Calvin Hill Day Care Center, Incorporated and its Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten is a private, non-profit educational preschool and kindergarten program whose aim is to serve as a support for families, working in partnership with parents to help meet the emotional, social, physical, language, literacy and intellectual needs of their children. The Center values the diversity of culture, language, goals, and values of its families and is made richer by the inclusion of our families’ many backgrounds and strengths. The Center strives to establish and maintain strong relationships between teachers and families as well as to provide opportunities for growth and development in a stimulating, nurturing learning community for adults and children.
· Calvin Hill continues to close the achievement gap in education by providing high quality, developmentally informed, and affordable preschool and kindergarten education and care for a diverse (ethnically, racially, and economically) population of families with children ages 3-6 in the New Haven and Yale communities. We do this by preserving the vision of the idealistic 1971 founders – maintaining a sliding tuition scale so that all families have access to this care regardless of income. During the 2016-2017 school year, Calvin Hill will provide subsidized tuition for 67% of enrolled children.
· Our fellowship program in child development and early childhood education has provided training for 38 fellows since 1997, and the impact on our fellows and our community has been tremendous. In 2014, we conducted an in-depth survey of all our past fellows with a 100% response rate. The results show that most of the fellows entered our program with very little formal training in early childhood development and education and left us feeling that we had done an “excellent” job meeting their training needs. The fellows have worked to improve the lives of children and families for their entire careers as teachers, college professors, doctors, clinicians, and therapists. Through their work, they reach tremendous numbers of people, which is truly a goal of the fellowship program. Our 2015-2016 fellow is has successfully completed her year with us and will have a fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center next year while she applies to medical school. We are looking forward to working with two new fellows for the 2016-2017 school year.
· We have recently restructured our development efforts to support our early childhood education and fellowship programs, as well as a capital campaign to redesign our outdoor play areas. Our Board of Directors has established a robust and creative Development Committee dedicated to mindful and sustainable fundraising efforts through federal and private foundation grants as well as the ongoing generosity of our Calvin Hill community and friends.
· To secure funds to provide high quality, developmentally informed, and affordable preschool and kindergarten by maintaining our sliding tuition scale so that all families have access to this care regardless of income.
· To secure new and consistent funding of $25,000 a year to sustain our fellowship program in early childhood education and child development.
· To guarantee a living wage and professional compensation for our highly experienced teaching staff.
· To fully integrate our new technology system into our program operations and our ongoing fundraising efforts.
· To complete the redesign of our outdoor play areas to support children’s physical development and extend our integrated curriculum outside.
I became Board President at Calvin Hill many years ago when my children were students there. My husband and I chose the program for many reasons. When we visited we noticed that the children were busy, happy and engaged in active learning. We were impressed with the Director’s knowledge and expertise and with the faculty who were committed to supporting the children’s development and learning. The curriculum was vibrant, engaging and certainly developmentally appropriate. We also noticed that parents were considered very important members of the Calvin Hill Community. I am an expert in Early Childhood Development and Mental Health, and I found when my children were at Calvin Hill that I could just be a parent and felt comfortable asking for advice and being vulnerable. We also were impressed that the program was committed to having a sliding fee scale and a diverse student group. Most important was that our children grew and thrived at Calvin Hill and to this day have very fond and vivid memories of their time there.
When I joined the board I became even more impressed with the organization and administration of the program. Carla Horwitz, the Director, has been a master at leading the program. It is financially strong. It has a faculty that stays for years because of their commitment to the program. The curriculum is individualized, developmentally appropriate, exciting, deep and dynamic. We have renovated the building to include another classroom, two art studios and a new playground. We are part of the academic mission at Yale as the Director and I teach undergraduate classes and use Calvin Hill as a laboratory where students observe children and teachers and learn about development, interactions, relationships, and learning. We are an active board. We bring different expertise to the job. We too are a group that feels a deep love of and commitment to Calvin Hill. Many of us are parents of children who either currently attend Calvin Hill or are graduates of the school.
Over the years I would say our biggest challenges have been how to continue a sliding fee scale and how to pay our teachers good salaries. We have worked hard to raise funds so that we can be successful at this. We are a program that supports ongoing learning for the teachers as well as the Director and Assistant Director. We have responded well over the years to the increase demands around becoming accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
This past year we faced the biggest challenge in the history of the program. Carla Horwitz, our long time and exceptional Director, is retiring at the end of the year. That said, we are so pleased to have chosen Susan Taddei, our Assistant Director, to be the next director. Susan has been a part of Calvin Hill since she came as a volunteer while in college. She has been a teacher, a parent, and an Assistant Director at Calvin Hill. Carla has mentored Susan over the past several years and has gradually given her more responsibility for some of the administrative tasks. Susan has taken on these and much more and is very ready to assume the role of Director. While the transition will be difficult we are confident that Calvin Hill will continue to grow and thrive under her leadership.
