Home Welcome to Palma Ceia Preschool



The Palma Ceia Presbyterian Preschool is an integral part of the mission and ministry of the Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church. Established in 1979 as an early education outreach to children with special needs, Palma Ceia Presbyterian Preschool continues to stand true to this mission, as well as serving every child with excellence.

Palma Ceia Presbyterian Preschool supports the learning, social, relational and spiritual needs of children in a part-day Christian fully inclusive early childhood program. Typically developing children, their developmentally challenged peers, and families are supported with individualized assessment and learning through play. Employing the highest standards of quality and best practices in early childhood education, Palma Ceia seeks to model a compassionate, joyful and playful learning community for all enrolled children.

Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Our facilities include spacious classrooms for one year olds, two year olds, three year olds and four year olds. We also have a beautiful fenced in playground for our children’s safety. Tours of the program are given monthly by the director. For information and to be placed on the next tour, please email: preschool@palmaceia.org or call her at (813) 251-6492.

Admissions begin in early 2018 for the next academic year. Please click here to view the 2018-2019 fees. To view the full Handbook click tab above.

We use a combined curricular approach at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Preschool. We have developed an integrated school-wide curriculum which employs our curriculum and assessment framework: Creative Curriculum Teaching Strategies — Gold. Also integrated into our curriculum is an emphasis on the fine and expressive arts, participation in worship experiences, the project approach and the use of children’s interests in planning activities. We are also influenced by the Reggio Emilia, Italy model.

Palma Ceia Presbyterian Preschool is blessed to have an abundance of curricular influences and trained staff and materials in support of those.


For years, we have been interested in the Reggio Emilia schools in Italy, and their unique global contribution to the understanding of children. Our commitment to continuing education for our staff has allowed us to attend national training in the Reggio philosophy. This supports our continued incorporation of the Reggio philosophy in ways that are culturally meaningful in our own milieu. Some of the fruits of those efforts are the beautiful learning environments at our preschool, the distinctive use of light, our intentional and homelike furnishings and the choice of  natural toys and objects in the classrooms. These tell the story of a program committed to growing more natural, beautiful and organic.  To understand more about the important elements of the Reggio Emilia influence, read the following from the “Hundred Languages of Children”.


Emergent Curriculum: An emergent curriculum is one which stems from the observed interests and curiosities of children as well as ideas of teachers in their day to day experiences with children. Through keen observation and listening, teachers capture these interests and work with children to negotiate the direction of an in-depth study of a particular concept, interest or idea.


Project Work: A project is an in-depth study of a concept or idea that has emerged from the natural curiosities and questions of children as they engage in everyday experiences. Teachers use their expertise in Early Childhood Education to plan and invite children to participate in explorations of different concepts and ideas. Children and teachers make decisions about the direction of the study, how the group will research the topic, and how the group will show what they have learned. A project can be long (last the whole year) or short (a week). Through project work, children develop theories, show what they think and believe through discussion, questioning, and representing their ideas in various mediums. Teachers provide real life resources and opportunities for exploration that help further develop children’s understanding about a particular concept or idea.


Representational Development: Children are invited to present their thinking in multiple forms of representation including: print, clay, movement, construction with many materials, drama, music, puppetry, writing, song, body/language, etc.


Collaboration: Working in collaborative groups, children develop essential cognitive and social skills that prepare them for future group work in elementary school and beyond. Through group work, teachers encourage children to discuss, compare, critique, hypothesize, investigate and problem solve. Also, children get the opportunity to see the teachers model how to do something.


Teachers as Researchers: Teachers take on the disposition of researchers, learning about individual and groups of children (what they think and know) as they work alongside children. A teacher listens, observes, documents children’s work and experiences, stimulates thinking and invites children to collaborate with one another to construct new understandings.


Documentation: When children’s work in progress is made visible through a well developed display or presentation, children, teachers and parents learn more. Documentation with interpretation of children’s experiences helps explain what children think, and know. Documentation becomes a habit and tool for reflection for the teacher as researcher.


Environment as Teacher: As though a “teacher”, the environments’ arrangement and organization is intended to invite children to be curious, engage in the act of collaboration, and communication alongside their teachers and parents.


With the advent of the newly funded Joseph P. McKell Arts Initiative, we are  making more robust the commitment we have always had to the arts. Dancing, yoga, foreign language exposure, simple performance, and singing augment our core arts programming in the visual arts and our abundant usage of children’s art materials. We have a teacher dedicated to the integration of the arts.


Our program also utilizes a developmentally appropriate handwriting curriculum, developed by Occupational Therapists. You can find out more about it here: http://www.hwtears.com/hwt.


After receiving training in the Project Approach, our staff has enjoyed the inquiry based projects they have created with children. The Project Approach, a specific kind of project-based learning, brings a number of advantages to any classroom and represents best practices in 21st-century education. It fits securely within both a long history of innovative teaching and learning practices—dating back, at least, to the 16th century—and within the framework of today’s growing body of research on what students need to find success and fulfillment in the current (and future) world.


Our spiritual development curriculum is called Godly Play. The Godly Play approach teaches classical Christian language in a way that enhances the child’s authentic experience of God so it can contribute to the creative life of the child and the world. Learn more about it here: http://www.godlyplayfoundation.org/newsite/Main.php

Please click here to view our school calendar. 

For further information, contact Nancy Little: nancy@palmaceia.org, the Director of The Palma Ceia Presbyterian Preschool or at (813) 251-6492.

A waiting list form can be downloaded from the Categories list in the top right of this page (up above).

License: CTA 430547