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Large childcare facility to open in Court Square this spring

Nicole Collins

Nicole Collins

Dec. 28, 2015 By Christian Murray

A large childcare facility will be opening in Court Square next year that will cater to the needs of about 190 infants/children.

The Learning Experience, which will be located at 27-28 Thomson Avenue, will take up 13,500 square feet of ground floor retail space in the Arris Lofts building, according to owner Nicole Collins. It will be comprised of 13 classrooms and will cater to six-week old babies through to 5 year-olds.

“I expect to open in spring,” Collins said. “Construction should be completed by the end of February and then I have to get my licenses.”

The facility will include a 1,200 square foot indoor playground space, which will be divided in two. One area with be for infants/toddlers, while the other for pre-schoolers. It will come with swings and slides as well as little picnic tables.

Collins, who is a Forest Hills resident and mother of three, knows the area well having worked at Citigroup in Court Square in the compliance area for a number of years.

Arris Lofts

Arris Lofts

“I used to walk by the space (Arris Lofts) all the time,” she said.

However, she went back to school for her master’s degree in early childhood education and decided to switch careers.

Collins said that there aren’t too many child care facilities that cater to babies as young as six weeks in the area. However, she believes there is a need for it.

“Most parents don’t want to have to go back to work [when their children are so young] but many often have little choice,” Collins said.

The facility will be open year round, Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm, with summer camp programs during July and August.

Collins said the Learning Experience offers a program where children can learn, play and develop.

She said the program emphasizes the importance of a well-rounded education and offers a curriculum that includes computers, math, music, drama, physical fitness, dance, group play and an early reading program.

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37 Comments

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TLE Owner

We aren’t closing anytime soon (we have a very long lease!!). But hopefully we can address your concerns LIC Neighbor!

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LIC neighbor

This Learning Experience Center is the worst. I wish they hadn’t opened in our neighborhood and hopefully will close soon.

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TLE Owner

LIC neighbor. I’m the owner. Did something happen that I can address? I’m sorry to hear you are so unhappy with us

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hi

this is a genuine question to LIC residents

where would you like to see an emergent care facility in the area?

I am working with doctors looking to bring a couple new locations to the area.

They are considering around Vernon / Hunter’s Point, but i want them to also consider Court Square.

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AJ

Yes, there is a need for a childcare in LIC, Sunnyside, Astoria, etc., since all of the high rises started going up & transplants from other places starting moving in. To us, these rents seem inflated, but to the people moving in – whether they are making enough to pay it or their companies are helping with the bill – these places are affordable. And whether a family makes under 50k or over 250k doesnt change that their family will grow eventually. Its what happens in life. I know women who had to go back to work within a week of delivery because of financial constraint. And i know women who were able to take 1 year off & return to their jobs. Whatever the situation, I don’t think it is anyone’s place to judge but perhaps come together as a community to find a solution for families in need or not in need since no matter how much you make, to be ripped away from your 6week infant is heartbreaking & not an easy decision/experience.
Instead of attacking each other, we should really be looking at the outdated maternity laws in this country that were set in motion in the 1950’s by white males when most women stayed home anyway. That is the ludicrous issue here – maternity laws are outdated & a major issue that needs attention.
I mean, most European countries (which US boasts are not as developed as the US) give women 1 FULL YEAR of paid maternity leave because they recognize that the future generation is important & needs to be well-adjusted! There’s some food for thought….

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ThisIsLife

It’s quite sad that there are so many judgmental people commenting on here. People make their own decisions based on what’s best for them and their family. Everyone’s situation is different and that’s okay. No one should be made to feel inadequate or in the wrong for doing what they feel is best. It’s really shocking how opinionated people are about something that has nothing to do with them. If you don’t like childcare, then don’t send your child there. If you don’t like nannies, don’t hire one. Do what is best for you and give others the respect of not judging their personal decisions. It is personal, after all.

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Anonymous visitor

Wouldn’t it be so great if it were as simple as that. I know lots of parents would love to sweep this issue under the rug and not confront the risks they are exposing their children to. These neglected children — and let’s be clear, they ARE neglected — are going to be the next generation in this country. They will be ill-equipped to handle their roles as well-adjusted people in our society. It’s up to all of us to ensure they are raised and nurtured correctly. I think it’s a disgrace that this country doesn’t support parents by giving them paid family leave. But until that happens, mothers need to be with their infants. We can’t dismiss generations of human evolution for the sake of guilt-ridden parents who put their pursuit of a certain lifestyle above kids.

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Anonymous visitor

There are actually people who dislike the opinion that mothers need to be with their 6-week-old infants instead of dropping them off in a daycare. Wow. Parents in New York are more f__cked up and delusional than I ever thought was possible.

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Anonymous

It’s so sad that some mothers are forced to leave their babies at 6 weeks because they may lose their job or be unable to pay their rent otherwise. I know many mothers who have shed so many tears over having to leave their baby. It’s even sadder that people who apparently can’t relate to being in this position and have the luxury to stay home or family to watch their children would judge mothers who have no choice.

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b

you judge the parents who may have to leave their children with a daycare facility at a young age, and then revert to saying the country is a disgrace.
make your mind up

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I hate your high horse!

Most people don’t have degrees in child care or the energy and time to constantly interact with their own children in a meaningful and positive way. Good child care providers do that every day for their children. These children are learning in a positive environment with other children gaining valuable social skills. Children that have grown up in a good child care environment will be equipped to succeed far better than children raised by a parent that is not attentive to their child. I would wager my money that these children will feel less neglected that a child raised at home, like your own.

