CCNS Twos Drop Off Program’s Unique Plan to Ease in to School


Dropping a child off to school for the first time can be a traumatic experience for both the child and the caregiver. At CCNS, Twos Head Teacher, Lini Ecker, has developed a unique system to ease children in to the program resulting in much less separation anxiety. Lini often provides the example of dropping a toddler off to school for the first time as if one was dropped in a foreign country with no money, no transportation and a lack of ability to speak the language and then told to “go have fun!” The first few days of school can be very daunting especially for our youngest ones who usually do not have the language to express their needs and feelings. They often need to rely on the intuition of their caregivers to decipher their needs.

At CCNS, all of the children visit the classrooms with a caregiver before school begins to see their classrooms, meet their teachers and walk around with the safety of their caregiver right beside them. Usually that is enough for many of our Threes and Fours, especially since most of them have been at CCNS for the Twos program and/or Threes program and know the school a bit.

For the twos, the goal is to earn their trust and to make school seem really fun before they feel anxious, so that they WANT to return. The first day for our twos is only an hour long. The caregiver stays with the child in the classroom and only half the class attends. During this time, the teachers may ask the caregiver to step out of the room for a few minutes and use this time to gauge the level of separation anxiety for that child. This is individualized for each child. The children enjoy free play and a short story before heading home.



The following week the regular class time is shortened a bit.  Caregivers are asked to arrive 30 minutes early and join the class in the outdoor classroom.  They can choose to stay together and play or take their child home if he/she seems ready.



The regular classroom schedule of a two-and-a-half-hour day begins the third week with almost all the children eager to enter the classroom and find his/her favorite activity. For those with remaining separation anxiety, the teachers work individually with families to find the best plan to make the child feel safe and happy at school. This can include comfort items from home, a special routine upon arrival, a home visit and other techniques that the Twos team is adept at implementing.


This is the case in all of our classrooms. We read stories about leaving home, entering school and how caregivers always return. We set up special routines for children that may need extra comfort upon arrival and also work closely with families to help ease all of our students into their new classroom environment. We always try to send a photo home of the child who was left initially crying at drop off happily engaged in an activity to ease the separation anxiety for the caregiver. At CCNS working with families as a team is one of our most important goals. From our youngest children to our big kids, we want to make them all feel safe, secure and understood, so they can concentrate on their work: PLAY!

A Visit To The Aptly Named “The Art Studio” in Westport

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Tucked between Peachwave and the Gym Source on Post Road in Westport is The Art Studio Connecticut, a collaborative workspace for eight Fairfield County artists. Over the past several years, the CCNS Art Show & Sale has included works from members of The Art Studio, including its founder Helen Werngren.

This year, we are once again happy to have participating in this year’s show artists from The Art Studio. Katherine Evans, whose abstract paintings reflect complex color combinations, will be participating again. And, we are excited to have abstract landscape painter, Malu Tan, join the show for the first time this year.

Members of our marketing committee (aka CCNS parents) recently had the pleasure of visiting The Art Studio, speaking with Katherine and Malu, and getting a peek at some of the pieces that they will be submitting to the show.

The Art Studio, which is located on the second floor, is a bright, airy loft space. Each of the artists has their own area or space with which to paint and create. Take a look inside:

Katherine, who is trained as a graphic designer, started painting about eight years ago. Her sometimes rather large abstract paintings reflect rich, colorful palettes. She has won multiple awards; exhibits her work throughout Fairfield County as well as through Saatchi Art, an online exhibition; and has sold her pieces to collectors around the world.

Malu began pursuing her passion as an artist while her family was living in London several years ago. Her abstract landscape paintings reflect what she sees as layers of color when viewing the natural world from a much broader perspective, and she sometimes incorporates other materials, such as sand, to give her pieces depth and dimension. She also exhibits her works throughout Fairfield County and through Saatchi Art.

Many thanks to Katherine and Malu for allowing us a tour of the studio. To see more representations of Katherine’s work, check out her website at, and to see more representations of Malu’s work, check out her website at

Come check out Katherine’s and Malu’s works June 4-7, 2015.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_gallery type=”flexslider_fade” interval=”3″ images=”680,681,682,683,684,685,686,687″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row]


CCNS first opened in a private home in the Village Creek section of South Norwalk in 1953. The current “little red schoolhouse” was built in the late 1960s, and CCNS proudly remains today as one of the few cooperative preschools in Connecticut.

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The CCNS Fun Run and Family Day was created by a group of parents who truly believe in fitness, health, and involving the whole family in a healthy lifestyle. CCNS really believes in families playing together, so the creators of this event thought this was the perfect complement to that mission.

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Symmetrical Building Challenge in the Fours

Although the block center is always open during our free choice play time during the day, the materials that are placed in the center often change for variety. Another way we intentionally plan in this center is to provide challenges to the children to bring their learning to another level.

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On Saturday, May 2, 2015 we celebrated National Play Outside Day with our friends and neighbors in Pinkney Park in Rowayton. We had an incredible morning using our imaginations and hundreds of boxes of all shapes and sizes to build, explore, and create.

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Stamford Advocate: “CCNS ‘sophisticated’ art show turns 50”

CCNS ‘sophisticated’ art show turns 50
Meg Barone
June 5, 2012

A little red schoolhouse in the Rowayton section of Norwalk will get a fresh coat of paintings in early June when its halls, offices and classrooms become home for nearly a thousand works of art during an art show and sale.

The fundraiser for the Community Cooperative Nursery School, a parent-run cooperative, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a show that runs from June 7 to 10.

Read the full article.