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Play Together NYC Preschool

Grades: Pre-K
270 West 84th Street
Manhattan NY 10024
Phone: 646-469-5703

Our Insights

Play Together NYC is a tiny, close-knit pre-kindergarten on the Upper West Side that rents space in the basement of the Ohav Sholom synagogue. On our visit, a group of expressive and relaxed 4-year-olds were putting away toy trucks, cars and blocks in preparation for a walk to Riverside Park. "We have a happy group of kids," said director of admissions Lena Jakobsson, one of several kind and attentive adults we saw interacting with the kids.

The programs 3- and 4-year-old's share the same long, low-ceilinged room but are separated by a bright blue partition. The room is filled with art supplies, books, blocks and dress-up clothes hanging on low hooks along one wall by a toy kitchen. Each child has an alphabet book to practice letter recognition, sounds and writing. "As the year goes on you can see them get more excited about writing," Jakobsson said. Lunch is provided by Amsterdam Deli and includes items such as chicken patties, ravioli and turkey sandwiches.

Founder and director Nyla Kamlet has a master's degree in social work and has worked as a child therapist. In testimonials on the Play Together website, parents say she is particularly attuned to children's social and emotional needs. "She intentionally avoids the trendy force-feeding of academic concepts," wrote one. "Children learn through play, and their expression improves through various artistic means."

Children go outside every day, Jakobsson said. Indeed, on a windy, 38 degree day, three staff members made sure every child wore a winter hat, mittens and a fully zipped-up coat, plus an orange safety vest, and took them out. The pre-k has its own entrance down a short winding stairwell and is not affiliated with the synagogue. [photos by Lydie Raschka]

ADMISSIONS: Most of the 15 seats fill up with the program's rising 3 year olds; about five additional spaces opened up in 2016. The staff called people on the roughly 100-name wait list as late as August and even into September to fill all seats, the director said. (Lydie Raschka, February 2017)

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School Stats

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2019-2020

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems
Activities: Children explore art, music, sand/water, dramatic play and more
Language: Teachers talk and listen to kids in a supportive way
Interaction: Teachers ask kids good questions and invite back-and-forth conversation

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Upper West Side (District 3)
Trains: 1 Line, B Line, C Line to 86th St; 2 Line, 3 Line to 96th St
Buses: M10, M104, M11, M5, M79


Other Details

Shared campus?
Metal detectors?

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