Mission Statement and Philosophy

The Grinnell College Preschool is a research laboratory for students and faculty that helps young children develop skills necessary to construct their own knowledge, prepares them for their next school environment, and instills the value of life-long learning.

The Grinnell College Preschool program keeps current with best practices in early childhood. Using developmentally appropriate practices, we encourage children's natural curiosity and support them to take risks that lead to new skill development. Children feel safe, respected, and cared for as they take part in planned, active learning experiences to build their readiness skills. They also participate in activities that build community and support respect for diversity.

All learning activities are presented through play. These activities engage the children so they can explore, experiment, and imitate as they develop their thinking and problem-solving skills.

Goals for Children

  • Grinnell College Preschool provides interactions and experiences to help children:
  • develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively;
  • develop language skills;
  • develop problem solving skills;
  • develop conflict resolution skills; and
  • learn to be a member of the preschool community.

Goals for Families

  • Grinnell College Preschool provides interactions and experiences to help families:
  • feel welcome in the classroom;
  • partner with preschool to help their children develop readiness skills; and
  • advocate for their children.
Application and Admission

Children must be three years of age by September 15 and be toilet trained to be eligible for enrollment in the fall semester. Each session enrolls sixteen children. Returning students have first priority for re-enrollment and will be enrolled before the assignment of new students. The notice for application will be advertised in The Campus Memo, The Grinnell Herald Register, and The Pennysaver.

Applications are available to families in March. Families will be notified of admission and class assignments at the end of March. Children will be admitted and assigned to a session based upon the age of each child in descending order from oldest to youngest. We try to provide gender balance in each session. There will be a waiting list for only the current academic year. Open positions in each session will be filled from the waiting list based upon the age of each child in descending order from oldest to youngest as well as gender to balance the class until the session is full.

It is the policy of Grinnell College Preschool not to discriminate in its program or activities on the basis of sexual orientation, race, religion, color, national origin, marital status or disability. Our program fosters knowledge of, and respect and appreciation for, the historical and contemporary contributions of diverse cultural groups, as well as men and women, to society. Grinnell College Preschool provides programming for all children, including those with disabilities and unique learning needs. Modifications are made in the environment in order to include children with special needs. Staff will be trained on the identified needs and are able to follow through with specific intervention plans. Children with special needs that are included in the program enrich the experience for everyone involved. The preschool facilities meet the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. People who feel they have been discriminated against are encouraged to report it to the Iowa Department of Education, “Grimes State Office Building”, Des Moines, IA 50319-0146, (515)281-5294. Procedures are available upon request from the director of preschool.


The program provides an innovative curriculum with materials, experiences and teaching methods and strategies that are grounded in the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) principles of child development, including age and individual appropriateness.

All learning activities are presented through play. These activities engage the children so they can explore, experiment, imitate, ask questions and be questioned to further their thinking and problem solving skills.


The Grinnell College Preschool is affiliated with the Grinnell College Psychology Department. Grinnell College students and faculty conduct observations and research projects with consent of parents and the preschool director. These projects are under the guidance of the faculty of Grinnell College and have approval from the College's Institutional Review Board. Children who attend the Grinnell College Preschool may participate in a variety of research projects throughout the year.

When children are registered for preschool, parents are asked to sign a permission slip indicating their willingness to participate in research projects. Some projects involve observing children in the preschool building or on video, whereas others require working directly with the child by playing a game, answering questions, or completing an activity. Parents are always informed of any research project to be conducted at the preschool and have the option of participating.

Sessions and Tuition

M-W-F Morning Session
8:30AM - 12:00PM
$85 per month

T-TH Morning Session
9:00 - 11:30AM
$65 per month

M-T-TH-F Afternoon Session
1:00 - 3:30PM
$85 per month

The Grinnell College Preschool sessions run from September through May. The preschool calendar coordinates with the Grinnell College calendar (which differs from the public school calendar). The calendar for the current year is given out during home visits.

Bills are mailed out at the beginning of each month. Payments may be placed in the payment box at Grinnell College Preschool or sent through the mail. Checks should be made payable to "Grinnell College." If payment is not made within 10 days of the date of the receipt of the bill, and the family has not contacted the Cashier's Office (269-4100), there will be a $5 late fee. If this fee is not paid within 5 days, the child will not be allowed to return to preschool until the bill is paid. If a family finds this payment schedule difficult to meet, the Cashier's Office is available to discuss alternatives. Families are charged for eight months of tuition.

For additional information contact: Karen Veerhusen-Langerud at veerhuse[at]grinnell[dot]edu or (641) 269-3320; 1022 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112.