities for your child that will promote curiosity, foster learning and keep your son or daughter engaged. Our nutritious homecooked meals, multiple learning centers and daily Spanish lessons are part of a wholesome, multicultural atmosphere that encourages inclusiveness, friendship and sharing. Our mission is to provide parents with peace of mind about their child’s educational and emotional development by creating a nurturing and loving home environment where learning is fun, hands-on and educational. Enrollment: 12 in 3’s and 4’s classroom; six in 2’s and 3’s classroom Student-teacher ratio: 5:1 Calendar: Full-year program Hours: Full-time and part-time hours available between 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Fees: Available upon request Special programs: Music, art, science, cooking, multicultural studies, Spanish, summer camp, school-age summer travel camp Other: Licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and member of NAFCC, Child Care Council of Westchester and NAEYC
EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER AT TEMPLE SHAARAY TEFILA 89 Baldwin Road Bedford Corners, NY 10509 (914) 666-3188 email@example.com www.shaaraytefila.org Beth Kiffel, Director Philosophy: The Early Childhood Center provides a warm, nurturing, stimulating environment that promotes social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of young children. Our program emphasizes the uniqueness and individuality of each child. We provide a program that is developmentally appropriate for each age group. Our curriculum offers the opportunity for children to expand their knowledge through exploration, investigation and observation of the world around them in a fun, creative environment. Our curriculum instills pride and love of Judaism and strengthens their Jewish identity through songs, stories and holiday celebrations. Enrollment: 60 children ages 2-5 Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s, 6:1; 4’s, 7:1 CONTINUED ON PAGE 20A
PAGE 20A | THE RECORD- REVIEW
MARCH 23, 2012
The Record-Review 2012 I PRESCHOOL GUIDE Fees: 2’s, $3,500; 3’s, $3,950; 4’s, five mornings, $5,300; 4’s, four afternoons, $4,500 Special programs: Music/movement, science/nature, yoga Other: Optional day programs in 2’s and 3’s are offered. Extended day Lunch Bunch program offered in the building.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19A
Calendar: September-June; parallels Bedford School District calendar Hours: 3’s and 4’s: Monday through Friday, 9:15 a.m.-noon; 2’s: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9:15-11:30 a.m.; 3’s and 4’s extended day Monday through Thursday noon-2 p.m.; Mommy and Me Wednesdays 9:30-10:30 a.m.
LISSIE’S KATONAH PLAYSCHOOL
Fees: Five mornings, $6,720; three mornings, $4,945 Special programs: Nature, music and yoga, sign language, physical education. During extended day we offer enrichment programs with yoga, science, music, arts and crafts.
31 Bedford Road Katonah, NY 10536 (914) 232-5903 firstname.lastname@example.org
Other: Parenting Center for children ages birth to 30 months, Mommy and Me programs, large playground, children’s organic garden
GREENWICH ACADEMY 200 North Maple Ave. Greenwich, CT 06830 (203) 625-8990 www.greenwichacademy.org Molly King, Head of School Philosophy: Founded in 1827, Greenwich Academy is an independent college preparatory day school for girls and young women that seeks to foster excellence. Its mission is to provide a challenging, comprehensive educational experience grounded in a rigorous liberal arts curriculum within an inclusive, diverse community. The school’s objective is to develop girls and young women of exceptional character and achievement who demonstrate independence, resilience, courage, integrity and compassion. We strive, above all, to honor our motto, “Toward the Building of Character.” Enrollment: 800, pre-K through grade 12 Student-teacher ratio: 10:1 Calendar: Early September to end of May Hours: 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 8 a.m.-noon, Friday Fees: Pre-K to grade 12, $30,700-$36,050
THE HOMEROOM 74 Garlen Road Katonah, NY 10536 (914) 767-0158 www.thehomerm.com Homeroom@verizon.net Nancy Mendelsohn, Director Philosophy: The Homeroom is a unique small group kindergarten enrichment program. Older preschool and kindergarten age children are introduced to pre-reading, writing and math concepts using a Montessori approach and materials. Seasonal art and science projects and plenty of outdoor time round out this halfday program. Enrollment: 40 students Student-teacher ratio: 5:1 Calendar: September through June (follows public school calendar) Hours: Morning session: 9-11:50 a.m.; afternoon session: 12:45-3 p.m. There is a two-day and three-day program. Other: Transportation is available to Increase Miller Elementary School
Anne Harris, Director
JENNIE’S SCHOOL FOR LITTLE CHILDREN Mount Kisco Presbyterian Church 605 Millwood Road Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 666-4001 Carol Coteus, Director Philosophy: In a nurturing environment that focuses on individual and group-oriented creative play, children learn to make choices that inspire confidence and self-esteem. Enrollment: 60 children Student-teacher ratio: 7:1 Calendar: School calendar Hours: 9:15-11:45 a.m., plus summer program, lunch program Monday-Thursday until 12:15 p.m. and after school enrichment until 2 p.m. Fees: Three days $4,800; four days $5,200; five days $5,300; K-link (5-year-olds) $5,500 Special programs: Three music programs, nature study, yoga, baking, invited specialists, handwriting program Other: Permanent charter with Board of Regents of New York State
JEWISH FAMILY CONGREGATION EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER 111 Smith Ridge Road, Route 123 South Salem, NY 10590 (914) 763-3028 www.jewishfamilycongregation.org email@example.com Jane Weil Emmer, Director Philosophy: JFC Early Childhood Center is a warm community school in beautiful surroundings. We help each child to develop his or her intellectual, emotional, physical and creative self through our nurturing and stimulating environment. Our program helps children achieve a love of learning through hands-on play and interaction with children and our professional teachers. The curriculum delves into interest areas using language, literacy, science and math materials, creative arts and cooking. Our beautiful, large playground offers many opportunities for riding bikes, climbing, running and exploring. Jewish culture is enjoyed while celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays through stories, songs, art and foods.