Calvin Hill provides a program of high quality, developmentally informed, and affordable full-day preschool and kindergarten education each year to a diverse population of sixty children aged three to six. Our preschool consists of a classroom of three-year-olds (“the Threes”) and a classroom of four-year-olds (“the Preschool”), while our Kindergarten serves children ages five and six. The classrooms are led by a teaching staff of thirteen, along with an administrative staff of three, whose work is guided by our educational philosophy: “We believe that children learn best when they are actively engaged in their own play and work.”
Every year, Calvin Hill provides high quality, developmentally informed, and affordable preschool and kindergarten education and care for a diverse group of 60 children ages 3-6 from the New Haven and Yale communities. We do this by preserving the vision of the idealistic 1971 founders – maintaining a sliding tuition scale so that all families have access to our program regardless of income. We are able to make this enormous commitment to supporting families through our robust fundraising efforts, our participation in government grants such as the New Haven School Readiness Program and the federal nutrition program (CACFP), the donations of individual supporters, and through the generous support of private foundations.
Calvin Hill conducts thoughtful and thorough observations of each child as they develop in all domains – cognitive, creative, physical, and social/emotional. This data informs our planning and gives us an in depth knowledge of each child’s areas of strength, abilities, and challenges over time. We know exactly what they can do and what we need to do to help them continue to be successful learners, ready for the next educational step. Parents tell us that we are meeting the needs of both children and families and the children’s next schools concur.
Calvin Hill is a nurturing learning community
dedicated to the development of all its members – children, families, and
teachers. Our emergent curriculum approach provides an optimal learning
experience for preschool and kindergarten children by emphasizing their
intellectual development through their play. According to early childhood
scholar, Dr. Lillian Katz (2015), the best
preschool programs are those which, “focus on social, emotional, and
intellectual goals (reasoning, predicting, analyzing, questioning) rather than
narrow academic goals.” She concludes that this approach is, “most likely to yield desirable ‘school
readiness’ as well as longer term benefits.” At a time when the academic
and accountability pressures of elementary school are trickling down to
preschools and kindergartens (Bassok,
Latham, and Rorem, 2015), Calvin Hill remains a model of what is possible in
early childhood education. Our dedicated and highly trained teachers are known
for their longevity with the Center. Calvin Hill works to close the achievement
gap by providing children with a safe, beautiful, nurturing, and intellectually
stimulating community in which they can grow, explore, and develop a love of
We are confident in the quality of the program we provide for families particularly because we were re-accredited in November 2013 by the National Association for Young Children (NAEYC) – a recognition of high quality that we have held continuously since the beginning of the accreditation program over 25 years ago. We maintain our accreditation by filing an annual NAEYC report detailing the credentials of our current teaching staff, our ongoing efforts to meet all accreditation criteria, and the recent successes of our program.
Parents are asked to formally evaluate the program during the second semester. Again this year, we had 100% family participation in our NAEYC Family Survey and their responses show that they are overwhelmingly satisfied with our program regarding policy, procedures, quality, our approach to children’s progress and learning, family involvement, and community awareness. In addition, parents are asked to provide narrative, open-ended feedback at the end of each year. Many valuable and important improvements at Calvin Hill begin as observations and suggestions from parents and teachers. We welcome parent input at any time and take each suggestion very seriously.
Each teacher engages in a formal self-evaluation, goal setting, and performance review with the Director annually. In addition, the teachers formally evaluate our program through the NAEYC Teacher Survey. Each teaching team prepares a review of the successes and challenges of the year for our final staff meeting in June. This feedback is shared and discussed as a whole staff and reported to the Board of Directors at their next meeting.
We offer two fellowships each academic year. The fellows first join us in August, when they are each matched with a teaching mentor who is a highly experienced member of our teaching staff. Throughout the course of the school year, and under the supervision of their mentors, the fellows gradually become involved in all aspects of early childhood education at Calvin Hill: they assume all of the responsibilities of a teacher, including planning curricula, leading activities, conducting assessments, building relationships with parents and families, and forming collegial relationships with other early childhood education professionals in the community. By the end of their fellowships, the fellows are able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of child development, both typical and atypical.
2. Build family and community relationships.
3. Observe, document, and assess young children.
4. Create positive relationships and supportive interactions to connect with children.
5. Plan meaningful curriculum.
6. Identify professional goals.
Through their participation in the Clinical Child Development seminar at the Yale Child Study Center, the fellows learn about the wide range of adaptive (and maladaptive) behaviors and development. While developing an understanding of the broad and flexible definition of "normal," fellows also have the opportunity to learn about early childhood disorders and abnormal development. They become familiar with the processes of clinical referrals, diagnostic assessment, how clinicians think about the behaviors of children in groups, the differences between an educational and a therapeutic intervention, and models for working with children in an educational setting.
