Guide to Schools, Preschools, & Childcare in Jacksonville

We are frequently asked about education programs and recommendations for childcare, preschools and schools in the Jacksonville area. We understand that picking a school or childcare center that fits your child’s and your family’s needs can be an overwhelming task. Whether you choose private, public, religious affiliation or otherwise – we are thrilled to provide this guide resource to help your family, brought to you by our many sponsors! If you have questions about specific schools we also encourage you to ask the moms in our neighborhood groups about their thoughts and experiences, including our specialty groups for homeschool moms and our newest group for moms of middle school and high school-aged kids. Who better to ask about local schools than actual moms who have experienced the schools themselves?

Jacksonville Schools, Preschools, Childcare

Jacksonville Country Day School

Private School PreK3 – 6th Grade

Through intellectual exploration — which involves project-based and transformative learning experiences, Jacksonville Country Day School prepares students for success at the next academic level and beyond. Strengthened by a supportive and nurturing community of educators, peers, and parents, JCDS students learn to approach challenges with creativity, perseverance, and confidence so that they can succeed.

We invite you to tour the JCDS campus and discover all that our school has to offer. Located at 10063 Baymeadows Road Jacksonville, FL 32256. Phone: (904) 641-6644.

Jacksonville Country Day School
Jacksonville Country Day School
Jacksonville Country Day School
Jacksonville Country Day School

Collage Day School

Collage Day School is an academically challenging, independent day school in the Palm Valley area of Ponte Vedra Beach designed to educate students from three months through fifth grade. Collage focuses on all levels of the learning spectrum, including students who qualify for the gifted program, to offer your child the best opportunity for success. Our Early Learning Community for ages 3 months to 2 years old offers rich experiences to help our youngest children grow into joyful learners. We believe a robust early childhood education sets the stage for a future filled with a love of learning. Students should enter Elementary School with a healthy curiosity, readiness skills, an eagerness to learn and abundant energy.

The Collage team fosters those attributes in its Preschool Community, engaging students in an active learning process in which teachers provide direct instruction as well as hands-on activities that promote critical thinking, problem-solving, cooperative learning and facilitation of child-driven inquiry. Collage’s Elementary School Community is designed to continue the development of well-rounded students with a well-balanced curriculum that engages them intellectually, emotionally and physically. We also offer the essential components of successful gifted programs: low student-teacher ratios, individualized curricula, and inquiry-based teaching methods – all led by Gifted Endorsed/Certified faculty. Visit our website to learn more about why you should choose Collage Day School.  Located at 171 Canal Blvd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. Phone: (904) 900-1439.

Collage Day School
Collage Day School
Collage Day School
Collage Day School

Palm Valley Child Development Center

Palm Valley Child Development Center Palm Valley Child Development Center is now open for parents looking for a great educational experience for their child who can benefit from a specialized curriculum to maximize developmental abilities. Our team-teaching cooperative program offers small ratios of mixed-age classes from Pre-K through Elementary with personalized instruction that recognizes and maximizes the individual strengths of each child to support intellectual and emotional development while meeting basic needs.

We are proud to partner with Mandala Family Wellness for your child’s optimal health and wellbeing, too. Classes include Art, PE, Music, TimberNook, STEAM Lab, Media, Field Trips, and Before/After School Care. Plan a visit – it may change your child’s life. Located 185 Landrum Lane Ponte Vedra Beach 32082 and a sister school to Collage Day School. Phone: (904)373-0743.

Palm Valley Child Development Center
Palm Valley Child Development Center
Palm Valley Child Development Center
Palm Valley Child Development Center

Episcopal School of Jacksonville

Independent Private College Preparatory School 6th – 12th Grade

Episcopal School of Jacksonville (ESJ) provides a challenging college-preparatory education within an academically challenging but caring environment focused on four areas of campus life that are essential to a balanced education. The Four Pillars include Academics, Athletics, Fine Arts, and Spiritual Life. The school’s focus on the Harkness method and learner-centered teaching, as well as its college counseling program–which begins in ninth grade–helps prepare students for lives after Commencement. Through probing classes in world religion studies, and an active community service program, the school instills in its student's values and passions that will equip them for useful lives of leadership. The school welcomes students, faculty, and staff from all faith traditions.