Enrollment: 40 children ages 2-5 and parenting center for ages 12 months-2 years with parent Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s and 4’s, 6:1 Calendar: September-early June Hours: 9:15 a.m.-noon; 2’s, two- and three-day programs; 3’s and 4’s, four days with optional fifth day Fees: $2,450-$5,410 Special programs: Workshops on parenting topics. Temple professional staff participates in programs, particularly holiday celebrations. Enrichment specialists include music, nature, yoga and trips. Lunch Bunch afternoon enrichment available. Other: Creation Station parenting program for children ages 10 months-2 years beginning September, includes play, music, art, stories, Jewish culture and more, from 9:30-10:45 a.m. for two 10-week sessions. Summer Fun Program, a six-week outdoor experience for children entering 3’s-5-year-olds runs from July-August, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. New program two mornings per week for children entering 2’s from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday and Friday. Week by week sign-up for summer fun.
KATONAH PLAYCARE EARLY LEARNING CENTER 44 Edgemont Road Katonah, NY 10536 (914) 232-7825 www.katonahplaycare.com firstname.lastname@example.org Louise Cameron and Gail Porter, Directors Philosophy: At Katonah Playcare Early Learning Center, the emphasis is on a blend of academic and social activities aimed at developing the “whole child.” In a warm, nurturing, developmentally appropriate environment, learning is scaffolded upon the goal being kindergarten readiness. Enrollment: Call for info Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 2:11-12; 3’s, 2:13-14; 4’s 1:9 Calendar: September-June Hours: 2’s, 9-11:15 a.m. and 12:30-2:45 p.m.; 3’s, 9:15-11:45 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m.; 4’s, 9 a.m.-noon and 12:45-3:15 p.m.
Philosophy: The purpose of the school is to provide an educational experience in a healthy, happy atmosphere where children are encouraged to develop physical, social/emotional, language, cognitive and self-help skills. Through play, children develop confidence and the ability to relate to others with cooperation and acceptance. Enrollment: 90 children, 2-5 years old Student-teacher ratio: 7:1; 2’s, 5:1 Calendar: September through June; same as area schools regarding vacations Hours: 9-11:30 a.m., 12:30-3 p.m.; extended day, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fees: Five days, $5,000; three days, $3,800; two days, $2,600; 2’s and extended day prices upon request Special programs: Lunch Bunch for 3- and 4-year-old children extends the session by two hours. Special classes include Chinese culture, science/nature, art and literature, music and movement, yoga, cooking and tae kwon do. Before and after school care for ages 5-11. Other: NAEYC accredited and licensed by the OCFS
LITTLE SPARROWS NURSERY SCHOOL 448 Bedford Road Armonk, NY 10504 (914) 273-9760 www.hillsidechurch.com email@example.com Karen Coombs, Director Doreen Semple, MPS, Education Director Philosophy: Our goal is to meet the developmental needs of every child actively searching, exploring and adapting to his or her world in a warm, nurturing Christian environment. We offer a carefully planned yet flexible curriculum, allowing each child to be recognized and nurtured by our staff of licensed teachers. Enrollment: 60 children Hours: 2’s and 3’s 9:15 a.m.-noon; pre-K 9:15 a.m.-noon or 9:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 3’s and 4’s extended day, noon-2:45 p.m. Fees: Upon request Special programs: Music class, nature studies, cooking, science, computers, field trips, movement, family social events Other: Licensed by NYS Office of Children and Family Services. Registered with the NYS Education Department. CONTINUED ON PAGE 21A
MARCH 23, 2012
THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 21A
The Record-Review 2012 I PRESCHOOL GUIDE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20A
THE LONG RIDGE SCHOOL
THE MEAD SCHOOL CHILD CARE
Beth O’Brien, Head of Early Childhood Program Nancy Hayes, Director of Admission Philosophy: The Beginners program at New Canaan Country School fosters intellectual curiosity and a love of learning. With great respect for the development of the whole child, we provide a balanced program that places emphasis on the cognitive, social, emotional and physical growth of each child.
