First United Church Nursery School opened its doors for the first time October, 1958, as a parent cooperative with fifteen students. Since that time the school has grown to twelve classrooms with a rich history of providing a high quality early learning experience for young children and a supportive environment for parents.
First United is a non-profit Christian nursery school governed by a Board of Directors under the auspices of the Church Council of the First United Church of Oak Park. The school is licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Children of all faiths, nationalities, races and abilities are welcomed.
More than just a school First United is a community of families and teachers that share in the experience of teaching, inspiring and guiding young children. We recognize parents as a child’s first and most important teacher and a partner with the classroom teacher in the child’s school experience.
The nursery school program supports the development of the child through an early educational experience based on play. Play promotes key abilities that provide children a solid base for later school success including cognitive, physical, social and emotional growth. The child’s curiosity, creativity, confidence and initiative are encouraged and supported at First United Church Nursery School in an atmosphere of warmth and respect for each individual child. Interest centers are established in the classrooms to encourage children’s learning through investigation, exploration and problem solving, which all promote positive attitudes about learning .
Social and emotional development are promoted through the relationship with teachers and through the opportunity to be a contributing member of a group that plans, problem solves and enjoys joint experiences. There are many opportunities during the school day for interaction with other children, and in the process opportunities for growing in ability to share, turn take, communicate ideas, listen to others, and settle conflicts with words. Most importantly, Nursery School is a place to have fun with friends.
Both large and small muscle growth is promoted at nursery school. Physical coordination and large motor development are encouraged through participation in gym and outdoor activities. Small motor development is promoted through manipulation of a wide range of classroom materials.
Establishing positive attitudes about learning, including enthusiasm, engagement, confidence and joy, are goals of the program.