"Setting the path for your child to succeed"

About Us

Our Story

Welcome to the Red Balloon, an Early Childhood Learning Center. We provide a twelve month program that caters to the needs of the working & student families in the Morningside Heights community and it’s surrounding area.

It was a lucky day in 1972 when Rebecca Rikleen along with several other families living in 560 Riverside Drive got together and founded The Red Balloon. Though it began as a small Parent Cooperative, run by these families it soon grew, requiring more space and a larger professional staff. Columbia University donated this spectacular space and a new staff was hired.

 The school is committed to helping local needy families with scholarships. We believe the uniqueness of our diverse learning community helps children and their families value differences ultimately leading to increased understanding, empathy and acceptances of all members of our society.

Children in Motion

Children at the Red Balloon where they learn, play, grow and learn to socialize with others, on the road to success.


The Road to Success Starts at The Red Balloon
The Red Balloon was a wonderful place to start Hi Norma, Seems so long ago! Declan attended Anderson from Sept 2002 to June 2011, and now Beacon High School from Sept 2011 to present, expected graduation is June 2015. We’re looking at colleges now and can let you know where he ends up this time next year! The Red Balloon was a wonderful place to start his educational experience, with loving and nurturing teachers and staff who created an environment that enabled him to develop important social and academic skills that helped him to become the student and person that he is ...


The Red Balloons scholarship program provides over $100,000 annually in scholarships to 38% of our families. Most of these families are of diverse backgrounds and low-income. 

Your generosity will help us continue to give these families the financial aid necessary to secure a quality education and a successful future. 

Thank you for your donation and support in the road to quality education for preschoolers.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Parent Teacher Conferences

    January 15 - January 19
  2. Staff Development Day

    February 9
  3. Presidents Day

    February 19

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