Program Spotlight: Stay & Play

We’re proud to offer our students (and parents!) year-round extended care through our Stay & Play program from 7:30am-6:00pm! The extended schedule not only adds to our students’ opportunities for education and engagement, but also provides GPS parents with additional flexibility in drop-off and pick-up times.

“From the first day of planning and every day since, the goal of our Stay & Play program has been to be a ‘home away from home’ for the children,” said Trish Nestor, Extended Day Program Director/Summer Camp Director. “We want to offer full-day care for working parents without compromising the unique and essential qualities that make Golden Pond School so special.”

Stay & Play is available to children enrolled in our 5-day morning preschool programs. They enjoy their engaging morning preschool curriculum and may move to a different classroom for Stay & Play, where they have lunch and an afternoon snack, recess, nap/quiet time, circle time, table activities and more.

Stay & Play is open each weekday and offers parents the flexibility to drop off children as early as 7:30am (for breakfast) and pick up as late as 6:00pm.

“I have been extremely pleased with how comfortable the children are in our Stay & Play program,” said Nestor.  “They are secure and know they are well loved. It is a delight to have time to get to know the children more fully. I love that they share stories and important things about their lives with me.”

A critical element of our Stay & Play program is the strength and expertise of our teachers running the show. Our two lead teachers have a combined total of 14 years at Golden Pond School, and are highly trained and accomplished in the field of Early Childhood Education.


A Day in the Life of a Stay & Play Student

  • 11:25: Transition to Stay & Play
    Students move from their morning class to their Stay & Play class. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children to make new friends from other classes! They begin with simple and engaging table activities that they can work on while socializing with their friends.
  • 11:40: Outdoor Time
    The children get outside outdoors to play on one of our playgrounds. They have access to our multiple play structures, large sandboxes, tricycles, wagons and sports equipment.
  • 12:00: Lunch Time
    Our children eat lunch with their classmates and teachers. This time provides opportunities to try new foods, further develop their manners and strengthen their social and conversational skills.
  • 12:30: Shared Reading Time and Prepare for Nap/Quiet Time
    Following lunch, the children brush their teeth and listen to a group story. Teachers then dim the lights and play relaxing music to create an environment that encourages resting.
  • 1:00: Nap/Quiet Time
    Children rest on individual cots with linens provided by the school. Studies suggest that sleep and/or periods of quiet rest are essential for optimal health and growth for young children. Experts agree that napping should be part of any full-day preschool program.
  • 2:30: Center Time
    Students transition from rest time to center time, where they work in small groups with a teacher on topical activities designed to reinforce concepts and skills from their morning classrooms. These activities are developmentally appropriate and utilize our guiding principles of active, brain-based learning.  During this time, students also complete art activities, science experiments, and play cooperative learning games.
  • 3:40: Snack Time
    Students enjoy a healthy, school-provided snack with their classmates.
  • 4:00: Outdoor Time
    Students have an additional opportunity to return to one of our playgrounds for more gross-motor play.
  • 4:30: Large Group Time
    At this point in the day, the children experience the reading of high-quality children’s literature, music and movement activities, and group sharing time.
  • 5:00: Guided Free Choice Activities
    During this final portion of the day, students select from a variety of activities in their choice of project area: Dramatic Play, Blocks, Art and Library. It’s also a wonderful time to read a favorite story, complete a puzzle, or play a board game with a classmate or teacher.


What our GPS Students are saying:

“I love being a Giraffe and a Kangaroo.  It’s very fun!”

“I like being a Koala because they are very cute and I love the playground!”

“We make lots of fun art in my Koala class!”


What our GPS Parents are saying:

“Pretty much every time we come to pick up the boys, which is usually between 5-5:30, they tell us that we’re “too early” and they aren’t ready to go yet.  It’s funny because we come walking in expecting to be greeted by running hugs but instead they sort of look at us with a bit of annoyance because we’ve interrupted something fun they were doing at a center or we’ve intercepted them from going outside to play with their friends.  Even after 5, they are having too much fun to leave!


“Our son Brody is in the Stay & Play program and he is loving it! Every week he tells me about the theme and just loves having his morning buddies and his Stay & Play friends every day. The teachers have been wonderful and the class ratio is amazing. It’s a safe and fun environment for my child. The rooms are spotless, they brush their teeth daily, are provided healthy meals and have a great balance of classroom, free time and playground time. I have to beg him to follow me out each night! – Karyn B./Parent


“Now that Golden Pond has their Stay & Play program we don’t have to pick up our six year old twins and a three year old children from two different locations! We had to deal with two separate school calendars and schedules over the last few years and as working parents it presented many challenges. We are so grateful to finally have all of them together in such a great environment.”  Thank you GPS! – Rod L./Parent