Ossining Children’s Center: Little Ones Learning at Home 

Little Melvin enjoying one of his favorite books.

Just like teachers all around the country, educators at the Ossining Children’s Center have been working hard to partner with parents and provide children with rich and engaging learning experiences at home.

Though OCC’s doors have been closed since mid-March, the Center remains committed to all 102 OCC families. Though OCC’s infants and toddlers may not be reading and writing, young children are constantly learning. From the second they are born, babies are mastering essential skills, creating the building blocks for all of their future development.

Since OCC’s inception 125 years ago, the Center’s curriculum has focused on the importance of early learning.  “Babies’ brains develop through use,” says Terry Becker, Director of Children’s Services at OCC. “Every baby needs a stimulating environment with lots of different ways to learn and grow” But keeping a young child stimulated, engaged and entertained at home can be challenging under the best of circumstances. In the midst of our current public health crisis, many parents are stressed and overwhelmed.

Through continued communication, support and guidance, our early childhood educators hope to make life at home during these challenging times a little bit easier. Head teachers in all of OCC’s infant and toddler classrooms send parents an email every day featuring videos of them singing the children’s favorite songs and reading their children’s favorite books. Emails also contain a myriad of developmentally appropriate activities ranging from movement, to art, to games. The activities aim to engage all of the children’s senses and enhance important skills. In addition, teachers make time to call every family just to check in. “We all miss the children so much” said head teacher Olivia Myles “We hope our suggestions inspire some playful quality time for our parents and their adorable babies.”

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