Barat Center student studies art at Sacred Heart Greenwich


Why should I choose Barat Center for my child?

At Barat Center, our mission is to honor the young child and their developmental needs. Our program provides a developmental and coed experience that respects the individuality and pace of every learner in a multi-aged classroom. The family-friendly culture at Barat Center provides a support system in which our youngest students thrive. 

Barat Center children learn by discovery, observation, inquiry, and play. Students engage in the major curricular threads of: social-emotional development, emergent literacy, number sense, science, fine and gross motor, spirituality, enrichment, and family networking. 

Barat Center children are embraced as part of the overall Sacred Heart community, yet benefit from a learning environment completely devoted to their developmental needs.

How are the Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education implemented in the daily life at Barat Center?

The Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education are integral in the daily life of every student. At Barat Center, these core values are presented in the developmental and child-friendly language that allows our youngest students to better understand and practice them in their day-to-day activities. Put simply, Barat Center students learn how to: love God, love to learn, help others, respect everyone, and make good choices.

Additionally, Barat Center students attend school-wide chapel and liturgy services that extend and support the moral and spiritual lessons being taught in the classroom. By attending these events, our youngest students feel included and appreciated by the Sacred Heart school community at-large.

Sacred Heart is known as an all-girls’ school. Why do you have boys in Barat Center?

Research has shown that, as young learners, boys and girls possess different strengths and skills that benefit each other in the early childhood classroom. In general, girls possess an early facility with language skills, which helps to create a language rich environment, to broaden vocabulary through formal and informal discussions and facilitate socialization with one another. Boys, on the other hand, tend to be more analytical and systematic. They are effective problem solvers who model risk taking. In a coed early childhood classroom, boys and girls work as a team, as they learn from one another. This coed integration benefits both boys and girls, as they develop as learners and members of a school community. 

Research has shown that the benefits of a single-sex education truly begin at the kindergarten level, which is why Sacred Heart Greenwich has committed to all-girls in kindergarten through grade twelve.

How old does my child have to be to enroll in Barat Center?

At Barat Center, we follow a December 31 birthday deadline. Applicants must have turned three-years-old by December 31 to apply for their first year in Barat Center. Students must also be potty-trained to enter Barat Center. 

The number of years spent in Barat Center will depend on when the student is eligible to enter kindergarten. At Sacred Heart Greenwich, students must turn five-years-old by August 1 to enter kindergarten. If a child is not eligible for kindergarten after two years in Barat Center, they will have the benefit of spending a third year in the program, as a bridge to their kindergarten experience.

What happens when my child “graduates” from Barat Center?

Upon graduating from Barat Center, your child will be well prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond. Having laid the foundation for kindergarten readiness at Barat Center, our students will naturally and confidently transition to their next academic experience. For girls at Barat Center, graduation will bring them to the “big building” to begin kindergarten in Lower School at Sacred Heart Greenwich. For our boys, Barat Center faculty and administration will work with graduating families to find the best fit for your son’s kindergarten journey. Our ultimate goal is to prepare your son or daughter for a positive and successful experience in their future classrooms.

Will my child learn a world language in Barat Center?

Children in Barat Center are introduced to three languages throughout the year: Chinese, French and Spanish.  World language specialists engage with our young learners, using games, songs and poems. They connect language study to the other learning that is taking place in Barat Center. 

What are the school hours? Do you have half-day or full-day programs?

Barat Center offers three half, three full, five half or five full days. The three day program runs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Our school day begins at 8:15 a.m. Half days run until 11:45 a.m. Full days run until 3:00 p.m.

Do you have early morning care for Barat Center students?

Yes. Early morning coverage is from 7:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. Then, students enter classrooms to prepare for the 8:15 a.m. start of the school day.

Does Barat Center offer extended day options or after school enrichment?

Yes. Barat Center students may attend our extended-day coverage until 5:30 p.m.  We also offer “Enrichment Afters,” an exciting array of after-school programs, such as Critter Caravan, Tiger Cub Swim, or cooking from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

How can parents get involved at Barat Center?

The building of community is one of the Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education.  We honor the young child by creating a family-friendly culture in which our youngest students thrive. Parents are encouraged to help children transition into the school day by walking them into Barat Center each morning. As a child progresses, his or her needs will change. However, the door will always be open so parents can hug their children good-bye, as they send them off to another great school day.

