Totsville Childcare Learning Center
707 Washington Ave, Union Beach, NJ 07735
When I toured Totsville while looking for a preschool for my, at the time, 3 yr old, I finally felt at ease because the school seemed to have a good curriculum, the staff seemed nice, the Director seemed to really care and be running a "tight ship"... FAST FORWARD TO PRESENT --- My son is now 4 years old and he will NEVER step foot in the TOTSVILLE PROGRAM AGAIN!
When my son was in the 3 yr old room, there were times that he would come home and tell me that another kid hit him, I'd call them and ask why I was being told about this from my 3 yr old and not his teacher and they said well it didn't leave a mark (OK fine I would think), another time I dropped him off and they had older kids from the public school in his 3 yr old room because public school was that day (MY SON WAS PUMMELED and I ENDED UP HAVING TO PICK HIM UP EARLY THAT DAY BECAUSE HE WOULDNT STOP CRYING), another time I dropped him off to his class and his teacher (one that I never met before because the 3 yr old room was a revolving door of teachers aides) was on a personal call on her CELL PHONE! I reported these issues to the director and he always seemed to "try" to correct the issues. When I was finally ready to pull my son, they moved him up to the 4 yr old room because they said he was a "mature" 3 and was about to turn 4. The only reason my son stayed after that was because he formed a great relationship with the ONLY GOOD TEACHER THEY HAD THERE (He is no longer there because of all the issues I am about to tell you) --- I heard from many sources over this past summer (my son was on summer break) that there was ratio issues, a maintenance person covering a classroom when they were short staffed, and staff members FIGHTING in front of children!!!! I called to talk to the DIRECTOR and he blew smoke up my you know what saying that was just disgruntled parents/staff telling me these things! I called the STATE (THIS IS PUBLIC RECORD PLEASE KNOW YOU CAN CALL THE STATE AND ASK FOR A FILE REVIEW ON ANY DAY CARE/PRESCHOOL IN NJ) and they gave me citations dating back to 2011 that were all substantiated which included: Administrative issues (bookkeeping/record keeping), program issues (curriculum issues), supervision issues, ratio issues (too many kids to each teacher), over use of facility (too many kids in the building PERIOD), over discipline of students (Feb 2015/April 2015 - staff put her hands on a child and threw them to the ground - screaming at children loudly), nutrition issues, rest issues, hygiene issues in the infant room, every possible category they could have been cited for THEY WERE! O wait no I am wrong, they were not CITED on BUILDING MAINTENACE, isn't that nice? I actually thought I was being "PUNKED" when I was talking with a SUPERVISOR FROM THE STATE ABOUT THIS SCHOOL and she validated that I made the right decision on pulling my son!!! NO PARENT SHOULD SEND THEIR CHILD TO TOTSVILLE AND IN MY OPINION THEIR DOORS SHOULD CLOSE FOR GOOD!
If I could give them negative stars, I would certainly do it. My child was part of this program for about 7 months. 7 loooong months for my son who every day didn't want to go to school. I chalked it up to being a kid who was used to being home with his mom and doing things at his leisure. I couldn't have been more wrong. Lets start off with this, there were parents fighting in the parking lot, fist fighting, not yelling or just having words. I kept my son in the car while this was happening and because it really had nothing to do with "the school" and once the parents left, we proceeded as normal. On more than one occasion there were kids hitting each other, shoving each other, cussing out the teachers etc. When the teachers presented this to the parent(s) involved they shrugged it off and said "they're typical kids". I don't know about you, but my child doesn't treat any child or adult this way and if he did, it would have been handled immediately. Now that this preface is off my chest I will get on to what happened to me and my child directly. Without naming names I will tell you that the only reason my son was in this school for 7months was because his teacher took him under his wing and ensured me of my son's safety on a regular basis, however the days that this teacher was not in school, all hell broke loose. The turnover rate with the teachers is absolutely ridiculous, it says a lot about the ownership if they cannot keep staff past a few months or a year. The teacher / student ratio is way off and way above what the state recommends. In fact Totsville has been audited by the state on this very incident on more than one occasion. It took them over two years to re up their certifications for this reason among many other including hygiene, food programs etc. This is all public knowledge. Call the state.
