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Preschool / Day Care / After School programs in Manhattan

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A.C.T Programs at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine:
Adults and Children in Trust (A.C.T.), located on the 11-acre oasis of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine campus on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is an education center that provides year-round educational and recreational programs for infants, children and teens from 6 months to 17 years old. At A.C.T., we work with children from the very beginning. Once children are in school, we provide families with afterschool care, holiday camps, summer camps and even party services for those special milestones in a child’s life.

Email: Contact us here     ( or request a callback ).

Photo of Preschool / Day Care / After School programs in ManhattanPrograms for Children (0 - 17 years):
•  PlayStation Gym (6 months – 5 years old)
• One-to-One Classes (Adult and Child Classes)
• 2-Day Nursery School (2.0 years – 4 years) - Extended Day available
• 3-Day Nursery School (2.5 years – 4 years) - Extended Day available
• Afternoon Drop-Off Specialty Classes (2.0 years – 4.0 years)
• Full-Day Preschool (2.9 years – 4.9 years)
• Afterschool Care (4.5 years, if in ACT Preschool or K – 4th Grade)
• School Holiday/Vacation Camp (K – 7th Grade)
• Summer Camp (3.10 years to Kindergarten – 9th Grade)
• CIT (Counselor in Training – starting at age 15)
• Divine Party Services

Ages 1-5 years:
Indoor Playstation, One-to-One Classes, Nursery, Preschool, Mini-ACT Summer Camp.

Ages 5-12 years:
AImage of Preschool / Day Care / After School programs in Manhattanfterschool Programs, School Holiday/Vacation Camp, July Theme Camp (session 1), August Specialty Camp (sessions 2 & 3), August Adventure Camp (session 4).

All Ages:
Divine Party Services
One-to-One (Adult and Child) Toddler Classes
NEW! MINNOWS 9-19 mos
GUPPY 18-24 mos
BUTTERFLY 28-36 mos

The ACT Early Years Program offers a first-time group experience for toddlers and their parents or caregivers. Each 90-minute class lets toddlers and adults explore our group setting. Classes are kept small -- eight pairs per instructor -- so instructors can work with each individual pair. Placing children with age-mates (within a six-month range) encourages them to play together. Neighborhood parents meet one another and caregivers get tPhotos of A.C.T Programs at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divineo know each other as well, while learning new ways to help toddlers learn. They also experience working with a group of youngsters.

Classes begin in our spacious matted gymnasium in the Cathedral's undercroft, where children run, climb, slide, tumble and jump. Before moving to the newly refurbished kitchen for snack, which they often help prepare, youngsters sing and play simple games together. Then it's off to an art project or the many stimulating toys in our toddler-friendly room. A story and a closing song end each session.

Admissions Procedure: We are accepting applications year-round by semesters, which begin in September and January.

First Steps: Afternoon Drop-Off Classes for Toddlers

Picture of Preschool / Day Care / After School programs in ManhattanFirst Steps for 2-year-olds is a step beyond the One-to-One (Adult and Child) class. 
Parents can drop off their child for a specialized experience led by seasoned teachers. Our late afternoon classes focus on cognitive development in the area of science, math, and music. Students will learn to separate from parents and begin working with peers in small groups through hands-on teacher led activities. Come for 2, 3 or all 5 days.

Toddlers choose from the following specialties: Spanish Language Art Class, Music & Movement, Animal & Earth Science, Games 101 and Games 102.

A.C.T.'s 2-day and 3-day Nursery Program is for parents who want to give their children, ages 2.0 to 4 years old, a gentle introduction to the world of school combined with the intimacy and warmth of home. Our nurturing teachers encourage youngsters to develop a lifelong love of learning and school through "hands-on" activities and projects. The close group experience fosters social growth and friendships while preparing children for school. Activities include art, music, blocks, drama, stories, cooking, gardening and imaginative play. Attention is given to pre-reading and pre-math development. Support for each child's budding independence is believed to be crucial to nurturing confident children who are possessed of a strong, secure sense of self.

Nursery Extended Day Option
Children enrolled in the 2-day and 3-day sections get their first taste of a full day before entering regular school. Students extending their morning section continue in the afternoon with a communal lunch, quiet rest and recess before participating in specialty class listed in the “Specialty” descriptions sections from 12-3pm.

