Welcome to


Our Classes & Child Care

The McKnight Center of St. Paul's Preschool and Child Care will be closing permanently as of Tuesday, May 23rd.  We thank the North Hills Community for your support of this program for the past 30 years.  We hope you will consider our Ferguson Road Center Preschool and Child Care for your needs.  You may reach the Ferguson Road office at 412-486-5591.

Below is a list of the classes we offer for children from 2 through 5 years of age along with class level goals.  The tuition prices listed are for the 2017-2018 school year.  If you would like a more detailed information packet, have any questions, would like to register for classes, or set up a tour of our Ferguson Road Center, please call our office at 412-486-5591 or email us at preschool.office@stpaulsumc.com.  Please call the preschool office for available classes. 

The Preschool is pleased to be offering a new program for older 4 year old children in the fall.  Children who will turn 5 years of age by March 31, 2018 will be able to attend our Pre-K class in the fall of 2017.  This class will be offered Monday - Thursday from 12:30-3:00 pm.  Families may also opt for the Friday Discovery Day class if they wish to have their child attend 5 days.  Please scroll down to our Pre-K class description to learn more about this program.


TWO-DAY/TWO-YEAR-OLD CLASS - This class is an independent program for children who will turn two years of age by December 31st of the school year.  It is offered Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. This class includes language, music, art and motor activities designed to enhance the social and emotional growth of two-year-olds.  Gentle separation from home is achieved through fun activities and developmentally appropriate learning experiences in a play environment. The ratio of staff to student is 1:5.  This ratio is smaller than that required by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services which licenses early childhood education programs. Children do not need to be potty trained.


THREE-YEAR-OLD CLASSES  - The three-year-old class has an emphasis on language development and beginning social skills.  The activities are designed to help children to begin to develop self esteem.  The art, language and motor skills are taught through small groups.  Their week includes show and tell, library and bike day.  Classes are offered either two or three days a week. 
The two-day class is offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. Children need to be three years of age by December 31st of the school year. 

The three-day program is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.  Children going into this class must be three by December 31st of the school year.  Children do not need to be potty trained in order to attend the three-year-old program.  The ratio of staff to student is 1:7.  This ratio is smaller than that required by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services which licenses early childhood education programs. 


FOUR-YEAR-OLD CLASSES - Classes for four-year-olds are offered three days a week.  Morning classes are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.  The afternoon class is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 - 3:00 p.m.  The children in the above classes work on refining and expanding their social skills as they work together during play as well as during thematic units which include art, literature and motor skills.  In addition, show and tell, library time with language arts, motor skill practice and the beginning of pre-reading and writing skills are also being done.  This level begins to work once a week with resource teachers for music and science.  Children go on an off-site field trip in the fall and in the spring.  Children must turn four years of age by December 31st of the school year.  The ratio of staff to student is 1:8.  This ratio is smaller than that required by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services which licenses early childhood education programs. 

"Konnections to Kindergarten"

Our Pre-K curriculum uses the PA Early Learning Standards and has incorporated all the skills needed for a successful entry into the area school district Kindergarten programs.  Hampton, North Hills, North Allegheny and Shaler Area school districts have all offered information about what developmental skills they look for in children entering their Kindergarten program and what skills provide success for the children in this exciting beginning of compulsory education.  Our Pre-K teachers work on these skills daily.

Pre-K Class - This class is offered on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 12:30 - 3:00 p.m. The children in this class will work on kindergarten readiness skills, such as pre-reading, pre-writing and math, as they continue to get individual attention while working in smaller groups.  They will have the opportunity to develop themes for dramatic play and work together to plan projects and carry them out co-operatively.  Music and science resource teachers are a part of this curriculum.  Children in this program must turn five years of age by March 31, 2018.  The ratio of staff to student is 1:8.  This ratio is smaller than that required by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services  which licenses early childhood education programs.


MUSIC AND MOVEMENT - The music and movement program is a weekly part of the four and five-year-old classes.  This program builds on elements of music theory, structured and creative movement, instrumental playing and music appreciation.  These are all presented in a child friendly format of interactive learning through singing, movement, games and improvisation using high quality children's music.

SCIENCE RESOURCE - The science program is a weekly part of the four and five-year-old classes.  The science program encourages creative problem solving, questioning and formulating hypotheses.  Utilizing the resources of the Carnegie Museum, the children learn about many varied subjects, such as density, hibernation and metamorphosis.


LITERARY DAY - An optional, one day a week class for children who are in a 4-year old morning class or a Pre-K class, this program is held on Friday from 11:30 am - 3:00 p.m.  Children bring their lunch and enjoy eating with friends and staff before attending the Literary Day class.  Literary Day is an enrichment program that will incorporate literacy, creative arts, learning about the world around us (ie. foods, cultures and customs).  This program will be an active hands on exploration of each weekly them.

