About Us


History

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Westminster Nursery School was established by the Session of the Presbyterian Church of Toms River in November 1951 with six pupils attending. In 1969 WNS relocated from Washington Street to the new church building at 1070 Hooper Avenue. WNS has grown into the oldest and largest church-related nursery school in the state of New Jersey. Our enrollment of approximately 300 children consists of four-year-olds, three-year-olds and two-and-one-half-year-olds. The school is open to all religions and communities. People travel from as far as Manahawkin, Brick, and Manchester just to have their children attend our programs.

The school is housed in the renovated and expanded education wing of the Presbyterian Church of Toms River. The Westminster Nursery School Board is comprised of six church members plus the director of the school. This board makes decisions regarding policy, hiring, and budgeting as well as offers support to the school in various other ways.    

Westminster’s staff and school meet the State of New Jersey Division of Child Protection & Permanency requirements for licensing. The School Board has, however, established higher educational certifications for our teachers than those required by state licensing for preschools. We are also rated 4 stars by Grow New Jersey Kids.In September of 2012 Westminster added three and five full day classes to our four-year-old program choices. September 2010 saw the opening of our Kindergarten Full Day program.  September 2008 Westminster opened a program for two-and-a-half-year-olds. This program has been a marked success for our youngest students. Finally, in September of 2016,  the 3-year-old Full Day classes were implemented.

Philosophy



Westminster Nursery School provides a Christian atmosphere of care and concern for young children while encouraging them to develop positive feelings about themselves and others.  Experienced, qualified teachers guide children in learning opportunities in accordance with each child’s individual rate of growth and development.
 
Westminster believes it is important to give children opportunities to express ideas freely and spontaneously, to encourage individuality and originality in their work, to provide a flexible environment without so many rules that spontaneity would be inhibited, and to continuously stimulate children to approach problems and situations with a searching and endless curiosity.
 
Teachers remember that too much freedom leads to insecurity, while too little freedom stifles spontaneity and creativity.  Guided freedom allows for testing and trying out different approaches to situations with the comfort of knowing that positive guidance from the teacher keeps the experimenting within the realm of safe, creative learning.
 
Westminster embraces all aspects of young children:  social-emotional, intellectual and physical growth.  The goal is to develop happy, well adjusted children in a climate of freedom with discipline, affection, and positive reinforcement.  Developmentally appropriate academic experiences are offered.  Each child is encouraged to acquire skills at their own individual level of readiness.  Westminster believes that “early childhood is not only where the future beings, but that childhood should be a joyous journey, not a race.”


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