About Tompkins Hall
Founded by Columbia professors during the 1930s, Tompkins Hall originated as an intimate, part-time, parent coop nursery. The play-based preschool program encouraged parents to work in the classroom, serve on a committee, and attend parent meetings. Children played creatively with materials and enjoyed a rich social environment. During the 1980s, hours were expanded, the morning 3s/4s mixed-age grouping remained, and 4-year-olds were required to attend school until 2:30, Monday through Thursday. In 1992, our toddler program was created: ten children between the ages of 15 months and 2 years, 8 months. Hours for both programs were extended to 5:30, Monday through Thursday, allowing families part-time and full-time options for their children. In the fall of 2007, Tompkins Hall once again expanded to include an infant/baby program: twelve children between the ages of 3 and 19 months.
Throughout the school, Tompkins Hall strives to integrate each child's individual development with the experience of belonging to a group. Each program reflects the developmentally sensitive blending of personal interactions and the creative use of materials. Teachers support the individual growth of each child — cognitively, emotionally, and physically — while encouraging social interactions with peers and teachers. Curriculum evolves each year by combining the unique interests of the children in each group with the developmental goals teachers maintain for each child. The integration of music, movement, art, and science is embedded in all of our programs.