1095 Riverbank Road Stamford, CT 06903 (203) 595-0708 www.meadschool.org
478 Erskine Road Stamford, CT 06903 (203) 322-7693 www.longridgeschool.org
Robyn Santagata, Director
Kris Bria, Head of School Philosophy: The Long Ridge School, an independent day school for children age 2 to grade 5, works with each child’s individual timetable for physical, intellectual and social development. Enrollment: 36 children in two classrooms Student-teacher ratio: 7:1 Calendar: September through June Hours: Half-day morning sessions five days a week, with an optional afternoon program Fees: Vary according to program Special programs: Morning program for 2’s. Theme-based curriculum. Other: Accredited by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
THE MEAD SCHOOL
Philosophy: Play based, hands-on socially interactive, nurturing environment where children are encouraged to develop at their own pace and in their own unique way. Special focus is placed on socio-emotional development while building pre-academic skills as children are ready. Enrollment: Full- and part-time enrollment is offered for infants through 5-year-olds Student-teacher ratio: Meets or exceeds expectations set by the state of Connecticut and NAEYC Calendar: September-August Hours: 6:15 a.m.-6 p.m. Fees: Vary according to full- or part-time enrollment. Call for more detailed information. Special programs: Music, gymnastics, movement, body, drama, Spanish
MOUNT KISCO CHILD CARE CENTER
1095 Riverbank Road Stamford, CT 06903 (203) 595-9500 www.meadschool.org Karen Biddulph, Director Philosophy: Mead focuses on social and emotional development while building pre-academic skills. Children are engaged in hands-on learning. In a warm and nurturing environment, children are celebrated as unique and autonomous learners stepping into the bigger world of community. Student-teacher ratio: 2- and 3-year-olds, 4.5:1; older 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds, 5:1 Calendar: September-June Hours: 2-3-year-old program, 9-11:30 a.m.; 3-4-year-old program, 8:45-11:45 a.m. with an option for extended day for older children Tuesday and Thursday until 3:15 p.m.; 4-5-year-old program, 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Monday-Thursday), 8:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. (Friday) Fees: Call for tuition as it varies according to program Special programs: 3-5-year-olds engage in expressive arts — music, movement, drama, body, Spanish Other: Accredited by CAIS, NAIS
Enrollment: Age 3 Beginner through grade 9; 50 nursery students in three sections Student-teacher ratio: 6:1 Calendar: September through June Hours: 8:15 a.m.-noon Fees: $25,450 for 2012-13 Special programs: Lunch Bunch, extended day until 4:15 p.m.
Enrollment: Please call the director Student-teacher ratio: Exceeds New York State licensing requirements Calendar: Mount Kisco Child Care Center’s full-day prekindergarten program operates yearround. The half-day prekindergarten classroom operates from September-June. Fees: Call for more information. Scholarships available based on financial need. Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. or 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (halfday, prekindergarten only)
95 Radio Circle Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 241-2135 www.mkccc.org Dawn Meyerski, Program Director Philosophy: Since 1971, every child knows that they are valuable at Mount Kisco Child Care Center. Experienced teachers provide the support and caring that allows our diverse community of children to reach their potential. Children are given the freedom to explore carefully planned environments that maximize learning. Trusting relationships between children and adults are the key to success. Each child feels safe to develop interests and abilities while appreciating and respecting their friends. Whether you choose our full-day prekindergarten program, which operates from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., or our halfday prekindergarten, which operates from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., your child will have a stimulating experience that will prepare him/her for kindergarten. Visit our center and see for yourself why MKCCC is considered an outstanding place for children to learn and grow.
Special programs: MKCCC is NAEYC accredited. In addition to our Exceptional Prekindergarten Programs, Mount Kisco Child Care Center cares for children from 3 months-10 years old. We have infant, toddler and before- and after-school programs. The after-school program extends to a full day for the summer months and the school vacations and holidays. Innovative programming includes our Feed Me Fresh seed to table nutrition curriculum and our award-winning JEWEL program, which encourages intergenerational interactions between children and senior citizens.
NEW CANAAN COUNTRY SCHOOL 545 Ponus Ridge Road New Canaan, CT 06840 (203) 972-0771 www.countryschool.net
PLAY CARE 210 Orchard Ridge Road Chappaqua, NY 10514 (914) 238-6206 www.playcarepreschool.com Carol Cleary, Director Philosophy: Play Care provides a flexible, nurturing program that encourages socialization, cooperation, individual development and a positive self-image. An interdenominational approach provides a cheerful and meaningful learning experience for our children. Enrollment: 75 children, 2 months to 5 years Student-teacher ratio: 2 months to 1-1/2’s, 4:1; 1-1/2’s and 2’s, 5:1; 3’s and 4’s, 6:1 Calendar: September through June Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:15 a.m.-noon; extended day program available Tuesday through Thursday until 3:30 p.m. Fees: Vary according to number of sessions attended Special programs: Music, creative movement, weekly science experiments, arts and crafts, story time, computers for 3’s and 4’s, large enclosed outdoor play area Other: Early morning drop-off, lunch program (Monday-Friday). After-school enrichment classes such as art, science and cooking. Flexible schedule. Licensed by NYS Office of Children and Family Services. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22A
Spring Into SummerDance June 25-28 DiMauro Dance Company In Residence July 9-13 and July 23-27 Weeklong SummerDance Intensives
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PAGE 22A | THE RECORD- REVIEW
MARCH 23, 2012
The Record-Review 2012 I PRESCHOOL GUIDE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21A
ROSENTHAL JCC PRE-SCHOOL
PLAYLAND NURSERY SCHOOL
600 Bear Ridge Road Pleasantville, NY 10570 (914) 741-0333 Ext. 21 www.rosenthaljcc.org
800 Ponus Ridge Road New Canaan, CT 06840 (203) 966-2937
Marjorie Kobrin, Director
Gary and Barbara Bloom, Directors Philosophy: We provide a safe, warm, loving and nurturing environment. Playland Nursery School provides hands-on, three-dimensional learning. Enrollment: 50 children Student-teacher ratio: 5:1 Calendar: September through May Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-noon or Lunch Bunch, noon-2 p.m. Fees: Three mornings, $6,925; five mornings, $9,200 Special programs: Lunch Bunch offered, summer day camp Other: Licensed by the State of Connecticut. Accredited by the NAEYC.
