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Enrollment Open
2023-24 School Year

Please fill out an inquiry form to learn about Open Houses and receive an application.

Why Choose Roosevelt
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  Why Choose Roosevelt Island Day Nursery?

  • The ethnically, linguistically, culturally diverse community of children and their families and teachers.

  • A progressive play-based curriculum, child-initiated exploration and discovery through the visual arts, music, nature, and science.

  • Thoughtfully organized classrooms. Enticing developmentally appropriate materials and inviting outdoor play areas.

  • Our island’s beautiful natural environment.

  • The intentional nurturing of warm and thoughtful relationships with children and families.



At Roosevelt Island Day Nursery, we believe children are born competent and curious, and that school is a place where children grow emotionally, socially and intellectually in a warm and supportive environment.

In planning our programs, teachers are guided by their knowledge of child development, which provides a strong foundation for an engaging and nurturing context in which children’s learning can be supported. At the core of our beliefs is the importance of play in supporting children’s healthy, overall development. It is through play that children learn to make sense and gain mastery of the world around them. Play provides opportunities for discovery and exploration and concrete hands-on experiences with engaging materials such as blocks, drawing materials, paint, collage, clay and sensory materials such as sand, water, and cooking projects, which are at the core of our curriculum.

The classroom is a place where children can explore and interact both with the environment of materials, and in relation to others through active play and investigation. Classrooms are designed to allow children to make their own choices and explore activities at their own pace. A deep respect for children’s ideas and questions are at the heart of a child’s school experience.

Children grow in competence and in the ability to apply their learning to new situations and learn to be creative and inventive problem solvers. Much of the current research on early learning shows that young children learn best through play-based educational experiences. Children are exposed to the foundations of pre-literacy, mathematical concepts, science and social studies through a developmentally-appropriate program that nurtures children’s ideas and innate creativity through direct experiences, with physical materials including sand, water, paint and clay!

Our Beginnings

Our Beginnings

The Roosevelt Island Day Nursery was established as a parent co-op by a group of Island parents in 1975 and incorporated as a not-for-profit educational institution in 1979. It currently provides infant/toddler and early childhood programs at two locations on Roosevelt Island.

The school was planned as a part of the new urban community on Roosevelt Island. Our families now reflect the rich ethnic, cultural, and racial diversity of the Roosevelt Island community.

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What Parents Think

Our teachers are warm, loving, and nurturing.  Each classroom has 1 lead teacher who has higher degrees in early childhood education, and 1 or 2 assistant teachers.  

A uniquely special aspect of the school is that our teachers have high retention rates.  Our oldest serving teacher has been with us for over 25 years and among the assistant teachers our newest teacher has been with us for over 4 years. RIDN is a school that values teachers and their dedication to the growing children.

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