On July 1, 2020, ESJ will merge with Beaches Episcopal School (BES), an independent PreK-3 – 6th grade school, and St. Mark's Episcopal Day School, an independent age 1 - 6th grade school. BES and SMEDS will become Episcopal School of Jacksonville, an age 1 - 12th grade school operating on three campuses:

Grades 6-12 on the Munnerlyn campus, located at 4455 Atlantic Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32207. Phone: (904) 396-5751
Grades PreK3-6 on the Beaches campus, located at 1150 N 5th St, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. Phone: (904) 246-2466
Grades age 1-6 on the St. Mark's campus at 4114 Oxford Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32210. Phone: (904) 388-2632

Episcopal School Jacksonville
Episcopal School Jacksonville
Episcopal School Jacksonville
Episcopal School JacksonvilleEpiscopal School Jacksonville

Beaches Episcopal School

PreK-3 – 6th Grade

Beaches Episcopal SchoolBeaches Episcopal School is an independent school with a 60-year tradition of academic excellence.  Our school provides a strong academic foundation, integrating a challenging curriculum taught by dynamic, experienced, and enthusiastic teachers in smaller class settings that help students reach their full potential.  A full complement of enrichment classes in fine arts, athletics, and Christian Education provides outlets for personal discovery and spiritual growth.  BES has embraced the Maker Movement by establishing IDEA Studios (Imagine Designing Everything and Anything), spaces that cultivate curiosity, inspire wonder, celebrate unique solutions, and encourage creativity in our students.  Our athletic program provides opportunities for students to learn skills and exhibit sportsmanship and teamwork in a fun atmosphere.  With our preeminent academic program, passionate faculty, skill-building IDEA Studios, unrivaled athletic program, and diverse after-school offerings, Beaches Episcopal School is changing the face of education on the First Coast. Located at 1150 N 5th St, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. Phone: (904) 246-2466

Beaches Episcopal School
Beaches Episcopal School
Beaches Episcopal School
Beaches Episcopal School

St. Mark's Episcopal Day School

Private Preschool & Elementary School. Inspiring Learners. Creating Leaders.

At St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School, we give every student the individual attention they deserve, utilizing a purposeful approach for the way they learn, live, play, and grow. Our approach to learning provides students the opportunity to discover their unique gifts while also acquiring a deep academic foundation and strong sense of purpose. St. Mark’s is not just a school, it’s a community of students, parents, and faculty – all of whom are committed to one common goal for children: to inspire learners and create leaders. With innovation and a compassionate, faith-based support system, your child will have everything they need to succeed in their academic journey.

Founded in 1970, St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School is an independent elementary day school for children age 1 through 6th grade and accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Our mission to prepare children to learn and lead in a global community within a nurturing Christian environment is only the beginning. Come visit us to learn more! Located at 4114 Oxford Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32210. Phone: (904) 388-2632

Admissions Open Houses: Peek at Pre-K: Wednesday, January 15, 8:30 AM; Open House (all grades): Thursday, January 23, 5:30 PM; Early Learning Program Open House: Tuesday, February 4, 8:15 AM

St. Mark's Episcopal Day School
St. Mark's Episcopal Day School
St. Mark's Episcopal Day School
St. Mark's Episcopal Day School

The Discovery School

Non-Profit, Independent Montessori and International Baccalaureate School, Toddler – 8th grade

The Discovery School is a diverse and inclusive learning environment for students aged 18 months through 8th grade that promotes inquiry-based learning, independent thinking, global awareness, creative problem solving, and mutual respect in a safe, nurturing environment where every child’s voice is valued. Discovery is the only school in Northeast Florida, and one of only a handful of schools in the country, rooted in a renowned educational philosophy, Montessori, that advances to a globally recognized program, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, which begins at the age of 3.

