What Our Parents Have to Say About Our Preschool

The First Presbyterian Church Preschool has established a deep and well respected reputation within the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff community. Known for its dedicated staff, age appropriate project-based curriculum and support of families, the First Presbyterian Church Preschool continues its tradition of preparing young people for a lifetime of learning. Preparing young people for their educational journey is an aspect of the Preschool that will never change, even while the Preschool continues to update technology, equipment and the latest in teaching practices (see What is NAEYC Accreditation? and About Our Faculty) .

Click here to download a PDF version of the testimonials

The Preschool is proud of its fine reputation and we look forward to teaching young people for years to come. Here’s what others are saying about the Preschool:


“We chose this preschool after having looked at all of the schools in the area. My husband and I are both educators, and we found that the First Presbyterian Church Preschool has both the best curriculum and most loving environment. Our son is on the quiet side, but he has thrived here because the staff have made a special effort to work with his quiet, quirky personality. He spends all weekend looking forward to the school week. We love the flexibility of the program, the beautiful faith formation, and the play-based learning.”

—Terese McIlvain


“I have been at the First Presbyterian Church Preschool for the last eight consecutive years. I have two children currently enrolled in the school. Three of my oldest children completed their pre-school learning here and then went on to attend Lake Bluff Elementary
School. They are beyond prepared for kindergarten, both emotionally and academically.

“The environment at this school is so warm, welcoming, and inviting. And the staff — it’s easy to see how much they love both teaching and the students. They put much effort into making an interesting, fun, age-appropriate curriculum that changes every year. They also make each child feel special and welcome. My older children still love to visit the school and see their former preschool teachers. I love to see their faces light up when they see
each other!

“All of my children had such a positive introduction to school. This provided a great springboard for a lifelong love of learning — what a gift! My children are all curious and enthusiastic learners and I firmly believe this all stems from this preschool experience.
I had a kindergarten teacher once tell me how easy it is to spot a child from this school. ‘They are the most prepared for kindergarten, both emotionally and academically. They are excited about school from the get-go. And they’re really considerate little people.’ What an endorsement!”

—Annie Atzeff


“Having my daughter born in London, England where children can be on school waiting lists for some time, I actually called to get on the First Presbyterian Church Preschool “waiting list” when she was just a few weeks old! I was clearly a little over-eager and did not need to sign her up for a few years yet. Nevertheless, before we even moved back to the north shore I was convinced that I wanted my daughter to attend this school. I came to witness the happiness and joy that comes from being here from my younger sister who attended the Preschool 20 years ago. To this day, we still giggle at my sister’s gorgeous Fitzgerald class photos and remark at how happy those children were & are. There is a certain happiness and joy from learning that my sister took away from the First Pres Preschool all those years ago; I too wanted that for my daughter. Today, Isabella bounces to and from school and is truly inspired by her teachers and the energy they offer. My philosophy is that preschool should be playful, inspiring and creative. In two short years, Isabella is already exuding that joy and inspiration.”

—Jessica Daehler


“I truly couldn’t be happier with our experience at First Presbyterian Church Preschool! Our son has always liked going to school. But this year is different—he LOVES school. Every morning, I wake up to the question, “Mommy, do I have school today?” If the answer is “yes,” his response is a resounding, “YES!!! I HAVE SCHOOL TODAY!!!” He cannot wait for Monday to come around just so that he can get back to school to see his teachers and friends.

“The teachers and Director are amazing! Every day, they all greet the children with such enthusiasm and genuinely warm, welcoming smiles. You just feel welcome and part of a community that cares for and lovingly embraces your child and family. And I think the staff’s enthusiasm is easily translated into the students’ willingness to listen, learn and participate in the classroom environment. I really love that in each classroom there are 3-4 lead teachers. I feel this enables each child and personality-type to connect with one (or more) teachers and teaching styles.

“First Presbyterian Church Preschool is an amazing, magical place for kids.”

—Nisha York


 “Thirty years ago when we moved to Lake Forest with our children we were fortunate enough to have someone recommend the preschool at First Presbyterian. Since then, my children have attended and, now, with great appreciation my grandchildren.  The same values and enthusiasm for learning that awaited my children are still present. The children develop the curiosity for learning and the discipline to achieve. I loved their projects as much as they did.  We are indeed blessed to have such a loving learning community available to our little ones.”

~ Margaret Hartman, Lake Forest



* Years children attended the Preschool