The Gingerbread Cottage Preschool

Where learning for the future begins
Celebrating 44 Years of Service to the Community!


Teaching Philosophy

We use a curriculum which fosters self-esteem, takes the individual needs of each child into consideration, encourages respect for others, and provides a wide range of educational experiences for the child.

Our directors are very aware of the SOL standards that must be met in the public school system. Therefore, on every age level, our curriculum is designed to incorporate many pre-SOL skills, which will enable our students to do well as they enter kindergarten.

Each week the curriculum is based upon a different educational theme. All classroom activities, including art, stories, music, and finger plays, revolve around this unit of study. Educational speakers, special emphasis days, cultural studies, and holiday parties are also an important aspect of our program. Gingerbread Cottage Preschool students receive regular musical instruction. Our music teacher provides the children with a variety of songs, creative movement, and a study of musical instruments.

School and Faculty Credentials

Gingerbread Cottage Preschool is licensed by the State of Virginia. The staff meets the qualifications set forth by the State of Virginia for directors and preschool teachers. All of our faculty members are college graduates with many years of preschool teaching experience.


Two and a Half Year Old Program

Staples Mill Location Only

The goals of this program are to teach the child appropriate social interaction with peers and teachers in a fun and education environment. In addition, this program provides the opportunity for the children to become independent from their parents and be more self-confident. Planned creative and developmentally appropriate activities in the areas of art, music, stories, finger plays, and creative movement are part of this program on a daily basis. Art projects are designed to help a child follow directions and explore various mediums, but are always considered an optional activity. The Handwriting Without Tears preschool reading and writing curriculum is used to teach important readiness skills including: body awareness, social-emotional skills, drawing, and counting. This program is continued as part of the three year old curriculum.

The ratio of teachers to students is 2 to 12 for this program, and the child does not have to be potty trained.

Three Year Old Program

The goals of this program are to help the student learn to interact with other children in both work and play and to develop the child’s ability to listen, follow directions, and become independent.

The Handwriting Without Tears preschool literacy curriculum provides an introduction to the alphabet and handwriting. Some of the other academic areas of study include colors, shapes, numbers 0-10, nursery rhymes, opposites, name recognition, health and nutrition, and the environment and recycling. A variety of hands-on activities provide opportunities for imaginative play and creative learning.

The ratio of teacher to students is 1 to 10 for this program, and the child must be potty trained.

Four Year Old Program

The goals of this program are: to teach the child to socially interact with others in work and play; to lengthen the student’s attention span; to develop his/her ability to listen¸ follow directions and become independent; and to prepare a child mentally, emotionally, and physically for kindergarten. Academically, a child will learn to write his/her name, to know personal information (address, telephone number, parent’s full names), to count from 1-20, to recognize numbers 0-15 and what each number represents, to know the alphabet, colors, shapes, opposites, rhyming, sequencing, recognizing parts of the body, and money recognition. Math, science, and pre-reading activities are incorporated into weekly lessons.

The ratio of teacher to student is 1 to 10 for this program, and the child must be potty trained.

PRE K Program

Staples Mill Location Only- Pre K Program

The goals of this program are to help your child become a confident learner and provide a strong foundation for his/her future school experience.  Children participate in whole class, small group, and individual activities throughout the day to foster cognitive and social development. 

Literacy, math, science, art and music are incorporated during the week through a variety of strategies and hands on activities. Using a theme based curriculum, our teachers design lessons to support the following areas:

Literacy and Language Skills
  • Letter Recognition and Sounds
  • Rhyming
  • Opposites
  • Positional Words
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Pre-reading skills (Left to Right directionality and Introduction to Sight Words)
  • Writing name the kindergarten way (using Upper and Lowercase letters)

Mathematical Skills:

  • Colors and Shapes
  • Patterns and Sorting
  • Counting to 20
  • Number Recognition (0-15)
  • Number Writing
  • Exposure to Money

Additionally, the teachers collaborate to plan monthly theme based enrichment days for the children to enhance the curriculum and spark curiosity.  On these days, children rotate to different classrooms to experience various aspects of the theme being studied.

The ratio of teacher to students is 1 to 10 for this program, and the child must be potty trained and fully independent in the bathroom.  Self-help and independence skills are encouraged as this is an expectation in the kindergarten classroom.

Special Events & Celebrations

  • Fall Festival
  • Thanksgiving Feast
  • Christmas Family Sing-a-long
  • PJs and Pancakes Day
  • Donuts for Dads
  • Muffins With Moms
  • Holiday Parties
  • Spring Music Program
  • Steam Days