At Discovery, we have been a leader in personalized, learner-centric education for nearly 30 years. We are accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools, the American Montessori Society, and are recognized as an IB World School. Our mission is, “We open our minds and hearts so we can discover the knowledge and ideals to build a better world”. Located at 102 15th Street South, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. Phone: (904) 247-4577

The Discovery School
The Discovery School
The Discovery School
The Discovery School

Shepherd of the Woods School

Preschool 2 – 8th Grade:

Shepherd of the Woods School provides personalized, values-based learning for students 2-years-old through 8th grade that prepares them for success in our rapidly changing world. Our students thrive in an inclusive environment that focuses on nurturing each child academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. Loving teachers guide students in developing inclusive relationships. Our students learn to make a difference both locally and globally. Shepherd of the Woods School is committed to and enjoys learning, loving, and serving! Southside Campus houses preschool and kindergarten classes at 7860 Southside Blvd, 32256. Mandarin Campus houses Kindergarten through 8th grade at 6595 Columbia Park Ct, 32258. Phone (904) 641-3393.

Shepherd of the Woods School
Shepherd of the Woods School
Shepherd of the Woods School
Shepherd of the Woods School

St. Johns Country Day School

Private College Prep School PreK – 12th Grade

Since 1953, St. Johns Country Day School has been helping First Coast families raise children who are inquisitive, creative, inspired, and inspiring. With its amazing faculty, first-rate academics, robust visual and performing arts, exciting trip opportunities, and championship athletics programs, St. Johns is perfectly positioned to help you prepare your child not just for college, but for life. Learn more and schedule a personal tour at sjcds.net!

St. Johns Country Day School
St. Johns Country Day School
St. Johns Country Day School
St. Johns Country Day School

The Bolles School

Private College Preparatory School Pre-K – Grade 12

An independent college preparatory and boarding school, The Bolles School holds a longstanding reputation for providing a well-rounded educational experience for students in Pre-K through Grade 12. Its four area campuses – Bolles Lower School Whitehurst, Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach, Middle School Bartram, and Upper School San Jose – now enroll 1,600 boarding and day students from more than 23 countries and nine states. Renowned for its tradition of excellence in academics, arts and athletics and its emphasis on servant leadership, The Bolles School provides students an unequaled breadth of opportunities for achievement – enabling every child to optimize his or her unique interests, abilities and talents. Students develop an awareness of exploration, service and personal values in the lower schools that instill a sense of All Things Possible as they move on to the middle school, upper school and beyond. Bolles inspires boys and girls to pursue excellence through courage, integrity and compassion. This time-honored legacy of learning thrives on every Bolles campus and in the many lives it has shaped over the years. Call (904) 256-5030 or visit www.Bolles.org for more information, to attend one of our open houses or to schedule your personal tour.

The Bolles School
The Bolles School
The Bolles School
The Bolles School

Duval Charter School at Baymeadows

Duval Charter School at Baymeadows is a tuition-free public charter school proud to serve students in grades K-8. Named a School of Excellence by the Florida Department of Education, DCSB has received recognition for being an “A” graded school since its inception in 2011. DCSB is also among the highest-scoring charter schools in Duval County. We offer a rigorous curriculum with an individualized approach to learning and community-centered academic programs that equip your child to meet today’s challenges. These programs include Cambridge advanced classes and Gifted program, K-5 After school clubs and activities that include Robotics, Art, Music, Book Club, Harry Potter Club, Girls on the Run, and Playball, Band option for 5th graders. MS Athletics (football, cheer, cross country, soccer, basketball, track, baseball/softball, bowling, ultimate Frisbee), MS After school clubs that include National Junior Honors Society, Robotics, Student Government, Jr. Thespians, and more! Uniform school with a dress code enforced.

Duval Charter High School is a tuition-free public charter school educating students in grades 9-12. DCHS offers a robust, ​advanced curriculum ​(only AICE and honors courses available) that meets the needs of lifelong learners who enjoy coming to school every day. We offer a safe environment for students and incorporate Social Emotional Learning into the high school coursework.  Student/Teacher relationships are important to student growth and comfort. We have a low student to teacher ratio which allows our students to engage with their teachers and each other. We have a school culture program where all students are assigned to a Hero Team. Students engage in Team Community Meetings and competitions. Students can earn rewards for themselves as well as their team when they show their Panther Spirit in word or deed.  DCHS highlights include AICE, AP & Dual Enrollment, Honors Classes, National Honors Society, After school clubs and activities, and men and women’s athletic program. Graduation rate 98%-100% yearly, with 98% entering post-secondary education, trade school, or military. Uniform school with a dress code enforced.

