New Kid on the Block: Vivvi

There’s a new preschool in town, and its owners are trying to disrupt what everyone would agree is a really broken (or at least really expensive) industry.

Vivvi is a start-uppy start-up with a lot of those hallmarks: plans to give the teachers equity, funding from Tribeca Venture Partners and of course the downtown address. It was born out of a tech accelerator in Midtown, where co-founder Charlie Bonello realized that women employed across all sorts of industries were walking away from good jobs because of the price of childcare. (Vivvi is his niece.) Ben Newton, the other founder, was a founding team member at Avenues and had the street cred.

What’s different here, the owners say, is care is available 12 hours a day, 250 days a year, so it works for the working parent, but it is also a preschool with that pedagogical focus. The cost is $3,600 a month for an infant or a toddler, and $2,900 a month for preschoolers. But this is the disrupter part: the school will help your employer apply for federal tax credits to halve the price, and you don’t have to be part of a large cohort to do it.

Newton said teachers will be paid in the mid to high $50K range, as opposed to the $23K city average (what???) for daycare workers. That’s for a 40-hour week on four-day rotations, so that all the hours are covered. Mornings and evenings will have lighter coverage since not all the kids will stay for 12 hours. The administration, he said, can be streamlined and smaller due to the “sweetspot” size of the school.


The school has 7,200 square feet on the ground floor of 75 Varick with frosted storefront windows facing Canal (next to the Jackie Robinson Museum space) and will be maxed out at 90 kids. They are saving 25 percent of the spots for downtown families. And of course there’s tech: the school will use an app called Brightwheel where you can check on your kid throughout the day. All the spaces save the lobby are shoe-free. The video above gives you a digital fly-through.

The school is offering hard-hat tours of the space now, as well as hosting open houses every week. Registration is open for June. And they are already looking for a second site in Tribeca.

75 Varick (at Canal)



  1. Hi

    I am interested in knowing more about your school especially on how the school will assist my employer in applying for federal tax credits to half the price.


  2. “Newton said teachers will be paid in the mid to high $50K range, as opposed to the $23K city average (what???) for daycare workers.”

    That’s because they’re teachers, not daycare workers. They’re two different jobs.