Childcare in Montclair is getting a makeover courtesy of Zina Phillips, one of the creators and investors of Le Parc Place. What is Le Park Place, you ask, with its sprawling 11,000-square-foot building on Lorraine Avenue between Williams Sonoma and the train station?
For parents, it’s a one-stop shop for preschool, play, spot sitting, party planning and even concierge services. Here’s the breakdown:
Le Preschool will occupy the top floor of the building which is being gut renovated. Now accepting applications for fall, Le Parc Preschool offers the Mixed Integration Knowledge Orientation (MIKO) learning method for babies through age 5. Kids will start off in their homeroom, then move to math, science, art, music, Spanish, Mandarin and other classes throughout their day before they end up back in homeroom. The playground, also under renovation, covers almost 1 acre. All teachers will have degrees in early childhood education, Phillips said, and the teacher to student ratio will be
12 to 1 1 to 12.
Parc ‘n Play is another component of the business that occupies the bottom floor of the building. It’s a fully equipped play space with toys for toddlers through age 12. Parents can relax with free coffee, WiFi and a couch while kids play with toys and staff members who often do crafts.
Le Nani is a spot-sitting service. “Hiring an on-call caregiver is becoming really popular very quickly,” Phillips says. You can drop your kids off at the Parc ‘n Play while professional babysitters watch them. The service is available from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. One of the sitters, Isis Burr, 20, told me, “I used to be a nanny, and I love working with kids.” Another staff member, Lisa Ellis, 24, has a BA in family and child studies from Montclair State University. She expects to be one of the preschool teachers in the fall.
Other offerings at this new business are Le Parc Tween, which is a crafts-and-movie night event for middle schoolers on Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. Party Time is full-service party planning for birthdays and other celebrations both onsite and off. Scheduled Activities are upcoming 6-week classes like Drama and Hebrew for $195. Simple Life, launching in May or June, is the concierge service that helps you with anything you need from grocery shopping to dry cleaning. “We want to alleviate the tasks of parents so you have more family time,” Phillips said.
“Everything about Le Parc is about trying to make life easier for the parent,” she added. “We’re a loving and safe family environment. It’s like dropping your kids off at a place that feels like home.”
Phillips has a background in event planning and marketing, but her parents ran a private preschool in Rockland County for 20 years. She’s lived in Montclair on and off for most of her life. She got into this business because she loves kids. “Socially and academically, I believe preschool is a child’s foundation for learning throughout their lives.”
Okay, so all of this sounds great, but how much does it cost? Phillips gave me a rundown of the prices, which may change slightly.
Le Preschool: $900 to $1100 per month. Hot organic meals will be offered at an additional cost. Hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Shorter day plans are also available.
Parc ‘n Play: The play space is free to families who are registered in the preschool. Non-members can come and stay for as long as they like for $10 for one adult and two children. During March, prices are only $6. Adding an extra child costs $5 more. Non-members can also buy unlimited monthly access to Parc ‘n Play for $125 per month.
Le Nanie: You have to pay for entrance into Parc ‘n Play plus an addition $15 per hour for up to two kids. A third child costs $5 more.
Phillips said to call for more prices, and to definitely stop by and check Le Parc out.
Le Parc Place
237 Lorraine Ave.
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043