Rated as one of Northern Virginia’s top preschools by Northern Virginia Magazine
Our preschool is located in Fairfax City, near the intersection of Rt. 50 and University Drive. We opened our doors in the fall of 1976 offering a part day preschool for three and four-year-olds. We have since added Pre-K and Kindergarten. Our staff is passionate about working with young children and is dedicated to offering high quality education and care for the children entrusted to our care. We have a large outdoor play area and indoor space when the weather is inclement. Registration begins the first week of January for our Church members and returning preschool families and for the community during the third week of January. We enroll on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional information about our program such as our philosophy and goals, registration information, forms and other details can be found on this site. We are an outreach of Fairfax United Methodist Church, but we welcome families of any religion or ethnic background, and love to share the traditions, music and foods of all our preschool families. We invite you to call or visit our preschool any time to ask questions, obtain information, or to arrange a personal tour of the school. We love to talk about our program!
Fairfax United Methodist Church Preschool is committed to providing the best possible environment for nurturing young children. We encourage each individual child by placing equal emphasis on physical, social, emotional, creative, intellectual and spiritual development. We offer rich and varied active learning opportunities. We are dedicated to supporting the child and the family. Our curriculum is based on the belief that, for children, play is a developmental opportunity to explore their world, find out how to get along with others, test their skills and muscles, try out new ideas, and problem-solve. We offer daily opportunities to explore art media, science, writing, dramatic play, building, math, literature and the outdoors. Teachers guide and extend the play to refine emerging social and academic skills. All of the activities presented by the teachers are carefully evaluated for a positive educational outcome that can be incorporated into play while giving children lots of practice of important skills. Our program is a part of the Church’s educational and outreach ministries and age-appropriate Christian values guide all curriculum areas. A loving atmosphere of acceptance, trust and structured freedom is our goal to help move children toward love of self, others and God.
Fairfax United Methodist Church’s preschool ministry is committed to maintaining high-quality early learning for every child in our care while offering a program which supports family and community needs.
Our philosophy and goals encourage a balanced growth in social, emotional, intellectual, physical, creative, and spiritual areas. Because we believe play is the most developmentally appropriate and effective avenue of learning for children under six, guided creative exploration is the foundation of all learning opportunities.
Young children are constantly learning and are intrinsically motivated to make sense of their world. They have a natural enthusiasm for knowledge and a desire to make friends while enjoying group activities. They learn best when they have “hands-on” or concrete experiences. Additional information specific to our Kindergarten class can be found under “Kindergarten Curriculum” on the “Curriculum” tab.
Our preschool offers opportunities for children to problem solve and make decisions while learning more about operating in a group setting under teachers’ guidance. We offer an environment which allows children to mature at their own pace, while still offering challenges. These experiences instill skills needed by successful learners.
Our day begins with a personal greeting for each child and a few words describing the activities and materials available for the day. Children have free time to explore the various centers in the room: sensory table, easel, literacy center, manipulatives, blocks, dramatic play, play-dough, floor toys, etc. The children have opportunities to make discoveries about art, the natural world, literature, construction, math and music while gaining experience and confidence in their emerging fine and gross motor skills. Each center offers similar opportunities to gain skills and experience for the whole child: intellectually, creatively, socially, physically, and spiritually. A typical day incorporates circle time with a story, songs, games, a teacher-guided project, snack, a second circle and weather permitting, outdoor play.
Specials include regular Music and Movement classes, Spanish language lessons, and Lending Library; as well as our Halloween Parade, a Thanksgiving Feast, Christmas programs, Easter activities, and events to celebrate our preschool families. Special groups such as puppeteers, storytellers and community helpers visit the school.
Our Kindergarten day begins with a personal greeting and sign-in. Next students independently complete assigned “seatwork” that reinforces the previous day’s lessons. This low stress time enables everyone to ease into the day and chat with friends and teachers. If time allows, individual free play follows, offering a chance to read, do puzzles, play with modeling clay and the like.
After all have arrived, Circle Time begins and includes a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, the day’s news amongst the children, and a morning message relevant to the day’s lessons. Children are encouraged to give their opinions and share their ideas and thoughts. Every effort is made to help students feel safe and confident to express themselves freely. Amongst many other things, Circle Time typically includes songs, weather reports, and a story relevant to the theme of the week.
