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.

What a year!

Posted on May 12, 2014 in category Director's Blog

I can’t believe how quickly the last week of school has arrived!  It’s been a beautiful year at SYC.  It’s been fun getting to know all of our new families and exciting to see all the enthusiasm they have brought to our program!  It’s been wonderful to work and play with all of you this year. But it’s always bittersweet as we see all the children and families who are moving on into the wider world of kindergartens, home schooling groups, and new communities of all kinds.  So if this is your last year at SYC, we will always consider you part of our SYC family and we hope you stay in touch and let us know about your new discoveries and challenges.

We hope we have given your children important tools that will help them as they move on in school and life. We hope they will take from SYC: the dispositions of curiosity, joy, creativity, skills to deal with their emotions and those of others, problem-solving abilities, and the feeling that they are capable and competent as they approach new situations.

We hope we have given your family support and encouragement with the challenging job of parenting. But as Mr. Rogers said, “Parents don’t come full bloom at the birth of the first baby. In fact parenting is about growing. It’s about our own growing as much as it is about our children’s growing and that kind of growing happens little by little.” At SYC, we know that we are each moving through our own stages of development and we trust that we will keep on growing and learning, making new mistakes and discoveries and appreciating all the challenges and joys that come as we go through the journey.

Thanks for being part of our community this year. Every family member, child and teacher helped make this a special year at SYC.

…Stephanie Rottmayer

Summer Playcamp

Posted on April 08, 2014 in category SYC Announce

For those interested in signing their children up for a summer play program, we recommend the First UU’s Church’s Summer Playcamp Program.  Summer Playcamp is Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9:30-12 noon, in four 2-week sessions, beginning the week of June 2.

Children who will be age three on September 30, 2014, up through age 5 who have not yet attended kindergarten are eligible to enroll in that program.  Children of members of First U.U. Church, as well as children who are currently enrolled at SYC, or enrolled next year or on waitlists at SYC are all given a one-week priority registration period beginning at 9:30 a.m., first come first served, beginning on Monday, April 14, 2014.  Children who do not meet those criteria before other children can enroll if there are spaces remaining beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, April 21.

You can download the registration form here:  Summer Playcamp Flyer-2014.  There are also printed forms available in our office.

Children and Power

Posted on March 24, 2014 in category Director's Blog

When I came to SYC with my two sons, I loved how family friendly it felt. I wanted to stay and have a gentle separation. The teachers were concerned with supporting social and emotional development of my children and I felt emotionally supported as a parent. Like many other SYC parents, I loved reading about parenting and watching the teachers interact with kids. I liked talking with other SYC parents to find out that we often had the same struggles. I had found a community of people that all wanted to give our children the best possible start in life.

I was good at being warm and nurturing to my boys. I was not as good at setting limits and making and sticking to family routines and rules. It wasn’t until I had been teaching at SYC for a while that I realized the importance of structure in children’s lives. I had never considered the idea of parent’s rights.

My type of parenting is now considered “Soft Structure.” Soft structure is defined as giving a child too much freedom or inappropriate power in the family. Children often demand power but when they get it, they feel insecure and uncertain. They know that they don’t really have the skills and knowledge that grownups do to make adult decisions so this causes anxiety.

SYC helped me understand what appropriate power was for my children and what my own rights were in the family. According to the book How Much Is Enough? by Clarke, Dawson and Bredehoft:

One way to sort them is to think of rights incurring from obligations met. The child has a right to expect more freedoms as s/he develops responsibility for self and toward others. S/he also has a right to parental rules and expectations that are age appropriate.

So giving children responsibilities such as small, doable chores, saving money to choose something to buy, picking out what to eat from reasonable choices, and being part of creating negotiable family rules help to promote their sense of competence. They gain positive and appropriate power from making decisions that are age appropriate.

Adult decisions, such as whether or not to go to school, what time to bed, what house and safety rules to be followed, how to spend family money, etc. are the type of decisions that can cause children anxiety. Of course children can and should have input in the family but to feel secure, they need to know that the parents are in charge and will keep everyone safe.

Learning initiative in the world happens when children have acquired self-control and confidence in themselves within the safe structure of clear family rights and obligations.      …Stephanie Rottmayer, Director


SYC 2014-15 Enrollment News

Posted on February 21, 2014 in category SYC Announce

We are suspending the acceptance of new applications for enrollment of children into our 2014-15 school year program at this time.  We presently have many more applicants than we can place next year.  While we are gratified that so many people are interested in our program, unfortunately we cannot accept more applicants at this time.

We will consider reopening enrollment for any classes with significantly shorter waitlists and announce any changes about this on this website.