Early Childhood (PRESCHOOL-Kindergarten)

Every project, question, and interest students develop during their formative years in Baker's preschool emerges from a child’s proclivity for play – the ability to imagine creative solutions to problems, the joy of exploring new viewpoints in a meaningful discussion. A playful mind is central to the love of learning.”

 – Carly Andrews, Head of School

In Baker’s early childhood program, we believe in the power of play. Self-initiated play in preschool allows children to learn about themselves and their world. It develops intellectual, social, and emotional skills and lays the groundwork to promote leadership, collaboration, and problem solving.

We believe that play-based learning is the language of childhood. Our mixed-age preschool program offers a caring and stimulating environment that fosters curiosity and wonder. Young learners are immersed in a wide range of creative and outdoor learning experiences designed to generate questions, learn by doing, and build a community. Our child-centered curriculum offers ample opportunities for young learners to tap into their natural interests. Come visit one of the best preschools in Evanston!

Preschool students singing and playing in class

Our Kindergarteners enjoy “Wandering Wednesdays” – weekly outdoor nature explorations that provide contexts to build confidence and develop a sense of wonder about our world. Rain or wind, sun or snow, children venture out on foot or take public transportation  to explore local forest preserves, parks and the nearby beach. They have enjoyed roasting bread sticks in a firepit in the woods, traversing tree logs, touring a unique neighborhood home all while studying the science of weather. Kindergarteners are introduced to  thematic integrated inquiry projects, such as the Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis with topics that are “playable", experiential, and integrate language, essential skills in  literacy, math, social studies and science.  In the Monarch Migration children kinesthetically experience a taste of what a monarch's journey to Mexico feels like as they don their wings, fly through the halls of the first floor and land in Mexico. As the children come to the end of the Monarch Metamorphosis exploration, they wonder about migration.

Early Childhood student creating art in Kindergarten class

Let Our Students Tell You about Baker

Inquiry projects are an important part of a Baker education. These projects not only emerge from children’s play, but are also deliberately planned by the teacher based on children’s interests, observed needs,  as well as local opportunities.  An interest in trees might yield questions about who lives in a tree and a study of forest begins with a walk to a nearby preserve. Baker teachers create spaces that engage young learners in experiences that develop skills in language arts, the sciences, mathematical thinking, and social studies. Honoring diversity in voice and idea contributes to the development of a rich community of young learners. The Baker experience is truly longitudinal.

In Kindergarten, children delve into numerous project and inquiry-based experiences. Art, Music, Movement, Library, Gardening, and Spanish are essential parts of the curriculum along with our Buddy Program with older students. Literacy and math concepts are explored every day through meaningful and authentic activities, such as graphing the weather, labeling stages in the metamorphosis of a butterfly, and observing and noting details about their butterflies in a journal.

Early Childhood students in nature demonstrating dynamic learning

Baker offers  full-day Kindergarten and several preschool options to meet the unique needs of your family:

  • Kindergarten: 8:30am-3:15pm
  • Half-day preschool program:  8:30am – 12:30pm (3 or 5 days per week)
  • Full-day preschool program:  8:30am-3pm (3 or 5 days per week)
  • Beforecare:  7:30am-8:30am (included in tuition)
  • Aftercare: 3- 6pm (additional fee)

Our master’s level early childhood teachers have more than 75 years of collective experience and bring a breadth of knowledge to instill a  natural desire to learn, grow, explore, and wonder. There’s a deep respect for every child’s social-emotional well-being as well as and keen  observational skills to determine how to best support a child’s developing language and cognitive abilities. Right from the start, Baker preschoolers and kindergarteners are engaged in dynamic learning experiences  to negotiate, problem solve, innovate and communicate using a wide range of dynamic learning experiences.