Our Story

Our nationally-recognized curriculum today is based on a core of innovative, play-based learning that we have perfected over generations.

Our predecessor, First United Methodist Church Preschool, was opened in the 1970s, believing that a child’s formative years should be shaped within an environment where young children can learn and play in a nurturing, happy and safe atmosphere. The P.L.A.Y. School philosophy today is based on the research and wisdom of generations that have passed through our doors.

Our school has always offered a part-time program for 3-to-5-year-olds focused on developing friendships and social skills through fun games, crafts, storytelling, song and experiential learning. Over the years, our learn-through-play curriculum evolved from these core play-based activities as the early childhood education field grew, and we have been recognized for our innovation and commitment to play-based learning.

Today, our time-tested learn-through-play curriculum at The P.L.A.Y. School still emphasizes whole-child development and hands-on experiences.  Our play-based curriculum has withstood the test of time and is now at the forefront of a reemergence of child-led, play-based learning in school settings. Children develop social-emotional, oral language, math, and literacy skills through free play, music, art, dramatic play, journaling, and collaborative discussion of stories and ideas.


In 2019, our opening year, The P.L.A.Y. School earned the Boynton Beach Award for “Best Child Care Center.” We then went on to win the 2021 Delray Beach Award for the same, and we were nominated as “Nonprofit of the Year” in 2022 by the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce. Our school was featured on “The Spirit of Giving” radio show in 2022 as well.

Over the years, our directors have presented at local professional development conferences for the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County, and in 2023, they were selected to present as experts on play-based learning at the annual conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Mrs. Chandler was also selected by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County to lend her experience and knowledge on a critical steering committee for their “Reimagining Early Childhood Education” funding project. Most recently, five of our eight staff were nominated finalists for the PBC Early Learning Coalition “Teacher/Director of the Year” award for the 23-24 school year. 

The Spirit of Giving Network chose to highlight The PLAY School on their November 2022 local Sunday morning radio show. Want to learn more about our mission and how donations support our programming.