At the Early Learning Academy (ELA), your child will receive an innovative educational experience designed by the Marymount University School of Education faculty. Our well-trained preschool teachers will provide a personalized learning opportunity based on the unique strengths and abilities of your child. In our brand new secure state-of-the-art facility, your child’s curiosity and creativity will be encouraged through play and hands-on learning.
The ELA is open year round offering Preschool Hours with an extended day option.
Tour reservations may be made for Fridays at 10AM.
Contact Us for more information and to reserve a tour
2807 N Glebe Rd.
Arlington, VA 22207
“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein
At Marymount’s ELA, preschoolers will have special access to a treasure trove of enriching campus-wide opportunities and educational resources at our nationally ranked university. Children learn through play. Our teachers and staff will engage preschoolers in creative and cooperative play, including outdoor activities, art projects, STEM, and literacy, with social skills and independence stressed throughout the day. On-site benefits include a brand new state-of-the-art playground and classrooms, as well as full use of all the University’s resources, including our gymnasium, pool, gardens, library, and campus cafeteria.
Living Educational Lab
Envisioned as a “lab school,” the ELA benefits from evidence-based research from Marymount’s faculty experts across campus in areas such as psychology, health sciences, nursing, counseling, and, of course, education.
Guided by best practices in child development, the ELA provides a safe, innovative, dynamic, play-based environment where young minds reach their full potential in a diverse and engaging university setting. This Early Learning Academy is unlike any other!
Creating diverse educational opportunities through hands-on and play-based learning to support kindergarten readiness
- Educational experiences that foster cognitive, emotional, physical, and social growth in a safe and caring environment.
- Infusing available campus resources to support and explore literacy/language, STEM, the arts, music, movement, and nature. Providing a variety of opportunities to meet the needs and interests of all children.
In addition to collaborating with experts in education, your preschooler will have an opportunity to meet and learn from a thriving and diverse educational community of students and faculty, including athletes, artists, poets, mathematicians, scientists, writers, and beyond!
Parents will be an important part of the ELA community as well. Family seminars, teacher-parent conversations, and opportunities to learn and socialize together with other families will be available in an innovative lab school environment to promote continuous growth and improvement.
Our passion, their future!
Welcome to our preschool! We are excited for the opportunity to work with your child and family. Our registration process is outlined below.
We are now accepting applications!
The first step in our Admissions process is completing the following ELA application and submitting it with a $150 non-refundable application fee here.
The Marymount ELA admits preschool-aged children regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or other protected class or characteristics established under applicable federal, state, or local law.
Enrollment at the Early Learning Academy is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Once you have been notified that your child has been accepted into one of our ELA classes, an enrollment package will be sent to you for completion.
The Marymount Early Learning Academy will use The Creative Curriculum ® for Preschool, a comprehensive,research-based curriculum, which features exploration and discovery as a way of learning, enabling children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical-thinking skills. We’ve chosen this curriculum because it focuses on the skills and knowledge that are most important for helping your child to be successful in school. Throughout the year, The Creative Curriculum ® for Preschool will help us plan learning experiences that are just right for your child, so that he or she can make progress at his or her own pace.
So, how does The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool support your child’s learning? It’s based on 38 objectives for development and learning that focus on all the areas that are most important for school success: social–emotional, cognitive, math, literacy, physical, language, social studies, science and technology, and the arts. These objectives are built into every activity that happens in the classroom, which means that all day long, the teacher is helping your child build skills and knowledge in these important areas.
In The Creative Curriculum ® for Preschool, learning happens through studies. Studies, which span several weeks, are in-depth, project-based investigations of topics that are part of your child’s everyday life. They feature topics like trees, buildings, clothes, and balls. In a study, children raise questions about the topic and find answers by exploring, experimenting, and investigating in a hands-on way—through activities that take place in the classroom and outdoors. Through studies, your child will learn important math, literacy,science, and other skills.
The Creative Curriculum ® for Preschool also has support, built into every experience, for children who are English-language learners and children who have special needs. This helps to ensure that every child can participate in classroom activities and can be successful. There are also many opportunities for families to become involved in what’s happening in the classroom.
