Communication with our parents and prospective parents is very important to us. Because each child and family setting is unique, we encourage you to call the school office with any additional questions you may have about our programs.
First Parish offers a variety of high-quality early childhood programs in a private preschool setting. First Parish Preschool is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.
First Parish Preschool offers full day and half day programs. Full day programs are created by families choosing an AM and PM program. Children staying full day will be given a rest time after lunch and before the child’s PM program. Early drop off (starting at 8:30 AM and late pick up ending at 3:30 PM) are also available as additional options for all day children as well as half day children.
Our classes include programs for 2-year-olds (Playgroup), 3-year-olds (Preschool), and 4-year-olds (Pre-Kindergarten--these children are eligible for Kindergarten the following year), and mixed ages (Discovery). We offer a lunch bunch program from 11:30 to 12:15 for children registered in our Discovery, Preschool, and Pre-Kindergarten Programs.
Morning sessions run from 9:00 to 11:30. The afternoon sessions run from 12:30 to 3:00. We are open at 8:30 AM for early drop off for our 9:00 programs, and until 3:30 PM for late pick-up from our afternoon sessions ending at 3:00. More detailed information on lunch bunch, early drop off, and late pick-up is available by calling the Director at the School Office.
In all programs, our curriculum is based on developmentally appropriate practice, which means that our teachers create experiences for children that are in tune with children's characteristic learning styles. Early childhood is quite different from later school years, as well as adulthood. In each of our programs, children learn through hands-on, direct, interactive experiences and through play and exploration.We also gear all our programs to share in a child's family cultural background, past experience and current circumstances.
Play is very important in all our programs. Our children can progress from independent play in our programs for younger children, to parallel play in our middle-aged groups, to cooperative coordinated play by the older children. All kinds of play are valuable at First Parish.
At First Parish, we organize all of our classrooms to promote active learning and to encourage children to think and talk about their discoveries and creations. Positive self-esteem and self-confidence are fostered at First Parish by offering our children activities that they can master. Confidence is built as children take pride in helping to clean up their room, pour their juice at snack, put on their own coats, spell their own names, or complete a puzzle.
In all of our classrooms, children will have the opportunity to develop through dramatic play. Our younger children will pretend to cry, sleep, and eat. They soon include stuffed animals, dolls, or toys in their play. As children approach 3, they begin to participate in make-believe play with other children. Our 4 and 5 year olds engage in social-dramatic play that provides opportunities to rehearse adult roles. Active play helps children make sense of the world.
You will also see an assortment of art materials, blocks, musical instruments, reading areas, writing materials, listening centers, sand, water, and woodworking areas in all of our classrooms throughout the year.
Large motor development is very important for young children. In all of our programs, we offer outdoor play whenever weather permits. Running, jumping, climbing, skipping, hopping, throwing, and balancing come naturally to children. We also sled on the hill in the winter. It is our goal at First Parish to give our children plenty of practice with their motor development. On days that we do not go outside, we have an indoor recess room that all of our classes use on a rotating schedule.