The remainder of the day is filled with Math lessons in small and large group settings; Language Arts including phonics, handwriting skills practice, literacy activities, and journal writing; and Social Studies/Sciences with small and large group instruction and activities. In addition, the Kindergartners enjoy all the specials listed under “Our Preschool Day” above. Of course, the students break for lunch and also enjoy two playground recesses every day, weather permitting. We love outdoor learning too!
Our primary focus for our Threes program is supporting independence and self-help skills. Teachers aid children in their language development, help them understand and learn how to follow directions and facilitate their problem-solving skills. This is done through a variety of social emotional and physical experiences.
There are two teachers in each classroom and generally no more than 16 children per class.
Our Fours program differs from the Threes in content rather than structure. We offer structured and free play experiences in literacy, mathematics, science, history, and physical/motor development. To smooth the transition to kindergarten, we offer a project-based curriculum approach which includes week or even month-long themes. This provides teachers time to guide children through interactive in-depth studies through stories, imaginative play, games, art and “hands-on” activities to support the theme.
There are two teachers in each classroom and generally no more than 16-18 children per class.
Generally, Fairfax United Methodist Church Preschool’s curriculum adheres to the following overall themes. Please note that additional information specific to our Kindergarten class can be found next under “Kindergarten Curriculum.”
These themes are addressed throughout the year by providing a variety of active learning experiences with literature, music, art, science, health, mathematics, and physical education appropriate to the children’s development levels. Activity or learning centers are maintained within each classroom. Children have opportunities to participate in large groups, small groups, self-selected groups, and individually. In this way, the children encounter many opportunities to gain in language skills, to expand their knowledge, to grow in curiosity, to problem-solve and create, and to improve physical skills. Activities offered include:
Children learn through their important relationships. This is called social learning.
Children learn when they feel good and are engaged in what they are learning. This is called emotional learning.
Children learn when they are making sense of their world. This is called intellectual learning.
Because one type of learning is not more important than another social, emotional and intellectual learning all go hand-in-hand.
In addition to the overall curriculum (please see “Overall Curriculum” directly above), our Kindergarten follows the Virginia Department of Education Standards of Learning. We meet and exceed these standards with a custom curriculum that supports the needs of individual children.
We challenge each child to do their best and celebrate each victory, no matter how small.
Our mornings are academic, including math, reading, and writing. Afternoons are intellectual, including science and social studies; we spend a great deal of time exploring, experimenting, and experiencing. We incorporate nature as much as possible and frequently experience our learning outdoors. (To learn more about our day, please see “Our Kindergarten Day” on the Classes tab.)
Fairfax United Methodist Church Preschool offers a high-quality early childhood program providing a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of young children. We provide all children:
Our program is approved by the Fairfax County’s Office for Children as a Child Care Center and licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a state licensed facility, biannual, unannounced inspections by a state licensing inspector are conducted. Matters relating to health and safety are thoroughly reviewed and reports are posted for review. To review their reports, visit their website. Fairfax United Methodist Church Preschool takes a leadership role in the community by providing excellence in children’s programs.
Special events for children are celebrated throughout the year. Some of these include: Mother’s Day, Dad’s Day, our Halloween Parade, a Thanksgiving Day Feast, Christmas programs, Easter activities, and not to mention — the most important day of your child’s life — their birthday! Periodically, we have special groups visit the school, such as puppet shows, storytellers, professional musicians, interactive theater groups and community helpers such as the police and fire departments.
Lunch Bunch is an optional, extended day option for families. Children eat a lunch brought from home and participate in free choice play from 12 noon – 2 pm.
Our Threes, Fours, and PreK students are eligible to register on a first come, first served basis. Registration for this program is on paper only and handled directly through the preschool office staff.
Our Fours, PreK, and Kindergarten students go on field trips to such places as the planetarium, nature centers and parks, and other locations related to the class curriculum. Our three-year-olds take only one field trip to Fairfax County’s Frying Pan Park in May. All children are required to travel in car seats in the rear seat of cars driven by our parent volunteers.
Every other week, the children visit the Lending Library. The librarian reads a story and the children check out a book to take home. The books are to be returned before the next library day.
We love to have our families involved in our program, although it is not required. Teachers welcome parents to help in the classrooms, to share special crafts, projects, skills, etc. and to provide extra supervision for special events.
Lunch Bunch program available! Details are on the Activities tab.
2021-2022 Preschool Calendar
In an attempt to protect children with serious allergies, we strive to be a PEANUT AND TREE NUT FREE environment.
Our Preschool admits students of any race, religion, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available at the school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national and ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, scholarship programs, and other school-administered programs.