There is so much learning happening at Grace Preschool between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:30 pm. Of course, our Kindergarten students are learning with Mrs. Athey from 8:30 to 2:30, and our other students are learning from 9-12 or 9-2:30 with their homeroom and special area teachers, but did you know that we have before-care and after-care options available?

When Tami James began as the Director of Grace Preschool in 2020, the need for extended day options became evident early on. She began offering a before-care option for students who need/want to be dropped off before their homeroom class begins. Students can be dropped off starting at 7:30 and then taken to their class at the appropriate time. It is a special time when children of different ages mix, mingle and play together. Recently, the boys and girls had a “snowball fight” with pretend snowballs. They organized the game to get the snowballs in the classroom’s sensory bins. Just yesterday, the children did some yoga before school to get ready for the day. There is always coloring available, and of course, the toys the classroom has to offer are also available. Car ramps and the kitchen area are very popular spots!

It was also evident that many parents needed or wanted their children to be at Grace later than 2:30, so Tami offered an after-care program available until 4:30. Andi McClain teaches our Cultures and Cuisines class to Pre-Kindergarten students on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until 2:30. She is with the aftercare students every day from 2:30-4:30. During this time, Mrs. McClain gives the children time to play outside and in the classroom. The boys and girls always have a snack provided by the school. Andi is masterful at setting up a variety of activities in the classroom, including cooking, games, building materials, dramatic play, and arts and crafts. The children gravitate to activities based on their interests that day, and oftentimes the students put their own spin on the activity she has offered. Just recently, a little girl brought in a stuffed lizard to share for “L Week,” and she wanted to use the materials provided in the arts and crafts center to make a habitat for her lizard! She got her friends to help design a place for the lizard to live! Mrs. McClain reports, “Generally, when we are in the room, a lot is going on – like a studio atmosphere. Some kids work on a project independently, while others need help. Some children enjoy working in groups. Andi rotates and changes up types of art, crafts, games, etc., but they are always offered. Often ideas come from the kids. The activities are most often student-driven. One week Andi led a lesson on making puppets, which enticed the children to create and perform puppet shows for each other. When we had the India drama center, they liked to dress up and dance!” On “National Tea Day,” Mrs. McClain brought in the ingredients for scones and a complete china tea set. The children helped make the scones, baked them, and they even wrote invitations to attend the tea party! The Kindergarteners wrote the invitation and each child signed it! How special to have a tea party with 3, 4, 5, and 6-year-old boys and girls?! Can you tell Mrs. McClain loves her job and is passionate about sharing different cultures and cooking with children?!

At Grace Preschool, we are very proud of all the programs we offer, and we are happy to accommodate families needing a little longer day than a traditional church preschool offers. These before-care and after-care options are available to families once their children are three and potty trained. Please see our website www.GracePreschoolBaltimore.com or email admissions@gracepreschoolbaltimore.com with inquiries.

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