Full Day Program for Toddlers & Preschoolers
Battery Park Montessori is proud to be one of the only New York City preschools offering a full-day 5-day program for all ages (see The Value of Full Day).
Our services include coverage from 8am-6pm Monday-Friday and ensure that each and every child, from age 2-6, receives personalized attention and an age-appropriate balance of challenge, socialization, recreation, rest and enrichment.
Before Care is from 8am to 8:30am, just before the children’s 9am morning meeting and circle time.
After School onsite enrichment options operate from 2:30pm to 6pm, and additional childcare beyond the two Montessori work cycles that span from 8:30am to 2:30pm can be arranged by emailing our Enrichment Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see all of our After School options here.
As the leading academic preschool in Lower Manhattan, Battery Park Montessori serves international parents who must balance the demanding schedules of their professions with a deep commitment to nurturing their children and providing the best possible education during the critical early years.
After all, we are New Yorkers, which means we work harder than most in the pursuit of dreams and ambitions. Being a New York school means partnering with ambitious families to help their children feel a seamless bond of care and attention. This means that as a school, we must partner with our families to ensure that each child feels safe, joyful, loved and appreciated for his or her unique qualities.
We are known throughout our community for the nurturing qualities of our teachers and the enthusiasm our students have for coming to school each and every day. This is because we prioritize the personalized experience, both for our students and for their families and caregivers. We are a community, and we see ourselves as part of each and every family, working together toward a common goal.
We are unique among preschools in that we only offer full day programming, and we do this rooted in wisdom around best practices in early childhood, such as the importance of consistency, continuity, routine and momentum learning. Full day, 5-day experiences ensure that every student builds firm, healthy relationships, remains deeply connected to the learning, and accelerates through the momentum that a daily, in-depth experience offers.
Battery Park Montessori is nestled along a picturesque tree-lined promenade at a beautiful above-ground riverside campus with a view of the Statue of Liberty from every floor-to-ceiling window. We are located in South Battery Park City within walking distance of major global organizations like American Express, Goldman Sachs, Spotify and Refinery 29; office complexes like Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center; and global financial institutions like the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve.
The Value of a Full Day Program
Many parents question whether or not they should invest in a full day program for toddlers and preschoolers.
Understandably, some parents prefer to keep children home in the early years and limit exposure to school experiences. These are precious years, and there is tremendous value in spending quality time together.
Some parents worry that full day or full week programs are "too much" for young children. The assumption might be that young children tire easily from school or that they need a break from the school experience.
And of course, there are always financial considerations when choosing a full day program over a half day option. Nannies often play into the decision, particularly when there is more than one child. Our program offers true full-day coverage with early drop off beginning at 8am and after school care through 6pm.
There are numerous reasons to consider a full day program for a young child, who is experiencing a unique learning window that will never repeat. At Battery Park Montessori, we offer only full day programming because the full day experience, offered with our unique and nurturing approach, capitalizes on that learning window in ways most programs cannot.
What should you know about a full day experience at Battery Park Montessori?
Full day programs accelerate social and intellectual development
The brain is growing at an exponential rate until approximately age 6. That means that every element of children's development is significantly impacted by what they do and the stimulation provided in their environments during that phase of growth.
By remaining in school for the full day, children are exposed to additional social interactions with friends and to additional structured learning opportunities, with teachers observing and facilitating.
A continuum in learning makes learning richer and more lasting
The most important component of a learning experience is that it is supported by a continuum. Learning is richest and more likely to be retained when it is done as part of a continued, building and layering experience, as opposed to a single experience that has no relationship to what was done before or after. Traditional schools rely heavily on "one offs" in which all children do an isolated activity intended to teach a targeted skill, but disconnected and empty of context.
Learning through isolated activities, or learning in spots of time, is similar to opening up a book and reading one page. Without the benefit of having read prior pages, and without the benefit of continuing to read, the experience is confusing and empty. What is read on that single page is not likely to inspire you, nor is it likely to be retained for very long.
