By Denne LaBoy
Bailey Preschool, formerly licensed as a Family Childcare Home, has recently reopened as a center in Winston-Salem. The unique private preschool is owned and operated by Dennette Bailey, M.Ed.
The mission of the school is to prepare children to enter kindergarten and beyond. “When I was a kindergarten teacher, I noticed that families were experiencing anxiety and confusion about what and how the children would learn. Reopening a preschool has afforded me the opportunity to help parents understand what the kindergarten experience will be like and coach them through being a co-teacher and advocate for their children once they enter either the public or private elementary school system.
Bailey Preschool practices teaching children through purposeful play. While there are directed instruction times, like specialized individual phonics and reading lessons, Mrs. Bailey is utilizing engaging purposeful play lessons to teach and help the children retain knowledge and understanding of specific concepts and lessons. For instance, during dramatic play center time children certainly enjoy themselves but Mrs. Bailey is an active center participant, making conversation, introducing new vocabulary, and pointing out the week’s lessons during play on shapes, counting and reading. In this manner, Mrs. Bailey says the children can connect what they’re learning to their real life and the things they care about. Children can learn to read words from playing with menus or calling in their order from a list they’ve written. They can learn one to one counting correspondence by counting how many pieces of bread they must cook in the pretend oven for their guests.
While academics are an important part of the children’s day, Mrs. Bailey says that the children’s physical, social and emotional well-being are a top priority at Bailey Preschool. She has been a certified youth fitness instructor for over a decade. She incorporates physical education in the children’s daily routine. “I aim to make physical activity a fun and expected part of daily life. I understand that if children can train to accept a healthy lifestyle early, they will be more likely to take this perspective with them into their teen and even adult years.”
Mrs. Bailey is also a certified nutritionist. She says she has had parents seek her out especially because of her stance on child nutrition. “There is undisputed scientific evidence on the effects of sugar on children’s learning and cognitive health. The earlier I expose the children to the sweetness that already exists in fruits and even some vegetables, the more likely they will accept these foods as treat options over foods high in Sugar.”
Mrs. Bailey is also certified in Mediation and Mindfulness. Teaching the children to regulate their emotions, and develop resilience and self-confidence are an essential part of the curriculum. She says “Academics are certainly important. However, a well-adjusted person understands it is not what happens, but how we respond to what happens; this is what leads to a happier, safer, and more successful life. This balance is what we all desire for our children.”
Mrs. Bailey says it is important to her that children believe in themselves and that they are taught that they have a duty to care for themselves. She says, having this confidence equips them to care for and think about the perspectives of others. “I respect children as thinking people with opinions. I want to help them be great thinkers and analyzers. This means they learn to cooperate and demonstrate gratitude while also learning to be assertive decision makers.”
Mrs. Bailey prides herself on the fact that although she is the owner, she is also the main preschool teacher. Mrs. Bailey has a Birth-Kindergarten teaching license, a bachelors’ degree in English and two master’s degrees. She says the children greatly benefit from her direct instruction. “The children at my school are not only getting the benefit of my education and experience but they are also getting a teacher who is passionate about providing a safe and compassionate learning environment.”
Mrs. Bailey, who is also a children’s author of the book Big Dreams No Fears, also utilizes her YouTube channel @Dennette Bailey, to help prepare children for school. In addition, she does webinars, trainings, podcasts, and speaking events to help teachers, parents and families strengthen their children’s overall success.
Bailey Preschool is located at 1300 Polo Rd in Winston-Salem, NC and can be reached at 336-407-4813 if you would like more information.
*Sponsored by Bailey Preschool