Duval Charter at Baymeadows
Duval Charter at Baymeadows
Duval Charter at Baymeadows
Duval Charter at Baymeadows

Cornerstone Classical Academy

Cornerstone Classical Academy is a tuition-free classical charter school opening August 2020. CCA will begin K-6th grade and add a grade each year until 12th grade. We are located on 16+ acres on St. Johns Bluff Road in east Jacksonville, Florida. We exist to create a community of students who will develop and become well-rounded, life long learners with a passion for academic excellence. Our mission is to sharpen the minds and cultivate the hearts of students, through a content-rich classical education in the liberal arts and sciences, with instruction in the principles of moral character, civic virtue, and knowledge of truth. CCA's motto is "Learn the Truth. Do the Good. Love the Beautiful."  Photos by JoBeth Wood Photography.

Cornerstone Classical Academy
Cornerstone Classical Academy
Cornerstone Classical Academy
Cornerstone Classical Academy

Chappell Schools

Early Childhood Development Infants – VPK: Chappell is so pleased you are considering our program for your most precious accomplishment – your child. You want the safest, most nurturing educational experience for them and Chappell provides that environment. We partner closely with our parents to provide the highest level of development for your children. We encourage you to be involved in your child’s school day whenever your schedule permits and we have an open-door policy. If you’d like to have lunch with – or read to – your child’s class, you’re always welcome to do so! We want your workday to be worry-free and we want your drop-ff and pick-up experience to be a fun way to learn about your child’s day. We use FrogStreet, Sunform, HATCH, ELMM Plus and the Kaymbu parent communication tool.

Chappell Makes Learning FUN! Chappell Schools offers After School/Holiday programs, enrichment and summer camp. Eight locations: Deerwood, San Marco, St. Johns, FSCJ South, FSCJ North, FSCJ Downtown and FSCJ Kent campuses.

Chappell Schools

Grace Episcopal Day School

PK3 – 8th Grade: Grace Episcopal Day School is a Christian based, family-oriented educational community dedicated to maximizing each student’s potential. For 70 years, Grace has provided a rich educational experience for students in Northeast Florida. Our students are challenged to become self-directed critical thinkers in an environment where STEM, technology, the arts, and sports are an integral part of our curriculum. We believe that partnering with parents to create a personal and ongoing dialogue is critical to our students’ success. Come see how a small environment can make a big difference.  We invite you to take a tour of our beautiful outdoor campus located in the heart of historic Orange Park, one block from the St. Johns River. Located at 156 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, Florida  32073. Phone: (904) 269-3718.

Grace Episcopal Day School

Michele Block Gan Yeladim

Toddler Age 1, Preschool-Kindergarten: Michele Block Gan Yeladim Preschool and Kindergarten provide unparalleled excellence in early childhood education.  Established in 1974, the school is the longest consistently NAEYC accredited program in Northern Florida. Each child’s experiences and learning opportunities are nurtured and facilitated through play, exploration, and creativity. Children achieve success, gain independence and self-confidence while their individual abilities, learning styles, and developmental pace are respected and valued. Enrollment in school is open to all children regardless of race, religious affiliation or ethnic origin; JCA membership is not required to participate. Our award-winning and highly accredited program provides support and respect to both children and families by creating an environment of acceptance that is non-judgmental and includes cultural diversity.

Full and part-time programs are open to children age 1 (and walking) through kindergarten.

