Park Children’s Day School opened its doors on October 7, 1963 at 1010 Park Avenue. It was called Park Avenue Christian Church Day School because the Church wanted to provide a service for the community.
The congregation decided in the late 1950s that a nursery school was the most needed service. They voted to construct a school on the site of the Church’s garden. A beautiful school was erected, and thirty students registered for the first year. Over the years the school flourished and grew to 230 students, with many of the early graduates sending their own children to the school.
In the summer of 2013 the Church abruptly announced that they had sold the school plot to a developer, and that the school would move to West 76th Street. Enrolled families, teachers and administrators were caught by surprise, and many ‘East Siders’ thought they could not manage a commute with their children across the park. Surprisingly, over half of the enrolled children made the trek to the west side! While the school enrollment decreased initially, it grew quickly to a healthy 120 students within a few years. We attribute this growth to our loyal and beloved teachers who moved across the park with the school.
In 2014 the school became a new and independent entity with a new name, Park Children’s Day School. Our new home at 4 West 76th Street is a beautiful and historic school building. Built in 1911, it retains some of the original art deco touches with high ceilings and an enormous gym. The renovation of all the classrooms was completed before we moved in, and once the children’s art was up on the walls, we felt totally at home.
Best of all, we are located on Central Park, a new outdoor experience for our children and a wonderful addition to our nature and science program.
What started as a shock and challenge in 2013 turned out to be a wonderful start to a new chapter in our school history. The same community of enthusiastic and active parents continue the work of decades of past parents. Hundreds of alumni families who came to school at the original location on Park Avenue remain loyal to the school, stay in touch, attend various school events and continue to support Park Children’s Day School.