What will my child learn in preschool? Will they make friends? Will they like school? Who will be their teacher?

As the parent of a preschooler, you might find yourself asking these or similar questions as you research private preschools in Columbia, MD. Whether you’re looking for daytime care or kindergarten readiness, you want to make sure you find a high quality program that feels right for your family. 

At Columbia Academy, we see preschool as an opportunity for your child to develop the confidence, social-emotional competence, and academic foundational skills that will help them succeed in kindergarten and beyond — but also as an opportunity to make new friends and develop a love of learning. 

Below you’ll find more information about our program offerings, how we make each campus safe, who will be working with your child, what a typical day might look like, and more. Take a few minutes to learn more and jot down your questions. When you’re ready, schedule a meeting with admissions

Meaningful programs for curious learners 

Parents have the flexibility to choose a program that is right for their family. We offer three programs based on a child’s readiness and daytime care needs.  

  • Full-Day Program (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) 
  • Academic-Day Program (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) 
  • Half-Day Program (9 a.m. to 12 noon) 

Ages Served

Infants and Toddlers (Ages 6 weeks to 2 years) 
Our youngest learners receive individualized care and instruction that is designed to meet their developmental needs. Our infant and toddler rotation is something that sets Columbia Academy apart from other schools.  Children are grouped into classrooms based on their birthdays, which are as follows (January-April birthdays, May-August birthdays, and September-December birthdays). Our teachers remain with the infants and toddlers throughout their time in the Infant and Toddler Program.  The children transition into new classrooms throughout those critical first two years, yet with the same teachers.  This method allows the transitions to be smooth and comforting for each child, as they are moving with a caregiver that is familiar to them and creates a nurturing and safe environment for them to explore new opportunities. The student-to-teacher ratio is 1:3 with a maximum group size of six infants or nine toddlers. Read more about our caregivers and classrooms on our Infant and Toddler program page. 

K-Prep 2 (Ages 2-3) 
In K-Prep 2, your child will be introduced to a classroom environment and structured activities. Nurturing teachers help ensure this is a smooth transition, and work to foster a love for learning. The student-to-teacher ratio is 1:6 with a maximum group size of 12 children.

K-Prep 3 (Ages 3-4) 
As your child continues to grow, we place an emphasis on exploration and play, as well as socio-emotional skill development. Our K-Prep 3 children enjoy daily hands-on activities and are introduced to the basics of foundational subject areas. The student-to-teacher ratio is 1:10 with a maximum group size of 20 children.

K-Prep 4 (Ages 4-5) 
Kindergarten is just around the corner! At this crucial age and stage of development, your child will receive the tools they need to grow cognitively, emotionally, and physically as they prepare for kindergarten. The student-to-teacher ratio is 1:10 with a maximum group size of 20 children.

A Day in the Life of a Columbia Academy Preschooler

Curious what a day in preschool will look like for your child? Here’s an example of what our K-Prep 3 children might do on a regular school day. 


  • Arrival & Centers/Self-Directed Exploration 
  • Snack & Independent Reading 
  • Morning Circle (Academic Day begins) 
  • Individualized Instruction/Self-Directed Exploration 
  • Specials (Physical, The Arts, Language and Literacy) 
  • Large Group Activity 
  • Handwriting Without Tears 
  • Outdoor Play 


  • Social Emotional, Health and Safety 


  • Peacemaking 
  • Story Time/Independent Reading 
  • Nap/Rest Time 
  • Snack (Academic Day ends) 
  • Afternoon Activity/Self-Directed Exploration
  • Outdoor Play 
  • Story Time/Music & Movement
  • Self-Directed Exploration & Dismissal 

Why Families Choose Columbia Academy For Preschool

Your active learner will be engaged.  
We approach learning with hands-on, play-based activities that encourage children to learn through experiences. Each month, we cover a topic such as “sand” or “reduce, reuse, and recycle,” where all learning objectives and activities relate to a theme. Activities are research-based, challenging, and achievable for each age and stage. 

Your child will be ready for kindergarten. 
Everything we do in our preschool program — from our chosen curriculum to how we structure class time and activities — is designed to lay the foundation for your child to smoothly transition to kindergarten. As your child progresses to our K-Prep 3 and 4 programs, they will be introduced to language, literacy, mathematics, science and technology, the Arts, and more. 

We place an emphasis on social-emotional learning. 
While academic preparation is valuable for kindergarten readiness, we also recognize the importance of teaching children how to appropriately interact with one another. Through our Peacemaking Curriculum, your child will be given the tools to work through different social topics like sharing, hurting feelings, and making friends. 

You will know what’s going on in their classroom. 
As an engaged parent, you want to know what your child is learning and how they are interacting with their classmates. We regularly communicate through weekly emails from the director, monthly newsletters, invitations to parent-teacher conferences, and daily communication with your child’s teacher through Tadpoles.

Your child will be safe as they learn and grow.
Each of our four preschool campuses are designed to encourage student exploration in age-appropriate learning environments. Our facilities feature maximum security, with locked doors, PIN access, and a stringent drop-off and pick-up process. 

“This school has been our family for 5+ years. We love the teachers and administrators. . . I absolutely respect and am encouraged by the steps the school has taken to keep my children safe and healthy. I applaud all that they have done to be safe but also give our kids the structure and experiences that they so desperately need. My kids are thriving and happy at Columbia Academy.”

– Preschool Parent

Meet a Columbia Academy Preschool Teacher


Kayon McCatty, K-Prep 3 Teacher 

Preschool Campus: Kings Contrivance 

Years of Experience: 3 years

“I love to watch the children learn and grow together in an atmosphere that caters to their individual needs.”

It just so happens that our preschoolers smile a lot when they’re with Ms. McCatty, and we agree that she’s a lot of fun to be around! Her favorite children’s book is “The Doorbell Rang” by Pat Hutchins. When she’s not caring for students at our Kings Contrivance campus, she enjoys watching movies, doing arts and crafts, traveling, and spending time with family. 

Experience our learning environment firsthand

We believe the best way to know if a school is right for your family is to schedule a campus tour. You’ll be able to ask specific questions, see your child’s classroom, and learn more about our school culture. Learn more about our virtual tours or set up an appointment today at 410-312-5233.


Kendall Ridge is one of the best-located facilities of Columbia Academy, with easy access to and from Route 95, Routes 100 and 108, and Snowden River Parkway. Kendall Ridge has brand new playground equipment and classroom furnishings of the highest quality.

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Kings Contrivance is conveniently located next to the Columbia Academy Elementary and Middle School. The enclosed classrooms make Kings Contrivance a peaceful location, though the spacious multi-purpose room allows for top-quality indoor recreation.

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Maple Lawn is located only moments away from Routes 29, 32, 216, and 95. The enclosed classrooms and spacious multi-purpose room (with an indoor play surface and heated floor) allow for an elegant balance of learning and recreation.

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Our Thunder Hill location is the largest of the Columbia Academy Preschools, in Columbia, MD, with open classrooms and a large multi-purpose room designed specifically for safe, spacious indoor play.

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