POUND RIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH PLAY SCHOOL 3 Pound Ridge Road Pound Ridge, NY 10576 (914) 764-4360 Kirstin Zarras, Director Philosophy: Our Play School program consists of carefully selected and integrated activities designed to encourage growth in the social, emotional, creative, physical and cognitive development of young children. Our objectives are to help children build self-confidence, meet new friends and develop positive feelings about the world around them. We have a developmentally appropriate curriculum. Enrollment: 75-80 children (2-, 3- and 4-year olds) Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s and 4’s, 6:1 Calendar: Early September through early June Hours: Morning 2’s, 9:15 a.m.-noon; Morning 3’s, 8:45-11:30 a.m.; Morning 4’s, 9-11:45 a.m.; Afternoon 3’s and 4’s, 12:30-3:15 p.m.; 4’s Enrichment Tuesdays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Fees: Vary according to program Special programs: Music enrichment, nature programs, yoga
QUALITY TIME PRESCHOOL 68 Bedford Road Katonah, NY 10536 mailing address: c/o St. Luke’s Church P.O. Box 602 Katonah, NY 10536 (914) 767-0585 www.qualitytimepreschoolkatonah.com email@example.com Lorri Mallon, Director Philosophy: We believe that at Quality Time children learn and grow within a nurturing, accepting environment, where we provide reason-
able structure, highlighting a “learning through doing” approach. Children learn through a wide range of stimulating, creative, age-appropriate activities, including circle time, crafts, gardening, music, foreign language and outdoor play. Our state-of-the-art playground provides a platform for fostering physical and social development. Enrollment: 12-15 per class Student-teacher ratio: 4:1 Calendar: Follows the Katonah-Lewisboro schedule Hours: 9:15 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Flexible schedule offers morning, afternoon or full day Fees: Vary depending on number of days and number of siblings. Contact for fees. Special programs: We offer kindergarten enrichment for both morning and afternoon kindergartners at Katonah Elementary School. The school bus drops off and picks up in front of St. Luke’s on Bedford Road. Morning enrichment is from 9:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.; afternoon enrichment from 12:45-3:30 p.m. Other: Integration of both Spanish and French language into lesson plans, using fun and creative teaching techniques. Includes gardenbased curriculum in the spring, where children learn about growing food and flowers in the butterfly garden.
RIDGEFIELD ACADEMY PRESCHOOL 223 West Mountain Road Ridgefield, CT 06877 (203) 894-1800 www.ridgefieldacademy.org Tara Simeonidis, Head of Preschool Libby Mattson, Director of Admission Philosophy: To provide a balanced program that combines an engaging, age-appropriate introduction to academics with plenty of opportunities to socialize, explore, create and play. Our goal is to encourage young children to explore, discover and enjoy new challenges. We believe children are curious, capable and ready to learn at an early age. Our balanced program inspires children of all levels by enhancing their social-emotional, intellectual and physical development. We dedicate ourselves to helping each child discover his or her intrinsic talents in a stimulating, nurturing and creative environment. The first five years are forever. Enrollment: 30 children Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s and 4’s 6:1
Calendar: September through June Hours: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Fees: Three days, $10,365; four days, $13,870; five days, $17,325 Special programs: French instruction, music, movement, art, drama, science lab. Hatch SmartBoard technology in all preschool classrooms. Other: Three campuses: Landmark of Ridgefield Academy at Redding and Westport. Accredited by Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
RIPPOWAM CISQUA SCHOOL Lower Campus 325 West Patent Road Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 244-1200 www.rcsny.org Matthew Nespole, Head of School Carol Gahagan, Head of Lower Campus Elizabeth Carter, Director of Admissions, Lower Campus Philosophy: From the earliest moments of their formal education, young children at RCS are encouraged to be critical thinkers, intellectually curious and confident in their abilities and in themselves. Our teachers create challenging, play-based activities and programs that enable students to experience success in developmentally appropriate ways in language arts, math, science, athletics and the arts. The early childhood program is guided by extensive research related to individualized, child-centered learning and informed by Dr. Jean Piaget’s maxim that “play is the work of young children.” Enrollment: 520, prekindergarten through grade 9 Student-teacher ratio: 6:1 Calendar: September-June Hours: 8:20 a.m.-noon for junior pre-K; 8:20 a.m.-noon or 2 p.m. for senior pre-K Fees: Available upon request Special programs: Music, art, physical education, computer, library, Spanish and dramatic play and performances Other: Accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools through the New York Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS)
Philosophy: The Rosenthal JCC Pre-School provides a tender transition from home to school in a nurturing and stimulating, child-centered environment. We help children develop the necessary social skills for school, and provide the activities and individual attention that encourage each child’s uniqueness. Our experientially based program is geared toward developing children’s independence and curiosity. We focus on growing the whole child, mind and body. Our early childhood teachers are highly trained with an average tenure at the JCC of more than 10 years. We also bring in specialists in music, movement, library and Jewish culture to enhance our classroom experience. Enrollment: 185 children Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s, 5:1; 4’s, 6:1 Calendar: September through June. Summer camp runs June through August Hours: 2’s, 9:15-11:30 a.m.; 3’s, 9-11:45 a.m. (extended day options with Lunch Clubs until 12:45 p.m. or enrichment until 3:30 p.m.); 4’s, 9-11:45 a.m. (extended day options with Lunch Clubs until 12:45 p.m. or enrichment until 3:30 p.m.) Fees: (2012-13) 2’s, two days, $3,100; 2’s, three days, $4,150; 3’s and 4’s, five days, $6,895. Call for pricing on Lunch Clubs and enrichment. Special programs: Our daily specials in music, movement, library, science and Jewish culture. The 4’s classes take part in Math Madness and science experiments. We also take particular pride in our support services for families with young children who are at risk for speech, learning and gross/fine motor weaknesses with early intervention facilitation. Other: The Rosenthal JCC offers a preschool summer camp, Camp Bear Ridge, and a parenting center with Mommy & Me classes for infants and toddlers. Come see our bright and spacious indoor facilities and multiple playgrounds and sports fields.
