Early Childhood Development

Advantages of an Academically-Focused Preschool

Early Childhood Development | January 26, 2017
Academically-Focused Preschool

Selecting child care can be overwhelming as you consider all of the possibilities for your children. An academically focused preschool provides opportunities and advantages as they grow in their educational career.

In an earlier blog, we listed five key reasons children benefit from a school atmosphere before kindergarten, including:

  1. Structured Settings
  2. Building Trusting Relationships 
  3. Growing the Sense of Self
  4. Develops Many Skills Including Cognitive Motor Skills 
  5. Develops Interests

Because The Gardner School is focused on academics, we set our students up for success in kindergarten and beyond. We also make it fun so kids want to continue their learning and discovery!


We take the time to understand your child’s unique schedule to ensure their physical and emotional needs are met. Our infant teachers compliment your efforts at home and are a positive extension of your family while your baby is in our care. We begin instilling the foundation of academics with our Sign2Learn teaching of American Sign Language. Learn our five reasons to teach sign language here. With the support of our Itsy Bitsy Yoga classes, our babies are happier and healthier as they prepare for furthering their education.

Toddlers & 2 Year Olds

Our educational curriculum for our toddlers includes unique daily experiences that are both child-initiated and teacher-directed. It’s based on the Creative Curriculum, which focuses on nurturing, consistent and loving interactions in our classrooms. At this age, our students use learning centers to explore their areas of interest such as:

  • Dramatic Play — The Gardner School supplies many fun items in which the children can use their imagination for play. Our teachers rotate prop boxes to coordinate to the weekly or monthly theme. 
  • Science — Our science center allows for students to study subjects including dinosaurs, magnets, plants, prisms and more. 
  • Cozy/Books — Students take their time to read on their own, while playing with stuffed animals.  
  • Fine Motor — Based on age, our childcare centers contain items to develop students’ fine motor skills with such items as pop-up toys, knob puzzles, Legos, board games and more. 
  • Math — Honing in on their math skills, children use fun items such as scales, number-matching puzzles, dominoes and more to learn.
  • Block Center — Guided playtime with blocks helps develop language and motor skills.


From 3-years-old and up, our students follow the national DLM Early Childhood Express Curriculum. This allows our teachers to direct activities, but also allows flexibility for children to independently explore areas of interest. At this age, we introduce the Handwriting Without Tears program. When our preschool students reach our Kindergarten classes, our math program, Math Expressions, combines elements of standard-based instruction with traditional approaches through drawings, conceptual language, and real-world examples.

These structures allow a good balance for both structure and play, which helps build confidence in each child. Want to see how we put our philosophy in action? Schedule a tour at one of our 14 preschools today. You can find a preschool near you here.