Germantown Day School (GDS) - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why GDS?

A: Our school motto is, "Incipit In Via" which translates to, "The Journey Begins".  Germantown Day School (GDS) provides a rich learning environment, at a very affordable weekly rate, that encourages children’s natural curiosity and supports them to take risks that lead to new skill development. We are a learning-centered day school that embraces best practices and cutting-edge technology. 

Our preschool and early childcare facility is a setting where children feel safe, respected, and cared for. GDS is an opportunity for all preschool-aged children to take part in planned, active, learning experiences that build their school readiness skills. Find out more at Philosophy.

GDS believes that every day matters in your child's learning journey. We require, in order to be the best early education daycare, every child's support group to understand that the GDS program commences promptly at 8:30 am every-single day.  No interruptions to the start of the day are permitted.

2. What is the GDS Philosophy? Mission?

A: Your child - any child - can become anything they desire through an appreciation and commitment to learning. That is why our GDS school slogan is "Not Day care...Day school!" While we do provide the best nursery school services, our program stresses learning in a school-like setting.

Germantown Day School’s philosophy is to provide the highest quality preschool program meeting each child’s unique needs, including children with disabilities and those from any diverse background. 

Our mission is to serve children in the Philadelphia, PA area ages 3-5; develop each child with a positive attitude toward self, towards others and towards learning, and to provide a developmentally sound and structured early childhood experience including the following: Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Cognitive Development, and Literacy and Music Skills. 

We believe this mission will be accomplished by recognizing the value of each individual child and promoting academic and personal growth in a challenging and caring environment while daily emphasizing the four "key-concepts" Math, Science, Reading and the Arts.

Furthermore, it is our belief that in order to maintain a quality program, it is crucial to approach preschool education as a partnership. Our preschool partners include, but are not limited to, teachers, parents, students, support staff, and community members. We are dedicated to the fundamental premise that teachers, parents and children make decisions together about what is best for children. These factors help children to view themselves as valued, contributing, and successful members of their school family and community!

3. What is the curriculum?

A: Our preschool and early childcare program uses a variety of sources including Creative Curriculum, a research and evidence based comprehensive curriculum designed for preschoolers. It addresses all areas of early learning: language and literacy, math, science, physical skills, and social skills. It is based on thematic units familiar and meaningful to young children such as Homes and Families, Animals, the Five Senses, Transportation, and the Farm. It provides children an opportunity to learn in a variety of ways—through play, problem solving, movement, art, music, drawing and writing, listening, and storytelling. 

4. Who are we accredited by?

A: We are licensed by the City of Philadelphia and by the State of Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. We currently maintain our position as a Keystone STARS member, and we are actively pursuing further accreditation. In addition, we believe the GDS preschool program has adopted and meets or exceeds the Pennsylvania Quality Preschool Program Standards, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards are used to guide expectations for children and instructional practices. We were even in the news

5. What is the enrollment process?

A: Parents wishing to enroll their child in the Germantown Day School should schedule a tour appointment with our Operations Manager, Austin Sbarra at (215) 645-0329 or attend one of our open houses held annually in April, May, June and August.

6. How old does my child need to be to attend?

A: Children wishing to enroll in the program should be at least three (3) years of age at the time of enrollment and have completed or nearly completed toilet training, in order to register for our five day a week program. Evidence of age will be requested, either in the form of a birth certificate or other comparable evidence before the child may enroll. Any exception to this policy will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

7. What are your hours?

A: Our program operates from 7 am until 6 pm Monday through Friday. Classes meet for a total of four hours Monday through Thursday. The remainder of the day is set aside for lunch and nap time, and collaboration activities we call, "specials". Specials are classes such as Music lessons and Yoga and are held once weekly. The day ends with circle time, free play, and remedial work if prescribed.

GDS follows the Germantown Day School calendar. This calendar approximates the School District of Philadelphia calendar and, along with any additional professional development days that may occur during the school year; represents the entirety of the calendar.

For one month in the summer students will operate in a "Summer Camp" mode with a more relaxed schedule.

8. Are meals provided?

A: Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are included in the weekly tuition! All meals will be provided by Germantown Day School and outside food and beverage is not permitted in order to ensure a safe, consistent and high-quality food program. Food allergies and specific diets are also respected and upheld.

9. Is there a dress code?

A: Yes.  Every child enrolled at GDS will receive a uniform which contains one of our shirts and a pair of shorts. The shorts will be worn on Friday's in warmer weather. During colder weather children will wear khakis or black long pants and sneakers. A pair of extra pants are required to be maintained at school.

Uniforms are required daily and extra shirts can be purchased

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Contact Us

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Come visit us in person!

Feel free to visit during normal business hours to visit our early learning center.

Germantown Day School

5450 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144, US

(215) 645-0329



7:00 am – 6:00 pm


7:00 am – 6:00 pm


7:00 am – 6:00 pm


7:00 am – 6:00 pm


7:00 am – 6:00 pm