What We Do
The Children’s Storefront works with families to promote the development of children in the first thousand days of life to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning.
In 2019 The Children’s Storefront launched our first Learn and Play Center in Harlem. Full of carefully curated books, toys, musical instruments, art materials, climbing equipment and games, the Center was a free drop-in resource for over two hundred families from diverse backgrounds and walks of life. We employed a unique approach that balanced a child’s self-directed discovery of all the space had to offer, with facilitative coaching from early child development specialists for parents and caregivers to build strong foundations for their child’s learning.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic we have offered virtual Learn and Play sessions, giving parents and caregivers with their children a chance to participate safely and fully via Zoom in a nurturing community without leaving their homes. Our virtual program, based on the same principles as the Learn and Play Center, provides interactive sessions open to families with babies and toddlers, up to age three. Learn and Play sessions of four to five families are each facilitated by two early childhood coaches who engage families with music, books and activities, and provide support to the parents/caregivers, especially important during this time of heightened isolation and anxiety.
When we are able to meet again in person, The Children’s Storefront aims to launch a network of Learn and Play centers that also offer a host of services to bolster parent/caregiver learning, including child development workshops, multi-faceted supportive services, and one-on-one learning opportunities drawing on the expertise of New York City colleges, health care centers and child serving institutions.
Check out these videos of our virtual Learn & Serve program: