Education > Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School (CPNS)

Rising to meet your child's needs...

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Dear CPNS Families,

A noteworthy milestone was reached by Director, Janice Parker: she has completed all required coursework toward her doctoral studies at Rutgers and now begins work on her dissertation.

This week at CPNS

Our teachers return this week for our first meeting of the new school year; however, many of them have been working hard all summer preparing for the children to arrive. We are all so excited about seeing families we already know, and meeting new friends in the next few weeks as we begin our 31st year of preschool for children at CPNS.

We also continue to register children for the 2015-2016 school year, and the various enrichment offerings. We have a few spots left, so please let your friends and neighbors know about the opportunity to send their child to our Christian preschool. Ask them to email or call me for a private tour of our school. We look forward to sharing our wonderful school with the families of our church and our local community. Registration forms can be found on our church website or at CPNS.

Contact CPNS at 609-655-8663 or

Parking Lot/Playground Safety Plan
We need your help to provide a safe playground for all of our children. We are asking that if you need to park in the church parking lot between the hours of 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. on school days that you use the last few spots closest to the South Lawn. You could also use the overflow parking lot or the spaces in the rear of the parking lot next to the cemetery.

We hope this will eliminate traffic in the playground while children are outside playing.

Please call Janice at 655-8663 with any concerns or questions. We want to thank you in advance for making sure we keep all children safe.

More From CPNS

Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School nurtures the inquisitive minds of young children, so we believe that an early introduction to agriculture-awareness is essential to nurture a lifelong love of nature and our environment. Four years ago, our preschool installed a 12' X 12' teaching garden on the school's grounds. Each year from April to November we have enjoyed exploring the teaching garden and have used it to teach so many agricultural concepts.

Our students enjoy each aspect of caring for the garden, more than planting seeds and picking tomatoes. In April, we begin by learning how to prepare the garden for growing. We enjoy pulling weeds from the roots, compare deep and shallow root systems, and learn that some smell like onions! We learn why weeding the garden makes our plants stronger. We learn that some vegetables grow above the ground and some grow below, that plants grow to different heights, and that some produce blossoms which turn into vegetables! Some grow quickly, and for others, we seem to wait forever.

While we are preparing and weeding our garden we enjoy collecting bugs and worms for inspection, identification, and discussion and then release them back into the garden. We have a worm farm in our classroom and we watch the worms dig, since the worm farm has plastic sides so we can see the worms 'underground'. We learn that worms are useful to our garden, aerate the soil, and leave essential nutrients behind for our plants to enjoy.

The children plant seeds and watch them grow in plastic cups so we can examine root systems. Crops include lettuce, spinach, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, chives, pumpkins, cucumbers, and more have grown in our garden. We journal our experiences, measure, compare/contrast young seedlings, and learn how we can help these plants produce delicious vegetables. We experiment by sprouting bean seeds in water, sand, rocks, and paper towels and learn what environment yields the best seedlings and why. We even have the children help build an irrigation system since we don't have a water source near the garden!

As we pick and taste our crops, we teach that part of growing is trying new tastes/textures. The children learn about the food pyramid and that part of a healthy diet includes foods from many food groups. We talk about our favorites from each group and learn that these foods originate on farms! We enjoy setting up a pretend farm stand in our classroom, 'selling' produce, learning money value, adding, budgeting, and introducing new vegetables to the children. We are fortunate to have a teacher's assistant whose family has been farming in Cranbury since 1926. She is always happy to answer questions about farm life, equipment, crops, and running a farm stand.

Von Thun's field trip offers our children consistent agriculture teaching about nurturing plants and flowers, having a plan for the farm, selling the produce and plants, caring for the animals, nature facts in the barn, and more. We have especially enjoyed the 'burger' and 'pizza' gardens. The children tie in what they have learned in class to real-life farming which deepens their learning. We know this is true because of the relevant questions and comments they share while on the trip and back in class. We value our farming community and are proud to have the opportunity to teach the children agriculture at Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School.

As evidenced in the essay we learn a lot at CPNS but in the most developmentally appropriate ways for preschoolers.

This year at CPNS

The Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School (CPNS) has completed its 30th year of providing a Christian preschool environment to preschoolers and their families. CPNS successfully maintains a developmentally appropriate Christian preschool program offering the guidance for learning important life skills and the appropriate academic requirements kindergarten programs are now demanding. Our year was once again filled with a variety of milestones, activities and new opportunities. These are summarized in the 2014 Annual Report available below. The NAEYC Accreditation system has set professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. In September 2006, the Association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children. The new standards today reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. NAEYC is committed to utilizing the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible. For more information, please visit Our NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that we are a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education, and we will help give all children the best foundation for their academic success that we possibly can. To learn more about how we achieved NAEYC accreditation, click here.

CPNS is a non-profit Christian preschool founded in 1984 by the First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury. Our history is outlined here. Our Nursery School is administered by a nine member Board comprised of Church Members and other individuals from the surrounding area with backgrounds in personnel, finance, education and administration. While we are not a cooperative school and do not require parents to contribute hours of service, we do offer many opportunities for parents to participate in their child's nursery school experience. Our parents are encouraged to share their experiences, ideas and feelings. To find more information about our school philosophy and curriculum, click here.

CPNS is state licensed by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services and holds professional membership in the New Jersey Education Association and the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Our 3 and 4 year old program teachers hold degrees in Early Childhood Education and/or Elementary Education and are college certified. A Teacher and an Assistant Teacher oversee each class. Our student/teacher ratio is 12 to 2 in our 2 1/2 year old program, 14 to 2 in our 3-year-old program and 16 to 2 in our 4 year old program. The CPNS staff is encouraged to witness their faith in Jesus Christ through the love shown for the children, their dedication to each child's development, and their daily interactions. To meet our faculty, click here.

Faculty & Board Member Resources
Important Dates

2015-2016 Registration: Ongoing

NOTE: Dates & times for these events vary by class. Details here

Back to School Night: Parents only
September 8, 9

Student Open House/Playground Gatherings
September 9, 10

First Day of School
September 14, 15

Parent Socials
Getting to Know You Day
September 28,29

School Hours

Morning Session
9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon Session
12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Enrichment Opportunities
Mommy's Morning Out