Article by Drew Kramer for Scarsdale Moms
In late night group chats and huddled crowds in pre-school parking lots, Scarsdale moms moan that it is so hard to find good help these days. While good nannies and willing grandparents exist, for many young families, securing a village of consistent, loving care is difficult. Even when children reach preschool age, the length of the average school day does not match the length of the average New Yorker’s work obligation. For Westchester families, this could mean paying for private preschool and a full time driving nanny to ensure that their children receive the necessary supervision, as well as academic and social enrichment throughout the day. To avoid the expense of school, extracurriculars and private in-home child care, many families turn to daycare. However, even If you can snag a coveted spot, it is likely that the center will close at 3 or 5pm, which won’t cut it for this community of high achieving professionals.
Enter Vivvi Hartsdale.
Founded in 2019 by two fathers, Charlie Bonello and Ben Newton, Vivvi is the answer to the modern child care dilemma. The idea for Vivvi originated over a decade ago when Charlie, an investment banker turned co-founder of an incubator for real estate and technology startups, noticed the tremendous loss of talent due to child care limitations. Challenged by the high cost of employing a nanny and the long waitlists for daycare centers that close too early, young parents often make the hard choice to leave the workforce entirely. After identifying the need, Charlie partnered with Ben Newton, a longtime educational strategist at some of NYC’s top schools, to develop a solution. Their brainchild, Vivvi, offers high quality care and learning to children from age 6 weeks to 5 years that fits with parents’ needs for early and late hours and flexibility.
With campuses in Tribeca, Hudson Yards, World Trade Center, Dumbo, Midtown West and the Upper East Side, Vivvi makes the leap to suburbia with the launch of their Westchester campus this Fall. Centrally located in Hartsdale, Vivvi is accessible to working parents across the county, but especially those in nearby towns like Scarsdale, White Plains or Ardsley. Just 10 minutes from the Hartsdale train station, the location makes it convenient for working parents commuting into NYC via Metro-North. Its new 8,800 square-foot campus offers two floors of beautifully designed, light-filled classrooms, as well as a 1,000-square-foot outdoor space and playground. The new location will accommodate up to 100 children from 7am-7pm, Monday through Friday, for all four seasons. Flexibility is core to the Vivvi model, offering parents the freedom to choose a 2, 3 or 5-day schedule, with flexible drop-off and pick-up times that suit each family’s needs.
“Today’s families are looking for a child care offering that meets their needs from a schedule and convenience perspective, but also offers access to world-class educators and a research-based curriculum for young learners,” says Ben Newton, co-founder and COO of Vivvi. Vivvi’s learning model means parents don’t have to choose between child care and early education. The foundation of Vivvi’s curriculum is based on the teachings of renowned educational scholars, like Piaget, Vygotsky, Malaguzzi, Montessori, Gardner, and others who recognize the profound potential of curiosity and play. From infancy to Pre-K, Vivvi teachers develop the joy of learning through play themes inspired by the children’s interests. For example, an interest in found objects inspired one class to adapt a unit around recycling and reusing. The teachers incorporated math, language, fine motor development and more into the unit of study.
At Vivvi, educators are experts in their fields; many have masters degrees and all are highly attuned to early child development. The quality of the faculty’s education and experience ensures that students meet milestones and identify areas of delay. Vivvi partners with families to ensure that all children have the support and intervention they need to thrive.
Vivvi Hartsdale is currently enrolling for its infant, toddler and preschool programs with rolling admissions. Learn more about Vivvi Hartsdale and sign up for an open house or schedule a tour.