Guide to Child Care, Preschools, & Schools in Jacksonville

Disclosure :: We are frequently asked about education programs and recommendations for child care, preschools and schools in the Jacksonville area. We understand that picking a school or child care center that fits your child’s and your family’s needs can be an overwhelming task. Whether you choose private, public, religious affiliation or otherwise – we are thrilled to provide this guide resource to help your family, brought to you by our many sponsors! If you have questions about specific schools we also encourage you to ask the moms in our neighborhood groups about their thoughts and experiences, including our specialty groups for homeschool moms and our newest group for moms of middle school and high school aged kids. Who better to ask about local schools than actual moms who have experienced the schools themselves?

The Playgarden

Early Childhood – Kindergarten :: The Playgarden is located just blocks from the beach, is a perfect place for children (preschooler to kindergarteners) to explore, grow and create. We focus on the whole child: head, heart and hands. Our literacy-rich curriculum includes play, music, poetry, movement, bread-baking, gardening, painting, and frequent walks to the beach.

The Playgarden is very excited to offer a 2, 3 or 5 day Forest Waldorf inspired program to ages 4-6! Our students are fully immersed in all the outdoors has to offer. The long term benefits of learning outside in nature are well researched and documented. Our local parks provide the perfect setting with Florida scrub hammock, forest, wetland, dunes, and beach all in one location. Just like our traditional program, we recognize the benefits of following a predictable rhythm to bring order to our time in the Forest. Each part of our forest rhythm is designed with this in mind and includes circle time, story-time, nature hike, snack, outdoor artistic activities, cooking and baking and of course lots of time for play, observation, exploration, discovery and wonder. In our Nature Immersion program, defined as “unstructured free time in nature resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world”. There is no school building in the Forest Kindergarten. Located at 223 8th Ave. S, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. Phone: (904) 241-3259

St. Mark's Episcopal Day School

Private Preschool & Elementary School :: St. Mark’s provides “an education as unique as your child” for ages one through sixth grade. Our atmosphere is nurturing and friendly because we believe when students feel loved and secure, there is no limit to what they can achieve. The early school years set the stage for a lifetime of joyful learning, and our teachers use each child’s natural curiosity to drive a desire for learning and to promote intellectual, social, physical, spiritual, and emotional growth. Upon sixth grade graduation, our students are well prepared to succeed in any academic environment, take on leadership roles, and have hearts to serve others. With high expectations for academic performance, our well-rounded curriculum also encourages personal achievement and stimulates creative expression through world languages (Mandarin Chinese and Spanish), arts, music, sports, and sciences. Also, a robust after-school program offers a wide range of activities including competitive team sports and Lego Robotics teams. You are invited to visit our beautiful open-air campus to see for yourself the incredible learning environment we provide for children residing throughout Northeast Florida. Located at 4114 Oxford Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32210.  Phone (904) 388-2632

Episcopal School of Jacksonville

Independent Private College Preparatory School 6th – 12th Grade :: Episcopal School of Jacksonville provides a challenging college-preparatory education for approximately 900 students in grades six through twelve within an academically challenging but caring environment focused on four pillars essential to a balanced education. The four pillars include academics, athletics, fine arts and spiritual development and community service. The school’s focus on the Harkness method of teaching, as well as its college counseling program–which begins in ninth grade–helps prepare students for lives beyond secondary school. Through probing classes in world religion studies, and an active community service program, the School instills in its students values and commitments that will equip them for useful lives of leadership. Athletics are competitive for students looking to compete at the college level but available for those who just want to play on a team. Fine arts classes are taught by teachers who are professional artists themselves. Located at 4455 Atlantic Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32207. Phone: (904) 396-5751

Shepherd of the Woods School

Preschool 2 – 8th Grade :: Shepherd of the Woods School provides personalized, values-based learning for students 2-years-old through 8th grade that prepares them for success in our rapidly changing world. Our students thrive in an inclusive environment which focuses on nurturing each child academically, socially, emotionally,and spiritually. Loving teachers guide students in developing inclusive relationships. Our students learn to make a difference both locally and globally. Shepherd of the Woods School is committed to and enjoys learning, loving, and serving! Southside Campus houses preschool classes at 7860 Southside Blvd, 32256. Mandarin Campus houses Kindergarten through 8th grade at 6595 Columbia Park Ct, 32258. Phone 904-641-3393.

