Diana Jenkins, Director
Laurie Seaton, Office Manager
Julie Viar, Financial Manager
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 continue to offer a morning program with a supplemental lunch bunch program and now also offer a full day preschool. 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 the 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. Rich and varied active learning opportunities, guided by warm, self-awareness and overall competence. 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. Our Preschool admits children of any race, religion, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges and activities generally accorded or made available through the program.
Fairfax United Methodist Church’s preschool ministry offers several options including full day preschool. We are 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.
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 & movement and lending library sessions, our Halloween Parade, a Thanksgiving Day 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 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.
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 their 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.
Fairfax United Methodist Church Preschool’s curriculum follows these overall themes:
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. At least six activity or learning centers are maintained within each classroom, and children may move freely from one center to another. 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.
Fairfax United Methodist Church Preschool is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. To become accredited, the Preschool voluntarily engaged in a comprehensive process of internal self-study and invited outside professional observers to verify compliance with the Association’s criteria for early childhood programs of the highest quality. FUMC Preschool was found to meet or exceed all criteria regarding staffing, curriculum implementation, administration and health and safety standards.
What is a high quality early childhood program? A high-quality early childhood program provides a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of young children. In accredited programs, you should see:
For more information about the NAEYC or accreditation, visit their web site at: www.naeyc.org/families or call (800)-424-2460.
In addition to accreditation by NAEYC we are 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 the reports, visit their website here. As an accredited program, Fairfax United Methodist Church Preschool takes a leadership role in the community by providing excellence in children’s programs.
In an attempt to protect children with serious allergies we strive to be a PEANUT FREE environment.
Special events for children are celebrated throughout the year. Some of these include; Bring your Parent to School 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.
Children enrolled in morning preschool are eligible to register on a first come, first serve, availability basis. There is an extra fee for each “drop-in” lunch bunch session.
Our morning preschool four-year-olds go on field trips to such places as the planetarium, library, 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, but 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.