TGP Early Childhood Center

 first umc coral gables

"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me."- Matthew 19:14



Faith | Love | Knowledge |

First UMC Coral Gables-The Growing Place is a well-established Christian early childhood center serving children ages one year through Kindergarten. We provide high-quality care and education based on the latest research and best practices in early childhood education, in a safe, loving and nurturing environment. 

Serving our community and beyond with love and dedication since 1963, The Growing Place welcomes families from all backgrounds, faiths, ethnicities, and nationalities as we value being part of a rich and diverse cultural community.



At The Growing Place our mission is to serve Coral Gables and the greater Miami community by providing early childhood education of the highest quality, within the context of Christian beliefs and practices through:

  • Encouraging an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promoting Christian values through the experience it offers to all its children and their families.
  • Providing a safe, secure, spiritual and nurturing environment where young children can thrive and develop their full potential.
  • Contributing to the Christian nurturing of the family. 

What Makes Us Unique!

Partnerships With Our Church and School Community

  • An active parent-teacher organization
  • An involved clergy team who participate in Chapel and other classroom activities
  • Church and school events
  • Community outreach

Our Team

  • Is a qualified and experienced teaching team

  • Low teacher-to-student ratios and small class size ensure personalized and caring interaction

  • Has an engaged and hands-on administrative team

  • Engages in year-round professional development and teacher training
  •  All staff members have federal background clearance 

  • Staff is first aid and C.P.R. certified


Classroom Approaches

  • Are based on the latest research in early childhood development and developmentally appropriate practice (DAP).

Security throughout the campus is a pivotal component of our everyday efforts:

  • A full-time security guard is on staff
  • Closed campus during school hours 
  • An enhanced security monitoring and response system
  • Comprehensive emergency plan, including monthly drills
  • Automated parent notification 

We are confident your family will feel at home at First UMC Coral Gables-The Growing Place Early Childhood Center as we partner together in providing your child with the best educational experience. We are here to support you in your decision making and appreciate the opportunity to answer any questions you may have.

  • School tours are available and may be scheduled by contacting our school office at (305) 446-0846.
  • If you would like to discuss your child’s needs, or if you need assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to contact The Growing Place Director, Corina Dekker, by calling the school office or by emailing her at




TGP Accreditation


Corina Dekker, Director / (305) 446-0846 / 

DCF License #: C11MD0470