Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for visiting GreenHillsChild.com—If there's something you'd like to know that's not covered below, please email your question to Admin@GreenHillsChild.com.
Currently enrolled families, click here for annual registration info via the Parent Portal.
What ages do you serve?
Two months through Kindergarten. We have a substantial waiting list, so families interested in a space for their child are encouraged to get us an application right away for Fall 2016 enrollment.
Where are you located?
Our address is 3420 Belmont Blvd. Nashville TN 37215 (click for a MAP)—at the corner of Woodmont & Belmont Boulevards in Green Hills, convenient to families who live or work in the following areas of Nashville:
Green Hills, Vanderbilt, Forest Hills, Brentwood, Belmont/Hillsboro, Music Row, One Hundred Oaks/Berry Hill, Belle Meade, West Meade, and Downtown
Commuting from Franklin, Cool Springs or elsewhere? We are about one mile from Hillsboro Road at I-440.
What are your hours / how does your scheduling work?
7:30AM to 5:30PM.*
Our academic day is from 8:30AM to 3:30PM, with fee-based Before & After Care available from 7:30-8:30AM, and 3:30-5:30PM.
We ask our enrolled families to provide us with their expected routine drop-off and pick-up times, and to notify us if it will vary on a given day. This helps us match our staffing needs to your schedule most effectively.
How long have you been in business?
We are a fairly new school, but with a long history.
From 1976 until 2002, right here at the corner of Woodmont and Belmont Boulevards, Alan and Jean McCracken operated Creative Learning Center—then regarded as one of the top preschools in Nashville.
In 2011, with their son David’s help, they founded Green Hills Child Development, after an eight-year lease of their property to Children First Montessori.
What is your school certification? How many STARS do you have?
Green Hills Child is licensed by the Tennessee Department of Education as a Category V private school.
Schools licensed by the Department of Education do not participate in the STARS rating system. (STARS ratings are for day care centers licensed by the Tennessee Department of Human Services. When Jean McCracken operated Creative Learning Center under DHS, from the first evaluation her program earned Three Stars in December, 2001.)
Program Quality and Tuition
Our developmental program is comparable to those of the finest preschools in the Nashville area.
Should my child’s name be on more than one preschool waiting list?
Yes. Especially for parents of young infants, we strongly recommend you evaluate several preschools and apply to at least three that could meet your family’s needs.
At most quality programs, if an opening is not available at the start of the semester, the timing of an offer of enrollment for your child may vary from your preferred start date by weeks or months. Thus, it is likewise important to have backup arrangements for the care of your child to bridge those potential gaps.
Do you offer a discount for additional children?
Yes - We love growing families! The tuition rate for a second child is reduced by 10%, and siblings of enrolled children are preferred on our waiting list.
Do you have part-time enrollment?
We do not provide drop-in care or offer a half-day tuition arrangement.
Part-time openings are very limited, and exclude the younger age groups.
If you are interested in a part-time spot (M/W/F or T/Th only), indicate your need on your application. We will watch for another family with a child of a similar age and a complementary schedule request.
What are the holidays and other breaks when you're closed?
Our calendar is available at this link.
What’s your policy for closing due to snow, ice or other severe weather?
We generally follow the severe weather schedule announced by Metro Nashville Public Schools, because they are much better able to determine the road conditions in Davidson County.
Will my child bring his own meals and snacks, or do you prepare them?
Due to different families' varied dietary preferences, we do not have a prepared menu of meals and snacks.
Rather, parents send snacks and meals prepared at home in containers that keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
What if my job changes? Does your enrollment agreement require a commitment to remain enrolled for the entire school year?
With thirty days’ paid notice, families who need to withdraw may do so without penalty. However, to minimize the effects of student turnover on the learning environment and on the school budget, we ask families who may be unsure of their plans to nonetheless commit to remain enrolled for at least the upcoming semester or quarter.
How does your school deal with mild illness? What is your exclusion policy?
We do not have a nurse on duty. And, like any licensed program, children with certain symptoms of serious illness must be excluded until they are seen and treated by their pediatrician. Children may return once they have been symptom free and fever free without the aid of medication for 24 hours. Any licensed program should have a similar policy.
That said, we recognize the burden created if a parent is asked to come get their child for reasons that do not rise to that standard.
If a child is mildly symptomatic, his teacher will call one of the parents to discuss it – that way, they can begin planning how they or someone on their authorized pick-up list can come get their child if a low fever becomes a high fever, if other symptoms occur or worsen, or if his teacher cannot give due attention to the other children in her care.
These requirements and procedures are more fully explained in our Parent Policies, which you may review during your tour, if you wish.
What are your staff’s qualifications? Do you have any employment opportunities?
Green Hills Child strives to recruit and retain the best-qualified teachers and caregivers available. Each person, whether permanent employee, volunteer, or substitute, is hired in compliance with the requirements and qualifications outlined by the Tennessee Department of Education, including fingerprint/criminal background checks against FBI and TBI databases. The law requires at least one person on the property to be pediatric CPR and First Aid certified, almost all of our employees are.
Our hiring process strongly prefers candidates whose education and experience demonstrate we've found someone with a joyful, career-minded commitment to the field of early childhood education, and whose views of this work are readily aligned with our values and blended educational philosophy.
Likewise, we always favor candidates whose references and interviews with us reveal a reliable worker with a heart-level motivation for serving children and families.
