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 an outstanding Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) class. 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. Our program is a part of the Church’s educational and outreach ministries and an 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.
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 staff member greeting and walking each child to the classroom. Once there, children wash their hands, “sign in” by finding their nametag and posting it, and receive 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, field trips, and events to celebrate our preschool families. Special groups such as puppeteers, storytellers and community helpers visit the school.
Our PreK program offers a strong phonics foundation, has a social and culturally diverse approach, and focuses on creating an environment of wonder, discovery and joy of learning.
PreK class offers all the elements, including the specials, you see above listed in “Our Preschool Day” as well as additional content you can read about below.
A typical day in the classroom includes a first circle time with a bilingual greeting song, a prayer, job assignments, the Pledge of Allegiance, and a morning message relevant to the day’s lessons, as well as a review of the letter names and sounds and a story related to the theme of the day. Children are encouraged to give opinions and share ideas and thoughts. Every effort is made to help students feel safe and confident to express themselves freely. They share the day’s news and lead discussions about the question of the day.
Activity time follows, including handwriting practice, arts and crafts, science experiments, journaling, and math activities. Next children enjoy an outdoor break, followed by a second circle when we sing songs, take turns being weather reporters, and practice our numbers, shapes, and colors in both English and Spanish. Our snack time, which starts with a prayer, is followed by quiet reading time. Children choose from a curated selection of diverse books with engaging graphics, interactive content, and simple words to spark their love for reading. During closing circle we dance to Spanish songs that teach vocabulary like shapes, numbers, colors, and parts of the body, and we also read books chosen from our extensive library by the children.
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 14 children per class.
Our Fours programs, 3-Day and 4-Day, differ 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 children per class.
Our PreK program offers children who are not yet kindergarten age an opportunity to experience preschool in a more rigorous way. They have the gift of time to practice and refine previously learned skills and master new ones as they prepare for kindergarten. Work continues on emergent reading and writing skills, and the class features an emphasis on STEM learning. Five days a week together allows more time for deeper exploration of unit themes and added continuity and carry-over for more involved projects.
There are two teachers in each classroom and generally no more than 16 children per class.
Generally, Fairfax United Methodist Church Preschool’s curriculum adheres to the following 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. 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.
Social, emotional, and intellectual learning are all equally important in a complete and well-rounded education.
We challenge each child to do their best and celebrate each victory, no matter how small!
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, field trips, 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.
Early Birds is an optional extended day program. Children may arrive up to one full hour (beginning at 8am) prior to the beginning of class time on any or all of the days they are enrolled in school. They will participate in free choice play and crafts and will be escorted to the appropriate classroom at 9am. Registration for Early Birds is via a paper registration form. Early Bird sessions will cost $10 each although there is a 10% discount for full year registration. As custom registrations are accepted, preschool administration will determine exact cost on a case by case basis.
Lunch Bunch is an optional extended day program. Children eat a lunch brought from home and participate in free choice play and playground time, weather permitting. A two hour Lunch Bunch (12pm–2pm) is offered to our three-day Fours and five-day PreK students on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. (If demand is high enough, this will be added to Tuesdays and Thursdays.) A one hour Lunch Bunch (12pm–1pm) is offered to our two-day Threes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Registration for either of our Lunch Bunch programs is via a paper registration form. Lunch Bunch sessions work out to a cost of $10 an hour although there is 10% discount for full year registration. As custom registrations are accepted, preschool administration will determine exact cost on a case by case basis.
Our 4s and PreK 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.
Each week our 4s and PreK students spend an enjoyable forty-five minutes with our dedicated music instructor. She leads the children in songs, dancing, and musical games.
Our 4s and PreK students all receive basic Spanish language lessons weekly. Lessons are held in their classroom and are led by a wonderful native Spanish-speaking teacher.
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.
Details are on the Activities tab.
2022-2023 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.