The mission of Candler Park Day School is simple: to embody the spirit of a good neighbor. We open our doors to you, our community, and give your children a safe, loving and inviting environment in which to interact and learn. We welcome all children.


Our philosophy is guided by the principle that every child is a unique individual with his or her own strengths, interests and styles. We believe strongly in developmentally appropriate practices that emphasize child-led, play-based experiences. We nurture home-school and school-community connections and focus on building relationships with children and their families. Candler Park Day School highlights outdoor play as an integral part of our day, recognizing that ample time outdoors allows children room to run, breathe and discover.

We are an intentional ministry of Neighborhood Church UMC. While we do not engage in religious instruction in our classrooms, we do believe that every child is a child of God and deserves love, empathy and dignity. The church welcomes all of our families into all aspects of church life from worship to social justice endeavors. Our school welcomes children from all faiths, ethnicities, nationalities and families.

We combine elements of developmentally appropriate practices, project-based learning, and play-based learning approaches to early childhood education. We recognize the value in and children’s love of more traditional toys and colors while maintaining a high image of the child and engaging in child-led play with natural materials. Our approach is unique in the Atlanta area and we strive above all to maintain a warm, loving space where children have the opportunity to grow.

We embrace the whole child and structure learning and classrooms to best grow the cognitive, social-emotional, physical, problem-solving and critical thinking capabilities of each child. Both structured and unstructured play experiences are the center of a child's day at Candler Park Day School.


Candler Park Day School is accredited as a Preschool of Excellence by the UMC North Georgia Conference's Weekday Preschool Association.


Candler Park Day School offers a child-centered curriculum in a loving, caring atmosphere where children learn through hands-on, experience-based learning activities, where children are allowed to mature and develop within their own time frame, and where curriculum is based on age-appropriate, success-oriented learning experiences. We focus on emergent curriculum techniques to better engage children in their own learning. We believe this is the best way to grow the cognitive, social-emotional, physical, problem-solving and connected thinking capabilities of each child. Both structured and unstructured play experiences are the center of a child's day at Candler Park Day School.

We focus on all aspects of a child’s development:

  • Intellectual (readiness skills)

  • Social and Emotional (exhibiting respect for others and ourselves)

  • Physical (developing fine and gross motor skills)

  • Spiritual (learning and growing in an environment of love and trust).

Additionally, Candler Park Day School follows the Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards (GELDS) in order to ensure that children are prepared for a bright future in Georgia’s public and private schools. Teachers in all age levels utilize GELDS to guide them in providing quality, age-appropriate learning experiences. Georgia’s Bright from the Start (BFTS) office also provides our teachers with an Activity Guide, from which our teachers find activities and strategies that go hand-in-hand with the GELDS. Complete copies of the GELDS can be found in each classroom and in the office; feel free to check the binder out! When composing lesson plans, our teachers include aspects of cognitive development, language and literacy development, emotional and social development, physical development, transition activities, hygiene/independence opportunities, and more into each day’s activities. Learning is designed around children’s interests and best practices, and involves exploration, play, and project-based learning techniques.