The story of the Red Balloon began in 1972. Families living at 560 Riverside Dr. were in need of childcare. The building offered a space for the school and together the families created a small Parent Cooperative. It was like a perfect storm, as the Red Balloon grew as a quality preschool the need in the community for us grew. We were offered more space in the building and we opened up the school to the wider community. Even as we expanded in size and number we never lost our sense of family and community and we still remain one of the most diverse play-based schools in the area. We have a supportive and challenging learning environment which builds on the children’s sense of excitement, curiosity, and wonderment in the world around them.
The Red Balloon creates a three-way partnership with parents, children, and the school community. We encourage intellectual curiosity, creative risk-taking, and problem-solving in a nurturing social environment.
We believe that children learn best when they have caring adults to guide, respect, and provide challenges for them as individuals and as important members of a group.
That our small sized classrooms and experienced staff allow for personal attention. Ours is a school where individual personalities are endorsed and encouraged. We have a three-way partnership between the parents, children, and school community, creating a strong team.
We also recognize that children are unique and learn at different rates and in different styles. We provide an emerging curriculum that is play based, exploratory and child centered. Our teachers give each child the love, attention, and nurturing they need while creating and facilitating a challenging developmentally appropriate curriculum.
Skills your child will need to succeed in 2035 and beyond:
- Strong interpersonal competence
- Problem solving techniques
- Critical thinking
How do we achieve that at the Red Balloon, through a play-based curriculum.
We encourage parent involvement in school activities and believe that parental support in early childhood education has long-lasting positive effects on children’s academic performance, self-esteem, emotional development, and general wellbeing.
Do you have at least five weeks of vacation plus 1 or 2 months off in the summer? At the Red Balloon we understand most families do not. We are open 12 months a year and do not close for a mid-winter or spring vacation. We support your need. Our doors open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m. Children can come as late as 9:30 and get picked up from 4:00 on. Breakfast is served from 9:00–9:25. We also provide a healthy hot lunch for the children as well as an afternoon snack.
Along with a five-day program we also have a very limited two-day and a three-day program, all are full-day. The children range in age from 2 years old to 5 years old. We have three classrooms for different age groups. Children are at the following age ranges when the enter these classrooms:
Yellow Room: ages 2’s (12 children)
Blue Room: ages of 2–3 (12 children)
Orange Room: ages of 3–4 (15 children)
The children are given time at the end of the day to intermingle with the other children as well as become acquainted and comfortable with all of the staff.
Each room has three staff members, and at least 1 in each classroom has their Masters in Early Childhood Education with State Certification.