Admissions Procedure: We begin accepting applications for registration in the second week of January until classes are filled.  Scheduled visits are available.

For children 2.9 to 5 years old who are ready for more, A.C.T.'s mixed-age Preschool offers a full day program where children have ample opportunity to deepen their growing intellectual sophistication and interests. Art, music, blocks, drama, stories, cooking, gardening and imaginative play are still featured.

Field trips and parents' visits introduce the excitement of exploring the larger community and the adult world of work. They also provide interested parents an opportunity to contribute to the classroom. Particular attention is given to the skills and knowledge kindergarten now demands, as well as the social maturity and sense of group that success requires. Children have a natural curiosity and are eager to explore new things.

A.C.T is a perfect setting for children to begin this journey of discovery that will last a lifetime. We pride ourselves on the fact that many children return to our day camp and after-school programs. Many others become interns, counselors-in-training (CIT’s), or employees.

Admissions Procedure: We begin accepting applications for registration in the second week of January until classes are filled.  Scheduled visits are available.

Indoor PlayStation
Ages 6 months – 5 years old
$6 per child, 6 months & under free
Open in Winter

Don’t let the winter make you blue when the weather outside is frightful.  Our gymnasium is complete with child-size equipment that includes slides, balls and places to crawl, all on a safe mat area.  From 12 noon to 3 pm, Monday to Thursday, ACT provides an indoor play space during winter months, which means nonstop play time for your child.  Come inside and enjoy our warm, cozy and spacious gym!  We provide our kitchenette for light snacking when not in use by our classes.  Please feel free to bring your family and friends and have a play date! 

Note: Parents or caregivers must accompany and stay with their children at Playstation.  Admission is $6.00 per child – cash only (we prefer & appreciate exact change).  Picture ID is required to be admitted.  The center closes during school breaks and holidays.  Please call or check our website calendar for closures.

Afterschool Program
Children in 1st Grade through 5th Grade, can continue their day with new and older friends enrolled in ACT’s Afterschool program.  This is a haven where children can wind down after a busy school day and engage in fun and challenging activities with friends, including homework help, recreational sports, arts and baking-cooking chemistry, along with outdoor fun. ACT is an exciting place crammed with themes, activities and events, a place where both fun and learning happen along the way!

School Holiday/Get-A-Way Vacation Camp
For the working family, ACT offers an exciting alternative to having a child stay home with little to do during the school recess. For school-age children from Kindergarten to 7th Grade, we offer new friends and a place to Get-A-Way from school and home. Join us for a fascinating and fun time at Get-A-Way Vacation camp. Enroll for one or all days. New extended hours: as early as 7:55am to as late as 6:00 pm.

Divine Parties
Party planning with themes, set-up, clean-up, Party Host and Party Specialist or Assistant

Commemorate milestones and celebrate special days with ACT at the iconic Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.  Book a Divine Party for your child, and you can take advantage of spacious facilities and attentive staff.  Our team will arrange fun activities, set up the decorations and clean up afterwards, leaving you the chance to enjoy every moment. 

Divine Party features:
• Spacious facility
• Event planning
• Set-up and clean-up
• Use of equipment
• Attentive helpers
• 2-hour parties with an option for additional hours
• Admission for twelve children guests or more
• Curbside drop-off (No parking)
• Directions for guests
• Gym and kitchenette area, use of tables and chairs

Choose from:
• Mat Party
• Art Party
• Sports Party
• Wii Dance

Available at an additional fee:
• Blow-up Rides (e.g., Bouncy Castle or carnival games)
• Pizza and beverages

Available party hours:
Saturdays: 10 am - 6 pm
(11 am – 1 pm; 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm or 4 pm – 6 pm)
Also available on some holidays.

Contact us to discuss your scheduling needs.
Rates:  Since each party is specially designed for you rates vary.

Summer Camps:
MiniACT (Camp for Preschoolers)
July Camps
August Camps

Extended Day Available

Mini-ACT (Camp for Preschoolers)
3.10 to 5.6 years old as of June 1 of camp year
Available in two sessions: July (5 weeks) and August (2 weeks). Choose one or both!

