About Bright Beginnings Preschool | Bright Beginnings Preschool

Welcome to Bright Beginnings

Since we opened in 1984, we have continued to stay true to our original Core Values of trust, nurture, learn, communicate, play and fun. We continue our mission in supporting:

  • The children we educate and nurture (can you believe we’ve served over 10,000 children so far)
  • Our wonderful families who trust and inspire us everyday
  • Our incredible team, who continue to provide a wholesome and fun early education experience.

We remain driven and passionate about our mission, continuously working to bring the most current best practices in early education to Charlottesville.

We consider ourselves lucky to have created such a high quality preschool program that focuses on nurturing the whole child. We are very proud of our strong reputation in Charlottesville and Crozet. We hold ourselves at the highest of standards. I invite you to contact us with any questions and comments.

Kathe Petchel, Founder

Celebrating 33 Years

Locally owned and operated since 1984 serving Charlottesville, Albemarle County and Crozet, Virginia

Serving Infants through Pre Kindergarten

The best quality preschool curriculum for all ages of early childhood development
    Serving your family:
    • Infants- Pre-K 7:00am-6:00pm

Continuous Open Enrollment

Open 12 months a year with continuous admissions for child care needs

Flexible Schedules

Choose from any of the following options for 2, 3 or 5 day schedules
  • Full Time Preschool and Day Care
  • Part Time Preschool and Day Care
  • Half Day Preschool

Each child is unique and grows and develops individually.

Our goal is to provide a developmentally appropriate preschool curriculum that supports each child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth. We believe children are naturally curious and that by providing a balance of well planned teacher guided encounters along with child initiated activities, children grow and learn while having fun. Learning in a supported environment within small groups of peers allows students to gain confidence and become independent critical thinkers. It is important to remember that each child develops at his or her own pace. Therefore, we do not compare children with each other but rather document and chart each child’s individual progress.

Supporting the whole child and fostering a love of learning is key to our success.

Children are competent learners who naturally engage in interesting activities. We plan activities designed to nurture the whole child by listening to their interests and developing learning activities around those interests. Our staff is carefully trained to facilitate learning activities, to use various forms of documentation, to analyze children’s words and works and develop interesting and challenging activities that inspire children to successfully learn.

Academic learning is incorporated in a fun and engaging manner covering all curriculum areas including quality literature, language arts, math, science, creative art, music and movement, drama, humanities, social studies and art appreciation.

Our emergent curriculum emphasizes the development of essential cognitive foundations within the context of meaningful hands on activities. We recognize that the school environment is an essential element of a high quality program and consider the entire school as the classroom, encouraging teachers to plan activities throughout the building. We utilize the outdoor education spaces unique to each school campus to promote learning throughout the day.


We provide the SAFEST environment for your child by:
  • Commonwealth of Virginia state licensed which includes regular fire and health department inspections as well as regular child day care center inspections (Note: religious exempt and other programs follow much less rigorous regulations)
  • Secure locked doors- parents receive secure key cards for building entry; visitors ring bell and must provide identification: we limit visitors permitted into building to potential families, approved extended family and parent designated drop off and pick up individuals and secure guest speakers and community helpers
  • Secure and confidential time clock upon entering ensures we know exactly who is in building at all times
  • Excellent credentials and training of staff- lengthy interview process includes full background and reference verification, CPS (Child Protective Services), CRC (Criminal Record Check), a minimum of 8 hours of initial orientation and a minimum of 24 additional training hours a year; Bright Beginnings greatly exceeds this regulation with the average staff yearly training hours at 50
  • Consistency and longevity of staff provide secure knowledge of your child including developmental milestones, allergies and other safety related issues ~ exceeds CPR, First Aid, MAT (Medical Administration Training) requirements
  • Curriculum includes common sense safety including knowing name, address, phone numbers, stranger dangers, fire and home safety, car safety, summer pool and sun safety an utilizes safety related fun community helpers such as Smokey the Bear, fire truck, police car.


We know that children must feel comfortable at school to be able to learn. Nurturing each child’s uniqueness is essential. When children aren’t comfortable, they will not be receptive to learning and able to fully participate in group and individual activities. Children learn to move from the confidence of being part of their family unit to becoming a part of a school community- peer interaction is vital for young children gain a sense of autonomy. Children have ample time to grow and develop skills by trying new activities in a safe setting, we preview, present, review allowing children lots of time for repetition, We know that children learn best through play- allowing a combination of child initiated play and choices with teacher guided activities ensures children develop self confidence Presenting social skills in a group setting helps preschooler’s transition from home community to school community. Here are some other examples of what we focus on with pre schoolers:
  • Taking turns
  • Waiting to have teacher’s attention (vs. immediate attention at home)
  • Listening skills
  • Increasing attention span (morning meeting/circle times increase as attention span increases, ability to)
  • Following 2-3 step directions (e.g. “find your coat, meet me at the door for outdoor playtime.”)


Each child comes to preschool with a different family background, and comfort level. Our goal is to take each child where he is and encourage his growth through presenting activities to stimulate curiosity, excitement about learning and a high comfort level to explore creatively. We want children to leave our school anticipating the next day’s activities with excitement. Strong kindergarten prep curriculum is a collaboration between our owner and our degreed teachers while incorporating Virginia’s Standards of Learning.