The Three and Four (Five) Year Old Programs


The school morning for three and four year olds is balanced between “outside play” time, “home base” time, and “open center” time.

Outside Play

All three and four year old classes join together on the playground daily. The facility contains a wide array of equipment including age-appropriate superstructures, sandbox, bikes, and art easels. On most days, a variety of art supplies are available on the playground for quiet creative play. On some days, other teacher-inspired games or activities, such as nature exploration, are offered. The children are free to choose from the varied activities available to them.

Home Base

Children join their respective classes in home base rooms for teacher-led group activities such as songs, stories, and conversation in circle. A shared snack is also served during home base time.

Open Centers

IMG_1634The Sleepy Hollow Preschool philosophy of learning through play flourishes in the open center program. During this portion of the day, children are free to move from one room to another and to choose among the various opportunities in each. Teachers guide and encourage the children as they construct their individual experiences. Each unique center offers a range of activities that are consistently available every day. Additional activities vary from day to day based on children’s interests as well as seasonal themes and other educational inspiration. Click here for a detailed description of each center.


The Three Year Old Program is offered:

  • 3 Days,¬†Monday – Wednesday

The Four Year Old Program is offered: 

  • 4 Days, Tuesday – Friday

(Five year olds that are being given an extra year of preschool will also follow the Four Year Old Program)

All classes are from 9:10am to Noon.


Age Requirement

The birthday cutoff for all classes is September 30, in accordance with the kindergarten entry age of the Fairfax County public school system. Children enrolling in Three Year Old Classes must be 3 by September 30, and children enrolling in Four Year Old Classes must be at least 4 by September 30.

Adult to Child Ratio

Each classroom is staffed by a teacher and a teaching assistant in addition to a co-oping adult. Sleepy Hollow follows (or improves upon) the adult/child ratio as set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This ratio for Three and Four Year Old Classes is 1 adult for each 8 children.