Blessed Beginnings Preschool is an inclusive and joyful learning environment in the Willowbrook area where every student is greeted by name, fostering a sense of belonging. Through a play-based curriculum, students not only have fun but also engage in active learning, as the school believes play facilitates optimal learning experiences.

The school promotes play-based learning in a Catholic environment for children 18 months to four years old.

Director of Blessed Beginnings, Anna Setiadi, described the school as a tight-knit community.

"We provide a number of ways for parents to be involved. Throughout the year, we have a variety of activities that impact parents and they really appreciate that because they are really interested in getting involved, but they don't know how,” Setiadi said. “They can be involved as much as they want."

Blessed Beginnings Preschool takes pride in its strong parental involvement, hosting various events throughout the year which parents actively participate. These events include festivals, such as the Fall Festival and the spring rodeo-inspired event, which provide opportunities for children to dress up and engage in games and activities resembling a carnival.

Additionally, the preschool incorporates hands-on experiences, such as a petting zoo and a butterfly release, allowing students to witness the fascinating transformation caterpillars undergo while enjoying a Catholic-based curriculum.

Assistant Director Irene Gonzalez expressed enthusiasm for the school's current array of activities and shared their hopes of incorporating even more hands-on activities for students this year. The teachers are particularly fond of this interactive approach, recognizing its effectiveness in promoting children's learning.

The preschool curriculum at Blessed Beginnings includes Spanish lessons, musical activities and dedicated Bible classes for a well-rounded educational experience.

Here is a sample schedule of what a typical day looks like for a student at the school:

9:15 Arrival

9:30 Circle Time

9:45 Class lesson and Centers

10:35 Bible (Tuesday) / Spanish (Thursday)

10:50 Restroom Break

11:00 Snack

11:15 Music - Taught by the music teacher every day

11:40 Playground

12:05 Restroom Break

12:15 Class Mini-Lesson

12:45 Lunch

1:15 Rest / Quiet Time

2:15 Dismissal

In addition to preparing children for kindergarten, Setiadi noted the school's dedicated and experienced teaching staff makes it an excellent choice for early education. The school also provides teachers with the freedom to design their curriculum according to the dynamics of the classroom each year.

"One of the things I think makes the program so successful is that the kids get individualized attention," Setiadi said. "Our classes are small enough to allow our teachers to devote some extra attention to that one child if he or she needs it. We cater to the class rather than catering to a particular curriculum."

The program follows a school year system where students remain together for the entire year without mid-year transitions. This allows students to stay with their peers in the same classroom and then move to the next age group, similar to a traditional school system.

With a focus on individual attention, each classroom during the school year maintains a maximum of 14 children, led by a team of two teachers—a lead teacher and a support teacher.

“The plan is when they leave here, they are ready for kindergarten,” Gonzalez said. “At our school, the teachers are excellent and give students one-on-one attention as they prepare for kindergarten.”

Located on the first floor of the St. Joseph Center at Prince of Peace Catholic Community, the office of Blessed Beginnings Preschool is open from Monday through Thursday during the school year, following the established school hours of 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

This school year, parents will have the opportunity to enroll their children in a new day program, which extends the school's regular hours to a new pickup time of 3 p.m.

During the school year, tours are available upon request and visitors can see more of the classroom dynamics. Right now, visitors can be shown around and given information about the school.

For more information on tuition and to schedule a tour, visit their website, or contact Anna Setiadi at [email protected] or 281-469-4805.

The above story was produced by Holly Galvan with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team. Our integrity promise to our readers is to clearly identify all CI Storytelling posts so they are separate from the content decided upon, researched and written by our journalism department.