FUMC Preschool

Preschool Office 703-591-3177   |   preschool@fairfaxumc.org

Diana Jenkins, Executive Director
Laurie Seaton, Assistant Director;  Julie Viar, Financial Manager

About Us

We are an accredited preschool located in Fairfax City, near the intersection of Rt. 50 and University Drive. The school began in 1976 and offers morning preschool for three and four year olds and supplemental programs which include before care and afternoon options from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. 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!

Goals

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.

 

Rated as one of Northern Virginia’s top preschools by

Our 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

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 Classes

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.

Curriculum

The curriculum of Fairfax United Methodist Church Preschool has been developed around the following overall themes:

  • Children in relation to themselves – developing a positive self-concept and an awareness and understanding of physical and emotional uniqueness and growth;
  • Children in relation to others – family, peers, the Church, and their home community.
  • Children in relation to the physical world – developing a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beauty and variety in the natural world, including animals, habitats, and natural systems;
  • Children in relation to God – respect and caring for the diversity in God’s creation.

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:

  • Group time (stories, books, poems, show and share, etc.)
  • Creative art activities and craft projects (painting, clay, collage, crayons, scissors, glue, etc.)
  • Music (finger plays, singing, instruments, records, creative movement)
  • Outdoor play (fenced playground with wheel toys, climbing equipment, sandbox, easels)
  • Indoor movement center (for inclement weather days)
  • Field trips
  • Science and nature studies (walks, gardening, animal care, study of weather and seasons, etc.)
  • Snack (food preparations, cooking, nutrition)
  • Play equipment and creative materials for independent or guided learning in math (blocks, puzzles, games, educational materials, toys, etc.)
  • Writing center (paper, markers, scissors, glue, dictation, support of dramatic play)

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.Early Learning Guidelines, Family & Work Institute, page 2

Accreditation

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:

  • Frequent, positive, warm interactions among teachers and children.
  • Planned learning activities appropriate to children’s age and development, such as reading stories, block building, painting, dress-up and active outdoor play.
  • Specially trained teachers and administrators.
  • Ongoing professional development.
  • Enough adults to respond to individual children.
  • Many varied age-appropriate materials.
  • Respect for cultural diversity.
  • A healthy and safe environment for adults and children.
  • Inclusive environment.
  • Nutritious meals and/or snacks.
  • Regular, two-way communication with families who are welcome visitors at all times.
  • Effective administration.
  • Ongoing, systematic evaluation.
  • Accreditation is valid for five years. During that period, programs should maintain compliance with accreditation standards, document program improvements, and provide notification about major changes.

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.

 

Registration

Requirements
Proof of your child’s identity is required by the Commonwealth of Virginia. An original copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport must be reviewed to complete registration.

Registration Fee
There is a $125.00 non-refundable, annual registration fee for each program. This fee is charged ONLY if there is an opening for your child.

Tuition
A deposit fee equal to one month’s tuition must be paid by August 1st and will be applied to the tuition amount owed for May. Tuition is due on the first day of each month, August through April.

2017-2018 Tuition Fees

Threes: $1, 665 annually; payable in monthly installments of $185 per month.

Fours: $2,205 annually; payable in monthly installments of $245 per month.

Pre-K: $3,240 annually; payable in monthly installments of $360 per month.

Health & Safety
The health and safety of your child is very important. The Commonwealth of Virginia and the Fairfax County Health Department require a Health Form with up-to-date immunizations be filed with us before the first day of school.

In an attempt to protect children with serious allergies
we strive to be a PEANUT FREE environment.

Registration for the 2017-2018 school year begins on
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Downloadable registration forms and paperwork:

Registration Form
Virginia State School Entrance Health Form
Medication Administration Authorization
Parent Handbook

Special Activities

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
Lunch Bunch is an optional, extended day option for families. Children eat a lunch brought from home and participate in free choice play from 12:30 – 1:30 pm.

Children enrolled in extended day preschool are automatically registered for Lunch Bunch.  Children enrolled in morning only preschool are eligible to register on an annual basis or as a “drop-in” on an first come, first serve, availability basis. There is an extra fee for each “drop-in” lunch bunch session, payable upon signup.

Field Trips
The Fours classes go on field trips to such places as the farmers market, 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.

Lending Library
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.

Parent Participation
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.