Family Center

Parenting Groups @Home

To help support parents and young children, the Bank Street Family Center has created weekly virtual groups for parents of children ages 0–5. In these group sessions, parents can consult with child-development experts from Bank Street College of Education and engage in conversations around the topics listed below. We will meet once a week and offer the option of enrolling for Tuesdays or Wednesdays (see details below).

**Parenting Groups@Home are not being offered in Summer 2021.**

Developmental Variations Group

The Developmental Variations groups support families of young children receiving early intervention or special education or services from birth to age 5. This group offers parents a unique space to not only talk about the logistical side of parenting a child with developmental needs, but also the emotional journey. We create a safe, nonjudgmental space to navigate parenting while creating a supportive community of parents. The group shares resources, strategies, and tools to support your time at home with your child and strategies on how to advocate for your child within the various systems. This group meets on Wednesdays (see details below).

  • Topics
    • Transitions (between activities, caregivers, and routines)
    • Behavior (How should I adjust my expectations to the current environment?)
    • Sleep
    • Potty training
    • Creating routines and setting boundaries
    • Sibling relationships
    • Developmental milestones
    • Developmental variations
    • Self-care: then and now
    • How to set up play experiences
    • Expectations of play
    • Extending play with household items
    • Managing educational expectations
    • Balancing family schedules
    • Changes in behavior and regression
    • Language to use with your children around the changing world
  • Meet the Experts

    Gabrielle Felman, MSEd, LMSW

    Photo of GabrielleGabrielle is an expert in infant and toddler development, special education, and parent education. She has specialized in these fields for over 12 years. Gabrielle designs and leads programs for children from birth to age 5 and their caregivers, presents on early and special needs education, conducts workshops at schools for parents and staff, and advises a toy company on appropriate materials for different stages of development. Her practice is play-based and concentrates on social and emotional learning, self-regulation, family relationships, and school success.

    Gabrielle earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Psychology from Boston University. She earned her master’s degree in Early Childhood General and Special Education from Bank Street College of Education and is certified and licensed in both General Education and Special Education. Additionally, she holds a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University.

    Sarah Piel, MSEd 

    Photo of SarahSarah is a passionate advocate for young children and their families. She designs and leads programs for children from birth to age five and their caregivers; presents on early childhood development, parent support, and special needs education; conducts workshops for parents and staff; and is a consultant to a toy company that specializes in infant, toddler and early childhood development. She is a lead teacher and facilitator for programs such as the Bank Street Infant-Toddler Parent Playgroups. Her work in these groups focuses on the early development of social, emotional, and cognitive growth in young children and the pivotal role of their primary caregivers within that process. Sarah has extensive experience as a Special Educator Itinerant Teacher (SEIT). Over the past 15 years, she has mentored graduate students, conducted educational evaluations for the Committee for Preschool Education (CPSE), been a lead teacher for a 2s program at a private preschool on the Upper West Side, and assisted with preschool admissions.

    Sarah earned her BA from Hamilton College and her MSEd from Bank Street College of Education, including a dual certification in Infant and Family Development and Early Intervention/Early Childhood General and Special Education. Sarah externed at the Bernard Pacella Parent Child Center at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, working with mother/toddler dyad therapy groups. She has been a member of the Family Advisory Council at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital since 2011 and is a founding member of New York Early Childhood Professionals.

    Kayla Zionts, MSEd 

    Photo of Kayla

    Kayla has specialized in early childhood general and special education for almost 10 years. Her interest in human development ignited a passion for a career in understanding and reflecting on young children’s development and experiences. Kayla believes deeply in the importance of social-emotional and play-based learning in the context of loving and trusting relationships with children and their families. She is passionate about inclusion, diversity and education as social justice. Kayla has extensive experience as a classroom teacher for children ages 3-5 and a range of developmental abilities, mentoring fellow educators by providing training and reflective supervision and has presented workshops on various topics in early childhood. Kayla currently works as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT), teaches the Bank Street Infant-Toddler Parent Playgroups and serves as an adjunct professor in the graduate special education departments at the City College of New York and Hunter College.

    Kayla earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland and her master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education in Early Childhood General and Special Education.


  • Schedule & Cost

    **Parenting Groups@Home are not being offered in Summer 2021.**

    When groups are available, there is a mandatory five-class commitment, at $175.00 total. Classes meet for one hour, twice a week.
    If you have any questions about financial assistance, please reach out to Jeannette Corey at