The Preschool at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is one of the premier learning spaces for guest of all ages, so it was only natural when they opened a world class preschool inside of the Museum.

For the past ten years, Indianapolis families have enrolled their children in the beautiful school tucked into an inconspicuous hallway on the first floor of The Children’s Museum. Every day, several dozen 3-5 year olds met in beautiful classrooms arranged  for learning in an environment inspired by the philosophies of Reggio Emilia and Maria Montessori.

On June 8, 2020, a heartbreaking letter hit the inboxes of preschool families currently enrolled at TCMP that notified them of the permanent closure of the special preschool.

With the sudden closure of the Museum and the preschool mid-March and the uncertainty of what types of extended closures will be needed during the 2020-21 school year, coupled with the new health and safety guidelines set for early learning environments, the preschool at The Children’s Museum just wasn’t sustainable any longer.

Three of my children have attended this amazing school and we treasure our friendships and the education that our children received in this special place. While we understand this decision and we understand the thought and care that went in to the decision to close, we are still saddened. On a personal level, our daughter Quinn still has one year of preschool remaining before her kindergarten year. On a level of care and love for our community, the teachers and staff at this school are some of our favorite people in the world. We also know that the Indianapolis parenting community has lost a great space for their children to learn.

Children’s Museum Preschool

Families of students registered for the 2020-21 school year received this letter from Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, President and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

June 8, 2020

Dear Preschool Families:

My thoughts and those of The Children’s Museum Preschool staff, Museum leadership, and Museum Board of Trustees have been with you and your family during the unprecedented health crisis of COVID-19 and have appreciated your patience.

Today, it is with great regret that I must tell you we will not be able to offer a preschool program for the 2020-21 school year and will be closing the program. This has been an incredibly difficult decision because our preschool has provided us a unique opportunity to educate young minds using real objects and inquiry-based learning. Our commitment to early childhood learning will, however continue through our exhibits and programming.

The decision to close is a multi-faceted one, based on operational safety and financial considerations as well as public health projections from the CDC, which indicate that COVID-19 will remain active for much longer than initially hoped, and the potential for a reoccurrence will remain with us until an effective vaccine is widely deployed.

With so much uncertainty, we understand that many families cannot commit to 2020-2021 preschool tuition. Further, given the new protocols that would need to be implemented in order to ensure each preschool student’s safety—smaller class sizes, social distancing, intensified cleaning regimens, etc.—and the ongoing cost of those changes, maintaining the preschool would become financially untenable.

All of us appreciate the many hardships that the pandemic has caused for you and understand the additional stress you may face as you seek an alternative school for your child. We are here to support you with information and insights as you consider your options for this fall. We will also be returning all monies paid for 2020-21 material fees by June 20, 2020. The current Full Time program will continue virtually through July 3, 2020.

If you have questions and would like a member of our leadership team or the Preschool staff to contact you, please let us know by sending an email to TCMpreschoolclosure@childrensmuseum.org. We are proud of the accomplishments of The Children’s Museum Preschool staff and students over the past nine years. Please know we consider every student who has walked through our doors a part of our Museum family.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen
President and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

cc: Mike Sherman, Chair, Board of Trustees

For information about preschools in Indianapolis, please visit Indywithkids.com

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