In addition to The Creative Curriculum, we will add enriching experiences to your child’s learning in the areas of STEM, literacy, art, music, physical development, and foreign language. Utilizing the endless possibilities that are available on the Marymount Campus, your child will have opportunities to flourish as a learner.
Classes, Hours & Cost
The Early Learning Academy will have a total of 64 preschoolers. Due to anticipated high demand and limited availability, we encourage early applications.
We offer a variety of payment options.
- monthly installments, due beginning September 1st and on the first day of every month;
- quarterly installments, due on the first of September, December, March and June;
- Or in full – the ELA offers a 5% discount for payments in full
Recommend a friend and receive $250 off of your first month tuition, if your friend enrolls their child!
Sibling discount for more than one child enrolled in the ELA – receive 10% off of tuition for one sibling(s).
Preschool Day (9:30am-3:30pm) with hot lunch
|Days||Cost per month|
Extended Day (Preschool Day PLUS 3 additional hours between 7:30am-9:30am and 3:30pm-6:00pm) with hot lunch and morning and afternoon snacks
|Days||Cost per month|
The 2023-24 classes are as follows:
|CLASS NAME||AGE REQUIREMENT||DAYS CLASS MEETS|
The ELA is open M-F from 7:30 pm-6 pm. Please see the calendar for dates the ELA is scheduled to be closed.
Meet Our Faculty
All Early Learning Academy teachers meet Virginia and Arlington licensing qualifications, have obtained all required background checks, and are trained in CPR and First Aid. Staff also attend professional development and continuing education courses throughout the year.
In addition to the classroom teachers, administrative and support staff are here to make your experience at the ELA successful. We believe the most important qualities of the staff is their experience, warmth, and sensitivity to the needs of young children and their families.
Director – Kristen Cunningham
Kristen Cunningham has a history as an elementary school educator and an administrator. Most recently, she served as the Director at Rock Spring Cooperative Preschool. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Principal in Falls Church City and Fairfax County. She has taught preschool, kindergarten, and second grade and is passionate about working with children and families to ensure that social, emotional, and academic learning takes place for every child while they have fun and develop a love of learning.
She and her husband have three children, all in college, and a dog. They stay busy watching their kids play sports and enjoying all kinds of physical activity on their own. Kristen remembers preschool as one of her favorite times with her own kids, and can’t wait to establish the Early Learning Academy at Marymount.
Assistant Director – Jenni Brown
Jenni Brown has worked with young children and their families for over 20 years in roles as volunteer, educator, and administrator. She has been the director of several early childhood learning centers including Centreville Day School and Vine Preschool. Jenni holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, both from Liberty University.
She has lived in Northern Virginia for close to 30 years with her husband. Her interests include traveling to mountain or sea locations, and she enjoys spending time with her family including one granddaughter.
Jenni has a special interest in early literacy development, is motivated to assist young children in reaching their full potential, and is especially excited to welcome children and their families to the Early Learning Academy at Marymount.
ELA Administrator – Debbie McCrery
Debbie McCrery has most recently been a preschool teacher at Rock Spring Cooperative Preschool. A Graduate from American University in 1992 with a BA in Elementary Education, Debbie brings over 25 years of experience in the education field. She’s taught Preschool and Kindergarten for over 15 years, including at Arlington Science Focus and Westover Baptist Preschool. She also taught The Science Seed- science enrichment classes- throughout many Arlington preschools.
Ms. Debbie’s family includes her husband, Marc, 3 children- one at Yorktown High School, and 2 in college and lots of pets (dogs and cats!) The McCrerys are active in many sports, activities, and love to explore different hikes with their dogs.
Lead Teacher – Alex Coronado
Alex Coronado is an experienced early childhood educator who is thrilled to join the Early Learning Academy. With a genuine passion for nurturing young minds and fostering a strong foundation for their educational journey, Alex brings years of classroom experience to her role. Most recently, teaching at The Country Day School.
