Fair Lawn High School Childcare Program

By Kayla Davis


Earlier this month I had the pleasure of sitting in Ms. Bell’s childcare class. Jennifer Bell is a Childcare teacher at Fair Lawn High School and has been overseeing this amazing program since 2015. This program has been offered at Fair Lawn High School for over 35 years! Childcare is a 1-hour-and-20-minute course, open to eligible seniors who are interested in gaining hands-on experience by working with young children. There are currently only 17 seniors in this program, highlighting how competitive and selective this program is.


Upon entering the room, I couldn’t help but notice how decorated and cozy it felt. I could feel the children’s creativity as I looked at all the fun and bright decorations the room was filled with. Often, a day in the childcare classroom includes a mystery reader (a staff member who signs up beforehand to read to the students). Ms. Bell was excited to share that many staff members had signed up to be mystery readers. When I visited, Mrs. Maher, a teacher of English and Special Education, was the mystery reader; she read Pinkalicious. From the moment I walked in I could see that all the children were engaged, and having fun.


Each week, the children focus on a different theme and letter.  This structure greatly contributes to the success of the children, and allows them unique ways to interact and become engaged in the classroom. The theme of this week was “Under the Sea.” Following this theme, the classroom was split up into groups and tables; each table had a different underwater learning activity. The children rotated through the stations, getting the chance to practice new skills at every table. At the table I was sitting by, two seniors were working with three of the children where they had paper cutouts of different sea objects. As they glued the cutouts of dolphins, starfish, sea turtles, and more, the seniors explained interesting facts about the plants and animals. This activity was a great way to keep the kids engaged and excited, while also providing important information. 


I am really glad I had this opportunity to visit the childcare class because I always heard good things, but I’m glad I was able to experience it myself. I would strongly recommend this class to anyone interested in pursuing a career in education or anyone who enjoys teaching and spending time with children. The seniors were very engaged throughout the program and it was evident that the seniors play a huge role in engaging with the students, as Ms. Bell supervises and assists as needed. Thank you to Ms. Bell for letting me sit in and I am so glad Fair Lawn High School offers this experience.


Photos courtesy of Kayla Davis & FLHS Childcare (published with parental consent)

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