About us

Philosophy

We feel that a child’s first school experience is vitally important in shaping a child’s approach and attitude toward learning and future school situations.  It is also a time when the concepts of morals and personal rights are first being formed.  Most important, a positive self-image, a sense of autonomy and high self-esteem need to be formed and nurtured.  Our school will be a place where growth and development in these areas can be promoted through activities designed to encourage creativity, discovery, and self-expression.   Christian morals and values will be emphasized and demonstrated in all areas.  We will include daily Christian devotions and approach Christmas and Easter as Christian holidays.  The curriculum will include classroom activities and projects designed to stimulate the children in the following areas:

  • Emotional Growth

    • by promoting high self-esteem and a positive self-image.
    • by developing self confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
    • by encouraging self control and the ability to face fears.
    • by encouraging children to feel warmth and security in the school situation and to learn to function independently from their parents.

  • Social Growth and Interaction

    • by encouraging the children to treat their peers with kindness, cooperation, forgiveness, and generosity.
    • by giving the children the opportunity to work with others and to be an integral part of a group.

  • Intellectual Growth

    • by encouraging the children to think for themselves.
    • by helping to develop language and listening skills.
    • by developing perseverance in completing tasks and helping children to broaden attention spans.
    • by encouraging the children to make their own discoveries through exploration and experimentation.

  • Physical Growth and Development

    • by providing outdoor and indoor movement activities to develop gross motor skills.
    • by providing manipulative materials and activities to develop and refine fine motor skills.

  • Self-Expression

    • Language, art, music, and physical activities will provide the children with the opportunity to explore, experiment, and express their ideas and feelings about themselves and their world. Individual expression and activity will be encouraged.

  • Spiritual Growth

    • by encouraging children to learn about God, Christian values and treat others with respect.

Our Staff

GB is overseen by the GB School Board, which is selected group of leaders from Exton UMC. For more information or to register your child, please contact the Director Libby Barringer or call 610-363-0981.

Libby Barringer
Director
Michelle Alvanos
Lead Kindergarten Teacher
Jessica Alexiadis
Bookkeeper
Saloni Bhatia
Assistant Teacher
Suzanne Brown
Assistant Teacher
Heather Compton
Lead 4 Year Old Teacher
Kathleen Wachsmuth
Assistant Teacher
Karen Lammey
Lead 4 Year Old Teacher
Pam McKernan
Assistant Teacher
Ginny Miller
Lead Young 4 Year Old and Preschool Enrichment Teacher
Jill Pfender
Lead Kindergarten Enrichment Teacher
Tracy Shaw
Assistant Teacher
Stephanie Crooks
Assistant Teacher
Stephanie DiMichael
Lead 4 and 3 Year Old Teacher
Megan Fink
Assistant Teacher
Gretchen Fox
Lead Young 4 and 3 Year Old Teacher
Gretchen Grunwell
Lead 2.5 Year Old Teacher and Assistant Teacher
Stephanie Kollhoff
Lead 2.5 Year Old Teacher
Barb Sherlock
Assistant Teacher
Diana Vessells
Church Office Administrator
Meagan Ackerman
Pastor

Our Facilities

Great Beginnings is located in Exton, PA right off Route 100. We are a ministry of Exton United Methodist Church located at 181 Sharp Lane. Our building is locked with a security system only staff can access. All visitors must come through the main entrance, located on the left side of the building marked by signs saying “Great Beginnings Office”.

See photos of our facilities below!

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FAQ

Contact Libby Barringer: libby@extonumc.org or 610-363-0981

The deadline for payment is 1st of the month. A late fee of $15.00 will be charged if payment is not received within 5 days of each payment due date. Any payment no received within 30 days will result in GB requesting that the child be withdrawn from the school. All financial questions, circumstances, or emergencies should be discussed with the Director.

The deadline for payment is 1st of the month. A late fee of $15.00 will be charged if payment is not received within 5 days of each payment due date. Any payment no received within 30 days will result in GB requesting that the child be withdrawn from the school. All financial questions, circumstances, or emergencies should be discussed with the Director.

Currently we only accept cash, check, or money orders for tuition and program payments. We are moving to an online platform soon for credit card and automated online payments.  

Contact Libby Barringer: libby@extonumc.org or 610-363-0981. We can schedule a tour or send you the registration forms.

Any annual tuition that is paid in full by the start of school in September will receive a 2% discount. This does not apply to families receiving scholarship funding. Families with more than one child in the Preschool receive a 10% discount on each subsequent child’s tuition. This does not apply to families receiving scholarship funding or our “Toddler and Me” programs.

Our school is locked all day, everyday with a security system that only GB and church staff can access. To ensure your child’s safety, our school requires that you provide names, addresses, and phone numbers of all persons authorized to pick up your child. Please alert your friends and family members that teachers and/or the Director will ask to see photo identification before releasing your child to someone who is not the parent or familiar to the Preschool staff.

 

All classroom entrances are opened by a staff member for drop off from 9:00 – 9:10 AM and then from 12:30 – 12:40 for PM classes. After this time, this outside door remains closed and locked. Anyone wishing to access GB must ring the doorbell and be let in by the Director.

Yes. GB is a “Nut Free” preschool. Please do not send foods prepared with peanuts or tree nuts.

The preschool doors open to children at 9:00 AM and 12:30 PM. While teachers are in the building prior to that time, they are on site to prepare for the day’s activities; and, as such, will not let you in early.

Any child picked up more than ten minutes late will be charged a $15.00 late fee on the third, and subsequent, occurrences. All late arrivals must be dropped off at the office door.

Great Beginnings follows the Downingtown Area School District for all decisions regarding early dismissals, delays, and cancellations. All school closures will be communicated with parents via email and our social media pages.

Parents, grandparents, family members, friends, and other volunteers are always welcomed, needed, and encouraged to help at GB. Ask your child’s teacher for specific opportunities.