The Preschool at the Park is licensed to provide full time care to 15 children ages 36 months old until the first day of kindergarten. The program operates 7:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday from the first day of UMD fall semester classes through the end of May term. Full and part time enrollment options are available.

  • Full Time (Monday through Friday)
  • Part Time (Mon. Wed. Fri.) Part Time (Tuesday/Thursday)


UMD Preschool at the Park provides nurturing care and quality educational experiences for children. We draw on the work of many child development theorists as well as the work of noted scholars and researchers in the field of education.  We strive to stay current and utilize theory and research in childcare, culture, development, and education.  Based on our developmental understanding of children, specific learner outcomes are addressed throughout the year.

We strive to help children

  • Develop a joy of learning, without which later learning lacks enthusiasm, interest, or meaning.
  • Internalize behavior controls, developing self-control and self-discipline.
  • Foster respect for others, the basis of meaningful human relationships.
  • Develop self-confidence, allowing children to try new things, make decisions, and take risks.
  • Develop independence, which enhances the child's feelings of competence and maturity.
  • Maintain a healthy, coordinated body, supporting the child's need for physical development.
  • Establish a foundational understanding of academic concepts, learned through exploration, experimentation, and repetition.

Families are always welcome and encouraged to visit and spend time in our program. We believe in creating a strong partnership with our families as we support each child’s learning and development.

Program Implementation

The implementation of the program begins with teachers seeking to understand the nature of each child and to plan an individualized program with a genuine respect for the child’s developmental needs and individual differences.

We follow the lead of the child in determining activities. The role of the teacher is one of inquiry, to observe closely the classroom life of the child and to prepare the environment and materials that will meet every child's need. The environment and materials entice children to explore and try new things. The teacher encourages and invites children into new activities and acknowledges effort and initiative.

We believe that all children have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. As a staff, every effort will be made to be sensitive and responsive to the needs and interests of each child.