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Preschool / Playschool




NEW Virtual Class option for Preschoolers!

Preschool Zoomers!

Now your preschooler can learn from your own home... or anywhere! Learn while virtually engaging with one of our credentialed PDOP preschool teachers. Morning meetings introduce age appropriate learning concepts and themes through songs, stories and finger plays. For more information, click here!

Update for the 2020-21 school year: 

Oak Park’s School District 97 will be utilizing a fully remote schedule for the first trimester of the 2020-2021 school year. The Park District is committed to offering a quality Early Childhood experience for our youngest learners.

  • Due to many factors, there are fewer options for the upcoming school year than had been previously offered.
  • These classes will be offered for the full 2020-21 school year in person.
  • The Park District offers tuition scholarships for eligible families. Please visit to fill out the online form before you register. 

Please direct any questions to Barb Grooms, Early Childhood Supervisor at or 708-725-2108.

For more information click here: 

Playschool   Preschool Pre-Kindergarten

Children are required to reach the required minimum age on or before September 1, 2020. 

Playschool, Preschool & Pre-K

Our programs are PLAY based. Play is an essential part of each child’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Play is important as it:

·        Fosters a sense of self-awareness, self-confidence, and resiliency

·        Develops communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution skills

·        Encourages responsible risk-taking, curiosity, and independence

·        Builds a strong academic skill base through hands-on experience and exploration

Waiting for you are warm and welcoming classes full of active children and supported by a collaborative community of families, teachers and staff.  We recognize children are ready to interact within a secure setting beyond the home, and we provide a warm and nurturing environment that stimulates and encourages the child to explore, create, imagine, and learn. We want to develop thinkers and doers that are innovative, resilient, and compassionate.

Our curriculum is based on developmentally appropriate practices for young children. Literacy skills are developed when they listen and then create their own stories with a teacher on the classroom iPad. Our children are learning science and how to relate to one another when they weigh pinecones together. They learn math skills when they count and sort blocks during play.  Each class brings new tailored ideas and adventures! Age appropriate PLAY and a nurturing environment provides young children opportunities to develop socially, emotionally, and cognitively with hands-on exploration, experimentation, and socialization.

Teacher-directed activities and center time play engage your child in literacy, math, science, art, and motor activities while creating an experience focused on 21st century problem-solving and flexible thinking habits.

Our teachers are the cornerstone of our program. They are warm, creative, enthusiastic and love children. They are committed to providing each individual child with a safe, fun, and positive classroom environment. We pride ourselves on the quality of our staff and their professional development. Each of our teachers has successfully completed a background check, maintain active First Aid & CPR certifications, and are dedicated to continuing their professional development. Each of our teachers completes a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education a year on topics such as brain research, health and safety, special needs, and developmentally appropriate practices by participating in Early Childhood workshops, college courses, or conferences. Many of our teachers have been with us for years and currently possess certifications in the education field. They immerse themselves into our educational program, and we value them for their individual strengths and team player attitudes!  



2 Years Old



This class is a great first independent experience for your child!  Playschool is designed to provide a warm, nurturing environment for children aged 2 years of age.  This transition from home to school will emphasis the active development of your child's social, emotional, and cognitive skills. The caring, qualified teachers will focus on preschool preparedness such as taking turns, following directions, listening, and sharing.  Language development is supported through daily activities that include ABC's, counting, story time, songs, games, and projects. Potty training is not required to enroll in this program; however, upon an accident parents/guardians will be contacted to return to school to assist their child.

3 and 4 Years Old

Students make academic and social gains through authentic discoveries tailored for each child. Creativity, independent thinking, confidence and age-appropriate academic topics are taught through hands-on experiences. Relationship building with peers and other adults is highly valued in a welcoming environment. Every child’s strengths are embraced preparing them for future school success.


Nature is the third teacher when children engage in hands-on activities both inside and out. Multi-sensory nature-based play experiences are the vehicle for individualized learning, problem-solving, and concept integration in the Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center. Low teacher/child ratios promotes development in all areas. 

Preschool & Playschool





4 Years Old


Teachers skillfully create child-specific hands-on experiences provide for writing, math and reading readiness skills. Social and academic opportunities are provided through independent, small and large group work. Social skills, innovation, and problem solving habits are fostered in a collaborative class culture, creating a strong learning foundation.

Please note, program schedules vary per program/center and are a guideline for classroom routines; adjustments to daily schedules may occur due to special events, activities, or student needs.

Contact Us

For more information on any of these programs contact:
Barb Grooms
Program Supervisor

Austin Gardens: (708)606-7702

Carroll Center Playschool: (708) 426-3966

Carroll Center Preschool: (708) 613-1042

Carroll Center Pre-K: (708) 426-3571



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