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UNF Preschool - children playing on a playground

Our Environment 

maria reading to her students


National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 

Guiding Stars of Duval 

Gold Seal Quality Care Program

preschooler doing a science experiment with sponges and water



Project-Based Learning

STEAM Focused

teacher planting plants with students outside

Small Class Sizes

Being NAEYC and Guiding Stars of Duval accredited the center maintains a low student to teacher ratio than the one specified by DCF.


Teacher: Child ratios

NAEYC ratios: 1:10 for Preschool (2.5 year old to 5 year old)

GSOD ratios: 1:7 2year old, 1:10 3 year old, and 1:11 for 4/5 year old

DCF ratios: 1:11 2year old, 1:15 3 year old and 1:20 4 year old

UNF Preschool ratios: 1:9 for 2.5 to 3.5 year old and 1:10 for 3 to 5 year old

student exploring color wheel

Enrichment Classes

We offer enrichment classes such as Spanish, Music and Soccer. We have a vibrant learning community at the University where we can offer these classes either in the Preschool or within the University's campus. 

nature trails

Outdoor Spaces

The Preschool is located at the of UNF's beautiful campus of nearly 1,400 acres includes a nature preserve and 11 LEED certified green buildings. The Preschool's location alone offers a unique setting for hands-on experiences that our children enjoy. Opportunities include exploring the Nature Trails and Ogier Gardens.

Thomas G. Carpenter Library exterior

Thomas G. Carpenter Library

Visits to the Thomas G. Carpenter Library make for wonderful afternoons at the Preschool where children can stop in for story time or tour of any number of art exhibits and displays on the first floor.
STEP lab with tables and electronics


The STEP (Solve, Tinker, Explore, and Play) Lab is a space that supports the work of university faculty and students, regional preK-12 teachers and students, and other entities. This work allows individuals to understand the complex nature of STEM concepts to construct new understandings for themselves. Our Preschoolers can see first-hand new technologies like robots, 3D printers, a place where they can build the foundations for STEM and coding skills in this fascinating one-of-a-kind resource.


In our continued effort to provide the best quality of care and education to children, UNF preschool provides a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack. we have partnered with Chartwells, UNF's Catering Company to provide freshly prepared snack on a daily basis for our students twice a day. We feel that by partnering with Chartwells we are able to provide a wider variety of healthy and nutritious snack options. The children love the wide variety of foods such as hummus, guacamole, granola, seasonal fruits, apple sauce etc. to name a few.
Lady Szymanski Reading

Magical Storytime with Maria Szymanski

Former UNF First Lady Maria Szymanski is lifting the spirits of young children and their families who are home during the coronavirus pandemic. Join her online for her virtual storytime as she shares spirited readings of classic stories, engaging lessons and fun activities for children to do at home. As a former elementary school teacher she is committed to quality education and to inspiring children to love learning. She is active with UNF's College of Education and Human Services, and often visits classrooms of UNF students and faculty teaching in Duval County Public Schools.

playful computing preschoolers

STEM Take-Home Kits

With the support of The Cummer Family Foundation, NEFSTEM has developed a unique engagement opportunity to familiarize parents to use STEM materials in open-ended activities at home with their preschool-aged children. The preschool Take-home Family STEM Toolkit Program will be implemented during the month of February 2021 at the UNF Preschool, and it will consist of four different toolkits during 4 consecutive weeks. It will expose young children to concepts in STEM using a collection of developmentally appropriate STEM tools and board books.