525 Veterans Memorial Hwy
Smithtown, NY 1187

Family Owned & Operated Since 1991


Quality Child Care and Education

We remain closed due to Coronavirus until furthur notice.   
We pray that this crisis is over soon and we look forward to seeing everyone again!
We appreciate your understanding during this uncertain time! Please stay safe & healthy! 

Better Educated Students of Tomorrow
Learning Center

Commonly Asked Questions and Answers...

What does B.E.S.T. stand for? 
Better Educated Students of Tomorrow, because our goal is to completely prepare our children socially, emotionally and academically to allow them to be happy, confident and successful students for the entirety of their school years.

Are we N.Y. State Licensed?
 Yes, we are licensed by the N.Y. State Office of Children and Family Services for Infants through School Aged Children (ages 6 weeks through 12 years.)

How long have we been in business? B.E.S.T. Learning Center was established in 1991. We were located in Kings Park from June 1991 – June 2005. In 2005 we purchased and renovated the building that we are presently in. We are thrilled that now we can offer our children a beautiful, new facility with many more amenities.

What kind of Security do we have? All of our exterior doors are always locked. Our front doors must be released by the front office to allow entry into the building. We have 32 cameras throughout, with cameras in all the classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, and the gymnasium and parking areas. We have an intercom system throughout to allow communication with all staff.

Do we have Fire/Emergency Drills? Yes, we conduct approximately 2 fire drills per month, throughout the year. We have a new, elaborate fire alarm, fire detection and security system throughout the building.  We also conduct Lock Down and Selter in Place Drills 2x per year.

Is the school air-conditioned? Yes, we have central air conditioning throughout the building.

What deposit is required to hold my child’s placement in class? Prior to March 1st of the preceding school year, a deposit of $300.00, plus the $75.00 registration fee are required. After March 1st, the balance of one month’s tuition is due. This tuition is applied to the last month (June) of the school year. 

Are any fees refundable?   No refunds are available. All deposits and registration fees are never refundable.

How are payments made? We accept checks made payable to B.E.S.T. Learning Center or cash. Monthly tuition is due on the 1st of each month. A late fee will be incurred after the 10th of the month.

What calendar do we follow? We try to follow the local districts, especially Hauppauge, as we are within the Hauppauge School District, however, B.E.S.T. Learning Center has a calendar that is given to each family and specific to B.E.S.T. Learning Center. We always end our school year slightly earlier in June. We also have 4 snow days built into our calendar, so we do not give back any days until we have had more than 4 snow days.

What is the policy on Illness?
 All children must be fever free, vomit free, diarrhea free or rash free for 24 hours before returning to school. Therefore, if your child is sent home from school sick with any of these illnesses, they are not permitted to return to school the following day. Please see our illness policy form listing all symptoms that would make your child’s attendance unacceptable. Please be considerate of all other children and make every attempt not to spread germs.

What is the policy on Medication? Never is a medication to be left in a child’s bag or put in a child’s bottle or sippy cup. All medications must be given to the office for the office staff to administer. New York State has strict rules on who is allowed to administer medication to the children. The staff has to be specifically trained to do this. All medications must be accompanied by a form that must be filled out by your child’s doctor and the medication must be in the original container. Any other questions should be directed to the office.

What is the Discipline policy? B.E.S.T. Learning Center uses positive reinforcement to encourage and promote positive behavior within the classroom. Each teacher will outline positive and acceptable behavior to the children at the beginning of the school year and will use praise and reinforcements such as stickers, incentive charts, prize boxes, etc. 
In the event that a child behaves inappropriately (examples, hitting, pushing, refusing to cooperate) a verbal explanation of appropriate behavior will be given to the child to remind them of classroom rules, sharing and cooperation. If the negative behavior continues the child will be redirected to an alternate activity. A child may be asked to sit at the table and do a puzzle or look at a book to relax for a few minutes and calm down. This time will be for several minutes based approximately according to the child’s age, (2 to 3 minutes for a 2-year-old, 3 to 4 minutes for a 3-year-old, etc.) We do not use the term Time Out as this can have a negative stigmatism involved and may focus too much attention on the negative behavior.
Our philosophy of using positive reinforcement as an incentive system is that the children are rewarded for positive behavior. Rewards are some times stickers, stars, stamps, prizes, etc. These are used strictly as rewards to constantly and continuously encourage good and positive behaviors from the children. In the event that a child does not receive a reward for an activity it should not be taken in a negative way but rather as an incentive to behave better and then in turn be rewarded. 
Negative behavior that is continuous and reflects on the child’s ability to participate in the class will be taken further. First the child will be brought to the main office to speak with the director. A "pep talk" will often capture the child's attention enough to correct the neagative behavior and enable the the child to rejoin the class successfully. If the behaviors still continue a call will be made to a parent to discuss the child’s behavior in an attempt to rectify this matter. Situations where a child poses a threat to him or herself or the other children in the class or we feel that the child may be in need of other services a swifter resolution may be necessary. In some cases the child may have needs that our program is not designed to meet and an evaluation may be recommended. In extreme cases parents may be asked to withdraw their child from our program.

