Preschool / VPK

Learning, Friendship and Fun for Everyone

Yes, we are open for camp! Now enrolling for our Preschool Summer Camp. Potty trained campers ages 3-5. Come for a week or come for the summer!

Now enrolling for fall Preschool and VPK. State funded VPK only is back at Happy Acres.
Add extra hours in any order that fits your family schedule.

Experience you can trust

Since 1954, our mission has been to provide a safe place for children to play, learn, discover and grow. We believe that childhood is a time for children to learn through play. Our preschool program is fully accredited by APPLE and recognized as a Gold Seal Provider by the Florida Department of Children and Families. We adhere to the guidelines for developmentally appropriate programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Our new curriculum is called Beyond Centers and Circle Time and fits our motto “Play, Learn, Discover, and Grow”. The lessons are play based and offer greater flexibility for teachable moments.

Our staff has spent countless hours researching, developing, and training to provide the high quality early childhood education that parents are looking for. Beyond Centers and Circle time still has the centers families are used to, but utilizes them in a different way. Instead of all the centers being in a single room, there is one center per room and the children rotate through rooms spending an entire day in each center/room. The full day gives the child plenty of time to “play out” their learning. Likewise, instead of having a teacher who must learn all the center activities, each teacher focuses on a single center and the children rotate teachers on a daily basis. This provides the child with a highly specialized teacher in that activity as well as personal interactions with multiple teachers.

How do I register my child?

Visit our Registration Page for all the information including a step by step list on how to complete the registration process.

Now open

5:30 am to 10:00 pm

Monday-Friday.

Full time, part time, half days, hourly, drop in, and more.

A typical school day

A typical day starts with a large group Circle Time at 8:30 am. Circle Time is led by our Preschool Director and attended by all preschoolers and their teachers. Children are divided into “play groups” similar to a homeroom. They have a single lead teacher for their 11 member play group and they stay in the group and with their teacher both years of preschool/VPK. The play groups are mixed ages (3-5), consisting of preschoolers and VPKers. Play groups stay together all day but “their” teacher is only with them before Circle Time and after nap. The idea is that children learn to seek comfort from the other children in the play group rather than from a single adult. After Circle Time, play groups transition to the assigned center for the day.

Once in the center, instruction begins with directions on what activities are open for the day. Instead of children having free reign of toys, focus-driven activities are carefully planned out for play. For example, the focus for the month of March is the color green, frogs, and the letter F. During Circle Time, we read a book about families (letter F) and highlight the letter F each time we read it. In blocks, we are working to build a lake (for frogs). In Art, we are easel painting green houses for families. In Fluids, we are painting the Art House (the actual building) with green paint. In cooking, we are making Green Eggs and Ham. In Manipulatives, we are constructing the letter F out of Lincoln Logs.  In housekeeping, we having a Frog Tea (dressing up as frogs and pretending to be frogs during tea time). Each activity done throughout the day has a purpose to reinforce the focus.

Play groups stay in the centers until outside free play time at 10:30 am. Lunch is served for all play groups at 11:30 am in the center for the day. After lunch, children are free to burn off some extra energy until nap begins at 12:30 pm. All children are required to lay down for a rest period. Children who do not nap may quietly read books on a nap mat until 2:00 pm. The afternoon is more relaxed with all groups inter mingling on the playground from 2:00 pm until close. Snack is served buffet style outside between 2:30-3:00 pm. Children serve themselves when they are ready to eat. At 5:00 pm, we wash up again and eat a late snack.

Our classes are small with lower than required student teacher ratios (limit 1 to 11 for ages 3+ during that academic part of the day). Each age group has their own large, shaded playground. Tuition includes care from 6:15am to 6:00pm, home cooked breakfast, lunch and snack. All meals are prepared by our experienced cook and served family style.

Preschoolers also take part in twice weekly pony rides. They participate in gardening, growing and harvesting organic produce which they enjoy tasting! The children are involved in Project Learning Tree and Growing Up Wild Programs. There is always plenty of time and space for outdoor experiences. Our preschool summer camp program offers the children a special time to learn to swim, ride horses, create art, make crafts, play games and generally just be a kid. Preschoolers still have some free time inside to enjoy their favorite classroom pursuits like blocks, dramatic play and story time. If this doesn’t look like a regular preschool, it’s because we are not. We are a family!

One of the best child care centers in Jacksonville

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