Calvin Hill is a learning community dedicated to the development of all its members – children, families, teachers, and trainees in particular. Our fellowship program provides a model of high-quality, nationally accredited educational preschool and kindergarten programs. Through the fellowships, we are preparing professionals with a deep and sophisticated knowledge of family systems, organizations, and theory and practice of early childhood education. They leave our fellowship program as highly qualified, well-trained early childhood professionals. The fellows are then able to bring all of this knowledge and training with them as they embark on their careers, allowing them to positively influence the wider community far beyond Calvin Hill. We know from the feedback of the fellows that the experience has a profound impact on their personal and professional lives including their roles as parents and in the civic life of their own communities.
Our fellowship program began 18 years ago in 1997. In the fall of 2014, we conducted an in-depth survey of our 38 past fellows with a 100% response rate. The results of the survey are remarkable. They show that most of our fellows came into the program with very little formal training in early childhood development and education and left our program feeling that we had done an “excellent” job meeting their training needs. The majority of them are working to improve the lives of children and families in their professional careers as teachers, college professors, doctors, clinicians, and therapists. Through their work, they reach tremendous numbers of people, estimated at a combined total over 10,000 people annually, which is truly a goal of the fellowship program.
Our current fellows meet weekly with their mentors for support, blending educational and clinical understandings of young children and families. The fellows keep a weekly journal in which they reflect on their experiences and their own development, and they regularly share their journals with their mentors for discussion and feedback. The mentors help the fellows set individual goals for the year and stay on track to achieve their goals, and the mentors conduct mid- and end-of-year evaluations of the fellows. Our fellows provide ongoing feedback about the fellowship program and share their recommendations for program improvement at the end of each year.
Once we build a community of learners, those learners then take what they have learned and go to other schools to lead parallel lives, and they help create communities on their own – this goes for teachers, children, parents, consultants; it’s something of an infectious community, one built of tears and laughter, of pictures and words, of art and science, of love and passion. I might not believe it possible if I wasn’t witness to it. ~ Ted Palenski, Fellow 2010-2013
Susan Taddei, Ed.M. Lecturer, Yale Child Study Center. Director of Calvin Hill Day Care Center and Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten.
Carla M. Horwitz, MS, Ed.D, Lecturer, Yale Child Study Center and Department of Psychology; Director Emerita of Calvin Hill Day Care Center and Kitty Lustman-Findling Kindergarten
Carla Horwitz was the Director of Yale University's Calvin Hill Day Care Center for forty years, 1975-2015. The Center, a model educational preschool and kindergarten program, provides high quality, developmentally informed, affordable child care and education for the children of Yale and community families; it is also the site of early childhood practicum placements for Yale and other area colleges. She has a joint appointment in the Psychology Department and at the Yale Child Study Center where she teaches three courses in child development and theory and practice of early childhood education. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, an M.S. from Yeshiva University in Urban Education, an advanced Diploma in Education and Child Development from the Froebel Institute, Institute of Education, University of London, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Hartford. She has taught at the undergraduate, elementary, and preschool level. She spent a year in England studying open classroom, integrated day infant schools, and is currently involved in incorporating the practice of the progressive preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Her research interests include the creation and implementation of progressive curriculum, play and its role in developmentally appropriate early care and education, supervision, mentoring and the professional development of teachers, and educational leadership.
Carla serves on the boards of several professional organizations including the New Haven Early Childhood Council, the New Haven affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, All Our Kin, Read to Grow and is on the advisory committee of the Gesell Institute of Human Development. She is also a consultant to early childhood programs and other educational settings.
MS & BA Early Childhood Education from Southern Connecticut State University. CT State Certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. 36 years relevant experience. 37th year at Calvin Hill.
Linda Barrett. BA Psychology (25 credits in Early Childhood Education) from Southern Connecticut State University. 34 years relevant experience. 24th year at Calvin Hill.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by The Community Foundation. Financial information is input by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation requires three years of financial information from the nonprofit organization; however, this requirement may not be available for some organizations due to their more recent incorporation or formation. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Educate a child and you change a community. For the child, a good education means better career opportunities and higher lifetime earnings. College graduates enjoy better health and are more inclined to volunteer and vote. For the community, supporting our youths’ educational goals results in a stronger society.
When families, schools and communities take the view that children and youth are valued and respected assets to society, they necessarily support environments that nurture youth development. Children raised to embrace positive social values, to seek self-understanding, and to value their self-worth grow to become community-minded young adults with a sense of belonging and a belief in their resiliency. See how you can help our community's children grow into tomorrow's leaders.
70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06150
(203) 777-2386 giveGreater@cfgnh.org
© 2015 The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. All Rights Reserved. Contact | Terms & Conditions | Privacy