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St. Mary's Child Center

901 Dr. Martin Luther King St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202

(317) 635-1491


The Preschool Program serves three to five year old children at three locations: the Thompson Building, the Gilliatte Building and the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School. We serve children whose families pay tuition, receive CCDF vouchers and qualify for scholarship assistance. We welcome children of any race, color, religion, national origin or socioeconomic background.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

The educators at St. Mary’s Child Center have been engaged in a study of the world-renowned schools for young children in Reggio Emilia, Italy since 2001. We deeply embrace the values of collaboration, the strong image of the child, the environment as a teacher, children’s multiple symbolic languages, documentation as assessment and advocacy, long-term projects, the teacher as a researcher and the importance of home-school relationships. We study the Reggio philosophy in collaboration with educators inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach around the world and we work closely with the College of Education at Butler University as partners in the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught Photography, drama, 3D art

From the Director:

We focus on investigations and project work that is compatible with the Reggio philosophy.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Success in Learning- Success in Life

A Typical Day

We provide provocations and opportunities for exploration and study. We have a nutrition program and multiple outdoor opportunities and field trips.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We send home weekly newsletters from each class and host monthly family nights. We also open our classes to families at anytime and a staff social worker to help plan for a child's success.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on