Natalie KurekContact
(708) 725-2155

Program Supervisor – Early Childhood
Pilar MartinezContact
708-725-3135

Early Childhood Coordinator

Tuition Scholarships

The Park District offers tuition scholarships for eligible families. Please visit the Scholarship page to fill out the online form before you register. 

Playschool, Preschool & Pre-K

Our programs are PLAY-based. Play is an essential part of each child’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Play is important as it:

    • Fosters a sense of self-awareness, self-confidence, and resiliency
    • Develops communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution skills
    • Encourages responsible risk-taking, curiosity, and independence
    • Builds a strong academic skill base through hands-on experience and exploration

Waiting for you are warm and welcoming classes full of active children and supported by a collaborative community of families, teachers and staff.  We recognize children are ready to interact within a secure setting beyond the home, and we provide a warm and nurturing environment that stimulates and encourages the child to explore, create, imagine, and learn. We want to develop thinkers and doers that are innovative, resilient, and compassionate.

Our curriculum: Children will interact within a positive environment in each preschool/playschool class, allowing them to learn by exploring and experimenting. We provide countless opportunities for discovery,
creativity, problem-solving, and STEM education. Learning activities are designed and chosen to provide organic learning opportunities presented through play and with social-emotional development in mind. We use an emergent, play-based curriculum. Lesson plans are made weekly and studies can last two to three weeks based on the interests of the students.

Our teachers are the cornerstone of our program. They are warm, creative, enthusiastic and love children. They are committed to providing each individual child with a safe, fun, and positive classroom environment. We pride ourselves on the quality of our staff and their professional development. Each of our teachers has successfully completed a background check, maintain active First Aid & CPR certifications, and are dedicated to continuing their professional development. Each of our teachers completes a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education a year on topics such as brain research, health and safety, special needs, and developmentally appropriate practices by participating in Early Childhood workshops, college courses, or conferences. Many of our teachers have been with us for years and currently possess certifications in the education field. They immerse themselves into our educational program, and we value them for their individual strengths and team player attitudes!  

Children are required to reach the required minimum age on or before September 1. 

Contact Us

For more information on any of these programs
please contact:

Natalie Kurek
Program Supervisor
708-725-2155

Austin Gardens: Nature Preschool
708-851-8480

Carroll Center: Preschool
708-851-8476

Carroll Center: Playschool
708-851-8479

Carroll Center: PreK
708-851-8474

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