THE RICHARD F. BLAKE CHILDREN'S CENTER
65 Horsehill Road, Cedar Knolls, NJ, 07927 (next door to the YMCA) - (973) 984-2255
Founded in 1988, the Richard F. Blake Children's Center was one of the first full day child care centers in Morris County and it remains one of the best. From 6 weeks to preschool age, the Richard F. Blake Children's Center offers quality care for your child in a safe and nurturing environment. The Richard F. Blake Children's Center has recently received its 5th reaccreditation for NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), an honor bestowed upon only 7% of child care centers nationwide, and only 5% in New Jersey. The rigorous reaccreditation process takes place every 5 years. The Richard F. Blake Children's Center was the first YMCA in New Jersey to become NAEYC accredited.
• 20,000 square-foot facility in a park-like setting with indoor Little Honey Gym, large outdoor playground and garden area (Newly renovated and upgraded in 2021!)
• Certified teacher in every classroom, low child to reacher ratio, average teacher tenure of 10.5 years
• NAEYC accredited (Newly reaccredited July 2023!)
• Staff trained on NJ State Preschool Core Curriculum, utilizes state-approved Creative Curriculum
• New S.T.E.M. curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
• Preschool tuition includes: discovery science, sports skills, music, dance, weekly swim lessons at the YMCA (starting in PS II), preschool HealthyU program, healthy snacks served daily, pizza lunch Friday
• Additional activities include: Field Trips, Parenting Workshops, Family Fun Nights, Parents' Night Out
• Camera and door buzzer systems for your child's safety
• Voted "One of the Best Child Care / Preschools" by Daily Record's Best of the Best Readers Poll in October 2017
Full Week Child Care
Full and partial week options are available
Ages: 6 weeks to 5 years
Days: Monday - Friday
Hours: 7:00AM - 6:00PM
Click here to view a video of the Blake Center. For more information or to schedule a tour please call (973) 984-2255.
The Richard F Blake Children's Center Staff:
Maria Barakat: Director of Child Care, The Richard F Blake Children's Center (pictured below)
Megan Rumble: Assistant Director (pictured below)
Justin Braun: Office Manager (pictured below)
INFANT / WADDLER
Our Infant and Waddler Program is designed to enrich, nurture, and respect every baby in our care. Each child is on his/her own individual schedule and our teachers work closely with parents/guardians to create a program that fits their child’s pattern for sleeping, eating, playing and learning. Our teachers are there to encourage and enhance every aspect of an infant’s development and growth. Typically, infants are moved into our Waddler area once they are walking steadily on their feet, feeding themselves, and napping once per day.
The Infant and Waddler Program has a teacher to child ratio of 1 to 4.
The daily activities are designed with a tender, loving philosophy. We provide a rich sensory environment in our infant/waddler classrooms including music – an important tool in speech and language development. As well as recorded music, the infants are sung to, coddled, held and played with throughout the day. These are our highest priorities for your child. Our certified teachers and teacher's assistants also teach infants simple sign language to help them communicate their needs and minimize frustration.
Children are held frequently and spend both individual and group time with staff. Babies move frequently throughout the day from being held, sitting in a highchair, swinging, to floor play time. Daily activities include:
- One-on-one quiet time
- Tummy time
- Crawl time
- Bouncy swing and stroller time
- Music time
- Small group discovery
- Large group activities
- Large muscle repetitive activities
- Introduction to fine motor activities
As infants grow older, push toys and other age appropriate toys are provided to encourage standing and walking. Outdoor playtime is another important part of our child care program. The children enjoy time outside every day, weather permitting. Special activities include parent/child breakfasts and luncheons, parenting workshops, and holiday activities.
A chart tracking each child’s day (sleeping, diaper changes, feeding, etc.) is given to parents along with the teacher’s comments or notes of daily activities. Our primary goal is to help our infants and waddlers feel secure and happy.
In our Toddler Program, we are laying the foundation for future math, science and language learning. We focus on helping your youngster develop confidence and independence while having fun in the comfort of their classrooms. Our highly experienced teachers provide a wide variety of hands-on activities for curious toddlers and a daily routine that is so critical at this age. Like all of our classrooms, our Toddler Program features a low teacher to child ratio (1 to 6), ensuring individualized instruction and plenty of caring attention for your child.
Our toddler classrooms feature toys for exploration and learning in a safe, nurturing environment. Understanding that your toddler might be in the “me stage”, we are sure to keep many of the same toys on hand so each youngster can have one. Appreciating that children are also naturally curious at this age, we foster that desire by exploring nature arouns us. During the spring we watch fitshand the cycle of nature when we take part in a center-wide butterfly and baby chick exploration, which includes chicks hatching in the center so your child can witness the wonder firsthand.
Teachers read oodles of stories to encourage language and expression during this critical stage of verbal development. Each day, small circle time will include stories, songs, finger plays, and guidance in using words to express feelings, socialize and share with friends. Our music teacher provides many opportunities for singing, dancing and movement with scarves to keep children engaged and physically active. Your toddler will also stay active in our indoor gym by riding scooters and bouncing balls. Fresh air fun is also a critical part of each toddler’s day. The children have time to run and play in the safe space of our outside playground.
Quiet time, nap time, and free time for child-directed activities and play are a part of each day. Daily reports inform parents of your child’s napping, eating, diaper changes, potty trips and training, teacher comments, and unusual or special events.
Toddler II classrooms have appropriately sized bathroom facilities to encourage potty training when ready and good hygeine habits.
At the Blake Center, we understand how important the early years are in the lifelong learning and development of your child. The daily activities of the Preschool Program are designed within a caring, secure environment and are adapted for each child’s developmental stage and individual needs. Our state approved curriculum will challenge and familiarize your preschooler with structured and unstructured activities, quiet and active time, large and small groups, one-on-one relationships, and large and fine motor skills. An emphasis on individualized attention is placed in all of our preschool classrooms with a staffing ratio that meets or exceeds age appropriate ratios.
