About Us

Since 1965

First Church Preschool has a rich heritage that spans over 50 years. The preschool opened in the fall of 1965 and is formerly known as First United Methodist Preschool. We are located in the heart of Crystal Lake at the corner of Dole and Crystal Lake Avenue.

Our preschool serves children ages 2-5 years of age from our church and community. Our school year preschool programs will benefit your child(ren) in their spiritual, social/emotional, cognitive and physical development.

From The director

Hello from First Church Preschool,

You are on the path to making a hallmark decision in choosing a quality Christian preschool program for your child.  We, at FCP, are committed to living up to the important responsibility of providing an excellent early childhood program.

Our leadership team includes the Director of Spiritual Development and Family Ministries from First Church and the Preschool Board, comprised of both parents and church members. As a ministry, we echo the church’s purpose, mission, and core values, Devoted to Christ, Connected to Others and Sent to Serve.

At FCP we have a creative and professional staff, selected for their knowledge of child development and dedication to educating children. Our curriculum unites the developmental philosophy of Early Childhood Education and Development Standards.  We provide children with a safe, creative and engaging environment to enhance their spiritual, social/emotional, physical, language and cognitive development.

Above all, FCP believes:  “each child is a unique gift from God and He has a perfect plan for each and every child.” Jeremiah 29:11

We welcome you to come and tour our sweet little preschool and experience all we have to offer.

Looking forward to meeting you!

Mary Pedersen, Director


Our Goals

The following is a very brief summary of our goals and objectives. First Church Preschool bases its curriculum on Developmentally Appropriate Practices. By introducing children to experiences appropriate for their age level in an open and accepting environment, we feel we are providing them with the “basics” for their future development. The main areas of development we stress are:

Emotional and Social

      • Help children negotiate and problem solve
      • Foster security with adults other than family
      • Increase independence
      • Enhance children’s social awareness
      • Encourage manners and foster appropriate behaviors

Perceptual and Motor

      • Improve hand-eye coordination
      • Develop and encourage self-expression through art and music
      • Provide daily opportunities to improve large motor development
      • Help the children develop spatial awareness

Cognitive and Conceptual

      • Encourage each child to investigate and acquire information about themselves and their environment
      • Express wonder in the relationships between events and things
      • Exhibit eagerness and curiosity as a learner to develop a strong educational foundation


      • Promote greater language skills through the use of rhyming, counting and singing
      • Create a safe atmosphere where each child feels free to talk about themselves, others and the world as they see it
      • Provide opportunities for children to investigate words in print
      • To introduce them to letter formation and phonics through curriculum-based learning


      • Provide an environment that exhibits Christian principles and teachings
      • Participating in daily prayer
      • Singing of appropriate Christian songs, and reading appropriate Christian stories
      • Taking part in monthly chapel times to discuss Christianity in a child’s world

From our families

An exceptional preschool experience described by our numerous happy FCP families!

  • We have sent all 3 of our children to FCP, and we could not love it more! It has provided our kids a wonderful faith-based education and has prepared them academically and socially for Kindergarten. All of the teachers and staff are amazing! They truly care about each and every student and family, always going above and beyond. We are so excited to have several more years here!

    Ashley Obermeier Avatar Ashley Obermeier
    January 15, 2023

    All four of our children have attended First, and we’ve loved all of their experiences. The staff members are warm and loving and well versed in best practices for early childhood. I’ve alwaus felt my kids have been prepared for kindergarten.

    Courtenay Sterzik Avatar Courtenay Sterzik
    February 5, 2019

    My son just graduated after 2 years in the pre K program, and I'm amazed at his growth interacting with other kids, as well as his confidence and knowledge. His teachers were amazing, and this is the only pre K awarded Illinois silver award! Send your child to the best!

    Cycle Racer Avatar Cycle Racer
    February 5, 2017
  • We are new to FCP this year and have truly been blown away by the teachers, staff, and community. Everything runs smoothly from drop off to pick up and the communication with teachers is excellent. Just halfway through the school year and we can the growth in our children; both academically and socially. We love the atmosphere the school provides with the colored room doors and the student's art decorated along the hallway; an improvement from our previous preschool. We have two children enrolled currently and we are excited for our youngest to start in the coming years.

    Amber Preskenis Avatar Amber Preskenis
    January 22, 2023

    This is a wonderful preschool. It's warm and inviting and both of my children have grown so much here. The children are well prepared for kindergarten and the staff is excellent. When we lost my father in law unexpectedly this last school year the staff was aware and gave extra attention to my daughter and her needs during the difficult time. I couldn't say enough good things!

    Hannah Davis Avatar Hannah Davis
    February 5, 2019

    This is the new ‘elite’ preschool in Crystal Lake! From highly educated, caring and compassionate staff, to a beautiful and comfortable facility, this school is where you want your favorite little people to be! They strive to teach love and kindness, and filter in important academics naturally in a fun and hands-on environment. I’m so proud to have this school in our wonderful town!

    Jamie Martinez Avatar Jamie Martinez
    February 5, 2018
  • Both of my children attended First Church Preschool and loved it! The teachers are wonderful and both of my kids were prepared for kindergarten!! I would highly recommend this preschool!

    Megan Montanye Avatar Megan Montanye
    February 5, 2019

We want to hear from you

Have questions or comments about First Church Preschool? Would you like to schedule a tour? Our staff would love to hear from you, and start a conversation.

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