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ABOUT US

Playgarden Pren Online - Our Story Playgarden Pren Online - Our Story

OUR STORY

Since our founding, Playgarden has focused on creating educational and developmental programs for the youngest children. Through the expertise of certified Montessori teachers, physical and cognitive therapists, special needs educators, and visual and musical artists, we developed educational programs for children ages 18 months to 5 years.

Playgarden opened a new location in the Upper East Side in 2017 to focus exclusively on formal early learning, tailoring the space to create a nurturing, enriching environment to impart our Playgarden Prep Classes..

In 2019 we started working on providing access to our early education programs online, which were made available to families in the fall of 2020.

Over the last couple of years at Playgarden Online, we've strived to make sure families are able to have the best learning possible while at home. We've created a comprehensive online preschool program for little ones learning at home all week, a Play and Learn program for families that want to complement the education they receive at school or daycare, and different learning tools that add new layers of learning, such as DIY educational materials and educational toys.

At Playgarden we have always believed in whole child development. This has become even more important during the pandemic, as children have been subject to all sorts of restrictions for the last 2 years. This is why we have made all of our curriculum that relates to wellbeing—Topics like Social and Emotional Development, Physical Health, Nutrition, and even Sleep are available online, in addition to being incorporated in our various programs.

Playgarden Pren Online - Our Story

OUR MISSION

Playgarden is striving to become the premier provider of early education programs for children ages 12 months to 5 years. We will do so by developing innovative programs tailored to the different educational stages of childhood, and through our team members' love for early education and helping children. We will provide the right content, in the right place and at the right time. Our team is and will continue to be composed of a diverse group of friendly, energetic, talented individuals who are passionate about giving a great performance in their work and life. At the core of our Playgarden community is a belief in and support of equity and inclusion. We will take care of children as if they were our own, instilling them with confidence and a love of learning.

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Who are we?

Elizabeth Gilliard

Elizabeth Gilliard

Elizabeth Gilliard

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Head of Schools and Lead Pre-K Teacher at Playgarden Prep

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BA in Psychology with focus on Child Development, Minor in Anthropology

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Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, Birth to 2nd Grade

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NYS Teaching Certification, Birth through 2nd Grade

Head of Schools

Miss Beth is an early childhood educator who is dedicated to creating meaningful educational experiences for her Playgarden Prep students, both online and in-person. She is the Head of Schools for Playgarden Prep's in-person locations in New York City, and has worked as a lead teacher for both Pre-K and preschool classes at Playgarden since 2016. Once described by a parent as a modern-day Mr. Rogers, she is a fan favorite of our PG Online students!

When the pandemic began in March of 2020, Miss Beth played an integral role in developing the educational content that would become Playgarden Online! Under Miss Beth's guidance, PG Online has developed hundreds of video lessons and activities with a focus on whole child development. When not teaching, filming video lessons, speaking at Webinars, or creating curriculum, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family—and Vegeta-Diana, her pet Shiba-Inu.

Miss Beth loves teaching, and is so grateful for all of the little humans who have made an impact on her.

Emma Basel

Emma Basel

Emma Basel

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Lead Teacher and Educational Director of Playgarden Prep

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Master of Arts in Developmental Disabilities

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BA Early Childhood Education, Minor in Disabilities Studies and HDFS (Human Development & Family Sciences).

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NYS Teaching Certification, Birth through 2nd Grade

Educational Director

Miss Emma has been with Playgarden Prep since August 2020, starting out as a Lead Teacher and growing into the role of Educational Director.

With her help, PG Online is creating even more content that is suitable for children with special needs.

Miss Emma's favorite subjects are math, reading, social studies, sports, and art. Outside of school, she loves reading, baking, arts & crafts, running & basketball, and playing with her dog.

Carlos Corona

Carlos Corona

Carlos Corona

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Developed, launched, and led multiple businesses during 20 years of work in investment banking, consumer products, and education

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Experience working for leading firms such as Barclays, Citi, and Procter & Gamble

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BS Industrial Engineering

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Master of Business Administration (MBA)

CEO - Playgarden Online &
Co-Founder of Playgarden Prep

Carlos is a businessman, husband, and father of three with a passion for whole child development, and providing holistic and comprehensive educational options for children across the globe. Originally from Mexico, Carlos founded Playgarden in 2007 alongside his wife Valeska, and co-founder Amanda.

Together they created an indoor playspace that has transformed into a leading preschool and early learning center in New York City.

When not at Playgarden, he enjoys spending time with his family; his children Mattias, Niki, and Alexis, and the youngest (canine) member of the family, Chewy.

Amanda Vierheller

Amanda Vierheller

Amanda Vierheller

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Over 20 years of experience in leading multidisciplinary groups of early learning specialists

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10 years of experience as Director and Franchise Development Specialist with leading children's centers

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Decades of experience in breakthrough curriculum development

COO - Playgarden Online &
Co-Founder of Playgarden Prep

Amanda has spent most of her life developing groundbreaking curriculum for the youngest children, dedicating her time to working at Playgarden Prep's Upper East Side program while also leading the Playgarden Online team. She is an educator and specialist in all things early learning, with a passion

for making sure that Playgarden's curriculum is in line with the most up-to-date educational research. She helped to co-found Playgarden in 2007 alongside Carlos and Valeska, and also co-founded Playgarden Online when the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic began.

Originally from California, Amanda enjoys spending time with her three wonderful children in their Upper East Side neighborhood.

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