The Growing Place Programs





The Growing Place offers programming for children ages 1 year through Kindergarten


The Toddler Program, for one and two-year-olds, is rooted in the belief that young children learn and grow in their development through purposeful play and meaningful classroom experiences, rich in creative expression and exploration. With a strong focus on predictable and consistent classroom routines, warm, loving and nurturing relationships with trusted caregivers, self-help skills, and supporting development in language, physical, cognitive and social/emotional domains, your toddler will acquire the skills to become a confident and inquisitive learner.



The Preschool program, for three and four-year-olds, is geared towards active classroom participation, hands-on learning, and the belief that preschoolers are driven by a need to discover and investigate as they learn about the world around them. With a curriculum that supports the development of the whole child and a strong focus on developing readiness skills in early writing, reading, math, social studies, science, and the arts, learning becomes meaningful, fun, motivates and supports interdependence and self-reliance in your preschool child.


The Kindergarten program, for 5 and 6-year-olds, is a unique and well-established program in the Coral Gables community. With innovative educational approaches in place to support a strong academic program, a purposeful commitment to the arts, environment and culture, frequent field trips, and community outreach projects, your Kindergartner will develop their academic potential, develop 21st century thinking skills, and discover their role as a responsible and caring citizen in our community and society. All of our Kindergarten students gain admittance to first-grade programs at public, charter, magnet, and private area schools.


Class Ratios

  • One-year-olds: 1:4, max class size is 8 children
  • Two-year-olds: 1:6, max class size is 12 children
  • Three-year-olds: 1:8, max class size is 16 children
  • Pre-K: 1:10, max class size is 20 children
  • Kindergarten: 1:12, max class size is 24 children

Daily Program Schedule

  • Early Morning Care 7:30 a.m. -8:45 a.m.
  • Toddler Program (one & two year olds) 9:00 a.m.-Noon
  • Preschool Program (three & four year olds) 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Kindergarten Program 9:00 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.
  • Extended Care for Toddlers 12:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • After School Enrichment and Extended Care for Preschool and Kindergarten: 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.




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 the 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