When a child attends for a full day, there is greater opportunity to experience a continuum, both in building friendships and social understanding as well as in building confidence and skill in using a particular tool or work.
The full day continuum socially connects morning interactions across a host of different types of activities, providing children with a broader and richer scope in which to experience relationships and collaboration. Morning meeting, work cycle, neighborhood walks, music class, lunch setup and lunch table socializing, togetherness during rest and reading time, and then extensions of those experiences throughout the afternoon with the fresh perspective that rest provides but with the continuum of the day still present.
The same applies to intellectual development in the full day. Work that children explore in the morning inspires curiosity. Children are likely to become absorbed in the challenges of a particular work and often wish to return to it in the afternoon with new ideas for problem solving. Walks, lunch with friends, and rest provide a bit of distance, and then children find it pleasing to be able to come back to what provoked them earlier in the day.
In the same way that a full day experience provides children with a powerful learning continuum, a 5-day experience has even more impact.
Young children struggle to adapt when each day is different, when schedules are constantly changing and it is difficult to anticipate what activity will happen next. Schedules in which each day is different make a young child feel less stable, and this sense of instability and uncertainty often manifests in negative behaviors.
A child is most calm and cooperative when the routines are firmly in place and easy to predict.
In addition, keep in mind that time is processed quite differently for small children than it is by us as adults. A day for us is like a week for a child. In that 24 hours that seems to fly by for us, a child is processing a galaxy of new information while the brain is expanding and developing thousands of new connections.
That means that a child who is away from school for 24 hours is losing connection with school and forming new connections with new experiences. This explains why children who attend 2-day and 3-day preschool programs struggle with parent separation for most of the year. That 1 or 2 day gap creates a cognitive distance for the child that is difficult to correct.
This is why we only offer 5-day programs. We know that children thrive most in a learning experience that is routine and steady, that supports a continuum of learning versus one-off isolated activities, and that offers a rich diversity of activities so that learning can be applied in different ways, different settings, and under different circumstances.
Full day students receive substantial teacher observation
A full day student is observed for 6 hours each day by our teachers, who are child development experts. Parents of full day children benefit from the substantial insights teachers have when observing children across a full day and across the full spectrum of activities (eg, morning meeting, work cycle, walks, lunch, rest, etc.).
Practical life curriculum is magnified by full day
The power of the Practical Life curriculum in Montessori cannot be overstated. Practical Life activities help children develop coordination of their movements (fine and gross muscle control) and as a consequence of that control, they gain independence. Independence leads quickly to self confidence. Practical Life is also about contributing, taking care of your environment, doing your part. So, it is a fundamental part of the Montessori experience and key to the success of the approach.
Full day gives Practical Life a boost by inviting children to participate in activities such as lunch setup and cleanup, preparation for and cleanup after rest time.
These are key collaborative moments in the day where Practical Life exercises advance children's skills on every level.
Full day children have increased exposure to languages
As a trilingual Montessori school, language is core to our program. Children who participate in our full day program have substantially more exposure to language. Add to this benefit the fact that our children are in a critical development zone for learning language, and the value of full day is even greater.
That learning window for language begins to close around age 6. If there is a time to invest in a learning experience, it is when the child is in this developmental phase.
The power of our language program is further enhanced in the afternoons by the addition of our "Farm to Table" program, which integrates language learning with farming (at our dedicated farm plot at Battery Urban Farm) during the spring and with cooking from our garden during the winter.
Full day programs build school stamina for children
Most New York parents intend to send their children to Kindergarten, which is typically a robust and challenging experience. Children moving from a half day program to a full day Kindergarten program often find that transition quite difficult. We recommend engaging a full day program sooner rather than later to build your child's stamina for a full day of social and intellectual engagement. Being grounded and ready for Kindergarten will make all the difference in a child's success thereafter.