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Alternatives to Daycare in NYC for a Well-Rounded Education

Updated: Sep 10

Daycares play a huge role in our society as they allow parents to go to work without worrying about the safety of their kids. Child centers have formal setups; some can be structured based on their curriculum. They also help prepare children with skills they'll need in school.


While all this is important, you can always switch things up for your toddler and enroll them in other programs. There are alternatives to daycare where children are safe, learn social skills, and get to do other fun stuff.


We found six alternatives to daycare in NYC.


1. PLAYDAY

children in art class at PLAYDAY

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The motto of PLAYDAY is "have fun, be awesome," and that's exactly what they offer. They allow children to explore all their interests, including music, dance, painting, art, drawing, camping, etc. Professionals lead all programs to ensure the children's safety.


The program also helps children recognize their strengths and creativity and embrace diversity, boosting their confidence and self-awareness.


PLAYDAY has flexible packages that are calculated based on how long you want your child to be in their care. You can drop them off for an hour or an entire day. You can also choose the activities that you want them to explore.


2. NY Kids Club

Toddlers doing a science experiment

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This private enrichment space is committed to children's social, physical, and intellectual experiences of children between eight weeks and 12 years. The program encourages children to have fun, create relationships, and explore their creativity. All this is done by creating the right environment for the children and providing them with the necessary equipment.


Your toddler will be able to explore fun activities like ballet, gymnastics, music, art, history adventures, and STEM Tots. They'll also be able to throw birthday parties and celebrate with their friends with the help of the staff members upon your request.


NY Kids Club also has PJ parties for children between the ages of 2.5 years to 8 years. These parties are held every Friday and Saturday evening, and children wear themed pajamas depending on the event. This is a brilliant daycare alternative for parents who want to go on a date night.

3. Sky Village NYC

two toddlers playing musical instruments

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The SKY Village motto: "paint, play, and party," describes what to expect from them. This program is open to children between the age of 2.5 years and 4 years. Their goal is to help children become independent, responsible humans who are valuable to society.


They start by teaching children to take care of themselves by learning how to manage their belongings. Children also practice speaking and listening skills, which help them relate well with others.


A typical day in Sky Village includes singing, dancing, snacking, storytime, free play, arts and crafts, and cleaning up.


Besides having a great program, the school is designed to keep your child safe; even the little details matter to them.


4. Discovery programs

A baby doing a downward dog yoga pause

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This is another great alternative for children. They have programs for a wide range of ages — from newborns to teens 16 years and older. Discovery programs don't only offer one class; they want to grow with your child and walk all their milestones with them.


They believe every child is unique and aim to each one as an individual and explore their personal interests. They also organize sessions where new moms can meet up and learn about new mom hacks like breastfeeding, sleep wellness, child care, isolation, etc.


Babies engage in activities like tumbling, running, jumping, music, art, dancing, etc., depending on their age.


5. Kids at Work

children showing their food after a cooking class

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Kids at Work was the first program to offer sensory artwork and outdoor music in NYC parks. They've remained consistent with their high-quality services for the past 14 years.


At Kids at Work, children participate in many fun activities, including music class, basketball, yoga class, Spanish music class, baby sign language class, art class, cooking class, etc. As you can tell from their activities, they're big on diversity and exploring.


As a bonus, they also offer gentle separation classes for guardians to make the transition easier for both child and parent.


6. The Art Farm NYC

A boy snuggling a baby pig in a farm

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The ART Farm NYC has many programs, so you might be able to schedule your child's drop-off based on your schedule. One thing that differentiates The Art Farm NYC from an average daycare is the fact that your toddler gets to play with and feed animals, which can be pretty exciting for kids.


The program has other art classes, physical activities, and cooking classes. They also have special weekend classes that caregivers can attend if they want to bond with their toddlers by doing something fun.


Choosing alternatives to daycare


Traditionally, the only options we had to keep our infants and toddlers safe were daycares or hiring a nanny. While these are still very viable options, there are better alternatives that allow children to learn and have fun. These facilities have trained staff and the right equipment to entertain children. If you’re not ready to give up daycare completely, consider enrolling your child in an alternative program for at least two days a week. This way, they get the best of the two worlds.


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