About Us

Brief History

It has been said that “necessity is the mother of invention”. In our case that was precisely the motivating factor behind the creation of Pat-Kam School & Early Childhood Center.
Thirty years ago, the founders, Ron and  Geraldine  Clahar, were new parents finding out that the quality of childcare did not meet their expectations and was a larger expense
than they could afford on their professional salaries.Considering that there might be other parents in a similar situation, they canvassed their community and surveyed families in Baldwin, Uniondale, Hempstead and Freeport. The survey confirmed that there was a critical need for affordable, safe childcare facilities that catered to the needs of working parents.

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Ron, the driving force behind the project, decided that they should start a childcare cooperative.  That is, a group of parents pooling their resources to provide childcare services for their children.  We quickly found that the childcare regulations and laws did not permit us to do that, so we decided to forge ahead and form the required child daycare center that would meet the regulatory standard.  We had no clue how much blood, sweat, tears and time it would require for us to become licensed so we could begin providing the care the children needed.  After 1 year of non-stop work the program received its license and opened in our then church building under the name of Guiding Light Early Childhood Center.  After two years of operation at that site, it became necessary to change the location of the program, but the church would not allow us to do that, so we turned over the Guiding Light program to the church and started looking around for a facility to recreate the childcare dream we had.
Five years later, in May 1987, we opened Pat-Kam Early Childhood Center in our own purchased a building at 705 Nassau Road.  We opened our doors on May 31st with two children, one being our second daughter (Kamilah), and two teachers.  By the end of our first year we were at full capacity, providing education and early childhood learning to 32 students with the necessary staff of teachers.  The demand for childcare spaces was so great and pressing, that in 1991 we decided to build additional classrooms on to the rear of the existing building and at the same time renovate the second floor of the building to make it usable for classrooms as well.  Our childcare spaces were filled as soon as they became available.
As we assessed the needs of our parents, we realized that some of them were challenged balancing their professional and personal responsibilities.  In order to promote the continued development of our students and meet the needs of our parents, we developed and launched an after school program.  The afterschool program provided flexibility to support professional work schedules and provided a forum where children could complete homework assignments with continued academic support.   Our Assemblywoman, now Deputy Speaker, Earlene Hooper, was able to secure a grant for us to purchase school buses, under our non-profit organization, Pat-Kam Transportation and Enrichment  Services, Inc., that would provide transportation for these students.  That program has operated at full capacity since day one.   
In 1994 we purchased the 707 Nassau Road property, a two-story brick building that was adjacent to our current facility.  In 1995 we undertook a major construction project to renovate the 705 and 707 Nassau Road buildings and at the same time construct a third building between the two bringing the entire structure into one.  The project was completed in 1996.
In May 1987 Pat-Kam opened its doors as a daycare center catering to children from ages 3 to 5 years old.  As our children reached age 5, many parents wanted to keep their children in the trusted environment in which they had been.  They requested that we expand our services to include kindergarten and we did.  Later as parents requested additional services, we found it necessary to expand our services to include elementary grades – first to fifth.  We currently have a licensed capacity of 132 students in the preschool program and 100 in the elementary school.  Through the years we have had the help of many individuals.  As the saying goes “no man is an island, no man stands alone”.  We offer our thanks to Deputy Speaker of the NYS Assembly, Earlene Hooper,  former Legislator Patrick Williams and Legislator Kevan Abrahams, Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Former County Executive Robert Olden, Reverend Reginald Tuggle, parents, and teachers (past and present) without whom we would not have made it this far. You have helped, encouraged, and supported us which lets us know that you believe in our philosophy that “the end depends on the beginning”.

Mission Statement

Recognizing that a child's academic performance in the higher grades largely depends on early childhood teaching and learning experiences, Pat-Kam's faculty strives to create a positive learning environment to help students to develop their full potential academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.  The "mission" of the school is to use a heterogeneous classroom setting to help students of all abilities learn and grow to their full potential.

Vision Statement

Helen Keller stated, "The greatest tragedy in life is people who have sight but no vision." Pat-Kam strives to be a model  early childhood/elementary school, where children with the help of their teachers and parents have the best opportunity to become valuable citizens and leaders in our society. 


"Because the end depends on the beginning".

School Chant

As smart, as smart, as smart

as can be.

That's what I want to be!

"Because the End

depends on the Beginning."