WESTFIELD, NJ — The staff at Wesley Hall Pre-school and Kindergarten, located at the First United Methodist Church in the heart of Westfield, recognizes that parents need a warm, safe, fun and loving environment for their children while they work. That’s why, starting this fall, they will expand their hours to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We’re looking to help the community with our new after-care service,” Administrative Assistant Lisa Crosta explained.

Established 65 years ago, with many staff members whose own children attended Wesley Hall, the interdenominational school has a tradition of fostering each child’s love of learning, personal development and strength of character.

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In addition to morning sessions for ages 2 ½ through 4-plus and full-day kindergarten, the school offers afternoon enrichment programs, lunch, playtime and now before- and after-care.

Throughout the year enrichment classes include art, cooking, gardening and “passport,” a class where children imagine what it’s like to travel to countries around the world.

Wesley Hall brings “field trips” into the school, with events including a visit from the penguins of Jenkinsons Aquarium, bird experts and their birds from Raptor Trust, chicken hatching, a dinosaur exhibit, a local dentist, a chance to see a fire truck up-close and a visit from Santa among student’s favorites.

Parents say that their children love coming to Wesley Hall each day.

“One of my favorite parts of the day is taking my 4-year-old into school at Wesley Hall,” said Molly Ferguson, a mom of four. “He runs into school every single day, so excited to see his friends and find out what his teachers have planned for the day."

Class sizes at Wesley Hall are small relative to other early childhood centers and many teachers stay with the school for their entire careers.

“There’s really low teacher turnover because of our dedicated staff and their love for the children,” Director Melissa Romelli said.

The school offers many opportunities for families to get to know each other, including an active parent organization and social events in the evenings, as well as an open-door policy that allows parents to be part of their children’s school life.

“One of the unique features that makes WH such a special place for me as their mom is that daily drop-off and pick-up takes place in their respective classrooms,” said mom Cathy McKeon. “This has allowed me to develop close relationships with their teachers and the other families of their classmates, making me an active part of their school experience. Not only do I think this has contributed to the best developmental and educational experience possible for my children, but being part of such a fun and supportive community has been wonderful for my entire family.”

Safety and security are paramount at Wesley Hall. The school boasts state-of-the-art security, with cameras in the hallways and at each entrance, phones in all classrooms and doors that remain locked from the outside until visitors are buzzed in. 

Teachers are trained in CPR, first aid and the use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and EpiPens. It is a peanut-free environment.

What strikes parents most about Wesley Hall is its warm, nurturing environment.

“From the moment I set foot in Wesley Hall I felt welcome, cared for and warm.  Following my tour I knew Wesley Hall was the place my daughters would go to school,” said mom Erin Dippold.My daughters are learning, growing as good social citizens and thriving overall.  I could not me more thrilled with my choice in preschool.”

Registration for the fall is recommended as early as possible, as spaces are filling up. To schedule your tour, call 908-233-9570. Learn more at www.WesleyHall.org.

Wesley Hall Pre-school and Kindergarten is an advertiser on TAP into Westfield. To learn about becoming an advertiser, call 917-676-2302 or email jlieberman@tapinto.net.