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.

2018-19 Registration Materials

Posted on January 04, 2018 in category From the Office

2018-19 Registration Materials

The 2018-19 Registration Packet is now available here and the 2018-19 Scholarship Application can be found here. The application form (pages 5-6 of Registration Packet), Scholarship Application and $60 non-refundable application fee are due by noon on February 16 for best possible placement and financial assistance. If you are new to SYC, we strongly recommend you schedule a visit with Holly in the office (call 614-267-0254) before you submit your application and $60 non-refundable application fee.

Please email or call us with any questions.


Posted on December 12, 2017 in category Director's Blog


I recently had  a discussion with someone, having had their own experience parenting and now grandparenting a four year old, about children speaking up for themselves.  As a teacher, I described to the grandmother how her granddaughter had spoken up for her rights in my classroom after she had been rejected in play by a group of kids.  Her grandmother and I delighted in how powerful it was that she was able to speak up in such a potentially fragile moment.  She had the skills and the practice to respond appropriately.

Her grandmother then shared a powerful message with me that I have been pondering ever since.  “Her mother was the same way,” she said.  People used to say to me, “you let your daughter speak forcefully to you.” My reply to them was always, “Of course I do.  How will she ever learn to speak forcefully out in this world if she can’t practice it speaking to her mother?”

“A-ha,” I thought.  This offered me a different perspective.  Children usually save all their big feelings and tantrums to release onto their caregivers.  As parents, we’re just lucky, I guess. We have earned their trust through attending to their needs through infancy and toddlerhood. They have learned to trust we will take care of their basic needs and set appropriate limits to keep them safe and guide them through the stages of development.

As kids grow and develop, so should our tools and parenting.  Our children’s needs change from needing us to attend to their every cry to stepping back and letting them learn to problem solve. It is our job to have a place for them to fall when life doesn’t go they way they expect it to.

So what are your long term parenting goals?  We are not just raising children we are raising adults.  Is it important to you that your child “obeys” and listens the first time you request something?  Do you want your child to obey in their adult relationships with co-workers, friends and partners?  Or do you want your children to become adults that respectfully question authority? Do you want them to preserve their self care by being able to say no to friends and to communicate their needs to their partners?

Setting children up with the tools, experiences and practice for developing autonomy lets children know that we trust them. That we trust that they can attempt new challenges. Sure, it’s faster if we put their coat on them and zip it up so we can quickly get out the door.  Giving them the practice to do it themselves let’s them know that we think they are capable  Children feel good when they complete a new task, but they need practice.  When we send the message that we trust that they are quite capable, it can lead them to taking more initiative and risks.

Does this mean we should allow our kids to walk all over us, make all the rules, and let them dictate our entire daily schedule?  No.  Doing so would give kids too much power.  Our jobs as parents are to guide our children to be able to separate from us and to live in the world without us hovering over them.  Setting appropriate limits and teaching kids social constructs gives children the guidance and feedback they need to be autonomous.

If something is not working, try changing it or changing your perspective.  Think about what kind of adults you hope to raise.  The interactions and relationship style we develop now with our children will influence and direct our experiences as we prepare our children to launch into the world.


…Amy Rudawsky, Co-Director


Open Spot in the MWF am 4s

Posted on November 20, 2017 in category From the Office

We currently have an opening in the MWF am 4s for the 2017-18 school year. Children need to be four years old by September 30, 2017 to be eligible for this class. Please call Holly in the SYC office at 614-267-0254, if you are interested. Thanks!

NAEYC Accreditation

Posted on October 17, 2017 in category Director's Blog

NAEYC Accreditation

SYC has been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children since 1989.  Every five years, we undergo a renewal process that includes a site visit (which we had recently), classroom portfolios that show evidence of how we support children’s learning, and a program portfolio that indicates how we’ve structured the program to keep kids safe and learning.  It’s an arduous process but one that we’re proud of and would like to share with you.

The NAEYC lists over 150 criteria that have to be represented in each classroom portfolio, some more than once.  Our teachers were tasked with finding ways to visually represent the learning that happens in the classrooms in ways that are true to how we do things at SYC. Because children are freely choosing their play, we can’t predict ahead of time what they’ll be learning.  But what we can do is carefully watch and observe, see what learning is already going on and explore ways to expand and further that learning.  And we can introduce areas of potential learning through small group and rug time activities.

These criteria cover all areas of teaching and learning:  relationships, curriculum (literacy, mathematical skills, science, social studies, problem solving, safety), assessment, families, and physical environment.  The way we’ve chosen to represent children’s learning in the portfolios is by describing an activity children may engage in (playing babies) and the learning that has happened during that play (caring for others, safety, writing signs, reading books, singing, differences in families, counting bottles, etc).  Below you can see one example from each of the 2s, 3s and 4s classroom portfolios to give more of an idea about how rich with learning child-directed play can be.


2’s portfolio page

3’s portfolio page

4’s portfolio page


Please stop by the office and take a look at the entire portfolio when you have a chance.  You might be amazed at the amount of learning that can happen during play.

For even more information about learning in play, please consider attending our “Hands on Learning” Parent Ed on Thursday, 10/26.  We’ll talk about how to see the learning that’s happening when children play, and ways to encourage that learning without getting in the way.

We’re proud of the work our teachers have done in working toward our NAEYC reaccreditation, and even more proud of the work they do every day to build relationships with children and families, to carefully observe each child’s play, and to meet children’s needs for autonomy in their play while providing support and enhancement when needed.  NAEYC accreditation is just icing on the cake.


…Susan Roscigno, Co-Director