Early Childhood Programs:
Nursery, Pre-K, Kindergarten

Friends’ Central's Mission—to cultivate the intellectual, spiritual, and ethical promise of our students—begins with the education of our youngest students in Nursery, Pre-K, and Kindergarten.

The Early Childhood Program at Friends’ Central offers a stimulating and nurturing environment where young children can grow—academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

Through our play-based, thematic education, children learn to expand their knowledge and imagination, hone their relationship skills, develop problem-solving abilities, and acquire the independence and self-confidence that they need to explore the world around them.

Learn More About Our Nursery, Preschool, and Kindergarten ProgramsDownload our early childhood education brochure now.

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Our Early Childhood Programs


Play-based and Joyful Learning

In Nursery, learning is play-based and joyful. Two highly qualified teachers in each Nursery section guide our youngest students through their first steps at Friends’ Central, encouraging play, exploration, pre-academic readiness, and social skills.

Within guided free play, teachers are intentional about the skills they want to nurture in their students, and they take every opportunity to observe individual needs and affinities so that they can tailor their teaching to suit each child.

Our youngest learners take all the Lower School “specials”—Spanish, art, music, physical education, and science. To begin their Language Arts journey, they keep journals where they practice “kid writing”—writing what they hear in order to begin to make connections between words and writing. Math is everywhere. The question of the day, for example, may ask students to look at paintings from different cultures and choose which one makes them the happiest. They then talk about which paintings were chosen the most and which the least.

The unit on Social Justice—a natural extension of the Quaker testimony of equality—teaches Nursery children to ask are all rules fair?and to have conversations about rules that are unfair. They learn about the giants of social justice, including Malala Yousafzai and Martin Luther King, Jr. Perhaps most importantly, they learn that they themselves can be the agents of peaceful transformation.


You Can't Say You Can't Play

friends central pre-k students

Learning through play remains key for Pre-K students. Equally important, they learn about being a good friend.

Imaginative play and learning are linked, and students build early literacy through reading independently and individually with teachers.

Acting out stories and journal writing help students to stretch their early reading skills. Dress-ups, nature walks, singing, and participating in conversations with classmates and teachers encourage students to observe, listen, and synthesize new information.

Special classes in art, music, physical education, science, and Spanish enrich the day. Weekly visits to the Lower School library help foster an early love of books.


Laying the Foundation

friends central kindergarten students

In Kindergarten, there is lots of play balanced with a focus on preparing students for grade 1 and beyond.

Students’ early literacy flourishes as they master sound/symbol associations, write in their journals, read stories, and recite poetry. Math fluency develops as students learn to recognize numerals, explore spatial awareness through the use of manipulatives, create addition and subtraction sentences, and investigate the world of measurement. Teachers individualize instruction to meet the needs of each child. For example, children who come to Kindergarten reading are encouraged to grow their skills with a program designed for challenge.

Each Kindergarten classroom is staffed with two full-time, highly qualified teachers. Students meet regularly with specialists in art, computers, math, music, science, physical education, and library.

Lower School

Learning to Love Learning

friends central lower school student

In addition to the early childhood education programs listed above, our Lower School prides itself on a broad and varied Grade 1 through Grade 5 curriculum that offers opportunities for each child to explore, discover new interests, and shine.

Classes are small, allowing teachers to individualize challenging work for their students. The result of this education is that students have developed the confidence to speak up for themselves, as well as the skills to articulate their thoughts insightfully and effectively.

Learn more about the Lower School program here.

Contact Us

For more information and to schedule a tour, please contact Lower School Admission at or by phone at 610-642-1018.

Directions to the Lower School  •  Transportation Options for Students

Discover the Magic of our Early Childhood Program!

Request Information

Take a closer look at the Early Childhood Programs at Friends' Central. Our youngest students enter at age 3.

Attend our Nursery Open House
Saturday, April 21 at 9:30 am
Register here!

Sample Nursery Schedule

8:30 am • School Begins
8:45 am • Devotions
9:00 am • Flexible Learning*
9:30 am • Music
10:00 am • Snack
10:30 am • Flexible Learning*
11:00 am • Library
11:30 am • Supervised Play
12:00 Noon • Lunch
12:45 pm • Story
1:15 pm • Rest
2:15 pm • Supervised Play
2:50 pm • Dismissal
*Consists of free play, lessons, activity, and/or craft

Tuition 2018-2019

Kindergarten: $24,850

Pre-Kindergarten: $19,650

Nursery: $19,650