Many of our teachers of toddlers and up have a college degree in Education or a related field. Three of our teachers are certified to teach Pre-K thru 3rd Grade, one is Montessori certified, many are themselves parents, and several have more than ten years’ professional experience. Virtually all our part-time staff are pursuing college degrees in the same field.
(Click here if you are interested in employment.)
How are you different from other schools? Are you a Montessori school?
We take a blended approach to early childhood education, and the Montessori Method is an important part of that. Owner Jean McCracken’s professional background is deeply rooted in music and the traditional approach to early learning, so those influences are unmistakable.
One of our Twos teachers is AMS Certified from 0-3, and she serves as our Montessorian, providing guidance and coaching to the other teachers in support the learning and experiential goals for children of every age.
Unlike many conventional Montessori schools, however, we fully embrace imaginative play as essential to how children learn and grow, and encourage it as one of the choices children can make throughout their daily learning time. Largely because of our proximity to Vanderbilt, today and throughout our time as Creative Learning Center, parents from all over the world have enrolled their children with us. Without prompting from adults and virtually without exception, their children engage in pretending play. We don’t want to get in the way of that; not only because it is so much of the fun of early childhood, but because – from symbolic thought to socialization and more – imaginative play has real educational value for young children.
Our blended approach is not unprecedented, but it probably is the exception in comparison to most other schools in Nashville. Vanderbilt’s child care centers pursue a similar balance, and the Waldorf schools, likewise, do not employ one approach to the exclusion of the others. But most programs you find are likely to be either a traditional play-based curriculum, or a conventional Montessori program.
The bottom line is, we don’t believe anyone has a corner on how young children learn, but believe instead that several generations of educators have made important contributions to early childhood education. Our goal is to increasingly identify and practice the best theories available as we grow.
What is your school’s Philosophy?
We believe the unique period of rapid cognitive development and personal growth in early childhood is inspired by God. Click here to learn more.
What does it mean that you’re a Christian school?
For each member of the McCracken family, our Christian faith is what motivates us to serve families and to value the lives and learning experiences of young children.
Throughout our history, families from Nashville and all over the world have enrolled with us, from virtually every faith background one can imagine. Likewise, although most of our teachers and caregivers tend to be professing Christians, it is not a requirement of working with us.
Whether parent or teacher, however, it is often the Christian values here that draw them.
There will be some Bible stories and prayers of thanksgiving at meal times, but those are not the most important manifestations of the Christian faith at Green Hills Child.
Rather, we believe certain universal principles emphasized by the Christian faith, if put into practice, are extremely well-suited to creating a great environment where young children feel most free to learn.
In chapter five of his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul outlines the “Fruit of the Spirit”. Each of these spiritual principles represents an important corporate value at Green Hills Child:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Gal. 5:22-23.
As a matter of faith, for the Christian, these things are organic evidence of a life transformed by the mercy and promises of God. Embracing that view is always a personal choice, and not something our school pushes on anyone.
As a matter of what kind of school we want to be, whether or not for a given person it is also a matter of faith, these principles are imminently practical.
We believe any adult who makes choices of thought, word and deed aligned with these principles will help us all build and experience a great place to work and learn. For example, friendships will be more easily formed among peaceful, kind people. And the passage of time during hard work will seem faster, not slower, when joyful friends are there serving with you.
The principles build on each other.
By giving to others what we most want for ourselves, work will be a pleasure. And children among joyful adults will feel freer to explore and learn than they would feel in a place operating with less love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
When they are hired, all our teachers are asked to support our mission by joining us in embracing and advancing these corporate values. As a parent, you are invited to do so, as well.
We believe it is the best way to achieve our shared goals for all the children who come here.
I heard Jean wrote a book – what’s that about?
At Creative Learning Center, a great deal of Jean’s time was spent on the phone with parents (moms, especially!) for whose children she didn’t have an available enrollment space. Peace with Child Care is what Jean would say if she had a few hours over coffee to talk with a mom in that situation today.
Parents – especially first-time moms – often need guidance for knowing how to discern a good program from others they might need to be concerned about. Ultimately, Jean’s thesis is that if child care is the right decision for your family, then you can help the best program available for your family become even better, by your involvement and the way you relate to your child’s teachers.
Jean’s book was endorsed by Nashville Parent Magazine and other family magazines around the United States. We give a copy as a gift for each family who comes for a tour at Green Hills Child.
For families moving to Nashville from out of state, you can click here for an article excerpted from the book, and the book itself is for sale at Amazon.com:
Peace with Child Care: Secrets to Finding Daycare You Can Trust from a Veteran Child Care Provider.
Open House / Tour Dates
We currently do not have any Open House dates scheduled. But check Nashville Parent Magazine, Facebook and our home page for information about upcoming Open House dates – they’re normally on a Saturday between 10AM & 1PM.
To schedule a tour during the week, just call our office: 383-3373. Our preference is to have tours conclude by 11:30AM or begin after 2:30PM, for the best opportunity to view group activities and the least disruption at nap time—but we’ll work with your schedule and whisper, if need be!
PLEASE NOTE: We have a substantial waiting list, so families interested in a space for their child are encouraged to get us an application right away for Fall 2016 enrollment. You may postpone payment of the application fee until we've had a chance to schedule a mutually suitable tour date; when you confirm your interest by paying the $35 application fee, for wait list purposes your application will then relate back to the date we first received it.
For more information
Thank you for taking some time to learn about us. For more information, or to schedule a tour, please email Parents@GreenHillsChild.com or call 615-383-3373. Thank you again for considering our school!