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PreSchool & Day Care

The Little Phoenix:

Easton Country Day School’s Early Childhood Program

Easton Country Day School provides a learning environment where the values taught at home are echoed and strengthened, and where the children feel safe and loved.  We help our youngest students to develop towards their full academic, moral, creative and physical potential in an environment that fosters respect and loving-kindness. We aim to promote excellence in individual academic, social, and physical development.

PreSchool Application

Day Care Application

The Little Phoenix is a comprehensive early childhood program that provides a curriculum rich with fun and exciting hands-on experiences.  The atmosphere here is safe and caring, and we nurture each child’s ability to learn through play with a variety of developmentally appropriate activities.  Our goal is to encourage independence, individuality, creativity and a positive self image for every child in our care.


The Little Phoenix curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the whole child - social, emotional, physical, cognitive and creative.  Weekly planning is done around monthly themes that stimulate the children’s awareness of the world around them and inspire their curiosity about the outside world.  We introduce topics that will be part of their family and life experiences and provide activities and information to broaden their basic awareness of current events and the world at large. 

In addition to these topics, each monthly program includes activities and information about safety.  Children will gain basic knowledge on how to handle emergencies and how to keep themselves and their families safe. 

Through our Good Citizenship program, we also work with the children on the fundamentals of self control, handling conflicts, making friends, using good manners and developing sensitivity toward other people’s feelings and differences. 

Information on specific themes and activities for children in the one-year-old program up through pre-school is included in the monthly newsletters.  Infant planning is based upon the child’s individual developmental stages, and their activities will be conveyed to parents verbally through our “My Day” reports.  


We at Easton Country Day School feel that children should be treated as the unique individuals that they are.  Each child grows at his/her own distinctive rate and style. At the Little Phoenix, opportunities for academic, social and physical growth are developed according to recognized individual need.  We provide an environment rich in academic opportunity while understanding that for children, play and learning are the same.


Early education is most successful and least stressful for children who are allowed to develop fully in their play as well as their academics.  Play is essential in a child's life.  In play, children discover themselves and others, and, most importantly, they learn how to learn.  Play is the optimum learning relationship for a child.  That’s because the best learners, at whatever age or stage of development, are those who are best prepared to handle unanticipated change. 

As they explore, touch and wander, play helps children to acquire the basic feelings, ideas and capacities they need effectively absorb from and adapt to the ever-changing world.  These skills will be with them for the rest of their lives.

Dr. O. Fred Donaldson, who pioneered the “Original Play” program and expanded it internationally, is also an ECDS Board Member.  He urges parents and educators not to underestimate the power of play in promoting optimal physical, emotional, and cognitive development.  Our children regularly participate in Original Play sessions.  Please click here for more information on Original Play. 


Mrs. Wendy Shambra-Katragadda, Managing Director of The Little Phoenix Pre-School and Daycare, is in charge of daily operations.  Wendy has been with EDCS as a parent and Director for six years.  She meets weekly with the other Directors of the program, Mrs. Suellen Inwood and Mrs. Jody Smith, both of whom are also Directors of Easton Country Day School, to discuss programming.  All three Directors meet with the Advisory Board once a month to discuss policy.

The Little Phoenix staff consists of our Directors, head teachers, assistant teachers, Original Play specialist, art teacher, Spanish teacher, movement teacher, music teacher and a part time Registered Nurse. All of our staff are dedicated to the education of young children and are committed to guiding them towards their optimal potential in a safe, nurturing environment.


2 day 3’s

 Tues., Thurs.

9 - 11:45 AM

5 day 3’s

 Monday - Friday

9 - 11:45 AM

3 day 4’s

 M - W - F

9 - 11:45 AM

4 day 4’s

 M - T - W - F

9 - 11:45 AM

5 day 4’s

 Monday - Friday

9 - 11:45 AM


An extended day (the “Lunch Bunch”) is available at an additional fee.  The Lunch Bunch meets until 1:15 PM, and food can either be purchased in advance or sent in by the parents.  If you are busy at work, or need regular care after preschool hours, our Daycare Center is also available.


Our Daycare Center is open from 7:30AM to 6 PM Mondays through Fridays, excluding holidays. We accept children aged six weeks to four years and offer flexible scheduling and part time care for working families.  Parents can schedule two, three, four, or five full or half days per week. No drop-ins are allowed – all services must be arranged in advance. 

Catered meals are available with advanced ordering. 

The Little Phoenix Highlights:

  • Secured facility
  • Developmental assessment of each child with tailored annual goals and curriculum 
  • Focused play-oriented learning activities in a theme based curriculum
  • Spacious classrooms
  • Experienced, professional, nurturing  teachers
  • Specialty classes and teachers for Art, Spanish, Music, and Movement
  • Convenient times with extended days available to coincide with K-8 schedule or workday schedule or other scheduling needs
  • Access to the main school for special events and community activities
  • Catered lunch can be purchased on-site
  • Directed play for each child, every day
  • Academic, social, behavioral and emotional learning through play
  • Creative projects and games
  • Field trips
  • Large gymnasium for gross motor development on rainy and snowy days
  • Large outside play areas and playgrounds
  • Kindergarten readiness
  • Life and safety skill instruction
  • FUN, FUN, FUN!

Please call for a tour and additional information (203) 268-5073