Social Learning Center Offers Alternative to Day Care

Explore+Discover, an early childhood learning center in Gramercy, recently opened. The center offers a social learning environment as an alternative to day care.

child and teacher playing with instrumentsA child at Explore+Discover plays with musical instruments as part of his daily exploration.

Explore+Discover, which opened in Gramercy in September, is a learning center for children ages 3 months to 2 years old that uses a different strategy than regular day care centers. It aims to provide more education to infants and toddlers and is focused on releasing the natural curiosity of infants and toddlers to foster a lifelong appetite for learning, as well as provide a social, caring place.

President Daniel Koffler says the goal of Explore+Discover is to use social learning to provide a different experience than a regular day care. “Eighty percent of [a child’s] development occurs in the first two years, and we want to capitalize on that and provide a thoughtful alternative to day care,” he says.

The learning center groups its students based on mobility levels: 3- to 9-month-olds with no mobility, 10- to 17-month-olds with mobility, and 18- to 24-month-olds with mobility and some verbal skills.

“There is such a gap developmentally between [the groups] that they each deserve their own space,” Koffler says.

Additionally, all of the teachers are educated in early childhood education, many with master’s degrees, and each classroom has three teachers.

Children are accepted on a rolling admission basis, as babies are always being born, Koffler says. The center is open 8am-6pm Monday through Friday, similar to day care hours to help parents.