Michele Block Gan Yeladim

The Playgarden

Early Childhood – Kindergarten: The Playgarden is a perfect place for children (2 ½-year-old to kindergarteners) to explore, grow and create. We focus on the whole child: head, heart, and hands. Our literacy-rich curriculum includes play, music, poetry, movement, bread-baking, gardening, painting, and frequent walks to the beach. The Playgarden offers  2, 3 or 5-day mixed-age classes at our beach Cottage-Kinderhaus campus as well as offering the first Forest Kindergarten in the South Eastern United States. We are a LifeWays Representative site following Waldorf inspired programming. Whether on campus or in the forest, our students enjoy circle time, story-time, nature hike, snack, outdoor artistic activities, cooking and baking and of course lots of time for play, observation, exploration, discovery, and wonder. We provide a loving environment with “unstructured free time in nature resulting in an intimate, deep and personal connection to the natural world”. Located at 223 8th Ave. S, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250. Phone: (904) 241-3259.

The Playgarden

Spring River School

Homeschool Main Lesson, Enrichment and Full 5 Day Programming (1st-5th Grade, Middle School): Spring River offers home school main lesson, enrichment classes and/or full 5-day programming and support to the growing homeschool community in Northeast Florida seeking a holistic education. We welcome all that are interested in using a curriculum inspired by Waldorf methods and view of childhood development, those seeking arts-infused classes to enrich their other homeschool courses and now offering 5-day full-day schooling including a forest day! We provide support and a social network for homeschool hybrid families. All are welcome to our community events, parent education, playdates, and festivals! Join us. Phone: (443) 454-2067.

Spring River School

San Jose Episcopal Day School

Private School Pre-K 3 – 6th Grade: At San Jose Episcopal Day School our mission is to inspire a passion for learning, a life of integrity, and a heart for Christian service. We believe that relationships are central to our learning community, and the relationships between students, teachers, and families are vital to the learning process. We value extraordinary teachers who support students in the discovery and development of their gifts and talents. Our students become passionate, self-motivated, lifelong learners. To prepare students for success in an ever-changing world, we embrace learning experiences that allow students to develop creative problem-solving skills and critical thinking. We empower students to take a responsible role in their learning and support independent thought. We provide a safe and supportive environment and encourage children to be adventurous, to take risks, and to view failure as integral to learning. We celebrate student effort and growth, embrace the value of the learning process, and promote perseverance and reflection. Located at 7423 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville. Phone: 904-733-0352

San Jose Episcopal Day School

St. Johns County School District

Area Public Schools: The St. Johns County School District will inspire good character and passion for lifelong learning in all students creating educated and caring contributors to the world. The St. Johns County School District includes 45 schools and is fully accredited as a quality school s system by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), a division of AdvancED Accreditation. AdvancED Accreditation is the highest level of accreditation that a school system can receive. Phone (904) 547-7500.

Duval County Public Schools

Area Public Schools: Duval County Public Schools is the 22nd largest school district in the nation and the sixth-largest school district in Florida. The district is committed to ensuring that students are prepared for success in college or a career and life. Also, the district will make sure its mission of providing educational excellence is reflected in every school, in every classroom, for every student, every day. Phone (904) 390-2000.

DCPS

School District of Clay County

Area Public Schools: The School District of Clay County exists to prepare life-long learners for success in a global and competitive workplace and in acquiring applicable life skills. The School District encompasses a 601 square-mile suburban/rural county in Northeast Florida, including the communities of Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Fleming Island, Penney Farms, Clay Hill, Oakleaf, and Keystone Heights.

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Lindy Mullen
Lindy is a Nashville, Tennessee native, soaking in the beach life with her husband and two adorable kids. A full-time marketing manager for over 10 years, Lindy has spent time working with shopping centers, local and national retail businesses, and planning community events. Upon relocating to her husband's hometown of Atlantic Beach in 2013, Lindy enjoys a more flexible schedule as a work-from-home mom and retail marketing consultant, and helps Jax businesses get in front of local moms as the Director of Sales for Jacksonville Mom (formerly Jacksonville Moms Blog). In her free time, she enjoys exercising with friends, trips to the beach or park with her kids, eating sweets and the occasional kid-free shopping trip!

1 COMMENT

  1. Have you checked out the Jacksonville Classical Academy, opening in the fall?
    jaxclassical.org
    There is also St. Johns Classical Academy in Fleming Island.
    stjca.org
    They are amazing.
    Thank you for collecting so much valuable information in one place for moms.

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