Chantilly: Christ Presbyterian Expands Its Preschool

Chantilly: Christ Presbyterian Expands Its Preschool

Flexible schedule to meet needs of families.

Preschool teacher Carolyn Garrett reads a story to students at Christ Presbyterian Church off Route 50 in Fairfax.

Preschool teacher Carolyn Garrett reads a story to students at Christ Presbyterian Church off Route 50 in Fairfax. Photo Contributed

Christ Presbyterian Church is expanding its preschool ministry to include extended day and full day programs for children ages 2 to 5 years old to better meet the needs of the surrounding community. The church is located on Route 50 in Fairfax, just west of the Fair Oaks District Fire Department.

"It's really geared to meet the needs of families," said Pastor Geoff McLean. "Because the half day educational option has diminished while the need for full day care , including education, has grown because of the shift from single income to dual income family life."


Christ Presbyterian Church Pastor Geoff McLean with Diane Volcansek, director of the preschool program.

"We've had a half day traditional preschool program for over 20 years, of which we are adding additional options," said Diane Volcansek, director of the preschool program.

The flexible schedules and programming allows families to choose between a traditional preschool program, an extended day, or full-day program. With capacity for 86 children, the preschool will offer the following new menu:

The Before Care Program, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., will have centers and table activities as children arrive to school. At 9:30 a.m., the children will join their preschool classes.

"The Before Care program is an all new option, an early option, for those families that need care before our traditional preschool program begins, however, the focus of all of the programs will be educational," said Volcansek.

From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Preschool Program is where children will be engaged in creative, comprehensive and developmentally appropriate activities. "The Preschool program is about establishing a life-long love of learning and citizenship," said McLean.

The Lunch Bunch will run from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., where children will bring their own lunches and participate in outdoor/indoor activities.

The Extended Day program will run from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. After joining the Lunch Bunch, children will observe a quiet time followed by center time and circle time activities.

"We'll have our Extended Day, which will enable children to expand their learning from morning," said Volcansek. "They will be able to expand their development from the morning program to enhance their learning experiences, provided by our experienced staff."

The After Care Program will run from 3:30 to 5 p.m. After outdoor or indoor play, children will participate in an activity such as art, cooking or table top games. The new preschool schedule will begin next Fall 2016; registration has already begun.

"We wanted to offer that as a way to bring the best of what we have to more people in our neighborhood," said McLean. "Our preschool is well regarded in our community and we want to make it so that more people could be part of it."

The student-teacher ratio of the preschool is as follows: For the 2-year-olds, there are five children to two teachers; for the 2 1/2-year-olds, there are 10 children to two teachers; for the 3-year-olds, there are 15 children to two teachers; and for the 4-year-olds, there are 16 children to two teachers. Volcansek said a lot of the teachers have masters' degrees. "They're really engaged and knowledgeable, and invested in the children," she said.

"Christ Presbyterian Preschool is a natural extension of Christ Presbyterian Church," added McLean. "We have a strong dynamic of family and love of children and the preschool is about us sharing that with the community around us. We have an exceptional staff with many individuals who have been here for quite some time."

The church draws its 200 members from as far as Aldie, with the majority of people coming from the Route 50 Corridor, including Herndon, Chantilly, Centreville, Reston and Vienna.

Christ Presbyterian Church and Preschool is located at 12410 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy., Fairfax, VA 22033. Visit Or contact Pastor McLean at or call 703-278-8365.