Palm Beach Preschool has been serving the West Palm Beach area since the late 1970’s. With only 3 previous owners, Karla and Douglas McCurry, have owned and operated this school since 2007. It was originally constructed to educate young children and mimic the appearance of an elementary school. Prior to the current ownership, a small building located directly adjacent to this building, was purchased. It originally was a local thrift store, but was converted to a preschool, and later was used to accommodate the infant and toddler children. It was given the name A Baby’s World to signify the specialty of care in this building.
In 2015, Karla and Douglas adopted a new location, Little Blue Academy in Palm Springs. Little Blue Academy is comprised of two cozy casas built in the 1950’s and began as two residences. Although the exact year of converting the homes to an educational institution is unknown, these buildings have been used to care for young children for more than 25 years in the Palm Springs area.
A third location, which was previously operating as a childcare facility, was acquired in June 2019 by the McCurry’s in the Lake Worth area. All three locations are within a couple miles from each other, permitting Karla to lead and manage the facilities with ease.
Although each location has a different feel to it, internally they each represent Karla’s vision, mission, goals, philosophies, and core values. They each have a strongly connected administrative and teaching staff who know that caring for the children, while achieving the standards set before them is their number one priority.
In 1996, I began developing my love for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) profession. Having little knowledge about ECE, I began my career working as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Palm Beach County School District. My first full-time assignment was at an elementary school where I fell in love educating students, but I recognized a need many students were lacking.
The children I am speaking about, who unbelievably are now adults, were curious, bright eyed, eager to learn children. I can’t pin-point why some children had exposure to ECE concepts and others did not,but I was amazed at how many began Kindergarten without the basic understanding of alphabet knowledge, number concepts, early literacy concepts, and social-emotional skills. I saw how this lack of a foundational skills put the children at a disadvantage; a disadvantage they did not need to have and one that affected their future learning. This was the spark for my future.
I wasn’t sure how the children could obtain services prior to Kindergarten: VPK did not exist, and I wasnot familiar with the concept of a childcare center. However, I did know if I could reach many of thesechildren prior to their entrance into Kindergarten, it could make a difference in their school success
The Spark Becoming a Flame
As the years went by, I never acted upon my vision. I became a working mother of three children, all who attended childcare since infancy. While working and developing my experience as a speech language pathologist, I recognized I enjoyed working with PreK children, yet never forgetting my original group of children who opened my eyes to the need of early intervention.
Moving to a new city in 2005 caused me to search elsewhere for a new childcare center. Our current center became too far to travel too,but I was struggling to find a center that met my expectations. Thinking of my own children and reflecting upon my first group of Kindergarten children, I began to envision operating a childcare center that loved children unconditionally and taught them skills that supported a strong developmental foundation. It was at this time I mentioned my dream to my husband. In 2007, with a lot of planning, researching, risk taking, self-doubting, and sleepless nights, my husband Doug, and I started our childcare journey at Palm Beach Preschool & A Baby’s World on Military Trail.
My experience with teaching children, and his experience with business, has given us the ability to bring quality childcare to our families. I am personally involved with the daily operations of our centers, and he works behind the scenes on the financial health of the organization so we can continue to provide ultimate care to our families.
I ask you to take a moment to read through our Vision, Mission, Goals, Philosophy, and Core Values.These are not just words, but true heart felt statements and beliefs. We refer to these statements from hiring staff, to making daily decisions.I have never forgotten the group of children who inspired me. I think of them frequently, especially when making decisions about our program. They sparked the flame to my fire which drives my passion to provide the children in our care with a developmental foundation they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. We truly care for the children, and do our best to serve each child in our care Ms. Karla.
Our Core Values
Emotionally Supportive Environment
Emotionally Supportive Environment
Education received by an adult, and provided to a child, sets the foundation of life-long learning. Keeping abreast of the latest research in Early Childhood Education and positive parenting is key to the future success of our children.
- For children to have a love of learning
- For children to provide positive social/emotional skills to others
- For children to handle emotional disrupt constructively
- For children to have self-confidence and to let their uniqueness shine
- For children to think critically for reasoning and problem solving
- For children to progress through a developmental continuum in the areas of social/emotional,gross/fine motor, cognition, language, literacy, and math for future learning success
- We believe children need to feel safe and loved before learning can begin.
- We believe social/emotional development is a precursor to all learning.
- We believe children learn best through play.
- We believe children best acquire foundational skills with human to human contact. Back to basics!
- We believe children’s learning is optimized through movement.
- We believe all children are unique with their own strengths, and each develop differently at different rates.
what parents have to say
We are truly blessed to have our daughters in this school. Everyone is great! Thank you for being the BEST!!!
My daughter has been at your school since she was 4 months old. I love how your school cares for my daughter and how they teach her. I love that the staff is very patient with the children.
Friendly staff, family oriented, responsible, organized, well kept school. The teachers are fantastic with all the kids.