The classroom friendship of two little boys in elementary school resulted in their mothers’ meeting and starting Gingerbread Cottage Preschool. Both Anne Long and Shirley Patterson were already working in the child care field, but agreed that opening a half day preschool in their own neighborhood was their dream. Therefore, in September 1977 in West End Alliance Church, 3915 Francistown Road, Glen Allen, VA, the doors of the school opened for the first time. That first year, Mrs. Long taught a class of four year olds, Mrs. Patterson taught a class of three year olds, and together they taught a class of two year olds. In the nine years at this location, the school grew and expanded in both staff and students.
In 1986 the school moved to Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 9155 Hungary Road, Glen Allen, VA, where it remained until 1992. The school then moved to its present location in Laurel Presbyterian Church, 9675 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA.
In 1987 and 1996 the school expanded into two new areas. In 1987, Gingerbread Cottage Preschool opened in Berea Baptist Church, 15421 Pouncey Tract Road, Rockville, VA, and in 1996 Gingerbread Cottage Preschool was started in the Northside Baptist Church location at 7600 Studley Road, Mechanicsville, VA. In 2005, the Mechanicsville school moved to Gethsemene Church of Christ, and then in 2008 the Mechanicsville school relocated to Shalom Baptist Church on Walnut Grove Road, where it is presently located.
Throughout the years, the school has truly been blessed. The congregations who have allowed us to rent the facilities of their churches have graciously supported early childhood education. It is the talent, hard work, dedication, and love of our wonderful staff that have made Gingerbread Cottage so successful. In August, 2007 Anne retired from the day to day business of children. In January, 2011 Shirley lost her long battle with cancer. Anne and Shirley knew that their dream of serving young children and their families surely had come true.
Today Anne and Shirley’s dream and legacy continue as Gingerbread Cottage Preschool moves forward still serving the community since it originated in 1977.
The primary mission of Gingerbread Cottage Preschool, Inc. is to provide the community around it with a unique and superior half day preschool program.
To provide a loving, stimulating atmosphere where each child can reach his/her emotional, social, and academic potential.
As the Executive Director of Gingerbread Cottage Preschool, Inc., I have great love and respect for young children. I want the children who leave our school to remember their preschool years as a time of true joy. Having positive experiences in the classroom, learning how to interact in a schoolroom environment, receiving a well-rounded education, and being prepared for the future, are important goals that we value for each child who attends our school. Therefore, I hire a professional, energetic, creative, and talented staff to ensure that these goals will be met. Then we equip the staff with the resources and continued education that they need to fulfill the philosophy of Gingerbread Cottage Preschool.
Parents are our partners in the educational process. Therefore, in every way possible, we honor their contributions, their lifestyles, and their parenting skills.
Our school has served this community since its establishment in 1977, and we are dedicated to providing a happy, creative, learning environment where each child can obtain his/her own individual mental, physical and social potential. Fostering your child’s self-esteem and helping him/her become independent are essential parts of our program.