Educator Background

Ellen, Ed. D. is the Director and Owner of the program. She holds an educational doctorate from Teachers College Columbia University and a Masters degree from New York University. She has been an Associate Professor of Education since 2006 at Touro College’s Graduate School of Education, teaching classes in early childhood education and early childhood special education. In addition, she has worked with children from birth through young adult in various formal and informal education settings for more than 10 years. She was an administrator for a large NAEYC accredited early childhood center in Manhattan for several years. She also was a substitute teacher in the local Park Slope public elementary schools (pre-k to 2nd grade) for 3 years before founding Giocare Playschool. Ellen is a professionally certified teacher in early childhood general and special education, music and theater. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and is on the board of the local chapter. She has presented at several national and state conferences on topics in early childhood and has been published several times in peer-reviewed journals.


Jessica
has worked at Giocare for more than 4 years. She is our Assistant Director for the school year supporting all groups and teachers when needed. Prior to this, she was a teacher for 3 and 4 year old children at Giocare. She previously worked in public and private settings for children early childhood through 1st grade. She holds her Masters in Early Childhood from Hunter College and her professional certificate in Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education. She has been a teacher for more than 10 years.


Melanie
 has been a teacher with us for 5 years teaching 2 and 3 year old children. She holds a Child Development Associate credential from CUNY and is working towards her Associates degree from BMCC in Early Childhood Education. Melanie is bilingual speaking fluent Spanish and is working with the Bambini group.


Ayisha
is entering her second year with Giocare. She holds a Masters degree in education and a professional teaching certificate in both childhood and early childhood in NYS. Ayisha is also pursuing her Special Education certificate. She will be working with the Bambini group.


Dinelle
has worked at Giocare for 7 years – and was the first employee ever for Giocare. She has worked with all preschool ages. She has her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood General and Special Education. She has her professional teaching certificate in Early Childhood. Dinelle teaches the Piccolo group this year and also serves as the Program Coordinator. She is also the summer camp Co-Director and supervises all off-site field trips. She is mother to one daughter, Jadelle. 


Melissa is starting her second year teaching at Giocare. She holds an Associates degree in early childhood from BMCC and is working on finishing her Bachelors at Brooklyn College in early childhood. She is fluent in Spanish and is teaching the Piccolo group.

 


Deseree has been with Giocare for 5 years teaching both 2 and 3 year old children. She holds a Bachelors degree from Brooklyn College in Children and Family Studies and a Masters in Early Childhood General and Special Education from Touro College and is a certified teacher. Deseree is mother to one daughter, Kimora. She is working with the Medio group.


Lauren is in her 3rd year at Giocare. Prior to joining us, she was a lead preschool teacher for 5 years in San Francisco. She holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing and went back to school to complete her Associates degree in Child Development and Family Studies. Lauren works with our Medio group.

 


Vari has more than 20 years of teaching experience in public and private settings and has been one of Giocare’s Prek teachers for 3 years. She has her Bachelors and Masters from Hunter College and holds her Permanent Certificate in N-6. Vari is working with Grande (Prek) group this summer.

 


Stephanie is in her second year with Giocare. Previously, she worked as an afterschool teacher and also taught at the Play Spot in the Preschool Alternative program. This year she is the Assistant teacher for he Grande (Prek) group. Previous to coming to Giocare, Stephanie worked as an assistant and lead teacher in two different preschools. She is finishing up the last year in a Bachelor’s program at York College.


Alisha is in her third year with Giocare as a Floater and an afterschool teacher. She has her Associates degree in early childhood education from BMCC. Alisha is working mostly with the Piccolo group this year as well as in our afterschool program.

 


Leomaris is in her second year with us at Giocare as an afterschool teacher and floater teacher. She is just almost finished with her Associates in Early Childhood at BMCC. Leomaris is fluent in Spanish and will be working primarily with the Bambini group this summer.

 


Ada is in her fourth year with us and has worked with our youngest group of 2 year old children. She holds a Child Development Associate credential from CUNY and previously worked as a provider in a local group family daycare for a number of years before joining us. Ada is working in our afterschool program and also teaching at the Play Spot in the Preschool Alternative program.


Alexander (Ali) is one of our afterschool teachers who also works as a substitute teacher with us. He takes on a lot of responsibility for the afterschool program and adds a lot of richness especially in the area of art. He holds a Bachelors degree in Visual Arts and was previously a lead preschool teacher for a year before joining us.

 


Kate has been with Giocare for 4 years as our fabulous art teacher. She works with with all of the preschool classes and also manages the Play Spot. Kate has a background in costume design with a MFA from Yale University. She is a former parent of 2 boys and lives nearby in the neighborhood.