SAINT MARY PRESCHOOL 183 High Ridge Ave. Ridgefield, CT 06877 (203) 438-7288 www.smsridgefield.org Anna O’Rourke, Principal Philosophy: At Saint Mary Preschool, we provide an atmosphere that encourages social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual growth and development of the child as a whole. Our nurturing approach enhances the uniqueness of each child, while teaching respect for self and others. Physical development and coordination are achieved through creative play. Intellectual curiosity and growth is encouraged through a wide variety of classroom and playground equipment and stimulating, exciting learning programs in an atmosphere of spiritual joy and wonder. Enrollment: Approximately 80 children in our 3’s, 4’s and transitional kindergarten programs. Student-teacher ratio: Approximately 8:1 Calendar: September through June Hours: Our 3-year-old programs meet two or three days a week, our 4-year-olds have the option of three to five days per week and our CONTINUED ON PAGE 23A
MARCH 23, 2012
THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 23A
The Record-Review 2012 I PRESCHOOL GUIDE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22A
5-year-olds come five days a week. Half-day and full-day sessions available for all programs. Please see our website for complete details. Fees: Fees range from $2,500-$5,820 based on the program. See our website for details. Special programs: Saint Mary School is a Roman Catholic, co-educational day school for students in preschool through eighth grade. Preschool students have access to all of the facilities and services of our school, including the nurse, computer lab, gymnasium and library, art and music programs.
SOUTH SALEM NURSERY SCHOOL 111 Spring St. P.O Box 232 South Salem, NY 10590 (914) 763-3560 www.southsalempc.org firstname.lastname@example.org Karen Potz, Director Philosophy: We believe in a developmental approach to early childhood education because children develop at their own unique pace; in an environment that fosters initiative, self-discipline and self-reliance; that play is a child’s work and that it builds important foundations for future academic achievement; that children learn from each other and must learn to respect others; and that self-esteem results when children are recognized and valued as unique individuals. Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 5:1; 3’s, 6:1; 4’s, 7:1 Calendar: September-mid June Hours: 2’s, 9-11 a.m.; 3’s, 9-11:45 a.m.; 4’s, 8:4511:30 a.m. Fees: Two days, $2,900; three days, $4,000; four days $4,800; five days, $5,500 Special programs: Cooking, music, outside exploration and play on a 4-acre campus, plus class trips, foreign language instruction, parents programs and activities
ST. JOHN’S EARLY LEARNING CENTER 82 Spring St. P.O. Box 394 South Salem, NY 10590 (914) 763-3671 email@example.com www.stjohnselc.com Doreen Bistany, Program Director
Philosophy: The St. John’s Early Learning Center is a developmental preschool which affirms the individuality of children and provides an emotionally safe environment in which children can learn and socialize. It is our belief that children grow and learn when they are free to observe, explore and actively engage in activities at their own developmental levels and pace. Our program provides a warm and nurturing environment in which children can thrive. Each child is treated as an individual, respecting their needs, learning styles and personalities. Our rich thematic curriculum addresses the intellectual, emotional, social and physical needs of young children. Since we acknowledge the importance of play, our day combines free-play time, group activities and discussions to allow the children to practice the social readiness skills necessary to begin kindergarten with a positive self-image. We encourage children’s natural curiosity and foster a healthy respect for themselves, for others and for their surroundings. Enrollment: 80 children Student/teacher ratio: 2’s, 5:1; 3’s, 7:1; 4’s, 8:1 Calendar: Mid-September through first week in June Hours: 9-11:45 a.m. and 12:30-3:15 p.m. Fees: Two-day, $2,800; three-day, $3,800; fourday, $4,300; five-day, $4,900 Special programs: Music, yoga, Spanish and hands-on science classes included. Nature study, cooking, computers, art discovery, field trips and family social events are all part of our program. Other: St. John’s Early Learning Center is a nonsectarian preschool serving children ages 2-6. Six-week summer camp offered. Kindergarten enrichment offered at both locations.
THISTLEWAITHE LEARNING CENTER INC.
Hours: Half-day programs Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.noon; full-day programs Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; wrap-around care available, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; kindergarten enrichment Monday-Friday in both a.m. and p.m. sessions Fees: Toddlers two half days (Tuesday/Thursday), $5,300; three half days (Monday/Wednesday/ Friday), $6,200; four half days (Monday-Thursday), $8,700; five half days, $10,300. 3-6 program four half days (Monday-Thursday), $8,300; five half days, $8,700. A space is secured, if available, with a $500 nonrefundable deposit and a $500 new student fee. Special programs: Spanish, music. Summer program. Busing provided to or from KatonahLewisboro schools Other: Affiliate member of American Montessori Society; NYS licensed day care facility
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Philosophy: Our philosophy is to provide a happy, satisfying and stimulating introduction to group learning, coupled with personal and social growth. We provide a varied program of play activities and educational experiences appropriate to prekindergarten children’s various levels of development. Our goal is to augment the good start made at home with a healthy, enthusiastic thirst for learning that will continue to grow through the years ahead. Enrollment: 40 children Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s, 7:1; 4’s, 8:1 Calendar: September through early June Hours: 2’s, 3’s and 4’s, 9:15-11:45 a.m. Fees: Vary according to program Special programs: Movement, cooking, science, phonics, reading readiness, woodworking, drama Other: Registered with the NYS Department of Education. Head teachers all have master’s degree in early childhood education.
