As Farmingdale heralds the arrival of heavy commercial development at Airport Plaza, the former site of Republic aviation, one addition to the plaza stands out for the impact it is expected to have on local families and children.
The anticipated opening of PrimeTime Early Learning Centers in June means a new alternative for preschool and child care for Farmingdale families.
"There's just a general need for quality child care," said Pat Peck, partner and executive director of the center during a recent interview there. "Because we're private owners, not a big corporation, we can accommodate families. And we understand those needs."
Pat, a mother and resident of Farmingdale for 25 years, along with her husband, have partnered with the Wasserman family, who operate five other PrimeTime Early Learning Centers throughout New York and New Jersey, in establishing the school.
According to Peck, some features of the PrimeTime Early Learning Centers are the following: Hours from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. year round, closing only for seven major holidays; flexible scheduling to cover most situations; strict safety and health codes; programs accredited by the National Association for Education of Young Children; specially selected, trained and supervised staff, corporate vouchers and discount schedule; customized on and off-site Corporate Programs, including seminars and workshops. The program also boasts lower than state-required child-to-staff ratio, balanced programs that stress academic growth, CPR and infant and child first-aid trained staff; swipe-card electronic security as well as security cameras, computers in all classrooms, a playground, gym, music, and foreign language specialists, available ballet, tennis and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.
Peck has operated a family daycare program, known as Kreative Kids Daycare, out of her home for the past five years, and will close that program when PrimeTime opens. Children enrolled at Kreative Kids have been invited to enroll in the new school.
Enrollment will be open not only to Farmingdale families, but also to those in surrounding communities. As the 12,000 square-foot center, most of which has already been constructed, is readied for opening, Peck is expecting to be well-received by local parents. She sees an increasing need for quality child care due to the proliferation of working mothers.
"For most up and coming families nowadays, child care is not even an option. It's a part of the budget," she said.
She added, "The biggest thing that parents want to see is that their child is cared for, that they're not sitting in the corner crying." Peck noted that making the children feel comfortable and cared for has always been, and will continue to be her priority. "It is something that will give the community a really good facility for the children," she added.
PrimeTime will feature child care for children six weeks old and up, as well as preschool and kindergarten programs. For further information on programs, enrollment and fees, one may call the school at (516) 777-9090.