Developmental Nursery School

The Developmental Nursery School – Vermilion’s first preschool – is located in and operated by the United Church of Christ, Congregational. Its mission is to provide a quality preschool experience within a secure, nurturing yet stimulating environment. Activities are planned in a learning-through-play atmosphere with hands on learning activities to meet the social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of children, while promoting the development of a positive self-concept.

  • weekly music classes
  • weekly library session
  • monthly visits from Ritter Public Library
  • yearly field trips
  • thematic-based lesson plans following Ohio Content Standards for preschoolers
  • age-appropriate activities
  • non-denominational

Developmental Nursery School is an integral part of the outreach of the UCC, Congregational, striving to provide a ministry of love to children, support to parents, and service to the community. The school is non-denominational.

DNS was founded in 1963. Today, we offer a 33-week program for 3-, 4- and 5-year-old children. 

Our 3 year old classes meet for 2.5 hour sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from September through mid-May. Activities include hands on learning, small group activities, and socially interactive play. These activities are based on Ohio’s standards for early childhood education. Monthly tuition for our 3 year old program is $120.00 per month.

Our 4/5 year old program offers either a 3 day or 4 day option. The 3 day option meets Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for 2.5 hrs per session. Monthly tuition for our 3 day option is $120.00 per month.  The 4 day option meets Monday-Thursday for 2.5 hours. Tuition for the 4 day option is $160.00 per month. Our small group academic and hands on learning activities are based on Ohio’s standards for early childhood education with the focus of preparing each child for Kindergarten. 

Total school enrollment is limited to 32 children per session, no more than 12 children per classroom. Scholarships are available for qualifying children.

We have a morning session and an afternoon session based on enrollment.

Our teachers are experienced in early childhood education. They receive at least 6 hours of continuing education hours per year to offer the most up to date preschool practices. They are also First Aid and CPR certified. 

To qualify for enrollment, your child must be at least 3 years old by Sept. 30 of the current year. Sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Your child must be seen by a physician after May 31 and no later than Sept. 1 of the current year.


Nursery School Registration Form 3 Year OldsNursery School Registration Form 4-5 Year Olds

Meet Our Staff

Cecily Musser, DNS Director

I am looking forward to another great year at DNS. This will be my 10th year as DNS Director. I attended DNS myself and grew up in this church congregation. My teaching background includes preschool in Seattle, WA, and middle grade special education in both Grove City and Norwalk, OH. I have been married to my husband Tom for 14 years and have a 11 year old son, 9 year old daughter, and a 4 year old daughter.

Krista Peters, 4 and 5 year olds

I have been married to Jim for 23 years and we have 3 kids (Samantha, 20, Michael 18, and Jenna, 15). All three of my kids went through DNS and this is my tenth year of teaching here. My education is in early childhood and I have taught preschool for 18 years. I look forward to a wonderful year with your children.

Sally Spindler, 3 year olds

I am looking forward to returning to DNS this year. I am a certified teacher. I was born and raised in Akron and am now living my dream of residing on the shores of Lake Erie in Vermilion. My passions in addition to teaching are jewelry design, decorative painting, refinishing antiques, woodworking, sewing, and needlepoint. I am excited to integrate some of this love of the creative arts into my lesson plans for your children. Last but not least, I am a  mom of a 25 year old son who taught me the greatest lesson to carry into my classroom…IT IS NO SLIGHT THING WHEN THOSE WHO ARE SO FRESH FROM GOD LOVE US!

Rebecca Thompson, 3 year olds

It is an honor to again be a part of the wonderful DNS staff this year as a preschool teacher. My goal is to instill an enduring love of learning in your children by incorporating music, art, poetry and nature into our daily lessons and activities. As an experienced caretaker, volunteer and mother, I believe in allowing kids to be kids while utilizing teachable moments as they naturally come along. There are endless opportunities for children to learn through play, and I enjoy making education rewarding and fun for everyone involved! Toby and I have a 4-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter, and I am a stepmom to Toby’s older sons, ages 12 and 16. We are a busy family, always seeking new ways to discover and connect with our community.

Kortnie Dean, morning 4 and 5 year olds

I am honored to be a part of the amazing DNS community this year and I cannot wait to take on the 4/5 morning class! I married my high school sweetheart, Brandon, 7 years ago and we have 3 boys ages 4.5 years, 3 years, and 1 year. Two of our children are DNS kids which is what set my love for DNS in motion. Over the last 10 years I have had a lot of experience with childcare. My education is in Early Childhood Education, I have been doing in-home childcare for the last 5 years, and my own three boys have given me first-hand experience with the different ways that children learn. Being a mother has set me up with an arsenal of creative, fun, and educational crafts and activities so that we shouldn’t ever have a dull day! With all of that, it is my goal to instill a love of learning into all your children and to foster their confidence to pursue their wildest dreams.

Julie Wilson, afternoon 4 and 5 year olds

“The art of teaching is the art in assisting in discovery.” -  Mark Von Doren. I believe that it’s of the utmost importance that children, especially preschoolers are provided opportunities to learn through discovery, play and through hands on activities. I attended Bowling Green State University and obtained my Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. This is my 14th year teaching preschool, and my 12th year here at DNS. I attended DNS as a child and I am a mother of 4 children all who attended DNS and a grandmother of 10, many who also have attended DNS. I am a church member here at United Church of Christ Congregational and am the owner of The Honeysuckle Hive, where I along with my daughters are florists. I enjoy spending time with all of my children, grandchildren & my husband of 30 years. I am looking forward to the fun filled year ahead.

Developmental Nursery School still has openings for this year!  Please call 967-5230 for more information or email [email protected]
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