Our mission is to be the finest preschool in the oceanfront community. We are committed to creating a love of learning in children and a servant’s heart in a safe and nurturing ​Christian environment. ​Our goal is to more than prepare every child to be confident and compassionate, academically prepared, and ​socially aware.

Our Story

Beach Day School is a quality preschool and kindergarten that is family and community centered.  We operate within First Presbyterian Church at the beach, and we have a wonderful working relationship with them.  Beach Day is committed to providing the highest-quality learning environment for your child, while also prioritizing the importance of his/her social and emotional development. NAEYCE research has shown that children who feel safe and happy tend to show greater motivation to learn, more eagerly participate in class activities, and demonstrate higher academic performance. Therefore, our teachers try to ensure that all students feel loved, cared for, and seen as their best selves.

All school employees receive bi-annual training in First Aid, CPR, AED and PMAT.  Our teachers receive 16+ hours of continuing education each year, and are provided every opportunity for professional development.  Our priority every year is to be informed and inspired to provide your child with the best learning environment possible.

Our History

In 1967, Mary Hood and Marjorie Theberge were beloved teachers at Happy Days Day Care.  Their wonderful experience there, and their love of working with children, inspired Mary to approach the governing body at First Presbyterian Church about starting her own preschool at the church.  She received strong support and was encouraged to make her idea about a warm, nurturing Christian preschool a reality.  In the fall of 1968. Beach Day School was born! Mary taught and worked with preschool children for 20 years to instill in them a love of God, a love of school and a love of learning.

Mary sold her school to the church in 1988, thus beginning First Presbyterian Church’s hallmark ministry and service to the community.  Mary was hired as the school’s director, and she set out to provide a quality education to children of all walks of life.  Several directors have followed since Mary retired, including our current director, Dawn Finguerra, who has been at BDS since 2012.

The school population has grown to around 80 children, and 14 teachers.  We currently have two 2-year-old classes, two 3-year-old classes, two 4-year-old classes and a full-day kindergarten.  Mary’s dream has lived on, and many of the children who are currently attending Beach Day School are children of the students that Mary taught all those many ​years ago!

Our philosophy

We are a developmental preschool, which means that we recognize that rates of development and learning vary from child to child. We know that each child is unique and comes to us with a variety of interests and skills.  Our joy is watching each child blossom at his or her own rate!

Past and current research from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) supports the importance of both plays (child-guided activities) and direct instruction (teacher-guided activities) in learning.  Play allows children to explore the world and environment around them and facilitates creativity, problem-solving, language development, cognition, and social skills.  Direct instruction is just what it sounds like — teachers teaching concepts directly through interactive small and large group experiences.  We want children to be knowledgeable about facts AND to be creative and good problem-solvers.  That is why incorporating both child-guided and teacher-guided experiences are vital to children’s development and learning.


We would LOVE to meet your family.
Give us a call for a tour and meet our Beach Day family.