About the Preschool

The Grinnell College Preschool is located at 1022 Park Street on the Grinnell College Campus. The facility serves both Grinnell College and the community of Grinnell.

The Grinnell College Preschool is a community partner with the Grinnell-Newburg Community School district, which was awarded the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program (VPP) Grant. The Grinnell College Preschool meets the Iowa Quality Preschool Standards (QPPS) that are administered by the Iowa Department of Education, and has achieved a Level 5 with the Quality Rating System sponsored by the Department of Human Services.

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The Grinnell College Preschool is a research laboratory for Grinnell College students and faculty that supports children to develop skills necessary to construct their own knowledge, prepare them for their next school environment, and encourage them to become life-long learners.

The Grinnell College Preschool program provides a rich learning environment that encourages children’s natural curiosity and supports readiness skills.  Grinnell College Preschool has a safe, supportive and nurturing environment where children feel safe, respected, and cared for.  Children take part in planned, active learning experiences to develop skills, build community, and support respect for diversity.  The program also supports the relationship between children, their families, and the preschool staff.

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. 

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

Goals for Children

Grinnell College Preschool provides interactions and experiences to help children:

  • develop motor skills, cognitive skills, social/emotional skills, language skills, and self-help skills
  • develop problem solving skills
  • develop creative thinking skills
  • develop conflict resolution skills
  • develop skills needed to be a member of the preschool community

Goals for Families

Families will:

  • feel welcome in the classroom
  • partner with the preschool to help their children develop readiness skills
  • advocate for their children

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.

Morning Session on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

  • 8:30 a.m.–noon
  • $95 per month

Morning Session on Tuesdays and Thursdays

  • 9–11:30 a.m.
  • $75 per month

Afternoon Session on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays

  • 1–3:30 P.M.
  • $95 per month

The Grinnell College Preschool uses The Creative Curriculum® and provides developmentally appropriate activities and materials with a theme/project/studies approach.  The units are coordinated by the teachers and are often generated by the children’s interests.  There is a balance of active and quiet activities, individual and small and large group activities, child initiated and adult initiated activities, and indoor and outdoor play activities. Learning centers are provided that allow children to explore, experiment, discover, create, and ask questions.

The Grinnell College Preschool is affiliated with the Grinnell College Psychology DepartmentGrinnell College students and faculty conduct projects with consent of parents and the preschool director to teach college students how to conduct research and to explore basic questions of child development. Student class projects are under the direct guidance of the faculty of Grinnell College.

Children who attend the Grinnell College Preschool may participate in a variety of research projects throughout the year. Some projects involve observing children in the preschool building or on video, whereas others require working directly with the child by playing a game or completing an activity.

Parents are informed of the projects to be conducted at the preschool and have the option of participating. When children are registered for preschool, parents are asked to sign a permission slip indicating their willingness to participate in research projects. When projects involve direct interaction with the children, parents will be asked to provide additional written consent for participation.

Completed in 2012, the Grinnell College Preschool serves approximately 50 local children each year and supports the work of over 100 Grinnell College psychology students who observe and interact with the preschool children as part of introductory coursework and upper-level research projects.

The facility features activity areas for large and small motor skills, a classroom with in-floor heat, and additional rooms for observation, meetings, and research. Outdoor attractions include playground equipment and an area of native prairie plants. The building has some “green” features as well: a 3 kilowatt solar array, geothermal and heat-recovery system with occupancy sensors, efficient lighting and daylight sensors, and dual-flush toilets.

The preschool facilities meet the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. The preschool building and grounds are smoke free.

For additional information email Karen Veerhusen-Langerud, or call her at (641) 269-3320.
Grinnell College Preschool, 1022 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112.

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