Mini-ACTors join one of three age groups, with qualified teachers and assistants eager to share their exciting plans around weekly themes. Campers have the opportunity to explore and embark on adventures on the Cathedral campus and get up close and personal with nature. Activities are centered on the great outdoors, including lunch time, water fun, dance and music performances, and exciting games and challenges.  Join us for five weeks in July, two weeks in August or all seven weeks!

Under the direction of the Division Coordinator, MiniACTors are separated into three unique age groups, creating three teams of eighteen campers. Campers are carefully supervised at all times as safety is our first priority. The Division Coordinator and teachers ensure that children receive the attention they richly deserve.

MiniACTivities Include:
• Story-telling
• Sports
• Arts
• Music
• Dance
• Gardening
• Water Games
• Special Events

July Camp
5.9 to 13.9 years old as of September 1 of camp year

In July the daily ACTivity schedule includes theme-based activities, clubs, lake trips, water games, carnivals, special guests, camping trips, gardening, nature crafts and more.  Assemblies and camp-wide events bring all A.C.T. camp divisions together.

July Camp Divisions (all 5 weeks):
• Preps: 5.9 to 7.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year
• Voyagers: 7.9 to 10.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year
• Pioneers: 10.9 to 13.9 years old as of September 1 of camp year

Preps Division
5.9 to 7.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year
Campers are prepared (hence the word PREPS) to participate in a variety of fun activities. Each day begins and ends with a group meeting. Unique group hand-shakes, group made chants and division chants are often heard around the lawn meeting area where the day begins and ends. Campers are greeted by friendly counselors trained to make everyone feel like valuable members of their special group.

Team-building ACTivities and group discussions ignite each day with fun, challenges and games. After a few days at A.C.T., campers and parents learn why A.C.T. feels magical from the moment they enter our gates and hear the theme music coming from our lawn meeting area.

Two trained and caring adult counselors along with a counselor-in-training (CIT) guide each group of up to eighteen campers through weeks of age-appropriate ACTivities, taking full advantage of our beautiful campus and unique classrooms. Counselors escort campers throughout the day and assist specialists who are eager to share their talents and spark interests. A carefully designed weekly schedule as shown in the group schedule insert includes periods taught by specialists.

The division boards buses for out-of-town destinations such as lakes, water and amusements parks typically on Wednesdays (day of week subject to change).

Preps Activities Include:
• Performing Arts, Dance and Drama
• Water Games
• Arena Games: mini golf, table tennis, badminton and more
• Arts & Crafts
• Camper Choice from weekly offerings
• Natural Science and gardening
• Sports and Group Games
• Themed Projects and Events

Voyagers Division
7.9 to 10.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year

The more veteran campers in the Voyager division are ready for independence. They are challenged to think and do. ACTivities combine an attractive balance of pre-selection and choice. The group of up to eighteen campers and two counselors follows a weekly schedule, which ensures that everyone samples favorite activities, explore new ones, and contribute to group events.

Voyagers are introduced to autonomy by deciding on options: twice a week they can join a one-week club.  They also can join another five-week club known as X-Pand-A-Club. Campers from other groups get to meet new friends during club times. They can work on a variety of craft projects using fabrics and ceramics, join a chess team, learn to juggle, be part of a theater ensemble, join a sports team, play 9 Square, play GaGa ball or harvest our garden. Special event days have included roller-skating sessions, laser tag, water rides and a visit by a video game truck.

The division boards buses for out-of-town destinations such as lakes, water and amusements parks typically on Thursdays (day of week subject to change).

The oldest Voyagers (over 9.9 years old as of September 1) may choose to go on the Pioneers camping trip held once from Wednesday to Friday for an additional fee.

Voyagers Activities Include:
• Arena Games: mini golf, table tennis, badminton and more
• GaGa Ball
• Arts & Crafts
• Clubs and Clinics
• Sports and Group Games
• Themed Projects
• Unit Event: Division gets together to participate in group challenges, play minute games or play in a tournament
• Water Games

Pioneers Division
10.9 to 13.9 years old as of September 1 of camp year

Pioneers must work cooperatively, share in the decision making process, embrace new experiences, work with co-ed and mixed-grade campers and accept responsibility for their day. Pioneers are offered options to participate in camp-wide events or to develop their own ACTivities. They are free to use the many facilities and resources New York City offers as well as those available on the camp grounds.