DISCOVERY DAY - An optional, one day a week class for children who are in the 4day/Pre-K classes, this program is held on Fridays from 12:30-3:00 p.m.  Discovery Day is an enrichment class full of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities.  This class offers our Pre-K students more opportunities to explore these concepts by using hands-on active, exploration of weekly themes and project based work.  Discovery Day helps children build a foundation of science-related knowledge using the arts.

Registration fees for Preschool:                                                           

1st child registered for 2016 -     $60                                       

2nd child registered for 2016 -     $45                                       

3rd child registered for 2016-       $40                                       

4th child registered for 2016 -      FREE                                     


2day/2year old class - $1,125.00

2day/3year old class - $1, 125.00

3day/3year old class - $1, 305.00

3day/4year old class - $1, 305.00

Pre-K class - $1,665.00

Literary Day (optional Friday program lunch included) - $612.00

Discovery Day (optional Friday program no lunch) - $540.00

Tuition can be paid all at one time on or before June 15th with a $20.00 discount.

Three times during the year - June 15th, September 30th and January 31st

Nine times during the year - June 15th - February 28th

There is a $45.00 activity fee for all 3 year old, 4 year old and Pre-K classes which helps to defray the cost of in-school visits and field trips.

ASSISTANCE PROGRAM - The preschool has limited funds to help families who need financial assistance in order for their child to be able to attend our preschool.  Assistance is based on the government school lunch program income requirements.  If you would like to apply for assistance you must call the preschool office by May 16 to receive an application.  For more information please call 412-486-5591.



The McKnight Center of St. Paul's Preschool is pleased to announce the addition of our Child Care facility operating during the school year on Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Children need to be pre-registered before they can use Child Care.  The program is for children from 1year of age through Pre-K.  This program is on a drop-off basis so that once you have registered you may use the Child Care as you wish, based on availability.  We do require a minimum of one full day's prior notice so that we can have adequate staff on duty.  Children bring their own lunch and drink, and lunch is served between 11:30 and 12:15.  A mid-afternoon snack is provided to the children.  Child Care can be used in conjunction with the preschool program, allowing you to drop off your child before preschool and/or have them go to Child Care after class.  There is a $25 registration fee (no additional registration fee if your child is attending St. Paul's Preschool) or $35 for a family. 

            Toddlers, 1 to 2 years: $5.95/per hour

            Preschoolers, 2 to 5 years: $5.50/per hour

Parents have a prepaid running account and will be notified when their account reaches a $25.00 balance.

The child care is licensed by the DHS and NAEYC accredited.


We believe that all young children can benefit from a developmentally appropriate program designed to help them reach their full potential.  We believe that each child is unique, special and capable of learning.  McKnight Children's Center staff strives to provide each child with skills and self-confidence they need to succeed.

McKnight Children's Center offers a quality drop-in-child care program for toddlers and preschoolers that facilitates and nurtures the individual needs and abilities of each and every child.

McKnight Children's Center strives to meet these goals for each child:

1.  Offers a curriculum that encourages social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth.

2.  Teach the child to relate to others, to value friendship, and to respect all people. 

3.  Provide a safe, comfortable environment for these early learning and growth processes.

4. Help each child learn to develop self-discipline and independence and to deal with his/her emotions in an appropriate manner.

5. Provide a well-balanced schedule of activity and quiet times.


CURRICULUM: Depending on when children arrive throughout the day, each child can participate in periods of group activity, individual play, outdoor play and quiet times.  All activities are developmentally appropriate and meet each child's physical, emotional, social and cognitive needs.  The imagination and curiosity of every child is valued.

ART: We use a variety of materials so the child may experience the joy of creating by cutting, gluing, coloring and painting.  Art may also be used for instructive purposes such as identification of shapes, learning to follow oral instructions, sequencing steps and learning various skills, such as cutting and pasting.  Activities are geared to child's level, and are concerned with the process of creating, and skill building, not necessary a picture perfect final product.

MUSIC: Music is used to express emotions, reinforce subject material, and as a source of joy.  We use tapes, CD's records, rhythm instruments, scarves, ribbon sticks, singing, clapping and body movement.

GROUP TIME: This is a period of approximately 15 minutes, which serves as a vehicle for teaching a wide variety of subjects.  It often includes finger plays, stories, games, songs, and discussion centered on a topic.  Monthly and weekly themes will be posted for your information.

SMALL MOTOR: Through manipulative table toys, games, and other  activities, small muscle coordination grows.  A variety of small motor toys are offered and changed weekly to coordinate with any theme.

LARGE MOTOR: Children receive large muscle coordination through outside play, going for walks, or indoor play in the large motor area in the Social Hall.  Depending on the weather, children are offered large muscle play two times a day.

For more information about this program please go to the McKnight Child Handbook found under the "Parent" section of our web-site or by calling 412-364-6438.


The Health form and Emergency Consent forms are available under the "Parent" Section of the web site.  Before a child can start in the Child Care area a updated health form and the completed Emergency Consent form must be given to the Child Care Staff.  No child can be in the Child Care facility without these two forms.

Child care is also available at our Ferguson Center for children from 6 weeks of age through Pre-K.  Please call 412-486-4595 for the Ferguson Center's current rates and registration information.




Social and emotional growth
Gentle separation from home
Use hands for helping
Play next to friends
Begin to share toys

Learn to listen for and respond to name
Learn a basic school vocabulary
Have many opportunities to talk
Learn finger plays
Use words to express feelings

Move to music
Clap and follow rhythms
Sing simple songs
Use rhythm instruments
Enjoy all kinds of music
Use music in transitions

Experience many kinds of media
Be creative with paint, play dough, paste, paper, etc.

Play with blocks and other manipulatives
Water and sand tables

Lots of large motor activities everyday indoor and outside with bikes, trampolines, climbing blocks, slide cage, balls, etc.

Dress ups
Home center kitchen area

Our terrific two's have fun learning as they play and experience many exciting activities each day.



To help children grow:

1.  Physically:

        A.  Our physical education program involves helping children
               1.  build a sound body
               2.  participate in and enjoy movement activities
               3.  help children develop coordination and balance
               4.  increase small and large motor skills

2.  Intellectually:

       A. Language
          1.  Help children move from physical to verbal communications
          2.  Learn to ask for what they need and learn vocabulary to communicate
               those needs
          3.  Learn language to solve problems and sustain play
          4.  Learn how to listen
          5.  Learn finger plays, poems, and stories
          6.  Associate print with words and stories
          7.  Begin to write name

       B.  Numbers:
          1.  Learn that numbers are a part of life
          2.  Numbers tell us how many
          3.  Numbers tell us the order of things

3.  Creatively:

       A.  Art
           1.  Learn to look deeply
           2.  Learn to use a pencil, marker, crayon to make marks and symbols
           3.  Give opportunities for using different types of art media

        Children will begin to move from scribbling to shapes to recognizing objects
        they have made.  The process of using and experimenting with materials is
        desired rather than making specific objects.

       B.  Music
              1.  Learn to move to music
              2.  Learn to sing a simple song
              3.  Participate in rhythm bands
              4.  Listen to many varieties of music

4.  Socially and Emotionally:

           1.  Learn to interact with peers and teachers in a classroom setting.
           2.  Move from parallel to group play
           3.  Feel good about self and others



In our four year old class we learn by doing.  Our busy schedule includes music, art, language activities, science and math.  Our aim  is to have children grow mentally, physically and socially.  There are many opportunities for the child to talk, listen and participate in small groups.  All of our learning tasks are progressive and programmed for success, helping children build self image by completing a job done well.


     ARTS:  Children begin to draw with intent
               Children have a chance to try many types of media
               Children take responsibility for care of art materials
               Children will be exposed to the work of many artist and illustrators

     MUSIC:  Children will experience many different kinds of music
                  Children will hear and experience many kinds of rhythm
                  Children will learn and create songs
                  Children will make music with simple instruments


     TALKING -  Carry on a conversation
                      Ask for what they need
                      Use words to solve problems

     LISTENING - Take turns
                         Learn to look at and have eye contact with speaker

     WRITING - Link print with communication
                      Write name
                       Begin to copy letter and words

     READING - Listen to and enjoy stories
                      Finger plays, poems, act out stories, create own stories

MATH - Use numbers to measure and order everything
            Look for and develop patterns
            Solve puzzles

SCIENCE -  Nature science helps children learn about and understand the world
                 around them.

HEALTH AND SAFETY -  Learn to practice rules for good health
                                   Learn to stay with teacher
                                   Learn to dial 911 and begin to know address and
                                                 telephone number
                                   Learn fire safety

                                   Music and movement
                                   Literary Day
                                   Discovery Day



Children in the Pre-K class will be offered a totally new curriculum based on the development and needs of child who will be attending Kindergarten the following year.

The class size allows the children to get use to large group activities but continue to get individual attention working in small groups for language activities, science, music and art.

Children will have time to interact socially.  Four and five-year-olds can develop themes for dramatic play and work together to make plans for projects and carry them out co-operatively.


Speaking - Children will have time for group discussion.  They will learn to take turns.  Vocabulary will grow as they discuss their units or themes.

Listening - Children will listen to stories, discuss characters and what happened, how problems are solved.  They will make experience charts and eventually dictate their own stories to their teachers.

