This week, Patch ran a Readers’ Choice poll asking users to vote on and comment about their favorite childcare center in Mahwah. The results show that parents in the township are passionate about where they send their kids.
Each childcare center in Mahwah received votes, and comments enthusiastically explained why parents favored one or another.
Combining votes with comments, the Children’s Learning Center of Wyckoff at Fardale won this week’s Readers’ Choice contest. The child care center was founded in 1984 by Rae Ann Jandris, who is still the director of the center. Jandris, who was a Kindergarten teacher, runs the center with her son, Chuck Jandris, and Assistant Director Caroline VanEss, a registered nurse. The Children's Learning Center has three infant rooms, three toddler rooms, two pre-K classes, a full-time Kindergrten class, and an after school program for kids up to age 13.
Chuck Jandris, who is also a volunteer EMT in Mahwah and a councilman in the township, said he was "honored" to have been named Mahwah's Readers' Choice. "I am still a kid at heart, and our philosophy here is to have kids learning and socializing while they are having fun."
Jandris said the child care center becomes an extension of its clients' families. "This becomes the kids' home. Some of them are here from 7 in the morning until a quarter to seven at night," he said."For the after school kids, when they have off from school, they come here for the whole day, and we go on day trips. We try to have fun with them."
The relationship with parents of the students is key, he said. "Our parents are wonderful, and very supportive. And, we encourage them to come to us with any feedback, positive or negative."
Jandris also described the school's staff as "awesome, creative, devoted, supportive, loving and compassionate. It's a lot of adjectives, but they are all true."
Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Nursery School received an honorable mention in the contest because of the high number of residents that commented about the service it provides. User J said, “It is indeed a place to look into for regardless of your faith. It will indeed become a part of you[r] extended family.”
Director Lesley Ayre said she was "just thrilled and excited" by the positive feedback the school received from the commuity. Now in her 24th year with the school, Ayre has been a parent, assistant, teacher and now director of the school. "I just love it here. It really is a terrific place," she said.
Stay tuned for next week's "Readers' Choice" contest, the favorite place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Mahwah!