About SYC . . .

School for Young Children Welcome to the website of the School for Young Children in Columbus, Ohio. Our program was founded in 1969 as a part-time preschool program.  Our philosophy has remained consistent through the years; that children be allowed to develop at their own pace in an atmosphere of free play enriched with a variety of creative materials and the support of teachers who respect them as individuals.

As a community outreach program of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, we are a welcoming school--we do not discriminate upon the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or cultural background of parents or children.

Risk Taking for Preschoolers

Posted on February 21, 2017 in category Director's Blog

Risk Taking for Preschoolers

What do we know about risk taking for preschoolers?

This is what we know…risk taking and risk assessment is a vital role in a person’s growth and development in life.  

For an adult, it might look like taking on a physical challenge of stepping up to a barbell to try and lift a heavier weight, asking someone out on a date, giving a speech to a large crowd, or sharing a viewpoint that may not be popular.

For a preschooler, it may look like climbing a tree. The child senses what it feels like to hold on to a branch with their hands as they feel around to place their foot and decipher which branch is sturdy enough to support their body.  Putting hands into a sensory table to experience an unknown sensation and determine if that’s a feeling they like or dislike, asking a classmate to sit next to them at lunch, offering an idea at a circle time in front of the large group, attempting to write one’s name, or using a saw at the workbench are other ways a preschooler may experience risk taking.  

More recently, our society has become more risk averse. Parents, teachers, caregivers fear children will be hurt or uncomfortable.  Society has even labeled some of us as “helicopter parents”.  By being risk averse, we miss that “sweet spot of where the magic happens.”  We miss the opportunity for growth and we deprive kids of risk assessment.  This risk assessment helps them match their skills with the demands of the environment.  If children do not have the practice of risk assessing, they will look to others to decide what’s safe (peers and adults).  Children need to become competent in their skills with the opportunity to take age appropriate risks. Taking a risk or a chance means that they might make a mistake.  The more opportunities for risk and mistakes gives children confidence about taking chances and helps them rebound and learn flexibility when things don’t work out exactly the first time. Hazards are different from risks and require a watchful eye and feedback from caregivers. Hazards are invisible risks that children can’t see like a broken tricycle or pieces of glass shards on a playground. It’s our job as adults to assess for hazards.  

As parents, educators, and society how can we support our preschoolers in taking risks?  We can stop saying “be careful”.  “Be careful” is not a useful saying as it gives no information. Giving specific feedback is more useful.  We can provide kids with opportunities in a safe space to explore risks by looking for hazards and staying close by.  By remaining calm, we can show the kids that we trust their ability to problem solve and risk assess.  If children succeed, they gain the confidence in mastery of their task. If they make a mistake, they gain information about what didn’t work and they gain the ability to try it again a different way.  
Now is the time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  It will led us to growth: personal, societal, and family.

…Amy Rudawsky, Co-Director

Lottery Results for 2017-18

Posted on February 19, 2017 in category SYC Announce

2017-18 School Year

Updated 02/19/2017

Class Spots Available # on waitlist
MW am 2’s 0 13
TTh am 2’s 0 11
January Fri 2’s 0 8
MWF am 3’s 0 25
TTh am 3’s 0 19
TWTh pm 3/4’s 0 21
MWF am 4’s 0 27
TTh am 4’s 0 12
TWThF pm 4/5’s 0 13


After the preliminary priority and non-priority lottery processing, some of the waitlists appear lengthy because several children are on two or three watilists. Please keep in mind we usually have some waitlist movement between February and the beginning of the school year in September.

If you are interested, we are continuing to accept applications for the 2017-18 school year.  Enrollment materials can be found on our Enrollment page.

Remaining openings for the 2017-18 School Year

Posted on February 12, 2017 in category SYC Announce

After priority registration for our 2017-18 school year opened on February 10, we have openings remaining. Those openings are as follows:

Class Spaces Remaining Waitlist Length Usual Turnover Rate
Mon-Wed AM 2’s 0 5 low
Tues-Thurs AM 2’s 0 3 low
January Friday 2’s 3 0 medium
Mon-Wed-Fri AM 3’s 0 7 low
Tues-Thurs AM 3’s 3 0 medium
Tues-Wed-Thurs PM 3/4’s 5 0 high
Mon-Wed-Fri AM 4’s 0 18 very low
Tues-Thurs AM 4’s 2 0 high
Tues-Wed-Thurs-Fri PM 4/5’s 0 6 medium

Please keep in mind that these results are preliminary.  Although each year is different, we usually have a good deal of waitlist movement between February and the beginning of the school year in September.  We send monthly e-mail updates to all families on waitlists to keep parents informed of the changes.

Those wishing to apply for our remaining openings have until 12:00 noon on Friday, February 17 turn their applications into us in order for their children to be placed in the non-priority lottery for non-priority placement.

If you have questions about our registration procedures, please contact us at 614-267-0254.


Posted on January 20, 2017 in category Director's Blog


We are all on our own journeys, some of which we can control and some of which we can’t. When I became a parent, I thought that I would have a considerable amount of control over that part of my journey.  I’d worked with children for a dozen years, was well-read in current child development theory and was pretty sure I’d figured out all the mistakes that I’d seen others make and would definitely not make myself. At conferences I offered parents advice and simple answers.  I had this figured out.

Then my first child arrived, and I soon found out I had no idea what I was doing.  This child had (and still has!) a smile that melts my heart, an amazing sense of wonder in everything, and a wicked sense of humor, but they were also colicky, had trouble sleeping, and cried for no reason that I could find.  The only thing that would make them fall asleep was a long ride in the car until they eventually wore out. As they got older we met other challenges that I had never imagined or that I thought I’d be able to avoid with my expertise.  Everything I thought I knew was thrown out the window – despite my experience, despite my education, despite my cocky self-confidence.

Kid number two came along and though you’d think that this time I’d know better, I instead was sure that I had it figured out now.  My experience would lead me to not make the same mistakes.  And I didn’t.  But this was a different kind of kid with different needs, and I made different mistakes.  Again, this kid is a loyal friend, a delightful companion and easy-going in so many ways, but we still ran into our challenges.

Now, we approach parent-teacher conferences, I think about moving from the teacher side of the conference table to the parent side.  I remember the feeling of going into a conference as a parent, wanting – needing – to know that the teacher and the other kids liked my child, that they could see how deeply I loved my child and was doing the best I could for them, that they knew how special and amazing my child is.  Yes, I wanted to hear if the teachers had any concerns about their development or their learning.  But most of all, I wanted to know that the people who were spending time with my beloved child really saw them, and loved them.  

This is my goal as a teacher when I invite a parent to meet with me:  I want them to know that I see their child, that I love their child, that I know their child within the context of their classroom and want to know what they’re like in other areas of their lives, and that I know they’re doing their best and that parenting can be a tough job.  We’ll talk about any concerns either of us may have, and we’ll talk about what comes next for their child, but most of all I want the parents to know that I’m on their side in this parenting journey.

…Susan Roscigno, Co-Director