How are biting incidents handled? B.E.S.T. Learning Center has an outlined Biting Policy. When a child is involved in a biting incident this outline will be sent home with your child. Please feel free to observe this policy posted at our Parent Corner Bulletin Board. 

Are there any restrictions or requirements for my child's clothing, footwear, outerwear, etc.? 
The children should always wear appropriate and safe clothing and footwear.  Clothing should not have any long strings or potentially dangerous material or objects that may enable them to hurt themselves  or others.  Footwear must be rubber soled, preferably sneakers, to ensure safety and stability when playing in the gymnasium, playgrounds and/or within the building.  Please refrain from sending your child in flip flops, open sandals or crocs, as they have proven to be potentially dangerous for the children.   During the cold weather months we require the children to have appropriate clothing such as coats, hats and gloves.  Extra hats and gloves are recommended to be kept in your child's cubbie.

How is Separation Anxiety handled? 
Our staff is nurturing and comforting to the children. We ask our parents to make your good-byes quickly and confidently and leave. It is imperative for parents to be positive. 
Please do not allow your child to hear you speak negatively about school or express any fears. You are your child’s main reference of what is to come and if they sense that you’re afraid or apprehensive they are bound to feel similarly.We will do everything possible to calm and comfort a crying child. Usually within a short time the child will begin to relax and slowly join the classroom activities. This process can take several weeks and it is not uncommon for some children to cry every day for the first month of school. Often, the more frequently a child attends school, the faster this adjustment occurs. Example: Tuesday/Thursday children generally take a longer period of time to completely settle into their routine.
In extreme cases of upset where a child may be crying for an extended period of time or is physically becoming sick due to upset we will call a parent to come much sooner than dismissal time. Sometimes we need to build up the time that lapses. We may recommend that you leave your child for 30-60 minutes the first day and add time each day to build up to the full class time over a few weeks. Parents are welcome to call us to check on a child during the day.

Do the children nap? 
Our full day 2 year old and 3 year old classes nap following lunch for 1-2-½ hours, dependent on the children’s sleeping habits for each class. Each child has a designated cot. We ask that you send in a sheet (crib sheet fits well), blanket, pillow or whatever will make your child comfortable.
Our infants and toddlers nap as needed throughout the day. Each child has a designated crib. We ask each parent for 2 crib sheets each week, which will be sent home once a week for laundering.

Are children permitted to have pacifiers and or bottles throughout the day? Of course, Infants and Toddlers are permitted to have pacifiers and bottles as needed. Our 2-year-old classes allow pacifiers and/or bottles only at naptime. No pacifiers and or bottles are permitted in classes age 3 years and up.

What is the Potty Training Policy?  All children MUST be fully potty trained by the start of a three year old program. 

Do parents supply all diapers and wipes?
 Yes, you may send in a full pack of each and our staff will keep you informed of when they need to be replenished.

What about snack and lunch? 
Parents are asked to send a nutritious snack and a drink, such as a juice box, for all 2, 3 and 4 year old classes. Half day children will have 1 snack time, mid-morning or mid-afternoon, and Full day children will have 2 snack times, mid-morning and mid-afternoon. 

The children bring in lunch. We do have microwaves and refrigerators in the classrooms. Please discuss with your child’s teacher the policy on heating and refrigerating lunches in your child’s class. We ask that all lunches and snacks are as healthy as they can be. No candy will be permitted in class unless there is a special occasion.

We have "Pizza Fridays" every Friday.  You can fill out a form to order pizza for your child for every Friday.  Forms usually are for 2 to 3 months at a time and are sent home throughout the year.  Please send in a drink and a snack for your child to have with the pizza.

What about children with allergies? On the application form there is spot for you to list your child’s allergies, however, if there is an allergy it should be brought to the school’s attention just to be sure. All teachers are made aware of food allergies and plan classroom activities accordingly. We are not ‘Peanut free’, etc. but we are aware of the severity of these allergies and others and keep all children safe from any of these foods when necessary.