St. Johns Country Day School

Private College Prep School PreK – 12th Grade :: St. Johns Country Day School provides a strong college preparatory program. It maintains high academic standards and offers a demanding curriculum intended to interest all students and challenge them to discover their own capabilities. Its aim is to develop young people who are independent, self-reliant individuals prepared for college and life. Admission is based on developmental maturity, academic achievement, and aptitude regardless of sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious creed. Learning is enhanced by small classes, the interaction of students in Grades Pre-K through 12, and the utilization of the attractive campus environment. Recognizing individual learning styles, teachers employ a variety of instructional techniques.

Founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, the School seeks to develop in each student a sense of self-worth and respect for the values of a diverse school community. St. Johns Country Day School seeks to nurture in its students a continuing desire to learn and the skills necessary to pursue their goals. Located at 3100 Doctors Lake Drive Orange Park, FL 32003. Phone:  (904) 264-9572

The Bolles School

Private College Preparatory School Pre-K – Grade 12 :: An independent college preparatory and boarding school, The Bolles School holds a longstanding reputation for providing a well-rounded educational experience for students in Pre-K through Grade 12. Its four area campuses – Bolles Lower School Whitehurst, Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach, Middle School Bartram and Upper School San Jose – now enroll 1,600 boarding and day students from more than 22 countries and 11 states. Renowned for its tradition of excellence in academics, arts and athletics and its emphasis on servant leadership, The Bolles School provides students an unequaled breadth of opportunities for achievement – enabling every child to optimize his or her unique interests, abilities and talents. Students develop an awareness of exploration, service and personal values in the lower schools that instill a sense of All Things Possible  as they move on to the middle school, upper school and beyond. Bolles inspires boys and girls to pursue excellence through courage, integrity and compassion. This time-honored legacy of learning thrives on every Bolles campus and in the many lives it has shaped over the years. Located at 7400 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32217. Phone: (904) 733-9292

Open House for Parents: Lower School (PreK-5) Ponte Vedra Beach Campus | November 28, 2017 at 6 PM, Whitehurst Campus | November 14, 2017 at 6 PM, Upper School (9-12): San Jose Campus | December 8, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Riverside Presbyterian Day School

PreK3 – 6th Grade :: For 69 years, Riverside Presbyterian Day School has had a passion for foundational childhood education that uniquely lays the building blocks for a lifetime of learning. Our mission is to educate the mind, nurture the spirit and foster the development of the whole child. We provide a child-centered learning environment dedicated to imagination and wonder. Our talented faculty shares a challenging academic program, designed to unwrap the joy of learning through creative explorations. Our students learn to value and respect the unique qualities inherent within themselves. Please visit our campus and experience the advantage of a Riverside education. Our Admission Open House is Thursday, January 18, from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Located at 830 Oak St. Jacksonville, FL 32204. Phone: (904) 353-3459.

San Jose Episcopal Day School

Private School Pre-K 3 – 6th Grade :: At San Jose Episcopal Day School our mission is to inspire a passion for learning, a life of integrity, and a heart for Christian service.

We believe that relationships are central to our learning community, and the relationships between students, teachers, and families are vital to the learning process. We value extraordinary teachers who support students in the discovery and development of their gifts and talents. Our students become passionate, self-motivated, lifelong learners. To prepare students for success in an ever-changing world, we embrace learning experiences that allow students to develop creative problem-solving skills and critical thinking. We empower students to take a responsible role in their learning and support independent thought. We provide a safe and supportive environment, and encourage children to be adventurous, to take risks, and to view failure as integral to learning. We celebrate student effort and growth, embrace the value of the learning process, and promote perseverance and reflection. Located at 7423 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville. Phone: 904-733-0352

Jacksonville Country Day School

Private School PreK3 – 6th Grade :: We help your child to realize her or his full potential. Our whole-child education approach allows your son or daughter to embrace his or her unique talents and gifts in a safe, nurturing, and family-centered environment. We focus on character education and social-emotional development, as well as encouraging healthy living with daily PE and an emphasis on good nutrition. Led by highly effective teachers, daily learning experiences integrate and emphasize art, global studies, literacy, math, music and movement, science, and Spanish. We invite you to tour the JCDS campus and discover all that our school has to offer. Located at 10063 Baymeadows Road Jacksonville, FL 32256. Phone: (904) 641-6644