Children learn by being active, playing, asking questions, and engaging with other children and teachers in varied activities. During the day your child will:
- Run, Hop, Throw, Catch and Balance in our indoor gym and our outdoor play space
- Read and listen to stories in a group and on their own
- Engage their minds and imaginations through blocks, puzzles, games and free play
- Enjoy music and art enrichment activities
- Explore new and exciting concepts in our Discovery Science program
- Learn about healthy lifestyles through our Color Me Healthy program
- Swim – Full time children in Preschool II and Preschool III are given free swim lessons at the Greater Morristown YMCA next door
- Sports Skills – Taught by Mr. Juan. Children will practice their coordination, balance, sharing and teamwork skills in a fun sports setting
- Dance classes – Movement and music help children gain confidence, focus and use their artistic expression. For some, it’s a great way to burn off some energy! (there is an additional fee for this program)
- All activities are planned with the goal of helping children develop independence, maintain self-control, and acquire new skills. Throughout the day, your preschooler will be encouraged to think logically, use his/her imagination, and work and share with other children. Each child will have access to a variety of teaching materials and will learn through playing, counting, sorting, listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Special activities include parent luncheons, parenting workshops, visits from community helpers, and holiday activities. Field trips include pumpkin picking, apple picking, plays, and outings to local museums and parks on the Center’s bus driven by a licensed YMCA employee. Depending on your child’s age and days of attendance, gym classes, and music lessons are also available. The Center provides your preschooler with two healthy snacks each day, including fresh fruit and vegetables. Friday is free pizza lunch for all our preschoolers.
The partnership between teachers and parents is critical for understanding each child and providing a program that is best-suited to every preschooler. We encourage you to attend Back to School Night in the fall to discuss the Preschool Program and how to get the most out of your child care experience. A daily report from the preschool teacher will update you on your child’s special activities and any unusual experiences. Parent/teacher conferences twice per year also give teachers the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and review the assessment of all areas of their development. This is an opportunity for you, as a parent, to share important information with the teacher about your preschooler’s behavior, and what is happening at home. Our goal is to help your child develop a positive self-concept, ensuring that he/she is a happy, self assured future learner.
Helpful Parenting Information
Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
- Click here for helpful information on getting your child ready for Kindergarten. Feel free to contact email@example.com with any questions you may have.
Disciplining Your Child
- Liz Gershoff (one of the most important researchers on child abuse, discipline, prevention) has written a new blog for www.infoaboutkids.org on discipline. This is in celebration of the American Psychological Association (APA) passing the resolution on physical discipline recently. https://infoaboutkids.org/blog/discipline-shouldnt-be-punishing-for-the-child-or-the-parent
Developmentally Appropriate Practices
- Please read this great article regarding develeopmentally appropriate practices for your children. Click here to read it.
Important Information for Parents
- Stay up to date with the latest recalls, safety education, research, and regulations at http://www.CPSC.gov
The Greater Morristown YMCA is looking for friendly, loving and child-oriented individuals to add to their already thriving child care centers. As an employee of The Greater Morristown YMCA you will have the opportunity to help children and families grow and flourish during their most influential stages of development. Employees have the opportunity to be coached, mentored and trained by one of the leaders in early childhood education. Please contact the Blake Center at 973.984.2255 for applications and interviews.
A Little About Us:
The YMCA is the largest provider of child care in the US. With locations in Cedar Knolls and Morristown, we are proud to provide our neighbors with a NAEYC accredited, high quality program. Our child care centers provide a developmentally appropriate, child focused environment where our children grow their social and emotional skills and prepare for their future. Our child care centers have partnered with the Morris School District, allowing us to provide free PreSchool to those living in the district. Our school aged program is available for our Morris Plains School District families; allowing those children to have a safe and engaging place to be after school.
Benefits of Working for The Greater Morristown YMCA:
(applies to those working 30 hrs or more per week)
- Free YMCA membership
- Medical and dental insurance
- Vacation and sick time
- Career path opportunities
- Free training and staff development
- Staff appreciation events
- Retirement plan
- Competitive salaries
General Job Requirements:
- A passion for early childhood
- Experience working with children
- Communication Skills
- Commitment to the development of young learners
Preschool Expansion Teachers
PreSchool Expansion Teachers: P3 Certification, develop and implement daily lesson plans using the Creative Curriculum, manage classroom activities, promote and foster social and emotion skills, provide tools and resources for children to use and explore during learning and play times, evaluate children using the Teaching Strategies GOLD and conduct conferences with parents, communicate successfully with parents, co-workers and superiors.
Group / Lead Teachers
C.D.A or 4-year degree, develop and implement daily lesson plans using the Creative Curriculum, manage classroom activities, promote and foster social and emotion skills, provide tools and resources for children to use and explore during learning and play times, evaluate children using the Teaching Strategies GOLD and conduct conferences with parents, communicate successfully with parents, co-workers and superiors.
Support the classroom teacher in lesson plan implementation, communicate successfully with parents, coworkers and superiors.
Full-time Center Floaters
Ensure the safety and wellbeing of children in your care, engage children in play and activities, assist in maintaining an environment that is safe and organized, follow directions from teacher/assistant, communicate successfully with parents, coworkers and superiors.
Part-time Center Floaters
Ensure the safety and wellbeing of children in your care, engage children in play and activities, assist in maintaining an environment that is safe and organized, communicate successfully with parents, coworkers and superiors.
The Richard F. Blake Children's Center
65 Horsehill Rd.
Cedar Knolls NJ 07927