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.

SYC is Hiring

Posted on August 18, 2020 in category SYC Announce

Looking for a play-based educator to join our amazing team!

Necessary attributes for the position:

-must highly value play

-must be skilled at developing healthy relationships with children and coworkers

-must be self-driven in daily work requirements

-must be adaptable

Must be willing to adhere to the requirements of ODJFS including background check and physical, and to participate in other trainings throughout the year.

Ideal candidate would have experience working with your children and/or a background in early childhood, education or a similar field. However, if the play-based approach is something you really WANT to learn to implement but haven’t had the opportunity before, we can happily support you in learning.

To apply, please email resume and cover letter with a bit about why you’d like to join as a member of our team to director@syccolumbus.org.

We look forward to meeting you!

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Summer Break

Posted on May 18, 2020 in category SYC Announce

We’re currently on our summer break and we have no regular summer office hours.  Someone usually is in the office once a week to get the mail and check messages. 

The easiest way to reach someone over the summer is by e-mail, we check that daily.  Our e-mail address is syc@syccolumbus.org.

Grown-up Growth

Posted on March 19, 2020 in category SYC Announce

Grown-up Growth

Kids change and grow quickly, most noticeably when they’re really little.  When a child enters SYC at two years old and leaves at three, they’ve been here for a fourth of their life, and in that time may have learned to use the toilet, put their coat and shoes on, speak in more complex sentences, remember things from months ago, follow a 2- or 3-step direction, and (sometimes) restrain the urge to smack someone who takes something they’re using.

As adults, hopefully we grow and change from year to year as well, though often in more subtle ways: new habits, new ideas, new perspective. Outside events – sometimes desirable sometimes not – may happen that prompt change but we sometimes have to be intentional if we want to grow.

At SYC, we are intentional about growth for adults as well as children.  We offer parent education and parent coffees to give families an opportunity to learn from and with each other.  And teachers are always available to answer your questions or act as a sounding board.

As early childhood professionals, SYC teachers have a variety of opportunities for learning and growth.  Sometimes we invite experts to help us address something we’re curious about or struggling with. This year, SYC parent and early childhood mental health specialist Erin Tebben talked with us about trauma, its effects on children, and how we can help children build new neural pathways.  We’ve also been working with another early childhood mental health specialist from Nationwide Children’s Hospital who has helped us be more intentional about interventions we use with children who are struggling.

Here at SYC, we have a wealth of knowledge within our walls and learn from each other all the time.  Teaching teams meet daily to share observations, questions and challenges. All the teachers get together monthly, sometimes to learn about a specific topic such as a reflective practice.

Most years we take a trip together in the spring as part of our professional development.  We may attend a conference, arrange for a workshop by someone we admire, or visit an early childhood program.  All of these experiences have inspired growth: we might refine who/what we are or what we do, or the experience might help us define who/what we are not or what we do not do.  Both are valuable and fuel conversations and reflection for months or sometimes years.  Whether the visits and conversations encourage us to make changes or to hold more firmly to what we don’t want to change, they encourage us to remember the why of SYC and help us to better articulate who we are.

On March 2, the SYC teachers visited St. Mark’s Nursery School in Bloomington, IN as our spring professional development.  Their director, Sierra, was kind enough to answer an online plea for a play-based preschool program within an eight-hour drive of Columbus who would be open for a visit, and to welcome our teachers into their program for a morning.  After researching more about their school, we noticed how much the two programs have in common: both started in 1969, both outreach programs, both around 140 students, both 2.5 hrs a few days a week.  

When we visited, though, we were surprised at how eerily similar the programs are.  We heard teachers say things like, “You said ‘stop’ and you said ‘stop’ but you’re both smiling.  Do you still like it?” and “What’s your plan?” and “You can ask her if you can use it.” It’s like they’d read the back of our t-shirts! We saw teachers treating children’s needs and bodies with respect, saying things like, “It looks like your body needs to move.”  We saw kids engaged in free play: using materials how they chose, playing with whoever they chose, for as long as they chose.  

In this way, our circle of like-minded professionals has grown and we are confident it will lead to further conversations and visits.  Our trip was also an affirmation that the SYC approach not only works here in our specific context, but in other environments as well.  

Equally important, the trip allowed teachers time together away from our busy lives with families, other jobs, and a life outside of SYC.  Just as it’s essential for children to have time for uninterrupted play to learn who they are in the world and in relation to others, it is essential for adults to have uninterrupted time whether it’s playing, eating, or long talks on car ride or late into the night.  Like children, we too need time to clarify who we are in the world and in relation to others. This time for reflection and for learning more about the people we work with rejuvenates and refreshes us, allowing us to come back to the classroom with our cups full, ready to be there for the children.

We know that time alone or with other adults can be in short supply when your children are young!  Nevertheless, we hope that you find time – where and when you can – to think about how you’d like to grow alongside your child.

-Susan Roscigno and Amy Rudawsky, SYC Co-Directors

SYC Closed March 16-April 3

Posted on March 12, 2020 in category SYC Announce

As you may know, Gov. DeWine announced this afternoon has suspended all public and private schools for three weeks starting at the end of the day on Monday, March 16, until at least Friday, April 3.  

Upon the advice of the governor and other experts, SYC will close starting at the end of the school day on Friday, March 13 (note that we will NOT be open on Monday) and will stay closed until at least Friday, April 3.  Our spring break is scheduled for the following week, April 6-10. We may reopen that week instead of taking a break, but will let you know as the situation evolves.

Amy and Susan will be accessible by email, director@syccolumbus.org, over the extended break should you have questions.

We appreciate your understanding as we all take steps to keep ourselves and our community safe.  We’ll be working on some boredom-busters and stress-relievers that we’ll share to help make the weeks pass as quickly as possible. And don’t come begging us for TP – we have none to spare!! 🙂

-Amy and Susan, SYC Co-Directors