WORLD CUP NURSERY AND KINDERGARTEN
VILLAGE GREEN NURSERY SCHOOL
160 Hunts Lane Chappaqua, NY 10514 (914) 238-9267
Main Street P.O. Box 344 Bedford, NY 10506 (914) 234-7967
Roxanne Kaplan, Director
Samantha Boege and Lara DiCorpo, Directors Norma Bandak, Head Teacher
Enrollment: 15 children maximum allowed
(located in Westchester)
Calendar: September to mid-June
Maria Fitzgerald, Director
Premier Camp & Teen Program Advisors
120 and 300 King St. Chappaqua, NY 10514 (914) 238-4800 Ruth Swetonic, Director
Student-teacher ratio: Toddlers, 5:1; primary, 7:1
1340 Route 35 South Salem, NY 10590 (914) 977-3662 www.thistlewaithe.org email@example.com
Enrollment: 115 children (25 in the toddler program, 75 in the primary program, 15 in kindergarten enrichment)
Philosophy: Our child-centered program provides a warm and nurturing environment for 3- and 4-year-olds. Our curriculum is designed to help children grow socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically. We provide children with age-appropriate, hands-on experiences that instill a sense of trust, belonging and self-esteem.
Philosophy: ThistleWaithe will educate young children to be strong, well-adjusted personalities who will have the motivation and courage to make individual decisions and to discern intelligently while maintaining respect and mutual understanding of all other individuals. Children will become budding stewards of the environment and learn to protect and ensure the health of our world. From an early age, children will be introduced to the pleasure of self-accomplishment, the motivation of self-learning and they will be encouraged to
VILLAGE NURSERY SCHOOL
have a persistent attitude about life and learning.
Student-teacher ratio: Two teachers for 14-15 children Calendar: September-June Hours: Five-day morning program, 9 a.m.-noon; three-day morning program, 9 a.m.-noon, TuesdayThursday; mini-camp available in June Fees: Call for fees Other: Village Green is a not-for-profit school that has been in Bedford for 56 years. We welcome parental involvement.
Philosophy: We are proud to offer a developmental program with a “hands-on” academic approach. Our program is individualized, keeping in mind the children’s interests and strengths in a warm, nurturing, age-appropriate environment. Our facility has a lot to offer, such as a state-ofthe-art gym and an indoor playground, but still offers the warm, cozy classroom atmosphere appropriate for preschoolers. Enrollment: 300 children Student-teacher ratio: 6:1, with “floaters” in each program for an even better ratio Calendar: School: September through June; Camp: June through August Hours: Mornings or afternoons; half-day and extended-day programs; full-day programs and private kindergarten available Fees: Vary with program Special programs: Music, gymnastics, science, Spanish, creative movement, special visitors, parent seminars and much more Other: Licensed by Department of Social Services. Teachers are CPR and First-Aid certified. Staff MAT trained.
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PAGE 24A | THE RECORD- REVIEW
Working moms CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3A
both perspectives, Michaels is in a good position to advise women in both situations. After years of stay-at-home parenting, Michaels said she felt “off.” “Something was missing,” she said. “I ended up calling a personal trainer. I’d never spent money on myself. But this was after my fifth child and I had not been exercising.” Michaels found herself at the gym: “I discovered the athlete in me, someone who likes a challenge.” And, she added, “When I went to the gym, people knew me as me. They would say, ‘Hello, Heidi.’ It really helped me have my own identity.” She began working out frequently and, after two years, she got to the point of training for a triathlon that was six months away. But she had always been terrified of being out in open water. She knew that she had come a long way from the “unhappy housewife” she had been, but she knew she would have to overcome her water phobia to compete in a triathlon. She missed that first triathlon, but finally she was able to conquer her water phobia and compete in many triathlons in the following years. Overcoming her fears made Michaels think of what other challenges she could set for herself. She enrolled in the Coach Training Institute and became a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. Still, taking the plunge into a professional career after years away from the working world wasn’t easy for Michaels.