Most recently my child was pulled out because 1. two teachers had a fist fight in the middle of the classroom. Nothing was done to either teacher. They were both still employed until one of them left at her own will and to my understanding the other got a promotion. Thankfully my child was not there the day of this incident. 2. the ratios are way off and especially in the summer time when they run camp. They do not hire additional staff to keep these children company; they expect their already outnumbered teachers to keep these children busy. In fact, the big kids (8-10) were in my 4 year olds classroom on more than one occasion. 3. The last straw (God I can't believe I let it go this far) One afternoon my husband picked my son up and a man was watching over the class. He chalked it up to "just another new teacher". Second day in a row, my husband introduced himself to the man who then in turn told him his was not a teacher, he was "helping out" and he was the maintenance guy. WHAAAAAAAAAT???!!!!!!! This raises sooooo many questions, issues and concerns for me as a parent for my child but as a parent in general. Has a background check been performed on this man? Has he been finger printed? Is he a certified teacher? Is he CPR certified? All of which I was told NO by the owner. He is just a good man, a family friend that they have known for years. WHAAAT??? You are kidding me.
Every issue I brought up he had a really lame excuse for. I immediately called the state to investigate and they have been out there more than a few times to issue citations and for surprise inspections within the last few weeks. I will not stop here, I will make sure this place closes down based on FACTS. Parents BEWARE and do your research on daycares. This is not the place for any child to be. The owner flat out told me, "I have two girls, I would be the same way you are right now if my kid was exposed to this"
I just wanted to take the time to write a short note about how wonderful Totsville has been for our family. We moved to Keansburg, NJ in July from Harrisburg, PA and knew nothing about the city or the schools/daycares. We went to a few other businesses that offered daycare services before going to Totsville for a tour. Upon walking onto the grounds we felt nothing but happiness and comfort. We were greeted by a smiling face and shown where to go to speak to someone about a tour. Totsville offers so many flexible programs for parents with many enrichment programs. Our daughter is signing, speaking Spanish, and naming parts of the English language at the age of 4 like I have never heard from any child. She is excited to come to school every day just to learn more Spanish and sign. Totsville was able to tell us about various organizations in the city, programs offered by schools and businesses, names of doctors, and so much more. We love our teachers and staff at Totsville.
Thank you for all that you have done. You really make getting up in the mornings more enjoyable when I see how excited Charlotte is to go to school and learn and play. You are truly amazing, the whole staff!!
I was trying to have a baby for the longest time. When I finally got pregnant, I was VERY careful about everything. Finally when my son was born, I did not want to go back to work. But with an older step-child at home and husband not getting enough work, times were tough.
I went to visit many daycares and talked to many of my neighbors. For me, Totsville was the best choice. I was greeted very professionally and the director spent almost an hour answering my long list of questions. I saw the classrooms and talked to the two nurturing infant room teachers. There love for children and warm hearted approach to accommodating my needs was just what I was looking for in the daycare.
I understand that all businesses will have all kinds of online reviews, but the genuine nature and fun-loving teachers prompted me to sign up my baby. My first day of leaving him was very emotional for me, but the staff called me and send me emails with updates throughout the day.
Totally recommend Totsville.
My four year old grandson has been attending Totsville for 4 years. We compared several full-time care facilities prior to selecting, and the difference with Totsville Childcare is the learning, interaction, and fun for all the children. When we visited other locations, most of the children were in one big room with small cubbies as partitions and lots of noise. At Totsville in Union Beach, the classrooms are separate and age-appropriate for best learning and peace of mind for children. The playgrounds in the other schools were just small unapproved slides from local stores, but Totsville has state-of-the-art fun playgrounds. I get regular daily updates on their smartphone app. I also saved a bundle since Totsville provides free meals, diapers, and wipes. Don’t read about competitors/past disgruntled employees writing bad reviews, just check them out yourself. They have a director, a head teacher, and a group teacher on site every day. I will give them 100 on a scale of 1 to 10 !!!
I am just impressed with the progress of my daughter since she started attending Totsville. Staff is very nurturing and truly cares about her. Management will terminate employment of staff if the stringent procedures are not followed. It gives me total peace of mind even though I still hate going to work. lol :-)