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Throughout February, Fun4GatorKids surveyed hundreds of families in the Gainesville area in search of the most highly-recommended preschools. Alachua County has so many outstanding preschool programs, so Fun4GatorKids wanted to honor those preschools and their teachers. After carefully reviewing all of the survey answers, we are ready to share the results!
Winner - Best of Gainesville Preschool Survey, Sponsored by Bouncin' Big
Thank you to all of the parents who took the time fill out the Preschool Survey and to share information about their favorite preschool and teachers in Alachua County! Also a big Thank You to Bouncin' Big for sponsoring the Preschool Survey! As promised, we've randomly chosen one survey participant who will win a $250 gift card to Bouncin' Big! Congratulations to Stacy Buford! Have fun at Bouncin' Big!
BEST IN SHOW - O2B Kids Preschool
First, we'd like to congratulate the preschool that won "Best in Show" - O2B Kids! In every category of the Best of Gainesville Preschool Survey, parents raved about O2B Kids Preschool, from their outstanding playground and abundance of extracurricular programs to their kindergarten readiness and high level of family involvement! Here are just a few of the things parents had to say about O2B Kids Preschool:
- "O2B Kids Supercenter has the best playground. They have several options from your traditional slide and play area, basketball courts, fields to play in, a "river"(as my daughter calls it) with a mini waterfall, and a pond where they can see ducks all the time. My daughter LOVES playing there."
- "O2b kids has an amazing extracurricular program that allows the students to participate in a multitude of activities from drama, dance, gymnastics, science, art, and sports.The best part is that they shuttle the preschoolers back and forth to classes as a part of their regular school day - a working mom's dream!
- "O2B Kids VPK program is PHENOMENAL!!! My son was reading, and writing his own name BEFORE heading to Elementary School. He made fantastic friends and learned amazing things while in VPK at O2B Kids!"
- "O2B Kids!!!!!! There are parent involvement (opportunities) in my daughter's classroom all year long. A Valentine's Dance, Open House, Muffins for Mom's and Donuts for Dad's, as well as Special Events like Easter Eggstravaganza, Spooktakular, International Night and even a Fun Run!"
There are so many teachers across Alachua County who dedicate themselves to taking care of our little ones and preparing them for school! We'd like to recognize the most-voted for teachers in the Best of Gainesville Preschool Survey! The two teachers will win a gift basket full of goodies, courtesy of Step 317 Photography, The Hippodrome Theater and Chick-fil-A Oaks Mall!
Children Under 2
Congratulations to Renee Heintz at Abiding Savior Preschool for being voted as the BEST TEACHER for children under 2 in Alachua County!
- " Ms. Renee is the most loving, caring, and patient person I've ever met. She is a true gift to every child she teaches!"
- " Ms. Renee has so much patience and love, which is perfect for this age. She teaches them basics and how to behave in a classroom setting in order to prepare them for the older classes."
Also deserving a congratulations is runner-up teacher Sierra Teves at O2BKids (Hunters Crossing)!
Children Over 2
Congratulations to Jennifer King at O2BKids (Hunter's Crossing) for being voted the BEST TEACHER for children over 2 in Alachua County!
- " You can't say enough good about Ms. Jennifer. She is a shining star and makes everyone feel welcome in her classroom. She teaches the children, the parents, and is a trainer for new teachers as well. Early Childhood Education is her passion, and it is clear she loves her job!"
- " Jennifer is an amazing teacher who is always willing to do anything she can to make her coworkers and the children in her care successful. She works hard and plays hard with the children."
And another congratulations to runner-up teacher Alyson Woodend at Abiding Savior Preschool!
In addition to O2B Kids, a handful of other preschools in the Gainesville area shined in the Preschool Survey!
1. Open Arms - Open Arms Preschool WON the "Special Needs" category in the Preschool Survey! Congratulations to Open Arms for winning such a special category!
- "Open Arms has been so accommodating for my child with special needs. They welcome her outside therapists into the school weekly and work with them to learn how to help and evaluate. They have to help feed my daughter, who has had a difficult time tolerating food. It is often quite messy and tedious and time consuming, but they are on board. They get excited for her when she achieves something she has struggled with and are patient with her when she is developing slower than the other children and she gets frustrated....I love Open Arms and am thrilled at how they love all the children they see. I never worry once that my girl isn't getting the best care possible."
- " Open Arms works with physical therapists and keeps my daughter doing her exercises every day!"
2. Abiding Savior - Abiding Savior Preschool scored the highest of all the non-VPK programs in the 'Kindergarten Readiness" category of the Preschool Survey! In addition, parents raved about their "Snack & Meals" along with their "Flexible schedules," "Playground," "Extracurricular," "Family Involvement," and "Full-Time Schedule." Just listen to what the parents all had to say!
- " Abiding Savior is fantastic. They work very hard to prepare the kids for the skills they'll need in kindergarten. They don't forget about making it fun though. My daughter is loving pre-k at Abiding Savior and I have no doubt that she will be well prepared for kindergarten in the fall."
- " Abiding Savior Lutheran Preschool has been the best regarding flexibility.We shopped around for other preschools, and this one was not only the best bang for the buck - but also had the most flexible program for our schedule."
- " The "big kids" playground has an obstacle course, rock walls, a fort - love the imaginative play!"
- " Abiding Savior offers soccer and Spanish after school and art classes as a part of the curriculum. They also bring in lots of hands on experiences: Gator athletes, different types of transportation (police/fire vehicles, busses) for themed units."
- " Abiding Savior has been wonderful in having activities for the whole family - both during the school day and in the evenings and weekends!"
- " The teachers are all fantastic. It's obvious that everyone working here loves their job and the children. They make learning fun....The staff here really makes every child feel special and they provide comfort and a great education when the parents can't be there."
3. Education Station and Preschool - Education Station stood-out in three categories: "Snack & Meals," "Flexible schedule," and "Special Needs." Here is what parents had to say about their favorite preschool:
- " Education Station has really good food.It always smells so good if I go in there around a mealtime.They are nut free and offer vegetarian options. They buy fresh veggies and fruit, often organic, and feed the children very healthy meals.They have a try-it-bite policy and since he started there, my son has learned to eat so many new foods!"
- " Education Station is always willing to work with parents based on needs. They have made accommodations for me when starting the infant program and have always been willing to work around schedules..."
- " My son has a speech delay and was fairly shy when he started attending Education Station and Preschool in August 2015. The teachers have worked with him and the other students in understanding him. He has blossomed and really started to come into his own. It's been a wonderful experience.
4. Stepping Stones Preschool - Parents had amazing things to say about the "Playground" at Stepping Stones Preschool at Trinity United Methodist Church, one of the only playgrounds that is handicap accessible plus open to the public!
- " Stepping stones has a wonderful playground. It's nice and shady for when it's really hot. It's very open and has lots of different types of playground equipment that are all spread out very nicely from one another. My daughter always loved playground time there."
- " They have multiple playgrounds for all of the different age groups that can only be accessed from the inside of the classrooms. So from a safety standpoint, it makes parents feel at ease. It's also nice knowing that the little ones aren't being overrun by older kids...TUMC also just finished building the first public, handicap accessible playground on campus too. What's not to love about that?!!"
Another BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all of our Best of Gainesville Preschool Survey Winners!