Pre-writing - Children will learn about shapes, lines, and circles.  Children will examine letters and look how they are made.  In November children will use Native American picture symbols to copy and write stories.  Starting in January, children will have many opportunities to copy words, write letters and practice writing their name.  Alphabet books, puzzles, games will be used to facilitate learning.

Pre-reading - Experience listening to stories.  Use flannel board, puppet experience, sequence of events, interaction of characters and eventually write and dictate their own stories.

Number - Children learn that numbers are used to describe quantities and relationships and are useful tools for getting information  about the world they live in.  Children count class members, snacks, blocks, characters in stories, steps.  Eventually children will make their own number books.

Measurement - Children are interested in measurement and will observe and discuss how big, tall, small objects are.  They will have many ways to measure and chart their experiences.

Pattern - We will look for patterns in daily life, in design, in sequence of events.

Geometry and Spacial Sense - We will learn about our own space and the needs of others.  We will use tactile experience to fill space.


Art: Children will use many kinds of material for creating.  80% of 5 year olds draw knowing what they want to create.  They will study patterns and design.  They will be exposed to the work of many artists and illustrators.  They will be responsible for getting equipment and putting it away.

Music - Children will experience music by singing, listening, moving.  They will play and make instruments.  They will have the opportunity to create simple songs.

Science - The 5 year olds will continue to explore and learn about their natural environment.  They will have opportunities to learn the basic skills of observation, inference and prediction.  They will continue meeting with Mrs. Burke once a week.

Health and Safety - Children will demonstrate self-care skills
                              Cleanliness - wash face and hands
                              Learn about proper nutrition

Understand Safety Rules: Identify full name and address and phone number.

Traffic Safety - Identify traffic signs
                       Discuss safety in cars
                       Bike safety

Weekday Specials - Science
                             Music and Movement
                             Library Day
                             Bike Day


Dear St. Paul's Preschool Families

I would like to welcome you and your child to St. Paul's Preschool.  This 2017-2018 school year marks our 44th year as an early childhood educational center.  I have been a part of this program for the past twenty-two years, first as a classroom teacher (15 year) and most recently as the director (eight years).

It is important for you to know that we view you as your child's first and most important teacher!  We want to work in partnership with you as we share information about your child and make decisions together about your child's care.  This helps us be able to provide consistent care between home and school, resulting in your child feeling comfortable, safe and respected within our facility.  Good working relationships with families enable the teaching staff to be more responsive to each child's needs.

Our program philosophy clearly states that "parents are an integral part of our program.  Their input and information about their child is continually sought and valued.  Parents are involved in every part of the St. Paul's program."

We ask that you walk your child into the classroom each day because the teaching staff and I enjoy sharing information and saying hello to you.  Each class will have an area displaying your child's work.  Please visit this area often with your child!  At eh end of each day, a staff member will give you a summary of what has happened during the day so we encourage parents to arrive at least five minutes before dismissal time.  If you are a working parent and cannot pick your child up after class, a detailed and personal email will be sent to you by the teacher after class enabling you to receive the same information about your child's preschool day.

There are many ways to become a part of the program.  Here are a few:

*Become a member of the Parent of Preschoolers (a parent group which meets once per month in the evening)

* Become involved in our annual fund raiser, the Santa Express (Many activities to prepare for this major event can be done at home)

*Become a classroom volunteer (party parent, library parent, classroom helper, equipment and repair helper and/or field trip chaperone)  These positions are detailed in your Parent Handbook found on our website: www.stpaulspreschoolumc.org

*Attend an Open House evening event during the year

*Attend a Family Sing-a-Long event during the year

*Record "books on tape" for our classroom listening centers. (This can be done at home)

*Share your family's culture with the class (special foods can be sent for snack time, special games, songs and dances can be taught, and special ceremonies or traditions can be explained)

Volunteering in the preschool is so important for your child.  Your involvement early in your child's life sets him/her on course to succeed academically because you are showing that you value education.  Staying connected to the school can give parents ideas of how to expand what their child learns in school.

Being involved with St. Paul's Preschool also helps parents connect to other people.  You will be able to make new acquaintances, get to know friends better and help your own self-confidence increase.

Volunteer sign up sheets will be given out at the Parent Orientation meeting in August.

Please remember that St. Paul's Preschool has an Open Door policy.  Parents and family members are welcome to visit at any time during the school day.  We encourage you to contact the office (412-486-5591/preschool.office@stpaulsumc.com) or your child's classroom teacher to set up a time if you would like to spend the day with us!

Together we can provide the very best learning and growing environment for your child!


I'm looking forward to knowing you and your child this year!

Laurel Webster

Laurel Webster, St. Paul's Preschool Director


Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children