Every Tuesday morning for the past year, I have thrown my guitar on my back and ridden my bike to Dandelion Early Education Center to teach a music-for-tots class. Designed for children aged 3 and under, this center a great destination for parents or caregivers whose children are not yet old enough for kindergarten. Even though my one-year commitment to this class is coming to a close, I really want people to know about this little center. It’s had a deep impression on me.
Located at Upper East Side, tucked neatly into a main floor unit at the base of building number 26, this little education center is doing so much right that it’s a wonder it’s not teeming with parents on waiting lists. That’s not to say lots of families don’t use its services–their longevity is proof otherwise–but gems like these are often coveted. It’s not just for residents of Upper East Side!
The space is set up with a front play room that is also an extensive library full of both English and Chinese books available for loan; then there is a small classroom where they hold art classes; and finally a large main room at the back with gentle rubberized floor mats, great lighting, and an upright piano. This large room is perfect for music classes, kungfu classes, and dance classes—to name but a few of the activities they offer.
Dandelion is a carefully designed center with a low-level hand washing station and a mini toilet for the kids. They’ve thought about air filtration, hygiene and safety. What’s more, they’ve been nothing but welcoming to kids of non-Chinese or mixed heritage with services available in both Chinese and English. They even offer a parenting class to push for more progressive childrearing approaches often resisted by traditional Chinese grandparents.
Na jiu tai hao le ba. 那就太好了吧!