Passaic Preschool Celebrates 130 Years

In 1893, Grover Cleveland was president. The Montreal Hockey Club won the first Stanley Cup. And Children's Day Preschool and Family Center first opened its doors.

Children's Day in Passaic
Children's Day in Passaic Photo Credit: Children's Day Preschool

The Passaic preschool recently celebrated its 130th anniversary in its historic building at 104 Jefferson St. Children's Day first opened on March 29, 1893 and moved into its current building in 1905.

Children's Day was first started by the children of immigrant millworkers from Central, Eastern and Western Europe. Today it mainly serves Latin immigrants. 

"It's really incredible," Laurel Snyder, the board chair of Children's Day, said. 

Snyder said Children's Day is built on four pillars: offering excellent education, teaching kids and parents about nutrition and wellness, providing family services and proving kids with therapeutic services like occupational, speech and art therapy.

"We are committed to providing an excellent education," Snyder said. "We support the families from within."

Snyder praised the staff at Children's Day, from the teaching staff to the maintenance workers for their dedication to the students.

"They have so much care and compassion," Snyder said. "They really go above and beyond the basic requirements of the job. That's what sets us apart from other preschools."

Demand is so high for Children's Day that Snyder said they have a waiting list of several years. To serve its Latin students, the teachers at Children's Day are bilingual, Snyder said.

Many former students have returned to Children's Day as teachers or to volunteer. James Acosta was a student at Children's Day from 2004 to 2006 and now works for them as digital media assistant.

"I really believe that this school helped build a great foundation for my early education," Acosta said. The way that they helped my family and I by providing such amazing resources was extremely helpful for my mother. The resources provided to my family helped shape me, both educationally and personally."

Acosta said Children's Day was like a second home to him and he has enjoyed coming back to his own school.

"It really felt like I never left," Acosta said.  "The family environment will always be one of the best things I remember about the school."

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