HUNTERS POINT — Manhattan-based New York Kids Club, which also operates preschools and child enrichment centers in Brooklyn, is planning to open its first location in Queens next year with an eye towards tempting transplants from across the East River.
The new 5,000 square foot space on the Long Island City waterfront site is set to open in September 2014 at 4545 Center Blvd. in Hunters Point, on the ground floor of a new luxury high-rise by TF Cornerstone.
"We've wanted to be in Queens for a while, we were just looking for the ideal location," said company founder Pam Wolf, who opened the first New York Kids Club over a decade ago on the Upper West Side.
She said she found that ideal location in rapidly developing Hunters Point, where she's looking to meet the needs of the growing number of young families who have flocked to the neighborhood in recent years, many of them Manhattan transplants.
"So many families are moving here from Manhattan," she said. "It just seemed like the perfect place for us."
Hunters Point is home to several private preschools, as well as one public and very competitive pre-k program at P.S. 78.
New York Kids Club offers a three-year preschool program that combines academic development with music, fitness and arts programming, Wolf said.
Parents can sign up now for programs at the future Queens center, where prices are slightly less expensive than the company's Manhattan locations.
To send a 2-year-old to the Long Island City site for three days a week, two hours a day costs $8,400 for the school year, compared to the six Manhattan sites, where tuition range from $9,000 to $10,800.
A full-week program for 3-year-olds at the Long Island City location, which meets for three hours a day Monday through Friday, comes at a price tag of $15,095 for the September to May school year, according to the company's website.
Wolf said the number of inquiries they've received so far shows there's a demand among parents in Hunters Point.
"We've had an overwhelming response in just a couple of weeks," she said.
In addition to preschool, New York Kids Club will offer afterschool and summer camp programs, plus art, music and fitness classes for children as young as eight weeks old and to as old as 12.
Those activities include gymnastics, karate, ballet, hip-hop, and even cooking classes for children as young as toddlers.
"The classes are completely unique," Wolf said.
The Hunters Point site — which will have four classrooms, a state-of-the-art gym and outdoor play space — will also be available for birthday parties and open play time, she said.