Welcome to the new Hunterdon County YMCA Early Childhood Education Corner!
My name is Michael Reisman, and I am proud to commit my early childhood leadership service to the Hunterdon County Y. I will be using this “blog” format to share useful information about our programs, curriculum, child development and helpful tips for parenting. As an early childhood professional and parent of a six-year-old boy, I have experienced where the knowledge overlaps, and where it does not. I have found that embracing multiple perspectives on both roles makes for a rich understanding of the science and values.
Originally from New Jersey, I studied Philosophy and Journalism at Rutgers University. After graduating, I moved to the Pacific Northwest where I discovered early childhood education while working for Head Start as a substitute teacher’s assistant. In 2005 I took my first full time teaching position at Small Faces Child Development Center in Seattle where I taught Pre-Kindergarten for five years.
During that time I returned to school to learn the skills and practices of the early childhood teacher. I attended North Seattle Community College under the mentorship of Tom Drummond (ret.), and went on to the University of Washington (Seattle) where in 2011 I earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Educational Psychology and Early Childhood/Family Studies. I directed a small private early learning center in Seattle for two years before I moved back to New Jersey in 2012 with my wife, Laura, and our son Holden. Since returning to New Jersey I have served as Director of the Early Childhood Services Department for the JCC in West Orange, as well as Director of Operations for a private childcare organization with six schools throughout Northern New Jersey and New York State.
I’ve always wanted to work in a Y-based early childhood education program. When the position in Hunterdon County opened up I jumped at the chance. Values-based early childhood programs make for better quality experiences for young children and their families.
A career focus of my own has always been “Making Learning Visible.” From the walls of our classrooms to social media, strong early childhood programs communicate the curriculum-in-action and accomplishments via photographic documentation of children at work. Since the work of children is “play,” it is very important for early childhood professionals to demonstrate how learning takes place during this work. When our community can see this work plainly, and share it throughout, we begin to speak a common language about early learning and child development, better preparing everyone for what the future holds for our children. This blog will serve as only one place where we shall be making learning visible.
I am here a month now, continuing to learn about our co-workers, children and families. Developing new collegial partnerships with Karin Smith, Director of the Child Learning Center, and Sharon Klamik, Director of the Milford Preschool has instilled in me confidence in our school leadership. Staff at both sites are focused on child health, safety and learning.
The YMCA has a strong history of providing quality child care and preschool for over 40 years in Hunterdon County. The YMCA Child Learning Center offers full day child care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers at the Round Valley Branch located at 1410 Route 22 West in Annandale. The Center provides a framework for individual and group learning experiences encouraging children to grow and develop at their own pace. The Milford YMCA Preschool offers half-day preschool at the Milford Presbyterian Church, offering well-planned, learning rich experiences for your young child in a supportive and nurturing environment.