A Walk Through Maple Grove’s Preschool Programs

by | Aug 2016

Ave Maria Academy girls at recess.

Ave Maria Academy girls at recess.

Presenting pre-kindergarten programs around town.

Choosing the right preschool for your child is a significant decision. Luckily, there is an abundance of excellent local options, making it a great time to be a kid in Maple Grove.

In addition to family and caregivers, early childhood teachers help prepare little ones for their next big steps into a classroom. Children start kindergarten with developmental skills ranging from social-emotional and self-help, to language and literacy, to math and problem solving. The “Kindergarten Entrance Expectations” section of the Osseo Early Entrance to Kindergarten document identifies many of the skills incoming students are expected to know before the first day, some of which include being independent with self-care tasks, having the ability to listen in a group setting for 10–15 minutes and being familiar with some alphabet letters.

Since each preschool in town presents a distinctive blend in mission and teaching method, it might seem difficult to discern which program will prepare kids adequately. Sometimes a little research can help determine which school fits your child’s needs best. With that, we present a list of the preschool programs around town.

Ave Maria Academy

Since opening in 1999 with a handful of students, Ave Maria Academy’s preschool, grounded in the Catholic tradition, has blossomed into a thriving program consisting of over 60 students. Besides learning how to care for others and develop empathy, graduates leave the program with an understanding of how to learn alongside others. Not as common in most preschools, all teaching is done through whole-group instruction, which helps form character. “Preschool is a very important time to develop character,” notes assistant principal Katie A. Danielson. “If you can teach children self-control, patience and good listening skills, through care and positive attention, it feeds into a quality ability to learn as they get older.”

Bright Beginnings Christian Preschool

Believing a child’s work is his or her play, Bright Beginnings fosters learning through a happy and positive Christian environment.

Casa de Corazón

In addition to full-day Spanish immersion, Casa de Corazón’s curriculum includes rich, cultural themes for students to absorb.

Children’s Learning Adventure

Opened in June, Children’s Learning Adventure incorporates the latest from brain development research and early learning standards. “Our educational curriculum is implemented similarly to an older child’s school schedule,” says Dan Peterson, vice president of development. “Our preschool kids enroll into a home room setting, and from there, they experience seven different specialty learning environments, including a math and science lab, art studio, television studio, library, garden center, a miniature city, and, perhaps the most exciting classroom, a professional grade cooking classroom.”

Curriculum also provides the parent with a “proof of learning” through daily teacher-parent interactions, weekly activity guides with detailed reports, and weekly take-home activities linking learning experiences to the home environment.

Cradle Club

Learning in colorful, educational classrooms, students at Cradle Club are served nutritious meals while being lovingly nurtured and cared for in a clean, safe environment.

Creative Kids Academy Inc.

With curriculum based on a range of learning objectives, Creative Kids Academy values the opinion of each child and helps them to learn and thrive at school.

District 279 Osseo Area Schools in Maple Grove

These district-based preschool programs use Minnesota Department of Education research-based early learning standards to ensure that each child is well prepared for elementary school.

Heritage Christian Academy

From science to numbers, phonics to scripture memorization, Heritage’s Bible-based preschool program engages students in learning. Lessons include music classes three times per week and Mandarin Chinese language classes twice per week. Graduates leave with a sense of confidence and trust in their abilities and the security of the love that surrounds them. Julie Herman, director of admissions and community relations, says: “I really would describe it as an excellent academic training in a joyful setting infused with joyful Christianity.”


Whether students engage in science experiments, create artwork or are introduced to Spanish through songs, KinderCare nourishes present minds and future education.

Karing Kingdom Preschool

Along with activities planned around music, colors, letters, religious holidays, art and more, Karing Kingdom celebrates a child’s budding creativity and uniqueness.

Little Newtons

With instruction in Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, American Sign Language, English and yoga, as well as other engaging topics, a preschooler’s academic success is sure to be enhanced at Little Newtons.

New Horizon Academy

Along with the kindergarten-readiness curriculum, New Horizon Academy instills positive self-esteem in students before they expand their horizons into new classrooms.

Playhouse Preschool

As the oldest and most established preschool around town, Playhouse Preschool‘s veteran teaching staff prepares childre to take the next steps in their kindergarten readiness program.

Primrose School of Maple Grove

Primrose blends a child-directed Montessori approach with a balanced learning curriculum to maximize learning. Along with educational child care, Primrose brings the community into the classroom, engaging students in charitable events like toy and food drives. Students also see staff at school sponsored community events, further connecting the student to the world outside the classroom. Through all of this, students begin to understand their place in the community. “It is trying to drive compassion and empathy for fellow human beings,” says owner Joe Piket. “Those are all things we are trying to teach the kids beyond how to count and how to read.”

Radiant Montessori School

Along with a love of learning, the team at Radiant Montessori teaches children how to talk to each other. Ensuring that each child is given space to learn at his or her own pace, academics are taught in small groups and coupled with practical skills like how to wash a table or cut a banana. Surbhi Madia Barber is a Radiant preschool parent with two daughters, ages 4 and 19 months. “Kindness, empathy, peaceful conflict resolution, social inclusion, self-management and confidence in oneself are all skills that Radiant has emphasized,” Barber says. “Given the importance of these skills in life, I am thrilled when I see the obvious skills-transference at home.”

St. John’s Lutheran Pre-Kindergarten

In addition to art every day, dramatic play, monthly sharing opportunities and field trips in the community, students grow in a Christian direction at St. John’s.

St Vincent de Paul School

St. Vincent De Paul School’s child centered program is infused with the basics of Catholicism and encourages children to explore and learn at their own pace.

Seeds to Seedlings Child Development Center

Seeds to Seedlings provides a safe, clean and friendly environment in which children can flourish.

Shepherd’s Care

While playing, practicing and processing new experiences, Shepherd’s Care guides a child’s growth in a Christian environment.

Shining Light Preschool

In a Christian environment, the school uses a play-based approach to engage students in learning through activities rather than seat work. Kids delight in witnessing butterflies hatching or growing lady bug larva.

Serving a maximum of 20 students, the blended-age classroom at Shining Light fosters positive social skills, focusing on teaching kids how to function in a large group and work with peers. Program director Erica Pfotenhauer says: “Our main goal is to give them a well-rounded experience that is going to allow them to thrive when they get to kindergarten and elementary school.”

Small World Daycare Preschool Learning Center

Inside happy, home-like classrooms, Small World nurtures a child’s innate curiosity into a love for learning.

Step by Step Montessori School of Maple Grove

In addition to optional electives like dance, iPad classes or swim lessons, Step by Step’s school day is planned with Montessori materials that promote creative thinking, problem solving and high esteem.

Tender Time Learning Center

Through positive reinforcement, individualized love and attention, the team at Tender Time teaches children patience and how to grow from their mistakes.

Tutor Time of Maple Grove

Inside warm, intimate and secure classrooms, high quality staff teach students to thrive at Tutor Time.


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