A nursery school for parents?  Absolutely!  At St. Andrew’s Nursery School and Kindergarten in Cherry Hill, voted a winner in the “Best Nursery School in South Jersey” contest by The Inquirer and Courier Post (10 years), parents are invited to share their toddler’s first school experience.  In the process, says the school’s director, Mrs. Jill Mayo, (M.Ed.) both learn a little something about the nursery school environment while learning a good deal about each other.

“Our Parent-Toddler Program is the highlight of the week for many of the parents and children who take part in it,” notes Mayo.  She explains that it not only helps parents spend quality time on a regular basis with their child, but it also gives them a chance to be with other parents who have youngsters the same age.  “It’s an ideal opportunity to share ideas and exchange information,” adds Mayo.

For many toddlers, the program at St. Andrew’s is their first opportunity to meet and make friends. But according to Mayo, it serves another important purpose. “The atmosphere in the parent toddler program is a warm accepting one.   The children have fun being together.  But above all, they develop a positive attitude about themselves.”

While making room for Mom or Dad in the classroom is a novel aspect of the program, traditional elements are its backbone, says Mayo.  Two teachers guide the students through the two hour session that meets once each week.  Youngsters enjoy a wide range of activities that includes creative crafts, imaginative play, stories, and songs.

“We take every opportunity to stimulate the youngsters’ interest in their ever-growing world” says Mayo.  She points out that even snack time is a time for discovery in the parent-toddler class. “Very often, snacks are prepared right in the classroom, with teachers, parents and youngsters working together,” explains Mayo.  And whether it’s a pot of vegetable soup, cornmeal cookies or potato pancakes, snacks are carefully planned to introduce new tastes as well as seasonal favorites to the children.

“Parents find there’s much to learn in the Parent-Toddler Program,” says Mayo.  She feels this has helped make the program a successful one since 1977.  The teachers do an outstanding job of giving parents insight into the children’s development at this stage. “They also keep parents informed of safety issues, helpful reference books, even worthwhile places to visit with their toddlers,” she adds.

“This program has truly evolved into a wonderful resource for parents and toddlers alike,” notes Mayo.

Registration for the 2011–2012 school year is currently in progress, and limited openings are available.  The class is open to children who will be 18 months old by October 1st.  Each class meets one day a week from 9:15 - 11:15 a.m.  Inquiries are welcome and inspection of the school facility is invited.

In addition to the Parent-Toddler program, St. Andrew’s also has classes for two, three, four and five year olds.  Visit our website or call the school office at 856-429-4470 for a brochure and for more information.

Inquiries and inspection of the school facilities are invited.  Call the office (856) 429-4470 for a brochure or for more information.  Visit our website at


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