Skylands Ice World offers new day care program After-care, too, for children beginning this school year

| 14 Aug 2012 | 12:11

    Skylands Ice World plans to open a day care and after-school center this fall offering childcare services to pre-schoolers from age 2-1/2 to kindergarten as well as after-school care to school-age children from kindergarten through eighth grade. Skylands Center of Discovery and Learning will open on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at the 79,000-sq.-ft. ice skating and entertainment facility located in Stockholm.
    “Skylands Ice World is an important part of this community with our year-round hockey and skating programs, summer camp and family activities,” said owner Greg Brandner. “Many of the users of our facility are children and we've earned our reputation for first rate care of kids. Many of the families that we've come to know from their frequent use of Skylands have need for daycare and after-school care. We've decided to do that.”

    A natural fit

    “It makes perfect sense to extend our childcare services beyond the summer camps into the entire year,” said Bradford Johnson, general manager of Skylands.
    Pre-school care will be available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with an early drop-off option beginning at 6:30 a.m. for an additional fee. The program give children the knowledge and skills needed to transition from pre-school to pre-kindergarten and then on to kindergarten through structured classroom instruction and play activities throughout the day.
    “I can’t wait to get started with the kids,” said Brittany Litteral, director of the childcare center. “We have had tremendous growth and success with our summer camps and I look forward to extending our services to children and their families year-round.”
    Litteral added that teachers will provide an age-appropriate and engaging curriculum focusing on physical and motor skills as well as social, emotional and cognitive development. “Skylands will encourage children to learn, play, and grow together,” said Litteral.
    For school age children in kindergarten through eighth grade, Skylands Center of Discovery and Learning will offer after-school care and mini-camps on school holidays and inclement weather days.
    These will focus on academic success, health and fitness, building up good character and developing leadership skills, according to a press release on the program. Children will have an opportunity to finish homework, relax from their school day and spend time with friends.
    “We realize many families not only needed an after-school option but also a safe and fun environment for their children on days when schools are closed,” Johnson added. “Kids now have a safe place to do their homework, hang out with friends in a supervised environment or participate in other on-site activities.”

    Encouraging activity

    “We also recognize that child obesity is a growing problem and we want to do our part to encourage kids to remain active throughout the day, after school and during the summer months,” said Litteral.
    According to the Harvard School of Public Health, over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S. Most recent studies find one out of six children is obese, and one out of three children is overweight or obese.
    “Skylands will offer a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for kids not only to keep them active and healthy, but to help them understand what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle and make good choices,” Litteral said.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis.
    One unique on-site activity is the opportunity to learn to ice skate or for children who know how to skate, continue to take ice hockey or figure skating lessons.
    “We have learned through experience at Skylands that children who learn a new skill — such as the ability to ice skate — grow in their overall feeling of confidence,” said Johnson. “Skating will certainly be an option for families who would like their children to learn a new skill or develop their current skills.”
    For information on the program, contact Brittany Litteral at or 973-697-1600, ext. 124.
    For information on Skylands, visit