Our son has attended Red Balloon for the past two and a half years. Choosing a daycare or preschool was a challenge for us. We did not want him to attend a school that shoved academics down his throat and made him sit at a desk for hours. At the same time, we did not want him to attend a program that would leave him unprepared for kindergarten. Red Balloon was the perfect culture for us. Children's interest and curiosity are the driving force behind the curriculum. Foundational skills and pre-academics are weaved throughout the day in a way that children feel like they are simply playing and having fun, but in reality, they are absorbing rich language and content. In addition, teachers help to guide the children through challenging social situations and peer interactions by teaching them how to use their words to solve conflict.The teachers are warm and loving to the children and have a strong knowledge of developmental skills. An added bonus of choosing Red Balloon was that it has extended hours which fit my work schedule and provided breakfast and lunch from an amazing chef. As a busy parent, not having to pack a lunch, or fight to fit in breakfast during the morning rush, this was a huge bonus. Red Balloon also features an indoor gym and an outdoor playground that allow kids to move. Of course, all of these wonderful features come at a cost. Moving to NYC so that my husband could attend Columbia University was an expensive endeavor. With the insane cost of living and only having one income, finding childcare of any sort was nearly impossible. We were blessed to be awarded with a scholarship to Red Balloon which allowed us to send our son there.