Yeladim Early Learning Center, JCC, Woodbridge
360 Amity Road
Woodbridge, CT 06525
October 2011. My daughter enrolled at Yeladim for just one year (2010-2011) after a less than ideal experience at another pre-school. She was in the Pre-K 4 room.
Pros: I found that she received a very personalized experience with teachers that seemed to “get” her and who were able to both challenge and nurture her. She learned a LOT without being forced at all. Her teachers were well educated women with years of experience in the classroom. I never once hesitated to drop her off. Staff were responsive to me, and were able to accommodate my daughter’s special interests and personality quirks without it ever feeling like it was a burden for them. She was so loved and cared for there–I was actually quite touched by this.
Swimming lessons are included in the tuition for PreK4 and K, and it was such a wonderful thing for her to both have that physical exercise and also to learn how to swim! Other enrichment classes were available as well (for extra fee) and she took one of those. It was nice for her to be able to take an enrichment class (ballet in her case) without having to eat up precious weekend time for it.
We are not Jewish (I’m actually a Protestant clergy person) but found that we received a warm welcome, and that she enjoyed learning about the religion practiced by many of her classmates and friends. I appreciated the values orientation of the school–participating in drives to plant trees or feed the hungry, discussions about concepts like freedom and fairness.
Cons: The traffic between where I work and the JCC is abysmal. The school closes at 5:30 and it was often tricky to navigate the traffic to be there on time.
Susan O., parent
September 2011. There aren’t that many places for affordable infant care in New Haven…I had written off getting into a facility and started interviewing nannies when a friend expressed her surprise that I wasn’t enrolling my kid at the JCC. I went to check it out, and was very very impressed. We enrolled the munchkin to start as soon as possible (3 months).
So far, it’s been a relaxing and warm place – important for both my son AND me, as a first time mom. I feel like I’m dropping him off with his bubbes (yiddish for “grandmothers”). The staff is good about catering to type A, nervous first time moms like me and my son immediately took to them. They keep the babies busy – walks around the building/grounds, several play areas, a reading nook (yes, for 3 month olds – why not?), a separate nap room with cribs for each kid…and they’ve been tremendously accommodating of my son’s habit of eating small amounts frequently. (Kudos to the administration for staffing in a way that makes this individual attention possible!)
You don’t have to be Jewish (though I am) – the pre-k classes on my tour were visibly multi-ethnic, and based on conversation with my tour guide, multi-national, and the infant room is fairly diverse for a classroom capped at 8 (instead of the 20 kids in pre-k).
The “cons” of the place as I see it is the location…if Woodbridge isn’t convenient to you, driving to and from the JCC in rush hour may not be something you want to do. It’s not bad from Westville…and since enrollment comes with a JCC membership, I’m able to work out there before heading to work, so I miss driving back to New Haven in a prime traffic time.
Shana R., parent
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