Alex holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and values the importance of a warm and inclusive classroom environment that supports each child’s unique developmental needs. Collaborating closely with families, Alex strives to establish strong partnerships.
Residing in Alexandria, VA, she shares her life with her husband and their dog, Baby. In her leisure time, she finds joy in gardening and cooking. She is excited about the opportunity to work with the wonderful families at the Early Learning Academy at Marymount. She looks forward to an enriching year, filled with memorable learning experiences and lots of laughter.
Lead Teacher – Eve Maryn
Eve Maryn is excited to join the Early Learning Academy family. She brings several years of experience to her role at the Early Learning Academy, along with a passion for providing a safe, stimulating, and supportive environment where every child can grow and succeed in a way that is meaningful to them. Most recently, she taught kindergarten in the Arizona public school system, and is very eager to bring all of her experiences and knowledge with her to the preschool setting.
Eve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has a passion for guiding children in their language development and working closely with families to ensure every child has a start and solid foundation in their educational journey.
Eve and her small black cat, Shadow, both reside in Alexandria. In her spare time, Eve enjoys quiet time at home watching her favorite musical movies on repeat. Her favorites are Hamilton, Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, and Encanto. She also enjoys skiing with her family in the winter months. She is looking forward to building a strong school family with students and parents.
Lead Teacher – Katrina Brubaker
Katrina Brubaker has worked with children for over 30 years. Her most recent employment being a preschool at Trinity Presbyterian. She also co-owns a small enrichment company, Kinder Art Movement Play, LLC, that offers after school programs and summer camps for preschool-1st grade.
Katrina graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology. She received her Masters of Science Degree in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of the District of Columbia.
She is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and enjoys cooking, baking, gardening and fostering dogs. She loves incorporating baking, gardening and physical movement in the classroom activities. Ms. Katrina also enjoys spending time and traveling with her family! Ms. Katrina’s family includes her husband, Joel, 2 children (one at Yorktown High School and one in college) and their dog, Jesper.
Her work in the areas of teaching and therapy provided opportunities to work with children ages 3 to 13 years and with a variety of educational, behavioral and developmental needs. Ms. Katrina understands that children learn best through play, exploring and being an active participant in the classroom environment. Ms. Katrina is excited to be teaching for the Early Learning Academy at Marymount. She looks forward to fostering a love for learning and developing strong relationships with the families.
Lead Teacher – Michelle Fey
Michelle has been working in childcare since the age of 14. She holds a Bachelors degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a Masters degree in Elementary Education. Her favorite children’s book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and her favorite pass times include shopping, organizing her planner and listening to music. Michelle speaks Twi fluently (a language from Ghana, West Africa). She’s very passionate about learning from children while teaching and nurturing, and is excited to learn, grow and glow with ELA families!
Assistant Teacher – Kimberly Rodriguez
Kimberly Rodriguez has worked with young children and their families for over 10 years and is excited to join the Early Learning Academy family. She is currently pursuing a degree in early childhood education.
Kimberly was born and raised here in Arlington and lives with her dog, Hunter. In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys reading and watching movies with her family on the weekends. Kimberly is looking forward to all of the lessons and wonderful experiences here at the Early Learning Academy.
Assistant Teacher – Flor Peña-Gonzalez
Flor is looking forward to growing and learning through all the great experiences at ELA!
Early Learning Academy Calendar 2023-2024
Early Learning Academy Calendar
|Monday, September 4th||ELA Closed, Labor Day|
|Week of September 18th||School Visits/Meet your Teacher|
|Monday, October 2||First Day of School|
|Friday, November 10th||ELA Closed, Veterans Day|
|Thursday, November 23rd – Friday, November 24th||ELA Closed, Thanksgiving Holiday|
|Thursday, December 21st||Last Day before Winter Break|
|Friday, December 22nd – Monday, January 1st||ELA Closed, Winter Break|
|Tuesday, January 2nd||Classes resume|
|Monday, January 15th||ELA Closed, MLK Day|
|Monday, February 19th||ELA Closed, Presidents’ Day|
|Monday, March 25th – Monday, April 1||ELA Closed, Spring Break|
|Tuesday, April 2 – Friday, April 5||Week of the Young Child Celebration|
|Monday, May 27th||ELA Closed, Memorial Day|
|Wednesday, June 19th||ELA Closed, Juneteenth|
|Thursday, July 4th – Friday, July 5th||ELA Closed, Independence Day|
|Monday, August 26 – Friday, Aug 30th||ELA Closed – Summer Cleaning/Fall prep|
|Monday, September 2nd||ELA Closed – Labor Day|
Inclement Weather Note
The ELA follows Arlington County Public Schools for most weather related closures and delays. Updates and closures will be announced and posted in the Brightwheel App and are also available on major news channels and websites.
