Old First Nursery School is a play-based nursery school that accepts children ages 2.9 to 5 years. Located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Old First Nursery School has been in operation since 1959 and is the oldest parent-run cooperative preschool in New York City. The school rents space from the Old First Church but there is no affiliation with the church and the school itself is non-denominational.
The philosophy of the school states that while it is play-based, academic learning takes place through shared discovery and hands on activities. Rather than formal lessons, children learn through play. The school follows the New York Public School Calendar and is open daily from 9am until 3pm. An early pick-up option is available without prior notice. Children must be toilet trained before beginning school.
Daily activities include living skills (learning to dress themselves, washing hands, cooking and sharing) art projects, music, stories and language games. Both indoor and outdoor activities are encouraged and Old First Nursery School takes advantage of the local area by arranging trips to the park, fire station and other areas of interest. Special trips are also arranged periodically.
The school functions as a parent’s cooperative. To that end there are certain requirements for parents such as providing snacks for the children, helping during drop off and pick up times, cleaning the school and participating in the Christmas Bazaar. The school is small, having only 15 students. It is kept small to foster close relationships between parents, children and staff.
For more information, visit the website of the Old First Nursery School.