Three age groups of Pioneers work with counselors to create a schedule of activities and events for the five-week session and follow preset activities. Campers practice the art of compromise and take turns in leading initiatives. Many Pioneers move onto becoming part of the camp staff, first as CIT’s or Counselors in Training, once they age out.

Counselors guide discussions, the group’s decision-making process and mediate as needed. Campers have great latitude to develop activities that appeal to them. They plan their own schedule of trips and activities in addition to swimming, art and sport periods included on the camp schedule. The camp director works with staff to ensure that weekly plans are appropriate and camp resources are made available.

The Pioneers camping trip is held once in July, Wednesday through Friday. The three-day trip enables campers and staff to have an opportunity to bond and develop camping skills.

Pioneers Activities Include:
• Huddle Time
• Swim at Columbia
• Camp-sponsored Trips
• Pioneer-scheduled Trips
• Art Projects
• Sports & Games
• Group Projects

August Camps
Customized Camp Sessions According To Your Child's Age and Interests

• Specialist Track & Courses: 7.9 to 13.9 years old as of September 1 of camp year (two 1-week sessions)
• Art and Sport groups: 5.9 to 7.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year (two 1-week sessions)
• August Adventure: 4.9 to 11.9 years old as of September 1 of camp year (one 1-week session)

August Specialty Camp
7.9 to 13.9 years old as of September 1 of camp year (two 1-week sessions)

Campers select three courses for each week from six categories:

• Sports Clinics
• Do It Yourself Art
• Studio Art
• Games
• Show Biz
• Crafts

With 70-90 minute long periods, this is a great opportunity for children to immerse themselves in the specialty or specialties of their choice.  Course sign-up occurs at registration; however, campers can switch to another course after the first day, once course details are presented.  A 45-minute community lunch period allows everyone to relax and socialize, as well as visit a favorite spot for desserts – the canteen.  After lunch, everyone has the option to hangout on the lawn for quieter activities, join group games or visit the Games Arena for an assortment of individual and team activities.

Arts Camp
5.9 to 7.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year (two 1-week sessions)

Anchored to two counselors and a CIT (counselor in training) throughout the day, campers join new friends for a weekly schedule of creative adventures. Stops include visits to the nature crafts center and art room to meet artists who introduce the use of various mediums and found objects to create art.

Along the way, they'll have lunch and recess on our beautiful campus that includes our own playgrounds and water area to cool off. To round out their experience, campers take an out-of-town lake trip, have gym periods, play lawn games and try an ACTing class.

Sports Camp
5.9 to 7.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year (two 1-week sessions)

Fitness and exercise is the common thread of activities. From morning stretches, jogs, general exercise to afternoon drills, sports and games, campers are trained to develop healthy habits. To round out their experience, campers take an out-of-town lake trip, swim, play lawn games and bake goodies.

August Adventure Camp
4.9 to 11.9 years old as of September 1 of camp year
• Homesteaders: 4.9 to 5.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year
• Settlers:  5.9 to 6.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year
• Scouts: 6.9 to 7.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year
• Rovers: 7.9 to 8.8 years old as of September 1 of camp year
• Mountaineers & Rangers: 8.9 to 11.9 years old as of September 1 of camp year

Campers embark on exciting adventures throughout various New York City locations and Cathedral campus. It’s a big city made for big campers to explore! Outside Cathedral grounds, older campers often travel to embark on a borough scavenger hunt or challenge on public transportation and school busses to take advantage of many city sites and New York City landmarks. The youngest campers focus on activities on and around the Cathedral grounds – playing in our fields, playgrounds and gardens; participating in games, special hunts and art activities. Also, while at ACT, campers choose and participate in Adventure Clubs.

Extended Day Available
Families have the option to drop off campers as early as 7:55 am or pick them up as late as 6 pm, for an additional fee.  This service is not available after 4 pm on the last day of July and August Sessions.  Note that MiniACT session ends at noon on the last day of the August Session.

Email: Contact Us

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Address: 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, NY, NY 10025, Manhattan, New York , USA
Some interested visitors submitting program inquiries to our school up to 2019-09-23 were from:

NYC;   Gunpo/Geunggi-do, South Korea;   New York;   Ukraine;   and more.
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