Take a Look
Marymount University, a nationally ranked institution of higher learning, was founded in 1950 and is the first Catholic college to be established in Virginia. Through the years, it has grown from a two-year college for women into a comprehensive, coeducational Catholic university serving approximately 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students.
Today and always, MU has stood for intellectual curiosity and the ethical and spiritual development of each individual. We are a student-centered learning community that provides opportunities for personal and professional growth and service to others, while maintaining a global perspective. With students from 49 states and 75 countries, Marymount welcomes people of all backgrounds.
The Gerard Majella Child Care Center opened on the Marymount Campus in 1974 and served Arlington families for many years. The new Early Learning Academy opening Fall 2023 is designed to fill a critical, and deepening, local workforce need as those with young children return to the office.
Mission & Vision
To serve the family with a focus on high quality and innovative early childhood education where preschoolers experience learning through imagination, creativity, and individualized opportunities and interventions while allowing the next generation of educators to observe, apply, and research best practices in ECE.
Guided by research in child development, our goal is to provide a safe, dynamic play-based environment where children discover and reach their full potential in a diverse and engaging university setting.
To positively impact the lives of each child and family and the field of ECE through research based best practices and to be recognized for our commitment to the professional development of current and future educators.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: The Early Learning Academy program is for preschool children ages 2.5 - 5 years old.
Question: What are your days/hours of operation?
Answer: We are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Question: Do you close for the summer?
Answer: No, we provide a year-round program. Our academic year runs from September to August.
Question: Do you serve lunch and snacks?
Answer: A hot lunch and two healthy snacks per day are included in tuition.
Question: What is the teacher/student ratio in your classrooms?
Answer: Our ratios are planned for 1:8 but we will often have lower ratios, as we serve as a lab school with Marymount University.
Question: What is the education background of your teachers?
Answer: Our Lead Teachers hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in an education field. All employees continue their education throughout each school year with additional Professional Development courses and training.
Question: Do you offer full time and part time enrollment?
Answer: The ELA provides flexible program options, offering both full-day programs lasting 9 hours and shorter 6-hour programs. Parents are able to create a schedule that works best for their family however tuition is a set fee.
Question: What is your inclement weather closure policy?
Answer: The ELA follows Arlington County Public School’s closure decisions. Families will be notified via text and email.
Question: How do I apply?
Answer: Use the drop down on the website “Application Process” to submit an application and fees.
Question: How can I schedule a tour?
Answer: Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 7032845778 to schedule a tour.
Question: Is there a nap/rest time?
Answer: All classes are required by VA State Licensing to have a designated rest period for at least one hour but no more than two hours. After the first 30 minutes, children not sleeping may engage in quiet activities.
Question: What type of security is in place at the ELA?
Answer: Our facility can be entered via secure access only. Our entry points have double layers of security with entry through two sets of locked doors. All families will receive emergency preparedness information and as required by licensing, child friendly safety drills will be performed regularly. Additionally, there will be ongoing access to and collaboration with Marymount’s on campus security.
The Marymount ELA is a private preschool program located on the campus of Marymount University. The ELA strives to deliver a dynamic and nurturing educational environment where all children develop a love of learning.
The Marymount ELA is an equal opportunity organization and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin in the administration of its programs, policies, and procedures.
Please send your resume to ELA@marymount.edu if you are interested in applying for teaching or administrative positions.