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For over thirty years First United Methodist Preschool has provided a quality preschool experience for two, three and four year old children in the Charlottesville area. We strive to provide a developmentally appropriate experience for each child within a caring environment.

Our commitment to quality includes ongoing staff education and training, and the use of a well-respected early childhood curriculum. We pride ourselves on our strong preschool community that encourages parent and family participation and community outreach through our scholarship program.

To find out more about our program click on the links to the right.

To receive application materials or for any other information please contact us at (434) 296-6682. You may also download an application (PDF format) by clicking here.

First United Methodist Preschool, Charlottesville, VA
Mission and Philosophy
a typical day
classes and enrollment
Tuition and Fees
discipline policy

Mission & Philosophy


First United Methodist Preschool is a ministry of First United Methodist Church.  The mission of First United Methodist Church is “Changing Lives through Jesus Christ.”  


We believe in providing a supportive and nurturing learning environment for children, encouraging their development through Christian-based education and the High Scope Preschool Curriculum.

We believe that the love and example of Christ is experienced through others and strive to show this love and acceptance to children and their parents.

We believe preschool children learn about themselves and their environment best through active participatory learning.

We believe an excitement for learning is best generated in a setting that presents opportunities and avoids achievement pressures.

We believe in Christian outreach.  To serve both community and church First United Methodist Church members and those outside the con­gregation will work in partnership to serve the preschool program.

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Rev. Al Horton entertains the First United Methodist Preschool, Charlottesville, VA


First United Methodist Preschool uses the High Scope curriculum. Based upon the teachings of Jean Piaget, children are encouraged to be active learners: creating, exploring and experimenting. There are three elements of High Scope that are distinct: planning, key experiences and adult/child interaction. The lead teachers in our classrooms have received training from the High Scope Institute.

- Planning. Children are given an opportunity for planning their activities for a part of each day. The Plan-Do-Review sequence is unique to High Scope and allows children to choose, plan, do and then reflect upon their activities.

- Key Experiences. Teachers construct learning centers and plan activities based on five curriculum content areas: approaches to learning; communication, language and literacy; physical development; social and emotional development; health and well being; and arts and sciences.  Within these content areas are 58 key developmental indicators which are similar to developmental milestones  

The key developmental indicators help staff nurture the whole child and tend to children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development needs.

- Adult/Child Interaction. Teachers and children become partners in learning through the High Scope curriculum.  Teachers provide a consistent daily routine and nurturing environment while observing and planning for the interests and needs of the children.

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First United Methodist Preschool, Charlottesville, VA

Your Child's Day

What will your child do at First United Methodist Preschool? Each day has a balance of structured and unstructured activities that are both child initiated and teacher directed.

Your child can play and learn cooperatively with friends, explore materials and learn at his or her own pace. Although each class routine varies, all children have a greeting time, structured small and large group activities, planning and review time, snack time and active or outside play. Children have access to dramatic play equipment, art activities, sand/water table, music and movement, building and manipulative toys, cooking, reading books, and nature/science materials. Classroom materials are constantly changing as new seasonal themes arise or activities are introduced.

There are also special days during the school year.  Birthdays are simply and joyfully celebrated in the classroom. Three and four year old children, along with parent volunteers, participate in several field trips each year. Some examples of past field trips include plays at the Paramount Theater, strawberry and pumpkin picking, the Virginia Discovery Museum, and the McGuffey Arts Center.

Family events also occur throughout the year such as parent coffees, family pizza night, and an end of the year picnic.

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photoWe believe that small classes and a small teacher to child ratio are essential to provide a productive environment and to offer individual attention. Each of our three classes has a lead teacher and an assistant teacher.

- Two year old class. Meets Tuesday and Thursday from 9 AM -12 noon. Ten children.

- Three Year Old Class. Meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 AM -12 noon. Thirteen children.

- Pre-K/Four Year Old Class. Meets Monday through Friday from 9 AM -12 noon. Fifteen children.

Children must be the age for the class in which they are enrolling by September 30th. Classes are open to children of all religious, ethnic and racial backgrounds. Toilet training is not required for admittance. The school year runs from September through May and follows the Charlottesville and Albemarle school schedules for holidays.

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Tuition and Fees
for 2015-2016


Monthly Tuition

Activity Fee

Snack Fee

2-Year Old Class




3-Year Old Class




Pre-K Class




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Scholarship Porgram

Up to seven (7) full scholarships are available to qualified applicants.

Scholarship families are an important part of our preschool community and are encouraged to be as active in the preschool as possible. The school provides transportation assistance to scholarship families as needed and the church extends support to ensure the scholarship child’s well-being and success in the preschool program.

Information on scholarships can be obtained by calling the preschool.

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First United Methodist Preschool, Charlottesville, VA

Discipline Policy

FUMP Staff adhere to the guidelines for discipline and conflict resolution set by the High Scope Preschool Curriculum.  These include: 

  • Maintaining a supportive environment to keep conflicts at a minimum.
  • Maintaining limits and expectations for behaviors that are developmentally appropriate.
  • Helping children solve conflicts when they arise by gathering information, asking ideas about solutions, helping make a decision about the solution, and encouraging children to act on the decision.

FUMP staff receives ongoing training on behavior, discipline, and conflict resolution.

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First United Methodist Preschool, Charlottesville, VA


All of our staff have experience with young children and both lead teachers bring a wealth of teaching experience and professional education in early childhood to our program. To their classroom experience our staff brings skills from their own parenting, musical and artistic skills, church nursery director experience, and health education experience.

  • Ida Caramanis (Director and Lead teacher of 2’s)
  • Cynthia Newsome (Assistant teacher, 2’s)
  • Jackie Labus (Co-Lead 3’s)
  • Tracy Arbaugh (Assistant Director and Co-Lead, 3’s)
  • Chrissy Porco (Lead teacher, Pre-K/4’s)
  • Emily Gardiner (Assistant teacher, Pre-K/4’s)

Classroom teachers work together as a team and have regular planning time to prepare for each class day. The entire staff meets monthly to address ways to constantly improve our preschool.

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First United Methodist Preschool
101 E. Jefferson Street • Charlottesville, VA 22902
Phone: (434) 296-6682 • Ida Caramanis, director (email)