Admissions Open House: Thursday, January 11, 208 9:30 ​AM – 11 AM​ JCDS Library, RSVP to [email protected]

Beaches Episcopal School

PreK-3 – 6th Grade :: Beaches Episcopal School is an independent school with a 60-year tradition of academic excellence.  Our school provides a strong academic foundation, integrating a challenging curriculum taught by dynamic, experienced, and enthusiastic teachers in smaller class settings that help students reach their full potential.  A full complement of enrichment classes in fine arts, athletics, and Christian Education provide outlets for personal discovery and spiritual growth.  BES has embraced the Maker Movement by establishing IDEA Studios (Imagine Designing Everything and Anything), spaces that cultivate curiosity, inspire wonder, celebrate unique solutions, and encourage creativity in our students.  Our athletic program provides opportunities for students to learn skills and exhibit sportsmanship and teamwork in a fun atmosphere.  With our preeminent academic program, passionate faculty, skill-building IDEA Studios, unrivaled athletic program, and diverse after-school offerings, Beaches Episcopal School is changing the face of education on the First Coast. Located at 1150 N 5th St, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. Phone:  (904) 246-2466

Admissions Open House Dates: Thursday, November 30, 2017 and Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

Michele Block Gan Yeladim

Toddler Age 1, Preschool – Kindergarten :: Michele Block Gan Yeladim Preschool and Kindergarten provides unparalleled excellence in early childhood education.  Established in 1974, the school is the longest consistently NAEYC accredited program in Northern Florida. Each child’s experiences and learning opportunities are nurtured and facilitated through play, exploration, and creativity. Children achieve success, gain independence and self-confidence while their individual abilities, learning styles, and developmental pace is respected and valued. Enrollment in school is open to all children regardless of race, religious affiliation or ethnic origin; JCA membership is not required to participate. Our award-winning and highly accredited program provides support and respect to both children and families by creating an environment of acceptance that is non-judgmental and includes cultural diversity.

Full and part-time programs are open to children age 1 (and walking) through kindergarten.

Chappell Schools

Early Childhood Development Infants – VPK :: Chappell Schools centers all consist of numerous classrooms and extensive developmental spaces divided into multiple centers for age appropriate groupings. This provides versatility of developmental play and learning experiences. Even our youngest infants and wobblers experience developmental play on soft-surfaced centers, in a shoe-free environment. At Chappell, the primary goal is to promote a safe, child-oriented space where each child can explore, discover and create. Each child’s self-confidence is fostered, self-reliance is encouraged and self-esteem is emphasized. The  beautifully decorated, art-inspired centers provide feelings of warmth, caring and culture. Our classrooms are named for famous artists, soft classical music encourages relaxation and creativity and cheerful fresh flower arrangements adorn the tables in our dining rooms. Chappell Schools also offers After School/Holiday Programs, Enrichment and Summer Camps. 8 Campus Locations: Deerwood, Riverside, San Marco, South, Downtown, North and Emerson.

St. Johns County School District

Area Public Schools :: The St. Johns County School District will inspire good character and passion for lifelong learning in all students creating educated and caring contributors to the world. The St. Johns County School District includes 45 schools and is fully accredited as a quality school s  system by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), a division of AdvancED Accreditation. AdvancED Accreditation is the highest level of accreditation that a school system can receive. Phone (904) 547-7500

Duval County Public Schools

Area Public Schools :: Duval County Public Schools is the 22nd largest school district in the nation and the sixth largest school district in Florida. The district is committed to ensuring that students are prepared for success in college or a career and life. Also, the district will make sure its mission of providing educational excellence is reflected in every school, in every classroom, for every student, every day. Phone (904) 390-2000

School District of Clay County

Area Public Schools :: The School District of Clay County exists to prepare life-long learners for success in a global and competitive workplace and in acquiring applicable life skills. The School District encompasses a 601 square-mile suburban/rural county in Northeast Florida, including the communities of Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Fleming Island, Penney Farms, Clay Hill, Oakleaf and Keystone Heights.

From Green Cove Springs: Phone (904) 284-6500 || From Orange Park/Middleburg: Phone (904) 272-8100 || From Keystone Heights: Phone (888) 663-2529

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