Preschool Program

Preschool Program

Success in Learning  •  Success in Life

The Preschool at St. Mary’s Early Childhood Center is Reggio-inspired, nationally accredited, state licensed and Level 4 (the highest level) on Indiana’s quality rating scale. For over 60 years, St. Mary’s has been focused on serving children from all backgrounds with the highest-quality preschool experiences that will transition into a foundation for lifelong success.

The children are involved in the highest quality early learning experiences. We have built-in support for children and families through our food services and access to community and social work services. Our work facilitates cognitive, social, emotional, physical and creative development. The children are ready for school when they complete the program and move on to kindergarten.

“In the Reggio Emilia preschools, each child is viewed as infinitely capable, creative, and intelligent. The job of the teacher is to support these qualities and to challenge children in appropriate ways so that they develop fully.”

-Louise Boyd Cadwell, Author of Bringing Reggio Emilia Home

St. Mary’s Early Childhood Center is now enrolling children ages 3-5!

  • School year: July 31st, 2023 – May 23, 2024 (38 weeks)
  • Curriculum: Reggio Emilia inspired
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 7 children to every 1 teacher
  • Program Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Before and after care services are available.)
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack provided
  • Tuition: $246 per week with financial assistance available. Tuition costs as low as $10 per week based on family income.
  • Locations: Thompson Building (downtown) and Gilliatte Building (Fort Harrison)

About our Preschool Program:

  • Reggio Inspired Curriculum
  • Family Engagement programming
  • Access to Community and Social Work services
  • Daily Meals and Snacks included
  • Low child to adult ratio of 7:1
  • Tuition, Vouchers, and Scholarships Accepted
  • Serving Children Ages 3-5 Years Old

About our Preschool Program:

  • Reggio Inspired Curriculum
  • Therapies and Social Work services provided
  • Daily Meals and Snacks included
  • Low child to adult ratio of 7:1
  • Tuition, Vouchers, and Scholarships Accepted
  • Serving Children Ages 3-5 Years Old

“For years I have described the work of the educators at St. Mary’s as “watching angels on earth.” Their educational practices represent the highest quality of teaching in the context of appreciating and strengthening the child as a capable, competent, powerful learner.”

-Ena Shelley, Retired Dean, College of Education, Butler University

At St. Mary’s, we place deep trust in our families and encourage them to play an active role in their child’s learning experience.

“St. Mary’s has been much more than just a school for me and my 2 children for more than 4 years, it has been a home and a family that we have always felt very much a part of. You have filled our lives with love and compassion and have been right by our side through our good and bad days.”

Children graduating from our program are better prepared to enter kindergarten, excelling in the areas of math, English, personal care, and physical and social-emotional development.

“You have not only taught our children the alphabet and their numbers, you have also taught them the most important lessons of life: Friendship, compassion, independency, team work, humility, tolerance, fellowship, comprehension, responsibility, respect and above all else, hope and love.”

St. Mary’s teaching team is second to none, highly skilled in meeting the diverse needs of children, including those experiencing trauma or who have difficulties in structured learning programs.

“We worried about our son because he struggled in his past day care. St. Mary’s knew how to handle his needs and now he is thriving. The staff cared and understood him.”

St. Mary’s Early Childhood Center offers the highest-quality preschool services at an affordable price for all families.

  • On My Way Pre-K awards grants to 4 year olds from low-income families so that they may have access to a high-quality pre-K program the year before they begin kindergarten. To learn more about On My Way Pre-K and determine if you qualify, please click here. To complete your application for the On My Way Pre-K program for the 2023-2024 school year, please click here.
  • The Child Care and Development Fund is a federal program that helps low-income families obtain child care so that they may work, attend training or continue their education. The purpose of CCDF is to increase the availability, affordability and quality of child care. To complete your application, please click here.
  • For families that work in essential businesses, a Build, Learn, Grow scholarship will cover up to 80% of your child care costs. To determine if you are eligible, please click here.
  • Scholarship support is available to families living in poverty. Most families pay $10 per week when receiving scholarship support directly from St. Mary’s Early Childhood Center. To learn if you qualify, please call 317.635.1491.
  • Tuition is charged on a sliding scale according to each family’s income and financial situation. Full tuition is $246 per week.

“I was very impressed with the center and its ‘the child is capable’ approach. I loved that all the walls were covered in beautiful pictures and comical quotes from the kids. I think that it is such a great experience for those children to have; getting to go on numerous field trips and having teachers that really care and want to be there.”
– Butler University Speech and Hearing Student

Family Engagement

St. Mary’s values the whole family. We work with families through our partners’ suite of services including continuing education support, job resources including training, high school equivalency classes, English language classes and vocational certificates as well as financial education. We also provide support during the Christmas season for families enrolled in qualifying programs.

To learn more about our partnerships with Indy Reads and CAFE’, please contact Kathy Haynes at

“The care and thoughtfulness with our children as human beings is exceptional. I work across the USA and internationally in education- you are a model in both the philosophy/implementation of pre-k/education as well as a model of diversity (socioeconomic and ethnicity). I feel so fortunate for my children to be part of the St. Mary’s family.”
-Robert Price, Parent