Barat Center parents are welcomed and encouraged to become involved in any way they can. Teachers welcome parent volunteers in the classroom for activities and on field trips as chaperones. Parents are also encouraged to visit on their child’s birthday to read a special story. Barat Center also hosts community events throughout the year to bring families together, such as “Dads with Donuts” or “Spring Maypole Celebration.”

The Parents’ Association at Sacred Heart actively welcomes Barat Center families. Class Coffees, Pot-Luck Dinners, Fall Festival and Book Fair are just a few examples of school-wide community events led by parent volunteers. 

What does a typical day in Barat Center look like?

8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.: Arrival and Supported Transition Time (Whole Group)

A smooth transition from home to school is vital for our early childhood students.  Our nurturing faculty offers Barat Center students purposeful support, as they arrive each day.  The transition time includes learning to store belongings in their cubbies before settling into a fine motor activity.


8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.: Circle Time (Whole Group)

Circle Time is another important component of successful transition.  A specific area of the Barat Center is designated for circle time, where students familiarize themselves and acclimate as a large group. Routine skills and activities, such as singing, gross motor games, and taking turns being active participants and leaders, are components of daily Circle Time.


8:50 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Center Time (Small Groups, Ability Grouped)

Structured play-based centers are designed to concentrate on specific academic areas and offer individualized exposure and instruction.  During Center Time, students practice and master their literacy and writing skills, number sense, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, fine motor development, and vocabulary.  The faculty works with students in small groups to reinforce unit concepts.  Children are grouped according to their developmental ability, and move through four to five centers within the allocated time.  Groups change throughout the year, based on growth and need.


10 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.: Morning Snack (Whole Group)

Snack time not only allows our students to refuel and re-energize, but also to practice social, emotional and behavioral skills.  Independence, responsibility, empowerment, and dialogue are developmental skills that are encouraged during this time of the day.  


10:20 a.m. - 11 a.m.: Large Group Literacy/Math (Two Separate Groups)

This is an opportunity for students to receive initial exposure and begin practice in “broad stroke” literacy and mathematical concepts and skills. Throughout the year, students will alternate between math and literacy. The change in subject will be based upon group growth and instructional pace of learning. Groups will be split, based on developmental ability.


11 a.m. -11:30 a.m.: Lunch (Large Group)

Barat Center students bring lunch to School.  Teachers and students eat together in the classroom, and an intimate setting is created to allow for socialization during lunch.  The faculty also takes this time to talk about wellness and nutrition. Barat Center half-day students depart after lunch.


11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.: Story Time (Large Group)

After lunch, students come together to relax and listen to a story.  Story time reinforces literacy skills and “book sense,” and helps children calmly transition from lunch to rest time.


11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Rest and Free Play (Large Group)

All children rest for 20–30 minutes, or more if needed, on cots.  Those who do not need more than 30 minutes move to the other room for supervised and guided free-play time.  This gives the children a chance to explore the classroom freely, be imaginative, make independent choices, and engage with each other socially.


1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.: Recess (Large Group)

The Barat Center has its own playground and recess equipment.  Recess gives children an opportunity to practice and develop gross motor skills, and experience social interactions in a less structured, outdoor setting.   


1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.: Enrichment/Special Time (Two Groups)

Barat Center students are exposed to subject and content areas connected with the “big school.” Students sometimes leave Barat Center to visit the Lower School art room, music room, science lab, library, dance studio or gym.  Enrichment activities, such as cooking, world languages, yoga, Maker Space projects, and movement take place right in the Barat Center.   Students have the added benefit of instruction from faculty in the wider Sacred Heart community.    


2:30 p. m - 3 p.m.: Free Play/Craft Activities and Snack (Large and/or Small Groups)

To reinforce independence and decision-making skills, we offer our Barat Center students the opportunity to decide how they want to spend their free time.  Children may choose to visit one of the free-play centers or participate in a craft activity.  The children are supervised and guided; however, the outcomes of these activities will always be open-ended and imaginative.  Depending on weather, some of these activities may take place outdoors.  


3 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.: Dismissal

All students transition to their cubbies and work with teachers on independently preparing to go home.  Teachers place students in parents’ vehicles with loving farewells.