Since 2006 Pooh and Friends has been loving and caring for children and helping them make the most of their potential. Parents need to trust the people caring for their child, and have to know their child is safe, happy and well-loved. Barbara Lazaar founded her child care center in Elmsford to meet just those needs. She’s always been a strong believer in early education, enrichment and school readiness.
After a twenty-five year career educating young children, Barbara couldn’t stop working to make children’s lives better and brighter. She decided to create a child care center where children would feel well-loved and learning would always be fun.
“I know every child can learn,” she says, “and learning starts from birth, before birth really. When children maintain their zest for learning, they grow to be much fuller people.” Her instincts and strong wish for children are backed up by her years of experience. And her training. She’s a reading specialist and makes sure every child knows their way around a computer. Everyone at Pooh and Friends keeps up with the current literature and child care philosophy, and pursues continuing education credits that far surpass state requirements.
For the babies, the focus is on language, on caring and humor and fun. For the older kids, there’s just as much caring, humor and fun, which are augmented with school readiness skills, art and music appreciation, and field trips. “They need so many different kinds of learning experiences,” says Barbara, “and visiting the Natural History Museum or the Hall of Science in Queens or a farm, it’s just so good for them.”
The most important lesson she’s learned in more than 30 years: learning can only happen when children feel safe, loved, valued and respected. Learning requires a sense of self-worth and the belief that learning is fun, not laborious or dreary. She knows in her bones how to create that world for children, and she’s instilled that knowledge in everyone who works for her.