What is your philosophy and how do you implement your curriculum? Our philosophy is to offer a fun and informative program of learning that encourages each child individually. Each classroom is set up with learning centers and our teachers plan their daily activities and projects to teach the theme according to our theme calendar. We also introduce, (age appropriate), a shape, color, number and or letter each week. A full curriculum is utilized in all classes that balances socialization development and academics to completely prepare the children for the next level of education.

Is your program structured? Yes, we offer a structured program that utilizes learning centers and a thematic calendar. We believe that children require a structured program that gives them direction and allows them to learn in a most organized, productive and fun manner.

What specials do the children participate in? Dance/Movement/Music and
Sports are  in the gym 1 – 5 times weekly. Dancing, singing, tumbling, parachute play, 
ribbon dancing, scooters, musical instruments, games and obstacle courses are some of 
the fun, gross motor activities the children enjoy. Computer class is in our computer room 
1- 5 times weekly and children have access to appropriate learning programs on the Internet
and on CDs. Spanish class takes place in the classroom and occurs 1-2 times weekly. The children learn to speak and recognize common words and phrases, including family members, colors, counting and more in Spanish.

Do all of the teachers follow the same curriculum? All classes for 2, 3 and 4 year olds follow the same theme calendar and curriculum made age appropriate.  All Pre-Kindergarten classes have a very full and  comprehensive curriculum. All teachers attend staff meetings to ensure that our full curriculum is followed.

Do we have outdoor recess on the playground each day?
 Yes, if the weather is permitting, all classes have a minimum of 30 minutes of outdoor recess.   We have 2 playground areas. Our playgrounds are completely fenced in.  The smaller playgroundhas poured rubber surfacing and a great NEW Playground Set as well as Little Tikes and Step 2 equipment for a safe and fun environment.  We have a large grassy playground for additional outdoor activities and sports.

Do we have a Gymnasium? Yes, we have a large gym with a new, soft gym floor and a stage area. The children enjoy many activities during Dance/Movement and Music class in the gym. We also conduct shows and special events in the gym and on the stage throughout the year.

Do we celebrate Birthdays? Each child is King or Queen on their birthday. They will wear a crown and be "extra special" for the day. Parents are welcome and encouraged to send in cupcakes or a special snack to celebrate with the class. Summer birthdays are celebrated in June. We cannot use class time as a full birthday party with goodie bags, balloons, parents or other visitors, etc.

If I need before and after care once in a while is that OK or do I have to sign up for a certain amount days and hours? You may use extended care on an as needed basis and you only pay for what you use, however, if you are going to be using it here and there you are required to leave a deposit of $100.00 for that program. The reason for this is that we only bill you for extended care after the month is finished, therefore, school is over when June’s bill is given. The $100.00 deposit is applied to June’s bill.

How does the Extended Care program work?  
Extended Care is available before school from 6:30 am – 9:00 am and after school extended care is available from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. (4:00pm - 6:00pm in the summer) 
This is available to all B.E.S.T. Learning Center children and to elementary age and middle school age children in the Hauppauge school district. Parents need to sign in or out. This service is billed at an hourly rate per hour  for each hour that you go into. You will receive a statement the following month for your extended care fees from the prior month. Please be aware that all children that arrive prior to their scheduled time or are picked up after their scheduled time will be billed for extended care. B.E.S.T. Learning Center closes at 6:00 pm, therefore any child that is here beyond 6:00 pm will incur a billing of $1.00 per minute, due at time of pickup. A $100.00 deposit is required with your tuition payment at the start of the year if you plan on using our extended care program.  This deposit is applied to the last extended care billing of the year.

If I only need 5 or 10 minutes of before or after care do I still have to pay for a full hour? Yes, the billing is for each hour that you go into, even for a few minutes.

Can I use the after care program if my child is in the 9am –12pm class?
 No, after care is only from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. There is no after care between 12:00pm and 3:00pm. There is, however, a Lunch Bunch program that is in session from 12:00pm to 1:00pm and that would give you and extra hour each day.  (Please note that the summer months are different.)

Can I use Lunch Bunch only when I need it? Not on a daily basis but you can sign up for a month at a time.   You pay for the schedule your child attends class. If your child goes to school on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then you would sign up for Lunch Bunch for the same days, etc.

We would like to thank you for your interest in B.E.S.T. Learning Center. We are confident that our program will offer your child the opportunity to develop, grow and learn in a nurturing environment. We pride ourselves on providing a well-rounded and fully enriching program.

Please note that our routine and activities are slightly different during our summer months for summer camp.