Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Village School in East Atlanta

The Village School was referred to us by dear friends, and it's literally a few blocks from our house. The facility is an unmarked house near East Atlanta Village.

One of the things we loved the most was the community feel. Most of the families here are from the adjacent neighborhoods: EAV, Kirkwood, Edgewood. We really like the idea of getting to know more families in the neighborhood, since our son will be growing up with them over the years. There's something comforting about seeing other parents in Target and Kroger.

The school started as an in-home daycare and has grown into it's own facility. Actually, it's almost bursting at the seams and they have plans in the works to expand to Pre-K. As of now, they only offer an infant & toddler classes (thru age 3ish). This means that we'd soon grow out of it and be in the same predicament all over again. Also really limits that the likelihood of having 2 kids there, unless our kids are very close in age.

The infant room is pretty packed with cribs, and there isn't a ton of room for tummy time on the floor or bouncers. The ladies who work there seem to really love the kids. In fact, our friend who referred us there just adored one of the infant caregivers. She used to spend so much time cuddling with her infant son, and he loved every minute! They wanted to steal her away as a nanny...but not so reasonable since they're moving to Texas.

There's a room for the next age group, and then a third classroom for the oldest kids. Kids advance based on their individual development & the available space versus their birthday. The curriculum is play-based, with regular themes that involve the families too.

The food here is all organic, and served family-style for the toddlers. They also don't toss un-used breast milk each day like some places. They send the leftovers home at the end of the day to the discretion of the parents. Of course, they don't re-feed out of the same bottle during the day because that's against some regulation. The owner just can't bring herself to tossing the "liquid gold" that some women work so hard to get! The kitchen is stocked with Trader Joe's and veggies and such.

They have an intimate playground, but the infants never leave the deck. Unfortunately, it overlooks the dumpster which can't be too appealing on hot summer days.

The application fee is $100. Tuition is $50/day, and they offer full-time & part-time options (M/W/F or T/Th only). Upon acceptance, a $100 Activity fee is due. You also pay for holidays here, even though those days are closed to students.

The reason this place didn't make our shortlist, the hours: 7:30-5:30. They close the doors at 5:30, and if you're late a few times, they'll suggest you find other options. A commute from Perimeter plus a Braves game in town means that would never fly. If they were located downtown or in Midtown, we might be able to make it work. But since they're south of I-20, it'd be nearly impossible.

Their waitlist sounded complicated. She has a whiteboard where she's constantly juggling applicants & availability. Priority goes to enrolled siblings. I wasn't terribly optimistic we'd get a spot when we needed it, though I wasn't terribly discouraged.

Because of the slight cramping, the less-than-ideal outdoor area, the fact we'd be looking for a new place in about 2 years, and the hours, I give them a B. For more childcare center reviews, read on.

More info:
1332 Glenwood Avenue SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
Tel: 404-688-3898

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