Sterling Forest is the best for families with young kids who want to learn to ski or board. All three of my kids and (truth be told) I learned to ski there. I don't know about the new operators, but it used to be if you got a Pee Wee pass-for young kids, it included free lessons on Saturdays in January & February. I too joined the Ski Club there, and when I went it included free lessons on Sundays for the members (with the same instructors people were paying for lessons with!). This is how I finally mastered my fears and learned to ski. Thank goodness, as the rest of my family are avid skiers and boarders!
My youngest was riding the chair lift for the beginners hill by herself at 5. Yes, it is small, but you can feel comfortable letting your kids ski or board with their friends, they won't get lost. Beginners hill is entirely viewable from the Warming Hut where families could park their gear and lunch in cubbies. (Season Pass holders could rent lockers for the season for about $125). Even the cafteria let people park and sit most of the day without pressuring them to move as soon as they ate. Compared to other resorts the food was fairly reasonable and good. Even the ski shop and repair center were a deal. Since it is small you really get a lot of runs in and can stand to do a few runs even on really cold days.
My kids loved it and still speak wistfully of their seasons at Sterling! They made friends they still keep in touch with years later! We have been to many resorts since, but there is just something about the homeyness and family loving atmosphere of Sterling Forest that we've never found anywhere else ! We are so happy to hear they are opening again, now if we could just get some SNOW!!!