Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Happy Ending to Ugly, Elite Berkeley Carroll Child Care Story

February 17th, 2009 · 6 Comments

It feels good to report when people in the community band together and do something positive with what could have been a fiasco. Many may remember the furor over the wealthy and elite Berkeley-Carroll School’s decision to close its child care center and, in particular, the shoddy way in which they treated longtime employees. Well, that’s old news about an institution that may embody the worst of Park Slope elitism. The good news is that the faciity will become the Park Slope Schoolhouse. News comes via a Park Slope Parents email:

A few months ago, many of you heard of the decision by the Berkeley Carroll School to close its Child Care Center…Since then, a group of current and former Child Care Center parents have been working to secure the future of this wonderful program, which has operated in our neighborhood for over 30 years. Today, we are thrilled to announce the formation of The Park Slope Schoolhouse, a child development program for 1 – 4 year olds. We will operate the program formerly known as The Berkeley Carroll Child Care Center through a newly formed non-profit entity and we have been accepted to the Fund for the City of New York’s incubator program for start-up non-profits.

The program will continue to operate in its current format, running annually from September through August. Parents can select from two-, three- or five days a week options, and the program will continue to operate from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM. Returning families and siblings will be given priority, but spots will be available for all ages served. Students must be aged one, two or three by
September 1, 2009 for inclusion in the applicable class. Given the late stage of the pre-school admissions process, the timeline for acceptance into the program has been accelerated. Tours will be conducted Feb. 17 to 25. To schedule a tour, please contact Natasha Corlette at (718) 768-4873 or . With the exception of siblings of current and former program students, acceptance to the program is on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications will be distributed on Feb. 26 to families who have completed tours. Notice of acceptance will be given on March 3 and contracts/deposits are due March 11.

We are incredibly grateful to the many people who supported this endeavor and made this happen and have a special thank-you for the Fund for the City of New York, who believed in our mission and accepted us into its incubator program; Methodist Hospital, who generously has allowed us to stay in our current space until our new location anticipated to be at 5th Ave. in the South Slope is renovated; the Berkeley Carroll School for its assistance in transitioning the program to new leadership; and to Helen Halverson, the former director of the Berkeley Carroll Child Care Center for her guidance and support. Every day we hear more and more bad news about our economy, jobs, etc., but these organizations and individuals plus many others have contributed to saving 48 childcare spots and 18 jobs in our community and we are so happy to be sharing this great news in this tough economic environment!…

The Park Slope Schoolhouse (PSS) is a child development program based in Park Slope, Brooklyn . Using an integrated approach, PSS offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum to assist with the natural process of a child’s development; physical, emotional, social and cognitive. PSS encourages children to make their own choices and to develop an appropriate level of independence while remaining respectful and responsible members of a larger classroom community. PSS values and welcomes the involvement of our families and the community at large in the learning process of our children. The children thrive under the supportive care of teachers who are qualified, trained and experienced to work with young children.

Frankly, we have nothing but contempt for the administrators at Berkeley Carroll, particularly how they abused hard working people and screwed families whose children were at the center. We are not fans of the privileged elitism for which such institutions stand. We applaud those who saved the day and we do hope that the former employees treated with such disdain and disrespect by the callous Berkeley Carroll crew are being rehired or given a shot at the jobs.

Tags: Park Slope

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lifer // Feb 17, 2009 at 10:40 am

    The elitism is in your tone…..not from the school.
    Last time I heard about someone losing their job they didn’t have a year to look for a new one. If the school had shuttered its doors immediately it would have been a callous action, giving everyone a year to make new arrangements seems fair. It is a bit hard to feel sorry for parents who can afford the high daycare tuition ($25K? a year!!). Good luck to the new school, but Berkeley Carroll did not handle the situation poorly. They have every right to end a service. Their focus is and should be a college preparatory institution not a daycare facility.

  • 2 lance // Feb 18, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    So let me get this right – instead of helping underprivileged working families with child care, my tax dollars are going to subsidize day care for families who are able to afford the $25,000 price tag but are unhappy with the level of day care that $25,000 is able to provide?
    Can you really blame them for not wanting to have anything to do with petty, whining entitled people like you and your spoiled children?
    Should they be obliged to give you and your entitled children priority access to the precious few slots in their elementary program over the siblings of current students and the children of alumni as well?
    How long will it be until you demonize the Park Slope Schoolhouse people because they can’t accommodate all of your children and their wants and needs?
    What happens when PSS is unable to get your duly entitled children enrolled in Berkeley Carroll’s elementary program?

  • 3 Dada // Feb 18, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Creating JOBS – Park Slope Schoolhouse
    Layoffs – Berkeley Carroll School

    Good People: Park Slope Schoolhouse; Berkeley Carroll 1999

    Bad People: Berkeley Carroll 2009
    Liars: Berkeley Carroll 2009

  • 4 Goo Goo Gaa Gaa // Feb 19, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Did you go to the Sarah Palin School of Nuanced Analysis? Thanks for putting this all in perspective for us, Dada. Maybe that kind of thing works with your two year old, but for the rest of us, it makes you look just like the whiny entitled myopic parent described in the earlier comments above. Do yourself a favor – hire a babysitter and try spending a little time around some grown-ups – it does a body good…

  • 5 Nextarine // Feb 20, 2009 at 6:56 am

    The teachers greatly appreciated this effort and chance to keep their jobs.

    Actually, I think this is what community is about. People took the initiative to come together and solve a problem. In this economy the teachers/childcare workers desperately needed their jobs, and the parents (whom I’m sure also work in fear of losing their jobs) needed quality childcare for their children.

    I don’t see what’s elitist here. The underhanded thing would have been if the parents just pulled their kids out of the daycare (run by state-certified professionals may I remind you) and hired nannies under the table without paying taxes.

  • 6 JDOG // Feb 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Why is $25,000 such a big number to some people? It is less than nannies cost, and it is legal. (no offense to those who pay above board).