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The Cottage School 


Welcome to The Cottage School  - a place for children to be nurtured, to grow, learn and discover through play and engagement with the natural world.  A place where All children and families are welcome. 

Our Story


The Cottage School  beliefs are inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia Italy which holds that children are capable and competent.  Children’s natural sense of wonder leads to discovery and a deeper understanding of their environment and the world around them.  They naturally explore, create, and experience with the encouragement of teachers who serve as facilitators of learning.

A teacher with black hair playing peek-a-boo with a very young child in a flowered shirt, while another baby looks on.

The Cottage School Mission


We believe that children thrive in an environment which values their own uniqueness, while providing support and opportunities to grow emotionally, socially and creatively. By building on each child’s strengths, interests and curiosities, we guide each child to explore the world around them as well as develop new abilities and form close relationships.

a happy young boy in a green shirt with an alligator on it holds two model cars.

Our Programs



Quality infant care starts with building secure and nurturing relationships.  It involves a unique bond where partnerships are created between parents, teachers and of course the infant.  The teachers in the infant room will strive to create a close relationship with your family so they can ensure your infant always feels safe and secure, comfortable, and loved. 

In this caring environment, your baby will develop at their own pace and be encouraged to enjoy play experiences that will lay the foundation for learning.  Our infant teachers are experts at noticing what your baby is interested in.  They will present safe and engaging materials that spark curiosity and will invite your infant to become an active participant in their learning; exploring what they can do with their own body and the things around them.  These are the necessary building blocks for a child to be emotionally secure and confident to engage with their world.

We believe that these earliest years of your child’s life should be secure and joyful.  Our partnership in the nurturing environment of the infant classroom will help your child to grow emotionally confident and ready to explore and understand the world around them.   


Your pre-toddler has a growing sense of self-awareness and is transitioning in lots of ways.  They are naturally curious about everything and are ready to experiment with how they can make their body move.  Healthy pre-toddlers have a huge reserve of energy that they will happily expend learning how to crawl, cruise, and turn wobbly steps into proficient walking.  They will enjoy feeding themself finger foods and will begin to expand beyond their first words. Pre-toddlers are keen observers and learn so much by interacting with others in their group.  The teacher carefully notes what captures your child’s attention and plans purposeful activities that stimulate sensory, cognitive, and physical play.    


Junior Toddlers

Energy, enthusiasm, exploration!  These words provide a great description of this developmental stage. Your child is all about movement as they walk and run to investigate absolutely everything around them.  Young Toddlers take great pride in their newfound abilities and work very hard to master new skills.  Once mobile, statistics indicate that an active toddler can travel the equivalent of 29 football fields in one day! Your toddler will thrive with equally energetic and enthusiastic teachers that will support their movement and encourage their exploration. 


Caring pre-toddler and junior toddler teachers are the integral touchstone your child will return to again and again for assurance and support as they learn through sight, touch and movement in a safe and stimulating environment.  Teachers will ensue your child feels comfortable and confident to learn new things.  They will maintain an open line of communication with you and keep you informed of your child’s emotional, physical,and cognitive development.  Their heartfelt desire is for your child to be happy, healthy, and successful.


Amazing growth, fascinating inquiry, advances in language and social understanding.  Welcome to the world of the toddler!  At this stage of development, your child will run for pleasure (andmay bump into things along the way).  They will begin to climb chairs and into/out of bed.  They will enjoy feeding themselves with a spoon and will be interested in grasping a stick or paint brush with a full fist grip.

Your child’s energy and growing stamina is an inspiration to the Reggio educator.  They recognize that your toddler needs freedom to experiment, create, and discover their world.  The toddler teacher will build a trusting and caring relationship with your child and encourage them to find ways to explore their interests, strengths, and potential with in a safe environment. Collaboration between teachers and parents is an essential part of ensuring your child’s happiness.  If you have questions about day-to-day activities, the program timelines, or your child’s progress simply get in touch - one of our team members will be happy to help.


As your child grows into this stage, their world really begins to blossom.  They are becoming increasingly more independent.  They may enjoy riding a tricycle, using safety scissors, and singing a favorite song.  Your child may enjoy establishing friendships with other children in their class.  Their favorite word might be “why?” and your preschooler will explore and ask questions about absolutely everything around them.  

The preschool educator will encourage your child’s natural curiosity.  They will be supported in their efforts to become a ‘researcher’ who can ask questions, experiment, and discover answers.  Ongoing projects within their Reggio-inspired classroom focuses on events and observations from your child’s everyday life and will last as long as they are engaged and until their curiosity is satisfied.  It is not unusual in a Reggio-inspired preschool classroom for a project to be re-visited or expanded as the child’s depth of understanding and interest grows.  Projects often take interesting twists and turns as the children begin to “wonder” and wish to expand into other related areas.  Curiosity about how everything works abounds and your preschool child is an expert at being a reflective, ‘think outside of the box’ investigator.  

Our Team

Tracy Walters


Anna Golden


(840) 847-5418

Mary Thornton


Patricia Moon


Tonya Williams

Assistant Director

(804) 847-5415

Young child in pink jacket

Our Location



3601 Seminary Avenue

Richmond, Virginia  23227

Telephone:  1 (804) 847-5418



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Now Open!


Open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Monday Through Friday

Serving Children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age.

A very young child plays with a rainbow colored toy.

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Discover The Cottage School 


Our Story


The Cottage School adheres to a holistic approach of early childhood education. When we expose children to different environments and various learning experiences, we allow them to explore their self-awareness and gain a sense of the world around them. Once they leave our Child Care Center, they’re fully prepared for the next stage of their young lives.

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Contact Us

Interested in learning more about The Cottage School? A member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

3601 Seminary Ave
Richmond, VA  23227

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