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Early Discoveries Preschool Program

Early Discoveries is a Virginia Beach City Public Schools' program contracted with the YMCA of South Hampton Roads

Virginia Beach residents have an educational resource - Early Discoveries - made possible through the Virginia Preschool Initiative. This program benefits four-year-old children at risk of educational failure and not currently enrolled in a preschool program.

The Virginia Preschool Initiative is the result of a three year study conducted by the Virginia Department of Education. The initiative was designed from the HEAD START model, but it has gone beyond. Localities can customize the program to meet their communities' needs as long as an educational component is in place. Kindergarten readiness is the thrust.

Who is eligible for the Early Discoveries program?

Early Discoveries serves those children who are continuously exposed to high-risk factors and situations that are likely to have an adverse impact on their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.

Early Discoveries is not a first come first served program. Selection to Early Discoveries is by weighted risk factors. Those with the highest risk factors are selected first. Risk factors that are considered for eligibility purposes include, but are not limited to:

  • economics
  • single-parent families
  • unemployment or under employment
  • grandparents as custodial parents
  • developmental delays
  • parents have not finished high school
  • foster children
  • family stress and instabilities, such as:
    • incarceration
    • drugs
    • violence
    • homelessness

An overview of the Early Discoveries program

  • Early Discoveries is offered free to all children enrolled in the program.
  • Early Discoveries is only for Virginia Beach preschoolers who will be four years old on or before September 30.
  • Early Discoveries is an all-day program that meets each school day from September to June of each school year.
  • The teacher-student ratio is 8:1. There are a maximum of 16 children in each classroom.
  • Teachers have their B.S. in Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education.
  • Transportation from in-zone and cluster stops is provided by Virginia Beach City Public Schools.
  • Parent participation is strongly encouraged.
  • Breakfast and lunch are offered daily by the public school.

What type of learning environment is created for the Early Discoveries program?

Early Discoveries provides a developmentally-appropriate, hands-on learning environment for children through the use of Creative Curriculum. This curriculum is implemented through the use of "interest centers" such as:

  • blocks
  • dramatic play
  • manipulatives
  • art
  • sand and water
  • language and listening
  • music
  • cooking
  • computers
  • outside play

All materials within interest centers are multi-cultural and free of gender bias. Bulletin boards, dress-up clothes, puzzles, books, and music expose the children to the richness of the cultural diversity within the city.

Parent communication includes home visits by the teaching staff, family involvement specialists, oral and written communication, progress reports and parent-teacher conferences.

Who do I contact for additional information about the Early Discoveries program?

For questions and information concerning enrollment please call the Early Discoveries Office near you.

The program sites are:

Alanton Elementary 757.496.6429
Birdneck Elementary 757.428.3072
College Park Elementary 757.648.2280 ext.53766
Diamond Springs Elementary 757.473.0856
Holland Elementary 757.368.2669
Luxford Elementary 757.493.9026
Lynnhaven Elementary 757.306.4951
Malibu Elementary 757.306.4932
Point O'View Elementary 757.518.8112
Salem Elementary 757.471.4617
Shelton Park Elementary 757.363.1608
White Oaks Elementary 757.495.5781

Last Modified on Thursday, December 19, 2013