My 3 year old has been attending the MindfulNEST Daycare Center and I can not express enough how much the school has impacted his life as well as my family.
We moved to Staten Island 3 years ago and had such a difficult time finding a good quality daycare center with a healthy balance of social and academic enrichment. Prior to my son's enrollment at MindfulNEST he attended 3 different daycare centers from age 1. Each school was not the right fit. He was miserable, tempermental and had low appetite and cried nearly everyday. I grew frustrated and concerned that my son would develop into a "behavior problem child" and lack academic readiness for kindergarden. Miraculously, I saw a MindfulNEST brochure at an enrichment center and read it and remembered thinking, "maybe this neuroscience approach to teaching and learning can benefit him academically, socially and psychologically?" During our intitial phone conversation when we described my son's streangth's, struggles and challenges, I was struck by Maria's kindness, patience and understanding. When I visited MindfulNEST, immediately I knew that it was a unique educational setting. I observed students who were very confident, articulate and fully engaged in hands on activity. The small group lesson was a mini science experiment that involved beads with a cylinder with water. My son participated in a breathing exercise on the mat. I soon realized this was the right school.
Everyday he is learning so much and having fun. At home he sings about the amygdala and tells me about other parts of the brain he learned. These activities along with individualized lessons are quite telling as a former middle school science teacher, I'm impressed. This summer they did as experiment on the affects of water temperature on oxygen levels and fish respiration. They even made cute models of human lungs. In addition to science, they learn sight words, math writing, geography, enjoy play, yoga and other fun activities. Maria serves very healthy nutritious and delicious meals my son enjoys.
What more can I say about this daycare? To me it is more than a daycare. It's a place where each child is loved, nurtured and encouraged to develop to their potential. My son had progressed tremendously since he began. He eats all his food, he is no longer a picky eater. He is more mature and confident. He can express himself much more than before and as a family we can go out to eat without worrying about terrible tantums. He sleeps through the night without waking up and crying as before. He gets up each morning and looks forward to attending "MindfulNEST School" as he calls it.
Without reservation I highly recommend the MindfulNEST Family Daycare Center. If you are very serious about quality daycare that truly cares about it's students, address and meets their needs socially, psychologically, academically and nutritionally. Maria definitely has a strong sense of children, as she is able to assess their strengths and weaknesses with every activity in addition to the one on one attention she provides them. I feel happy and worry free knowing that my son is happy, well adjusted and thriving in this setting.
Mother of 3 children
University Professor/ Mathematics
From the minute our son Liam started to attend MindfulNEST we watched him grow in ways that we couldn't have imagined. At least twice a week he would stun us with a newly learned fact, a tool to help him calm down when he felt frustrated, a yoga pose he was proud to show off, or an art project that reflected his budding ideas and understanding about the ideas growing in the world around him. The growth we saw in our son is largely because of the love that Ms. Maria puts into her work each day. From the organic meals, to the daily mindful circle to helping each child explore a life of academic work. Ms. Maria is compassionate, gifted, kind and a mindful educator.
MindfulNEST goes beyond what a traditional day care does. Ms. Maria works mindfully and with passion each day to help in your child's development so that he or she will have the cognitive and emotional awareness. Beyond a focus on developmental well being, Ms. Maria ensures that each student begins to gain foundational skills in literacy, math, science and critical thinking. She understands the whole child and works to help them reach their true potential. I am sure Liam will greatly benefit greatly from this nurturing experience for the rest of his life.
Mother of 2 children
Highschool Science Teacher
As most parents of a child reaching preschool age, my husband and I had the most daunting task of finding our three year old daughter a preschool, We looked at over half a dozen or more schools all over Staten Island until we found MindfulNEST. The moment we walked in our daughter was engaged in science experiments, meditation and actively participating in creative play. We knew we had found her school. The small class size was extemely appealing. Ms. Maria's training and education made me feel very comfortable. I know my daughter is in good hands with her.
Mother of 2
Elementary School Teacher
MindfulNEST is my daughter Violet's fourth 'daycare' in just over two years. We fired the first one, the second one moved off Staten Island and the third abruptly closed on a Sunday night. That morning, I started the childcare search, yet again, discouraged, skeptical and weary. I setup visits with a few centers that morning, and kept them all, but fell in love with MindfulNEST instantly!
I qualify 'daycare' because MindfulNEST is so much more than a safe place for my daughter to play while we are at work. I'd like to call it a 'school', but that doesn't quite do it justice either, because while my daughter seems to learn new things almost every day there, her daily experience is much more well rounded than I imagine 'school' to be. Not only is Violet consistently happy, safe and well-fed, but she also participates in group lessons that she takes away age appropriate content from, even though the lesson include content for older kids as well. Maria has (fearlessly) embraced Violet's potty-training related idiosyncrasies and has helped progress those efforts. And while I know that Violet spends time being read to and learning sight words, she also gets lots of exercise running and tumbling and playing with bigger kids (which she LOVES).
As a parent, I value Maria's openness about the daily workings of MindfulNEST. I am welcome to walk into the spaces Violet occupies any time. Maria will answer all of my questions and discuss my daughter's progress and habits at length. After lots of difficulty trying to maintain Violet's natural diet with previous childcare providers, it has been refreshing to find Maria already feeds her children better than I feed my kids at home. Beyond all this, Maria's methods inspire me to be a more 'mindful' parent. I am grateful I found Maria Pizarro at MindfulNEST."
Mother of 2
University Professor / Production Management
" The MindfulNEST Center is a 'home away from home' for my 2 year old daughter. Each time I pick her up she surprises me with new things she had learning and is always in good and refreshed spirits. I believe the center's curriculum nurture and enrich the children's development on so many levels including their social, emotional, and cognitive wellbeing. I was searching for a child care where my daughter could experience and learn among other children, rather than simply be watched over the day. There's no doubt that I have found it. The Center is true childcare GEM of Staten Island and I feel so blessed to have my daughter there."
Mother of 2 children
Artist / Musician
Early Childhood Education Teacher
" The MindfulNest Center's approach to education is brilliant! It is more than what I have expected for my son, but all that he needs. Maria introduces concepts that I would have never thought my son was capable of learning. That is one of the most amazing things about it - that she has high expectations for her kids and they reach for the stars - literally. My son already knows body parts that I never learned in school. We literally took control of our son's education by sending him to the MindfulNest Center rather than let him sit at home soaking up the whims of television. Since then he has been exposed to more experiences than I could have ever imagined when I was his age. Maria takes care of her kids like they are her own and there is no price tag to put in that. To me, there is no place better in NYC for my kid than to be here. If you can get your kids in, get them in!!!"
Father of 2 children
PC Applications Software Developer
"Our son had been coming to the center since he was 2 years old. He loves it here. The curriculum is wonderful.
It's so much fun for him that he doesn't even realize he's learning about science, reading and math! We are so fortunate to have him enrolled in such a warm, safe, fun and loving place. He is so well taken care of and for a mother, there is nothing better than that. His teacher, Miss Maria, is a dedicated and gifted teacher who makes even complicated subjects so much fun. Because of her educational background she knows what she is talking about when it comes to my child's development and she always supports her advice with updated medical research. She is a teacher and a mother to all her students. She is passionate and loves her work. In addition to intense academic curriculum, the school also teaches meditation, breathing exercises, and how to be present. These are such important lessons for children to learn at such a young age. I certainly feel fortunate to have had my son here and I would highly recommend the MindfulNEST Center to anyone who's looking for a nursery school."
Mother of 2 children
Prime Finance, Citi Global Markets Inc.
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