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Parent Testimonials

My son is a graduate of the SBCC preschool program. Last year, in the fall of 2010 he started kindergarten at Setauket Elementary School in the Three Village School District. I had heard about Setauket's excellent reputation and I was nervous about how the transition to kindergarten was going to go, particularly because my son has an October birthday and was going to be one of the younger ones in his class.

My first clue that my son was extremely well prepared for kindergarten was that he came home THRILLED after the first day of school. He LOVED his teacher and he LOVED the new activities and projects and couldn't wait to go back to school the next day. My son's preschool experience taught him that school is a wonderful place. He learned that teachers are caring people and that new activities are very often lots of fun. The SBCC curriculum challenged him in a way that was fun and safe, and that allowed him to build positive expectancies about school and about learning in general.

My son continued to love school more and more as the year went on. I got excellent feedback from his teacher at school conferences and on his report cards. At our first conference, his teacher told me that he was among the best prepared students in the class for kindergarten, and she asked where he went to school for preschool. When I told her that he went to SBCC she nodded and said that she wasn't surprised. She told me that over the years she'd seen that children from SBCC were consistently well prepared for kindergarten. She called my attention to the "Social Growth and Work Habits" section of the report card. She explained that in her opinion, this section was the biggest predictor of success in kindergarten. I'm proud to brag that my son received the top grade of "consistently demonstrates the skill" in 17 out of 17 items in this section of the report card. Some of the items were follows directions, uses classroom materials appropriately, works independently, resolves conflicts with peers, seeks help when needed, demonstrates fine motor coordination, and demonstrates organizational skills. When he completed the preschool program at SBCC he had the skills and habits necessary to do kindergarten work. He was well prepared academically, socially, and emotionally.

My son is now in first grade and he continues to love school. He is continuing to do well academically, socially, and emotionally. He reads out loud with joy and is able to understand what he's reading. He can count to over 100 by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s. He's beginning to add and subtract. He can tell time. He asked for science kits for his 6th birthday and they are among his very favorite things to play with. He's kept many of the wonderful friendships that he made at SBCC and he's formed many new relationships as well. He's happy and curious and motivated. I'm so grateful that SBCC developed his natural love of learning. I'm equally grateful for the many ways that SBCC helped my son to become a caring friend and a thoughtful community member. I truly couldn't be any happier with the experience that my family has had at Stony Brook Child Care.

- Alissa Bell, Doctoral Candidate in Psychology

Both our daughters, now ages 9 and 6 1/2, went through SBCC's infant-toddler program and also pre-school program. During our stint there, I sometimes heard parents wonder if the programs had enough academic focus. I never doubted SBCC's philosophy and emphasis on learning through play. I believe that children learn the pressures of academic achievement soon enough when they get to Kindergarten. They don't need it in pre-school. Moreover, my anecdotal experience is that those pre-school programs that tout "academic" emphasis may be more advertisement than substance or consistency or quality. My children were engaged in active play and active socialization whenever we met them at SBCC (either to join in an activity or pick them up at the end of the day). These interpersonal and socialization and problem resolution skills (vocabulary, body language, physical boundaries) are the essential building blocks for vibrant and self-confident children. And when children are confident and feel good about themselves, they are prepared to learn new things in primary school. Both my children adjusted well to primary school, and their teachers noted their readiness for academic learning, in contrast to some other children who clearly lacked the socialization skills and discipline for classroom learning. My daughters have distinct personalities, one outgoing, the other more shy. But they both have a strong sense of themselves that I know SBCC teachers helped shape.

I'll make one more point that distinguishes SBCC from other programs, though I could go on and on. I feel that the student-to-teacher ratio is excellent. I know it meets the accreditation requirements, but often the classrooms have college interns who are working there as part of their coursework. I feel this really adds a dynamic dimension to the classroom. Not only are the children learning, but the teachers are also modeling and mentoring these interns, who in turn are excited about working with real subjects. It's an active classroom in many senses of the word. These interns bring youthful energy, humor, academic interest, and genuine caring to the classroom that I found to be unique to SBCC. And when the interns are in sync with the teachers and the teachers with each other, the room worked like magic, the children flush with good energy and attentiveness.

-Janet H. Clarke / University Libraries

I am happy to take this time out to write about the lasting benefits that Stony Brook Child Care has had for our two daughters.

Our two children have very different personalities. Our older child (now 17) has always been quiet and contemplative. She was an early reader and talker. As a senior, she is doing very well in High School: she is a National Merit Finalist, has been Editor-in-Chief of the school paper, and has won some regional poetry contests. In spite of a natural shyness, she is also a green belt in Karate, and regularly competes and wins trophies in tournaments. On her way to college, her potential majors are Physics and English (creative writing). Our younger child (now 13) is the live wire. She started reading much later than her sister, but now reads voraciously. She has a vocabulary, and a presence around adults, many years in advance of her age. An active child, her favorite activities are dancing and cooking, at both of which she excels (she wants to be a chef). As one of the SBCCSI teachers once said, "One never stops talking and the other never stops moving!"

Because of their early childhood experience at SBCCSI, both of our children are academically solid, and engaging, interested people. They are quite comfortable interacting with their peers and *my* peers alike. They are certainly teenagers (with the rolled eyes and all), but still delightful, with whom we both have excellent relationships. Most importantly, they are very self-aware young adults, and are happy and well-adjusted. One of the most striking things about SBCCSI was how well the teachers knew the children. This is, of course, in part because of the remarkably low rate of turn-over in the facility, which is quite remarkable. Both of my daughters were encouraged to develop in their own ways, and are turning out wonderfully.

I think there is an unfortunate tendency to think of young children as little adults, but of course they are not: they are young children. As all manner of serious research into child development has shown, the job of a child is play. Good play - play developed by professionals who really know childhood development, such as work at SBCCSI - is exactly what children need most in the pre-school years. It is how they learn all the really important lessons: how to be self-reliant, and also how to successfully interact with others; how to try new things, but also how to realize one's limits. It is how they learn how to learn. There is plenty of time for academics in later schooling. I am grateful to the dedicated and professional SBCCSI staff for giving our children a solid personal grounding.

- Dr. Daniel Weymouth, Associate Professor of Composition in the Music Department, Interim Director of cDACT (Consortium for Digital Arts, Culture and Technology.

Our daughter went to SBCCSI from age 3 until she went to Kindergarten. We took her out of another program and expressly put her into SBCCSI because we saw the special care that SBCCSI gives to its children. As educators, my wife and I wanted to follow the best schooling using the best known pedagogical techniques. We strongly believe that SBCCSI was an important component to our daughter's success in later years. Our daughter went on to the Intellectually Gifted Program at Mount Elementary School and is now taking 4 Honors areas at Gelinas JHS.

Other parents reading this letter might think that our daughter's case was perhaps a special one. It is not. Many of our daughter's classmates from Kindergarten through junior high school have gone through SBCCSI. Therefore we strongly recommend SBCCSI to all parents.

SBCCSI has many other benefits a parent might not find elsewhere. They teach tolerance, multiple cultures, songs and words in several languages, acceptance, proper social interactions and more.

-Professor Erez Zadok, Department of Computer Science

-Martha Zadok, Department of Music

Stony Brook Child Care Services, Inc.

South Drive
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4000
Tel: (631) 632-6930
Fax: (631) 632-4830

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Stony Brook Child Care Services, Inc.