What Makes Little Friends Preschool Unique

Little Friends Preschool is a nurturing, safe environment with built-in, age-appropriate programs that stimulate the mind and body for children ages 6 weeks to four years/VPK.

Teaching Academics

The teaching of academics begins early, but is carefully calibrated to the age and developmental capacity of each child. The curriculum, "Learning Without Tears," is used throughout the preschool, with directed play and activities relevant to every age and stage, using tools that are suitable to each individual child.

We believe that learning through play is the key to early childhood education, so we try very hard to make all learning experiences enjoyable for each child. The inspiring academic curriculum is based on the science of reading.

We know that children develop into proficient readers when they have systematic, explicit instruction. “Learning Without Tears” offers both. Children need to have a knowledge of letters and letter-sound awareness, and they need to understand what they hear. Each week, each class has a special letter – they learn its name, what it looks like, how it sounds, and how it is formed when they write it. They learn how letters to go together to make words, and they learn how to “decode” words.

Firefighters visiting Little Friends Preschool
S.T.E.A.M. Lab looking at gravity

S.T.E.A.M. Lab

The S.T.E.A.M. Lab is one of the most exciting parts of Little Friends Preschool.  "S.T.E.A.M." stands for "Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics," and each of those disciplines is represented in this wonderful space. Inside is a science corner with such wonders as magnetic and light tables, an interactive globe, and an ant farm. There are child-size computers with learning programs, a greatly-adored magnetic white board with all manner of people and places and vehicles and insects and clouds and trees and flowers with which to create scenery, and a child-size library with colorful reading rug, reading tents, and reading nooks, and shelves no higher than their heads.

All institutions of higher learning these days – middle and high schools, colleges and universities – emphasize S.T.E.M. programs, stressing study for both males and females in those fields. We believe a more enlightened approach is to add the Arts into the mix, that a truly well-rounded person is versed in what lifts the soul and the spirit, as well as the more hard-core academic areas. We find children to be incredibly visionary, willing to take huge risks in their thinking, thriving on the response of their peers and teachers as they take flight in imagination.


Reading is BIG at Little Friends Preschool! The teachers read to the children every day, and there are official Library Days, too, when the children go to our Children's Library inside of the S.T.E.A.M. Lab, the attractive, enticing space where the children are often read to by grandparents or our "Celebrity Readers," members of the community who love to introduce to the children their own favorite books and stories.

Teachers dressing up as book characters
Preschool art project making a stepping stone

Music and Art

Music and Art are woven throughout your child's day, and are included daily. The teachers and children sing together every day. Occasionally, when the children sing in other venues on campus, the HAB Minister of Music leads them in rehearsal, giving them professional instruction. When the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra or other professional musicians rehearse at HAB for special programs, the children are allowed to listen to the instruments. The Narthex Art Gallery on the HAB campus provides "field trips" several times each year, whenever the exhibits change. The children are never without child-size crayons and paints to express feelings and observations visually.


The Gardening Curriculum, written for our children by a Master Gardner, allows the children to actually get their hands into the earth, which they absolutely love to do, to learn how things grow and, when practical, to eat the vegetables they grow.

Gardening for food with children
Chapel day with school children


Chapel time happens once a week and is when the children hear stories about some of our heroes and people who have accomplished admirable things, and talk about becoming our better selves. They experience quiet time, and are encouraged to reflect and think. Religion is not taught at Little Friends, but we honor the special days and celebrations of all religious beliefs.

Physical Education

Physical education (P.E.) is taught daily at Little Friends with age-appropriate instruction, especially during play periods out of doors. Little Friends Preschool’s P.E. program is greatly enhanced by S4 Sports Academy’s participation with our threes and fours. S4 teaches the children basic athletic skills, listening skills, hand-eye coordination, a love for games, and physical fitness. The children love this program and respond enthusiastically and zealously.

Girl playing on the playbroun
a group of people are eating at a table

Parental Involvement

Parental Involvement is critical at Little Friends Preschool and is encouraged and supported by the teachers and staff.  The PTA is active and involved, and parents participate in every phase of their children's experience.

Community Service

Community Service is a practice for all appropriate ages at Little Friends Preschool. Areas of need in our community are discussed, teaching the children that others may have deprivations that they could help alleviate, and from time to time, sometimes related to the season (such as Thanksgiving), relevant but simple projects are undertaken to address such community needs.

When VPK children "graduate," they are prepared for 5-year-old Kindergarten in school. Little Friends Preschool is very proud of its 100% readiness for kindergarten rate.  Its graduates are invited to participate in Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church's Baccalaureate Service hosted in May, which also honors the educational milestones of high school and college graduates.  An inspiring event for our young minds!

a red blood drive truck with a donate sign
a boy sitting at a desk with a computer and a keyboard

Management Software

Procarephone app is the excellent management software used by Little Friends Preschool for many functions – communication between the preschool and the parents, signing in and out, pictures during the day of your child’s activities, managing family information, the calendar, tracking attendance, the automation of tuition, newsletters, and a myriad of functions needed by both the preschool and the parents.

If a parent desires to know about diaper changes, for example, or feeding, or tummy time, the parent turns “ON” the Notifications function within the app and receives the timely information. Parents can use Procare to make teacher appointments or to let the school know that the child will be absent or late or has to be picked up early or any other message the parent wishes. Each user has an individualized code to ensure privacy and confidentiality.

What Parents are Saying...

"Little Friends has been a wonderful preschool for our daughter. It's a small, welcoming community with many great families. The teachers are all caring and kind. She has learned so many things while also having fun with her friends. We are so thankful that we found Little Friends!"

Lee Tomore

Now Accepting Applications

Little Friends would love to have your son or daughter join us for the upcoming school year. Space is limited, so please apply.

Preschool girl clapping and singing