Disclosure: NYC Dads Group received compensation from Vivvi for this post.
Just as important as finding the right NYC preschool environment for your child is finding one right for you — the child’s parent.
A safe, nurturing and robust in-class learning and social experience is vital to a young child, but working parents also must weigh other factors. Location and price, obviously, are important. So is whether an early learning center provides coverage for the hectic, sometimes erratic work schedules of today’s moms and dads. Your interaction with other parents and involvement in your child’s education should also come in to play.
Vivvi, a new early learning experience for children ages 6 weeks to 5, aims to meet all those needs of modern working parents and their impressionable children.
This new program, opening this June at 75 Varick St. in Lower Manhattan’s Hudson Square, was founded by working parents and people with broad, deep expertise in early childcare education. This creates what the founders say is a strong melding of cutting-edge teaching methods and practical convenience in an environment that will foster a spirited community of parents, children and school faculty.
“Parenting is a lifelong journey, and schools shouldn’t add to the already difficult realities facing parents, including cost, misaligned schedules and lack of community,” said Vivvi co-founder and CEO Charles Bonello. “While the most important thing we can do is to provide a world-class learning experience in a facility that’s full of warmth and love for the children in our care, it’s also important for us to help parents achieve their dreams. So we really did build Vivvi to be aligned with parents’ needs — it’s in our DNA. And it’s no surprise that this also fosters positive long-term effects on their children, perhaps most importantly, developing a lifelong love of learning.”
Vivvi’s academic mission is to build a strong foundation for a child’s future. Vivvi will use an inquiry-based curriculum that borrows successful teaching methods and practices from several popular educational systems and theories. Those entrusted to teach children have a true stake in their work because their above-average compensation includes not only benefits but actually equity in the company, according to Vivvi executives.
Literature, math, science, music and art will be incorporated in various ways – in and out of the “classroom” environment to keep the learning fun all day.
And all day it is – nearly.
Convenient hours, interactive app for parents
Vivvi offers parents flexible drop-off and pick-up times during a normal 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. day. This NYC early learning center will also be open up to 250 days throughout the year. These longer hours with fewer holiday closings benefit parents whose work schedules don’t necessarily line up with a more traditional school’s operating calendar.
The children may not be the only ones learning and having fun through Vivvi. Parents are encouraged to be active participants in their children’s education both in person and through remote technology.
Thanks to a partnership with Brightwheel, a leading childcare app, moms and dads can tap their smartphones during the day to see photos or watch live video of their children as they learn and play. The app also allows them to interact with other parents through a private channel. This will make it easier to coordinate a playdate, ask for recommendations on family-friendly restaurant or seek peer advice on how to best get the little ones to sleep on time.
More than a school — a true NYC community
Vivvi also plans to hold off-hour events for its parents, both social and educational. These will include:
- workshops on topics such as potty training or financial planning for a child’s future;
- date-night drop offs and family movie nights or celebrations;
- and even manicure and massage Saturdays and football-watching Sundays – complete with food and beverages.
“As important to us in creating Vivvi was making sure that parents aren’t experiencing parenting in a silo,” Bonello said. “And from a personal standpoint, I really did want a venue and experience where I could easily bring my child even on the weekends to hang out with other dads and give my wife a break for a few hours while I could also watch a game.”
While Vivvi mostly provides employer-sponsored near and on-site child care to companies located in NYC, a quarter of its enrollment slots are reserved for children from the general public. Interested parents can use the following links to sign up for an open house or schedule a campus tour.