Preschoolers learn best through firsthand experience and active participation. Accordingly, our preschool programs encourage children to experiment with their own five senses. Throughout the day, students participate in entertaining and intellectually rewarding activities designed to spark curiosity and creative thought. These experiences promote physical and emotional development, in addition to reinforcing valuable social skills and self-control. Guiding students through a comprehensive curriculum, preschool instructors capitalize on “teachable moments” that occur naturally throughout the day. Through a blend of academic rigor, social engagement and creative inspiration, your child will learn to sing, skip and count their way to kindergarten.
In our three-year-old classes, writing activities help students improve their communication and fine motor skills. By the time they turn four, most preschoolers can legibly print their own name. Around the same time, many children begin forming their first friendships. To help everyone in the classroom achieve these important social milestones, teachers schedule ample free time between formal lessons. Each and every day, your child will enjoy a healthy balance of structured learning and purposeful play.
In our four-year-old classes, students enjoy new and exciting opportunities to think independently, solve problems and explore. Teachers introduce a broader and more challenging curriculum, focused on writing, phonics and basic number recognition. As a result, children develop the foundations of reading and basic arithmetic.
Around the age of four, children become aware of their unique strengths in relation to other students. During this critical time, we encourage preschoolers to feel confident in themselves and persevere. With a tighter and more structured daily schedule, free time is typically limited to the afternoon.
A typical preschool day starts with group circle time, learning activities, art, music and building projects. After that, children participate in both group and individual learning, free time and directed play. Cooking and science activities tend to be favorites. The following year, students attend a wider variety of specialty classes and monthly field trips.
We recognize the great trust it requires to place your child in the care of another person. To help provide your family the best possible experience:
Daily reports from the teacher inform you of all the important details of your child’s day;
All classrooms are equipped with phones, and parents are encouraged to check in any time they need; and
Teachers will notify you of any health issues or significant changes in your child’s mood or behavior, so that you can plan appropriately.
There is a lead-qualified teacher in every classroom. These instructors have either a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, a Child Development Associate’s degree or an equivalent certification. Each lead teacher is supported by an assistant who helps provide care and instruction throughout the day. We select teachers capable of establishing a safe, creative and inspiring learning environment for every student.
We offer healthy menus and can make adjustments at your request. Served between 8:30 and 9am, breakfast consists of prepackaged items featuring at least two major food groups. Students eat lunch during a half hour period between 11:30 and 12:30pm. Our caterer, Schoolhouse Grill, crafts hot meals that are balanced according to the food pyramid. At 3pm, students are served a snack consisting of at least two major food groups. At 5pm, remaining students are served an additional light snack that will sustain them until dinner. First Steps Academy is accustomed to serving students on a strict diet. Please let us know how we can help accommodate your child’s unique needs.
First Steps is located at 7900 Westpark Dr. Suite A040, McLean, VA 22102
Please contact us by phone at 703.821.6663 or click here.