Helen Hayes Hospital recently opened a brand new, a state-of-the-art building housing the hospital’s childcare center – The Jan and Niles Davies Learning Center.
The new building replaces the hospital’s former childcare center, which opened in 1987 in a renovated building on the campus. At 9,000 square feet, the new facility offers greatly expanded space and capacity. The Jan and Niles Davies Learning Center gives priority to Helen Hayes Hospital employees and is open to the local community on a space available basis.
The Center is a unique and beautiful building. The spiral roof points to the sky and the expansive windows look out to the Hudson River’s vast horizon, signaling the joy of learning and exploration. Spacious outdoor play areas, including bike trails and kid-size gardens, are just a few of the amenities. Designed with a child’s comfort in mind, the building has radiant floor heating, child-friendly bathrooms and large windows at a child’s eye level. In addition, the building features numerous Green/LEED building concepts, such as the use of rapidly renewable resources and recycled materials, energy-saving occupancy sensor lighting and high efficiency heating and cooling systems.
The Jan and Niles Davies Learning Center is a not-for-profit corporation licensed by the New York State Office of Family and Childrens Services.
The Center’s philosophy is that of a developmental approach. We support physical, social- emotional and intellectual growth through age appropriate activities. Children learn and grow in many ways. Our goal is to make this an exciting time of learning and discovery, which is unique and meaningful for each individual child. The curriculum and teaching approach is based on the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) publication on developmentally appropriate practice. The Jan and Niles Davies Learning Center is committed to providing high quality early childhood programming.
Our state-of-the-art childcare center provides an environment that is safe, nurturing and developmentally stimulating in a serene and natural setting overlooking the Hudson River.
The Center has six separate classrooms serving the needs of infants, toddlers, three’s and preschoolers. The center is licensed to serve 78 children. Low teacher/child ratios assure individual attention and care. Hot lunch and two snacks are provided to each child daily.
Different age appropriate and developmentally appropriate materials are available in each room to encourage exploration and learning. Our multi-purpose room serves our universal Pre-Kindergarten program. This two and a half hour program operates 180 days a year following the North Rockland School Calendar and is offered through the New York State and the Department of Education. Your child must turn four by December 1st in order to be eligible. This program is offered in collaboration with Child Care Resources of Rockland. You can get more information about enrolling in this free program at http://www.childcarerockland.org/family/prek.php
We also have a large central area that has a stage for special story telling, dramatic play and gross motor activities.
6 weeks to 18 months – Ratio 1:4
We are committed to providing individualized care at low teacher/child ratios, which optimizes our ability to accommodate each child’s individual routine and daily schedule. While each caregiver gets to know each baby, each child is assigned to a primary caregiver who is responsible for knowing that child on a very intimate level. The Infant room is a shoeless environment and radiant heat rises from the floor.
Our active infant areas include soft spaces to crawl, climb and explore. The sleeping area of the classroom is separated by a half-wall, allowing for undisturbed sleep yet providing constant sight and sound supervision to sleeping babies. The lights in the sleeping area may be dimmed for a peaceful, sleep friendly environment.
Our outside, separate infant playground provides a multi-surfaced area of both soft space, grass and age appropriate climbing equipment which overlooks the Hudson River.
18 months to 3 years – Ratio 1:5
Our toddler program also uses primary caregivers. This is to once again emphasize individual attention to daily care and to ease the transition from the infant class to toddlers. Daily routines become more structured in an environment that is developed to stimulate mobility and curiosity. Child directed and teacher directed activities are provided throughout the day.
The three-year-old class focuses much of the time on developing social/cognitive skills. This is accomplished in an environment that supports dramatic play. Children begin to follow simple directions, understand limits, take turns, share ideas and begin to negotiate. Three year olds develop a curiosity of the world around them, which opens the door for more learning in the classroom. Self-help skills are encouraged to promote strong self-esteem.
As the children move on to the pre-school class, they will continue to practice socialization and self help skills. They begin to recognize letters and numbers. Early writing and reading skills are beginning and encouraged. Classroom activities are teacher directed as well as child directed. Teacher directed activities allow for cognitive learning and child directed activities allow for learning through play.
Fresh air is important for healthy children and our children are required to go outside daily, weather permitting. On our campus there are three separate playgrounds – infant, toddler and preschooler. Each group has access to their own playground just outside their classroom doors, with each providing the age appropriate climbing equipment and fall protection. We have another large area that has a bike trail, a children’s garden in which they grow flowers, vegetables and herbs and a covered area for outdoor play in inclement weather. Large fenced-in areas ensure the safety of your children, who can also enjoy walks on our nature trail.