The Ben Samuels Children’s Center at Montclair State University closed after Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 107 forced child care and early education facilities to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. During the shutdown, the Ben Samuels Children’s Center provided services to families virtually, allowing teachers, physical and speech therapists, and support staff to keep contact with their students.
The staff of the Center was delighted to reopen and welcome families back today. As part of their reopening plan, strict safety procedures are now in place to keep everyone healthy. These procedures include social distancing, barriers and partition controls, and screening upon arrival.
Teachers, staff, and students are excited to return to the Center and continue their learning.
The Child Care Program at Montclair State University opened in 1989 under the Division of Student Development and Campus Life, initially as a service to students and staff of the university. In typical recent years, the Center has enrolled 160-180 children, ages 12 weeks through pre-kindergarten, in approximately 12 age-alike classrooms for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The preschool classrooms are inclusive of children with and without special learning needs. Each classroom has a certified teacher with a master’s degree and a credentialed teacher assistant. Approximately 100 university students — most of them students in the teacher education early childhood and/or special education certification programs — have served as assistants within the classrooms and in other capacities.