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Smart Start Early Childhood

8411 Fort Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11209

(718) 921-1868

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Smart Start is a developmental preschool serving families of Bay Ridge and beyond since 1996.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

While our approach to learning is play- based, the play is purposeful and teacher facilitated.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Print rich environment, writing tables stocked with a variety of writing materials, puzzles and games
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • games and manipulatives that teach sorting, matching, counting, patterning
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • science centers with balance scales,color paddles, magnets, measuring tool
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • collage, play dough, goop, clay,
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

As noted earlier, Smart Start's approach to our curriculum is learn through play. While this learning is self-directed, our teachers are facilitators. They are present to answers questions, ask questions, observe and record what they see which helps them plan accordingly.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Smart Start uses the Creative Curriculum which acts as a guide for planning instruction and assessing learning. It allows our teachers the freedom to individualize learning based on the needs of individual students.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Smart Start is a child-centered learn through play preschool. Our goal is to meet the needs of the whole child. Your child's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development is considered when developing a learning program for your child. A developmentally appropriate curriculum encourages success for all children.

A Typical Day

Schedules can vary from classroom to classroom in terms of time, but each classrooms schedule includes the following:
1. Morning Meeting (Greeting song, weather, calendar, news, events of day, lesson based on theme)
2. free play in centers (living area, block area, library, science center, toys & puzzles, art center, and sensory table)
3. music and movement
4. story time
5. out door time
6. snack time
Full time children have a lunch time and rest period.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Our school year begins with a parent orientation. On a daily basis, parents of full time children receive a daily report about their child's day. On a monthly basis, parents receive classroom newsletters. In addition, two parent-teacher conferences are held each school year. We encourage parent volunteers and Smart Start has an open-door policy.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Daycare: Parents are encouraged to come spend time with their child in our classrooms before they need to leave them. Parents are also encouraged to spend some time in the classroom on the first day if it is necessary for their child. Preschool: Our school year begins with a one hour session. The parents are encouraged to stay if their child needs them. All situations are handled based on the individual child's needs. Parents are always discouraged from sneaking out!