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 is embarking on an Advanced Certificate leading to her SBL in Bank Street this fall. 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 since 2014. She is our Assistant Director for the school year supporting all groups and teachers when needed and the summer camp co-director. Prior to this, she was a teacher for 3 and 4 year old children at Giocare and 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.

Deseree has been with Giocare since 2013 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 a daughter, Kimora and a son, Khalil. She is working with the Bambini group.

Lauren has been with Giocare since 2017. 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 Bambini group.

Christy joins us in 2019. She previously was a Head Teacher and Literacy Specialist at Cobble Hill Playschool for 3 years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Performing Arts with a Minor in Educational Studies and a Masters degree from NYU in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She is working with the Piccolo group.

Melanie has been a teacher with us since 2013 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 Piccolo group.

Dinelle has worked at Giocare since 2012 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 Medio 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 has been teaching at Giocare since 2017. 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 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 since she began in 2015. 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 year.

Stephanie has been with Giocare since 2018. Previously, she worked as an extended hours teacher and also taught at the Play Spot in the Preschool Alternative program. Currently, 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 holds Bachelors Degree from York College.

Alisha has been with Giocare since 2017 and is a Floater and an extended hours teacher. She has her Associates degree in early childhood education from BMCC and is enrolled in Brooklyn College to pursue her Bachelors degree. Alisha is working mostly with the Medio & Grande group this year.

Leomaris has been with Giocare since 2017 as an extended hours teacher and floater teacher. She holds an Associates in Early Childhood at BMCC and is continuing study for her Bachelors at Brooklyn College. Leomaris is fluent in Spanish and will be working primarily with the Piccolo group this year.

Ada has been with Giocare since 2015 and has worked with our youngest group of 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 extended hours program and also teaching at the Play Spot daily.

Wendoly began with Giocare in 2018 and worked with the oldest group. She has a background in the Montessori Method and a Bachelors degree in Social Studies from the Dominican Republic and holds a CDA certificate in infants and toddlers. She worked in various childcare and public school settings for 7 years in Florida before moving to New York. She is fluent in Spanish and is working primarily with the Bambini group.

Ali started in 2017 and is one of our extended hour teachers who also works as a substitute teacher with us. Ali adds a lot of richness especially in the area of art and holds a Bachelors degree in Visual Arts. Ali was previously a lead preschool teacher for a year before joining us, and is entering a Masters program this fall.

Kate has been with Giocare since 2013 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.