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.

Posted on March 21, 2016 in category SYC Announce

It's OK to go Up the Slide (1)

Stephanie is retiring

Posted on March 18, 2016 in category Director's Blog

Stephanie is retiring

Last May, I retired from being the director at the School for Young Children but I stayed on as a Program Consultant this year to support the new Co-Directors, Susan Roscigno and Amy Rudawsky.  It was an event filled year in the midst of construction but the school and new directors made it through brilliantly. So at the end of this May, I am retiring completely.

I have loved every minute at SYC since I enrolled my two young sons here. I volunteered in their classes and then began teaching here in 1976. During that time, I discovered that I loved working with young children, so I went back for my Masters in Child Development from Pacific Oaks College. I became the director in 2005 when Jan Waters retired.

It has been a joy and an honor to spend these last 40 years with the community of SYC—children, families, staff and the greater church community. I could not have chosen a better path to follow and will always be grateful that I had that opportunity. I’ll probably end up volunteering in next year’s classes, at least a little, along with other retired SYC teachers. We can’t seem to stay way.

…Stephanie Rottmayer, Soon-to-be Director Emerita


Assuming Positive Intent

Posted on February 18, 2016 in category Director's Blog

Assuming Positive Intent

Let’s all try to assume positive intent.

Several years ago we had an in-house staff workshop which focused on the theme: Assume Positive Intent.  It really resonated with the staff on a professional level and at least for me on a personal level as well. 

Just think a moment about that phrase and what it means.  Assume.  Positive.  Intent.  

Relationships are part of our everyday life.  We interact with people all day long.  Some interactions are positive ones and some leave us feeling not so good.  What if we use a positive lens to look through those negative interactions instead?  Then, we could respond with more compassion and acceptance.  

When I think about assuming positive intent with children, I think “what was their motivation behind that behavior?”  Ok…wait a second.  To be fair when I’m wearing my Mom hat my first thought is probably, “Seriously, did they really just do that? What were they thinking?” But then my child advocate hat which is permanently placed on my head, pokes through and says “Exactly!  What were they thinking?”   When I change my thinking to view the problem with my positive lens my response changes.  

As adults we have had more practice and life experience feeling and regulating our emotions.  Young children are just discovering and learning how to navigate in this big world.  Now add big emotions to the mix and you’ve got fireworks.  If we could just try and assume positive intent with children’s responses, we can give them the tools to manage those big emotions.  We can give them the skills to control their impulses while showing them compassion and not shaming them. 

There is no parenting manual. Although, It’s OK Not to Share is the closest in my opinion (shameless plug).  When I think about assuming positive intent in our community, I think it means cutting each other some slack and removing judgement from one another. Providing support for one another. One of the amazing things about our community is the wide range of people and ideas.  

Some of us are babywearers.  Some of us breastfeed.  Some bottle feed.  Some of us believe in attachment parenting.  Some a more traditional parenting approach.   Some of us have strong ideas about food preferences.  Some of us may believe in bed sharing.  Some people may think, “No way is my child sleeping in my bed”.  Some of us use cloth diapers. Some use disposable. 

AND THAT’s OK.  Even Todd Parr says that in his book It’s Ok to Be Different.  

I know being a parent is probably (ok, certainly)  the most difficult job we will ever have.  If we could all just try to assume positive intent when we encounter a parent or friend who choses to parent vastly different than we do our own.  It’s OK that we have different ideas and different methods.  It’s what makes our community great.  We are each parenting our children with positive intentions.  

…Amy Rudawsky, SYC Co-Director

Remaining openings for the 2016-17 School Year

Posted on February 14, 2016 in category SYC Announce

After priority registration for our 2016-17 school year opened on February 12, we have openings remaining. Those openings are as follows:


Spaces Remaining Waitlist Length Usual Turnover Rate
Mon-Wed AM 2’s 0 1 low
Tues-Thurs AM 2’s 0 5 low
January Friday 2’s 1 0 medium
Mon-Wed-Fri AM 3’s 0 7 low
Tues-Thurs AM 3’s 7 0 medium
Tues-Wed-Thurs PM 3/4’s 6 0 high
Mon-Wed-Fri AM 4’s 0 14 very low
Tues-Thurs AM 4’s 2 0 high
Tues-Wed-Thurs-Fri PM 4/5’s 0 2 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 19 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.