School enrollment and class sizes ebb and flow from decade to decade, but Prime Time preschool in Kings Park has been able to weather 35 years of changing times.
The school, housed in the , has been under the direction of Maria Guercio, of Kings Park, who teaches at the school as well.
“It’s so nice to work in the town I live in,” said Guercio. “Such a comfortable place to work in. It is like working with your friends.”
The school has six classrooms and will have about 85-90 children for the upcoming school year. Programs are available for two, three and four-year-old children, with morning and afternoon classes.
Parents wishing to enroll their children do not need to belong to the Jewish Center. “Anyone can enroll here,” said Guercio, who has five children of her own ranging in age from 13 to 18.
The school has also added some programs under Guerico’s direction like after school programs for students like Tumbling Tots and Happy Feet, which is a soccer program. Guercio said it gives the parents who would like a longer school day for their child some options.
“Parents can opt to enroll their child an additional 45 minutes either before or after class,” she said, adding that about the only challenge the school has seen is offering a longer day.
“Some parents are looking for a full day, which we aren’t offering yet, but may be next year,” said Guerico.
Inez Kritikos, whose son attended the school, is now a teacher there and has been for four years.
“We are here to teach them,” said Kritikos. “They are learning and having a blast.”
Guerico’s advice to parents who have children getting ready to enter preschool is simple, “just read with them,” she said. As for kids who have a tough time leaving mom or dad or are nervous about their first school day, Guerico said visit the school with your child.
“We had a child who was having a tough time in our three day a week program. I told mom to bring him down every morning, just to come in and say hello and get used to the school,” she said.
For parents who may think it is too late to enroll, there is still time. Classes start on Sept. 10. Parents can visit the school during their open house on Monday evening from 7 until 8:30 p.m. and also on Aug. 27 from 7 until 8:30 p.m and again on Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. until noon.
"Just come on down," said Guerico. “We want to make the parents feel comfortable. We are all moms here."