Saint Joseph Preschool

2024-25 Registration begins January 29, 2024: See our Preschool Admissions page for more information.


Saint Joseph Parish is committed to providing high quality preschool programming that advances our mission of educating hearts and minds in the Holy Cross tradition.

Saint Joseph Preschool is a developmentally appropriate early childhood center focusing on creating the excellence in education with which Saint Joseph is synonymous. Opened in the fall of 2013, the preschool provides full and half day options for children aged three to five years. Our facilities are located in the Ackles Parish Life Center at 711 East Colfax Avenue in South Bend.

Saint Joseph Preschool is a Level 4 provider in the Paths to QUALITY™ early care and education rating program for the State of Indiana. Level 4 is the top rating a program can earn, after having demonstrated a commitment to the highest level of professionalism in quality early care and education — achievement of a nationally recognized accreditation. Saint Joseph Preschool is a nationally accredited early learning program through AdvancED.

Saint Joseph Preschool is also an Indiana On My Way Pre-K provider, allowing qualifying families to receive grants to attend our program the year before kindergarten.

Preschool Mission & Philosophy

Mission Statement

Our belief is in creating a loving, caring, faith-based environment where spirituality and education are our first priorities. Through Christ, we model this in our relationships with the children, their families, and each other. By using HighScope curriculum we provide for our children a developmentally appropriate environment that supports the individuality of each child.


“While we prepare useful citizens for society, we shall likewise do our utmost to prepare citizens for heaven.” -Blessed Basil Moreau

This quote, from Congregation of Holy Cross founder Blessed Basil Moreau, captures our true philosophy about educating young children. Our goal is to embrace all areas of child development: spiritual, emotional, physical, and cognitive. We recognize each child as a gift from God and we look to emphasize their special and unique gifts. We do this by creating a curriculum and an environment that encourages individuality, creativity, and discovery through developmentally appropriate practices. Children are empowered to be the active catalyst in their learning through a process of self-discovery as they learn independence and problem-solving skills.

At Saint Joseph Preschool, our ultimate goal is to have an environment where all children are loved and respected as they develop the skills they need to be citizens for this world and the next.

Curriculum Overview

Seeking to provide a high-quality program on par with the high-quality education provided at Saint Joseph Grade School, Saint Joseph Preschool utilizes HighScope Curriculum and is registered as a Child Care Ministry with the State of Indiana, having achieved Level 4 provider status in the Paths to QUALITY™ early care and education rating program for the State of Indiana. Level 4 is the top rating a program can earn, and Saint Joseph Preschool is a nationally accredited early learning program through AdvancED.

HighScope is a model preschool program based on the ground-breaking research of the Perry Preschool Experiment. HighScope is well regarded in research communities for its child-centered, standards-based approach to early childhood education, and it consistently demonstrates evidence of lifelong academic, social, and behavioral success for children of all backgrounds. Additionally, faith development and religious education can easily be incorporated into the standard HighScope curriculum.

Besides receiving religious education daily, our students also participate weekly in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. CGS is a Montessori-based, religious education program that focuses on Scripture and Liturgy to allow the children hands-on, personal time for reflecting on this teaching and pondering their relationship with God and focusing especially on the love of Jesus the Good Shepherd.

Preschool Programs

Infant/Toddler Program

The Infant/Toddler Program was added in August 2020, serving our youngest children ages three months to three years. This program provides an exceptional quality of Catholic education and care for our smallest children in their first precious years! In addition to being overseen by the preschool director, the Infant/Toddler Program is staffed with a full-time lead teacher as well as other experienced early childhood educators in order to provide a 4:1 student-teacher ratio. Staff are trained in the HighScope curriculum for infants and toddlers, and our program meets all of the guidelines for state licensing. These components provide the children we serve with consistency of care and a first-class early childhood education.

3/4 Year Old Program

The 3/4 Year Old Program at Saint Joseph Preschool provides many children with their first experience in a preschool setting. The program focuses on helping children develop the important social skills required to be successful in school. Emphasis is also placed on helping children to learn the “culture” of school and what school is all about. Cognitive and academic skills are also encouraged in a developmentally appropriate hands on approach. Children must turn three before August 1 of the year of enrollment and be fully potty trained.

Pre-K 4/5 Program

The Pre-K 4/5 Program helps prepare children to become developmentally ready for kindergarten. The program focuses on all areas of development: cognitive, emotional, social, and physical areas of growth. Emphasis is placed on helping children to develop each area to their fullest. This program offers flexibility in scheduling – both full-time and half-time. Children must turn four before August 1 of the year of enrollment.

Pre-K 5/6 Program

The Pre-K 5/6 Program is designed for children who are of kindergarten age but may require another growth year before starting kindergarten. It may also be a choice for older preschool students not quite of kindergarten age who have had some preschool experiences and are ready for a more challenging full-day program. The Pre-K 5/6 Program is a five-day a week, full-day program. The children are required to attend all five full days each week. School will begin at 8:00 AM with drop-off starting at 7:45. School will end at 2:45 PM. Eligibility for Pre-K begins with children who are five years old by December 31 of the year of enrollment. Enrollment decisions are determined on an individual basis based on age, availability, and the best developmental setting for each child.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

The children in each of our programs will also participate once per week in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori-based religious education program, rooted in Scripture and liturgy, that allows children to nurture their relationship with God by using their hands to work with materials for meditation.

After Care

After care is available until 5:00 each afternoon for those children who attend our full-day programs. Please contact Saint Joseph Preschool for more information on after care.

How to Apply

For information about applying to Saint Joseph Preschool, please visit our Preschool Admissions page. Tuition information is available on the Tuition page.

Saint Joseph Preschool is an Indiana On My Way Pre-K provider, allowing qualifying families to receive grants to attend our program the year before kindergarten.

Contact Us

For more information about Saint Joseph Preschool or to schedule a visit, please contact:

Sabrina Zalas
Preschool Director
(574) 234-3318