“The biggest transition had to go on in my head,” she said. “I saw myself as a full-time mom. It was hard to put on a different hat and call myself a working mom, to say I could be available to my children and be a really good mom, and have a career to fulfill me and challenge me.” Now that she coaches both working moms and stay-at-home moms, she finds that both groups have a tendency to be hard on themselves. She said that working moms are juggling, “trying to find that balance.” Meanwhile, many full-time moms worry about whether they “should” be doing more. “I find we always say in our culture that we don’t value motherhood, value being a full-time mom,” Michael said. “And some of the most guilty participants are full-time moms. They’re not valuing themselves.” The U.S. Census Bureau publishes statistics about mothers leaving the workforce to have children and mothers reentering the workforce after childbearing. In 2010, 60.7 percent of women with children under 3 years old were in the labor force. About 30 percent of these working mothers worked part time, and the rest full time. As children grew older the balance of part-time to full-time working mothers decreased, but not by much: among employed mothers of children under 18, 26.3 percent still worked part time. Misconceptions abound as to which mothers are likely to work and which are likely to stay home. The perception that most stay-at-home moms are rich women who don’t “need” to work is not
borne out by the statistics. Census Bureau research published in 2009 found that just over 24 percent of families with stay-at-home mothers had incomes over $100,000. The study also found that women with household incomes of over $200,000 were only slightly more likely to stay home than women in households with incomes over $100,000, but under $200,000. The big difference came in the lowest income levels: 45 percent of families with stay-at-home mothers had incomes of $50,000 or less. Nor is it a fact that once women have a baby, they seldom return to the workforce. A 2008 Census Bureau study found that over 79 percent of women who had worked during pregnancy had returned to work within a year of their first childbirth. Returning to work makes financial sense for some women, but not all. After calculating the cost of child care, commuting, work clothes and other job-related expenses, some women find that it actually costs the family more for the mother to work than to stay home with the kids. The Child Care Council of Westchester found that the average weekly rate for child care centers in their database was $316 for babies under 18 months. Salaries for a full-time nanny vary widely in this area, but can easily amount to hundreds more per week. Catalyst, an organization working to advance women in business, concluded in a 2011 report that women’s decision to leave the workforce to stay home with children is not a simple one: “There is a misunderstanding that
MARCH 23, 2012
women find it easy to leave their jobs to stay home with their children. Through our work with our clients, including exit interview and assessment projects, we find that most women are conflicted about leaving their jobs and find it very difficult to do so,” the report concluded. “They have spent much time and money investing in their professional development, and their jobs are a large part of their ongoing personal and professional identification. If they do leave, often it is because employers are not making available or not making obvious a way to conceivably combine work with the rest of their lives.” Catalyst’s 2003 study of women in corporate leadership found that 51 percent agreed with the statement “I find it difficult to balance the demands of my work with family/personal life.” Even if companies offer women the opportunity to change their work schedules, few mothers feel comfortable about what getting off the fast track will mean to their career. Only 15 percent of the Catalyst study participants agreed with the statement “I believe I can use a flexible work arrangement without jeopardizing my career advancement,” and only 14 percent agreed with the statement “I believe I can use a parental leave or sabbatical without jeopardizing my career advancement.” Women who choose to stay home with a baby after many years at work can find the adjustment more difficult than they anticipated. “People who are really used to workCONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE
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RGB r = 232 g = 109 b = 31
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MARCH 23, 2012
Her friends all admired the pictures she took of her kids and encouraged her to do more with her camera. At first, her business centered just around photography. “I had the idea to hang out my shingle as a professional photographer, and offer holiday cards with pictures,” DeMatteo said. “Once you go to the stationery show, it’s hard to stop with holiday cards, so I said, ‘Why not start a stationery business?’ A year later, I moved to a storefront on Main Street in Irvington.” DeMatteo said, “A couple of things helped me be a successful working person. I have a fabulous manager, Jo Turpin, who’s been with me for six years. I live close by and my kids are in school, and I’m lucky to have my business here and local. As a woman and a mother who wants, needs and enjoys working and being stimulated in other areas, that guilt thing is huge. I think if I were a man, I wouldn’t be as concerned about my kids. I have lots of ideas, but my children are my priority, and getting the kids to where they need to be.” Today, Say Cheese and Thank You occupies a spacious store on Main Street in Dobbs Ferry. The business is a preferred stationery vendor for local venues that hold special events such as bar and bat mitzvahs and weddings. The business also has clients in Manhattan, and has gone beyond private parties into the area of corporate gifts and events. From just offering photography and stationery a few years ago, the business now offers every aspect of party planning, from décor and party favors, to flower arrangements and centerpieces. Both Michaels and DeMatteo are working at careers that are completely different from the ones they had before motherhood. Michaels went back to work after years as a full-time mom, while DeMatteo has worked throughout most of her kids’ childhoods. But Michaels believes there’s no right or wrong way, and she urges women to decide what they really want. “When you live your life according to your own values, it doesn’t matter what other people are doing,” she said. “When you live according to what you believe in, you feel good. And it’s not important to look right or left if you’re doing what is important to you.”
CONTINUED FROM THE PREVIOUS PAGE
ing and who suddenly find themselves home full time miss the social interaction and miss that schedule. They’re used to having that schedule and structure,” said Michaels. She urges her clients to look forward instead of looking back. “It’s not about focusing on what you’ve lost and what you don’t have any more,” she explained. “It’s focusing on what you’re gaining and what you want to create.” Her goal with clients is to help them find the structure they need for their day, so that they can say, “I feel great, I’m accomplishing something.” Michaels said she works on helping them incorporate activities that are important to them, whether it’s exercise, creative outlets or, for those who want to re-enter the work force, putting together a strategy for what their next position might look like. As a working mom herself, Michaels says it’s important to live a balanced life. “How I balance it, is that I live in the moment,” she said. “I give my best at work, but at three o’clock when the kids come home, I’m really present. So, it’s putting up boundaries. It’s important to be really present and not be distracted by work. It takes discipline to close the door of work and not let it follow through into your home life.” For some mothers, working and mothering isn’t an either/or proposition. Even if returning to work full time isn’t something all mothers want or need to do, many women reinvent themselves after motherhood, starting with a home-based business. Darci DeMatteo of Irvington, whose children are 13, 11 and 8, said she has “the best of both worlds.” DeMatteo founded her business, Say Cheese and Thank You, in 2004. “After my first was born, I was in transition,” DeMatteo said. “I had worked in theater with an Off-Broadway producer, and right as I was about to give birth, she was opening an Off-Broadway theater. I took about nine months off, then became general manager of the Daryl Roth Theater. I ran her theater for a few years, got pregnant and had another baby, and I quit right before 9/11. I was home for about a year pursuing my love of photography and taking classes. Then, right after my daughter was born, I started this business out of my home. I tried the full-time, stay-at-home thing from about 2001 until September of ’03. I loved it, but I really wanted to get back to work.”
THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 25A
SU M M E R 2012
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PAGE 26A | THE RECORD- REVIEW
MARCH 23, 2012
PARENT’S GUIDE I Summer Enrichment MVP prepares for summer sessions Now in its 18th season, MVP Basketball Summer Day Camp has grown to five full weeks of basketball instruction for boys and girls ages 6-16. Each week is a complete session, so families can choose the week or weeks that fit into their busy summer schedules. Multiple week and multiple child discounts are available. Online registration is available. MVP’s experienced coaches come back year after year and are the heart and soul of the program. Each day features teaching stations, fun contests and league games leading up to a playoff in every division. The week culminates in a Friday awards ceremony that recognizes every camper. MVP will open the summer at the Fox Lane Middle School and High School Complex. This Bedford camp will run from June 25-29. As in the past there will be three divisions for boys ages 9-16, and by adding the high school gyms this year MVP will have enough court space to also feature a division for girls ages 9-13. By moving the Bedford week to the end of June, MVP has taken an already popular camp and turned it into a week that may fill up very early. Enrollment is on a firstcome, first-served basis. The camp day is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and lunch is included
in the price. Early drop-off and extended day are available. The four White Plains weeks will begin this year on July 9 and are open to boys and girls ages 6-16. As always, the location will be the White Plains Middle School Highlands Campus. In addition to the four divisions for older boys and girls, these weeks feature a popular “Junior MVP” co-ed program for 6-8-year-olds. The instruction for this age group is ageappropriate and delivered in a safe, fun atmosphere. Two of the White Plains sessions also feature Varsity Week programs for strong female players ages 13-16. Top coaches in the section work on higher level skills in an atmosphere that resembles a varsity practice, without losing sight of the fact that summer camp should be a fun experience for all. Stan Greene founded MVP Basketball Camp in 1994 with the dream that no child would ever be turned away due to an inability to pay. Greene passed away in December 2009 after a long illness. His legacy is a basketball camp that has awarded over 4,000 scholarships to economically disadvantaged children, plus scholarship awards to numerous children with a family member serving in the armed forces through MVP’s Hoops for Troops program. On the evening of Friday, April 27, MVP will host an evening of games, food and
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drink at the Westchester Table Tennis Center in Pleasantville to raise money for 2012 scholarships. More event information can be found on the community pages of MVP’s website. MVP is dedicated to youth development, and its guest speakers use the game of basketball as a metaphor for the challenges adolescents face as they approach adulthood. MVP also offers internships to former campers who are looking to develop job skills in a fun atmosphere that celebrates diversity. But first and foremost, MVP is a place where boys and girls have fun playing the game they love. As one young camper says in MVP’s camp video, “It’s like we’re in the real NBA.” Visit www.mvpbasketballcamp.org.
Language academies at Greenwich Middlebury Interactive Languages (MIL), an academic leader in world language instruction for K-12 students, will host one of its new Summer Day Academies at Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, Conn. The two-week programs, offered in French and Spanish, are open to all of the area’s middle school students with varying language proficiency levels. “We are very excited to partner with
Greenwich Academy to deliver Middlebury’s renowned language instruction to all students in Southwest Connecticut and Westchester County,” said MIL CEO Jane Swift. “Gaining a world language is a critical 21st century skill, and our new day academies help students learn in a fun and interactive environment.” The Middlebury Interactive Languages Summer Day Academy at Greenwich Academy offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to acquire authentic world language skills and knowledge through Middlebury’s gold standard immersion methodology and expert curriculum. The academies are designed specifically for middle school students who are seeking to expand their understanding of world cultures and explore the richness of language learning within an immersion environment. The academies, held at Greenwich Academy and three other locations nationally, are designed to work closely with the language department of the participating partner schools. The two-week sessions run full days from June 11-22 or June 25-July 6. The sequential curriculum allows students to enroll in a second session if continued learning is desired. To enroll in the academies or to learn more, visit http:// mmla.middlebury.edu/summerday/.
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Afterschool Membership Programs to include games such as chess, dominoes board games and more Plus programs to teach children how to play some of today’s popular games Trading Card Game Tournaments and Video Game Tournaments for popular games such as Marvel vs. Capcom, Pokemon for Nintendo DS (age groups 12 & up), Call of Duty, and more Our space is safe and child friendly. Kids will make new friends in many different age groups. Birthday Party Space is available. 3 week advance notice is a must. We have the largest card gaming, board gaming, and video gaming space in Westchester for a variety of activities. Call now to find out about afterschool memberships or to find out when we are having events such as Yugioh or chess tournaments (Membership is only for afterschool program. For anything else membership is not required).
MARCH 23, 2012
THE RECORD-REVIEW |PAGE 27A
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PAGE 28A | THE RECORD- REVIEW
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MARCH 23, 2012
Our annual look at all things Kids! including our adorable Cover Contest winners, stories about parenting, education, children's health, and...
Published on Mar 23, 2012
Our annual look at all things Kids! including our adorable Cover Contest winners, stories about parenting, education, children's health, and...