Remember that it takes a village to raise a child. Your notions of a parent needing to be the sole provider for child care is wrong. Perhaps if you had been placed in a good child care facility when you were young, you would have become less judgemental and a better member of society.

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I hate your high horse!

Most people don’t have degrees in child care or the energy and time to constantly interact with their own children in a meaningful and positive way. Good child care providers do that every day for their children. These children are learning in a positive environment with other children gaining valuable social skills. Children that have grown up in a good child care environment will be equipped to succeed far better than children raised by a parent that is not attentive to their child. I would wager my money that these children will feel less neglected that a child raised at home, like your own.

Remember that it takes a village to raise a child. Your notions of a parent needing to be the sole provider for child care is wrong. Perhaps if you had been placed in a good child care facility when you were young, you would have become less judgemental and a better member of society.

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ThisIsLife

I don’t think anyone would want to leave a child that young, however there are instances where people have no other option. There are jobs that only allow for 6 weeks of maternity leave. And there are many people, including myself, who wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving a child in the care of a nanny who has no accountability to anyone else. And “this city isn’t crazy” – this is not a phenomena that is specific to NY. This is reality and and it is a good thing that people have options when they have to make tough decisions.

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Anonymous visitor

Again, I just can’t agree with your logic. That’s a lot like saying if a family doesn’t have enough to eat, let’s sell one of our kids so that the others have enough food. The fact is that children so young put in daycare are being sacrificed so that parents can pursue a lifestyle they have been told they deserve. Parents’ guilt is being allayed by professionals in the daycare industry and screwed-up employers who won’t pay you to stay at home and raise your infants.

Babies are not supposed to be separated from their mothers in this way. Yes, I agree that parents need to make other tough decisions, and that means they need to protect their kids so they aren’t the ones who suffer so two parents can live and work in New York City.

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CG

So you are suggesting that anyone that wants to have kids leave NYC? That seems a bit extreme. Where do you suggest they go?

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Talkischeap

I don’t think anyone would want to leave a child that young, however there are instances where people have no other option. There are jobs that only allow for 6 weeks of maternity leave. And there are many people, including myself, who wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving a child in the care of a nanny who has no accountability to anyone else. And “this city isn’t crazy” – this is not a phenomena that is specific to NY. This is reality and and it is a good thing that people have options when they have to make tough decisions.

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Mel

No she’s not an idiot! She’s obviously concerned with the safety of her baby! I wouldn’t trust a childcare center either especially at that age!

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Why

Is she an idiot? Cause she thinks it’s crazy to leave a six week old baby with strangers for ten hours a day? Yea. Real nut job she is.

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Sensible Parent

Women just gotta have it all, right Karen? Abandon your infant at daycare and create another warped kid with attachment issues just so you can sit behind a desk all day. How about not having a kid unless you can afford it? The fact that you think the person who made this comment is an idiot proves how far from common sense we’ve gotten.

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LICGuy

My son was in daycare since he was 8 weeks. I am proud to say he is now 15 and one of the most amazing sons a parent could want. He and I are very close too, he’s self motivated, responsible, level headed, street and book smart. Oh and on top of being kind, considerate, respectful, trustworthy and very independent he has been getting himself and going to school without me having continually wake him up every morning to go to school. Hmmm. So I’m not sure what type of parenting skills your going to be implementing since you think it’s call child abandonment. But I believe that early environment is what helped him become so well rounded.

CG

Unless who can afford it? Obviously if someone can pay a daycare center to raise their child, then yes, they can afford it. If someone is staying at home to raise a child then someone else is paying for their clothes, food, health care and rent. To me that is not always the prudent choice as it seems like it is putting all of your eggs in one basket. People get laid off all of the time, become disabled, get divorced, die. If one parent has been out of the workforce for years and years, good luck finding a job that you can support a family on. Ironically, the only job one would be qualified to do would be work in a daycare.

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Anonymous

Sensible parent, I’m sorry this topic upsets you so much. Stop judging everyone and you’ll be a lot less angry.

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LICGAL

I’m with LICGuy on this one. Both of my children attended daycare/preschool from the time they were 6 months old. They are both well adjusted, kind, smart and considerate children. Most of all they have learned to accept and respect other children. I could’t be prouder of them. I attribute their positive attitudes and kindness to others, in part, to their experience at school.

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Crystal

Your comment made me want to cry. Some women have to work and feel torn about it every day. It’s this countries system which doesn’t value women or families that’s the issue and makes it impossible to afford a family unless you make a ridiculous amount of money.

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brooklynmc

We have a nanny but the cost is tremendous. Parents don’t have a lot of options. Don’t judge. The decision is not easy.

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Sensible Parent

You have the option not to have kids in New York City. Sorry, I just don’t think dumping a baby less than 2 months old should be considered a reasonable option by anyone. Honestly, what is the point of having a family if this is the best you can do?

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b

people do whatever they have to. you judging someone should be the least of their worries, but clearly the view is better from up on your high horse.
.
you blame the parents, but what about the companies here who provide such shitty maternity leave for their employees?

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brooklynmc

She is right. There is a huge need for this. Middle class families can no longer live a middle class life in NYC unless both parents work. After maternity leave is stretched to its breaking point, mothers reluctantly go back to work to help pay the bills. This is not a healthy family life and is going to start to take a toll on NYC. We are currently looking at our out-of-state options so that we can try to find the appropriate work/family balance.

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