“For the past 30 years no other privately held child care has put more time, caring, effort, research,

or development into their educational programs for young minds than Sheldon Acres Child Development Center”

The Company

Sheldon Acres’ principal, Susan Glines-Thompson’s, passion for children and 30 plus years of teaching has encouraged and enhanced the staff training to optimize the learning experience in young minds. Research based programs are used in our daycare programs to enhance and foster a love for learning.

Sheldon Acres CDC’s exceptional early learning programs and swim lessons are not the typical daycare, but they prepare children for elementary school by helping them be high-functioning and at the top of their classes.

The Students

More than anything else, what defines Sheldon Acres is the success of the students whose parents come back after graduating and share stories of how their child’s experience at Sheldon Acres gave them the tools they need to excel.

The Staff

From our skilled teachers, to our administrators, aides, swim coaches and cooks… warm, responsive care coupled with a secure learning environment is our core vision.  Each Sheldon Acres’ team member knows the quality of relationships your child experiences during their first 5 years of life has a deep and lasting impact on their future development, and that knowledge guides them every step of their day as they care for, enrich and teach your child during the school year and the summer camp programs.

The School

The foundation of Sheldon Acres CDC is the environment we create within our physical buildings, because it is the design of our building that allows the curriculum and our teachers to maximize your child’s potential. We are unlike any other child care program you will find.

As you search for the finest in early education for your child, you’ll discover that it is virtually impossible for a child to develop to their full potential in a traditional single-room preschool program.

Here’s is what you’ll find in Sheldon Acres Child Development Center:

  • We are on over 2 acres of land with a park-like setting, goats, rabbits, a garden, a pool, and a soccer field  behind us. There is plenty of room for the kids to run and explore. They are not cooped up all day long in one tiny room.
  • The main building is a 5,000 sq. ft. facility educationally-engineered to enhance young minds.
  • Our building, curriculum, teachers and educational resources work together in a highly coordinated endeavor that makes the most of the window of opportunity in brain development between infancy and age five.
  • The architecture and floor plan of our building—particularly our specialized enrichment classrooms for music, art, creative movement, and second language—allows our teachers to deliver the benefits of a rotation-based, team-taught curriculum.
  • Our Language Arts program is the same program used in the elementary schools in the area so; Sheldon Acres students have an advantage over other preschool programs since our students are very familiar with the phonics program they will be exposed to in their kindergarten and first grade schools.
  • The Language Arts program also trains the young child’s ear to hear individual sounds through phonemic awareness and phonological training before they have to put a letter to its sound, making them very successful with phonics instruction.
  • Our mathematics program is manipulative based and kids learn through a multitude of difference games.
  • Children will participate in weekly cooking activities.
  • We provide for lots of hands on science exploration.  Children watch caterpillars turn into butterflies, tadpoles turn into frogs, silk worms spin silk, bees colonies make honey, chicks hatch from eggs, flowers and plants grow from seed.  These are only a few of the exciting science activities the children will experience.
  • This unique approach to early childhood education features stimulating half-hour class rotations that capitalize on how children learn best.
  • The programs engage your child across intellectual, emotional, physical and social levels of learning and development—this kind of learning is not possible in the traditional single-room daycare approach.
  • Sheldon Acres CDC balances learning, fun and rest with inside and outside physical activities to keep children’s interest and excitement for knowledge at a high level.

Your First Visit

Our promise to you: The moment you walk through the front door your view on child care will change forever…within minutes of speaking with the Sheldon Acres administrator or director you will know you’re in the right place… and after the very first day you will see your child’s amazing love for learning already growing.

Our Curriculum features


Handwriting Without Tears 

Handwriting Without Tears’ hands-on, developmental approach to Pre-K has provided hundreds of thousands of students the foundations needed for academic success.

“Sheldon Acres’ programs engage your child across intellectual, emotional, physical and social levels of learning and development—miss kind of learning is not possible in the traditional single—room approach.”

“Did you know that by the time a child is five years old, he or she possesses three-fifths of his or her vocabulary?  We pride ourselves on building speaking and listening skills during a child’s most fertile vocabulary time.”


The preschool program focuses on developing the total-child while nurturing each child’s potential, building upon successes and mastered skills. Emphasis is placed on the role that social skills and interactions play in building a foundation for meeting future academic challenges.

  • SRA McGraw-Hill DLM Early Learning Program
  • The American School of Protocol’s Manners and Etiquette Program
  • PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Skills) Program
  • Creative Publications Mathland
  • Open Court Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Alphabetic Knowledge
  • Thematic Learning
  • Real-life Science and sensory boxes
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Music, Dance and Drama
  • Dramatic Play


The pre-k program serves as a precursor to private or public school. This program offers a balance of fun, creative, hands-on activities as well as more traditional, measurable venues of learning.

  • Thematic Learning
  • SRA Open Court Reading, Real Science
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Creative Publications Mathland
  • McMillan/McGraw-Hill Mathematics
  • PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Skills) Program
  • The American School of Protocol’s Manners and Etiquette Program
  • Music, Dance and Drama
  • Dramatic Play

Educational Goals

Our educational goal is to develop the total-child. This includes physical skills, social/emotional skills, communications skills and thinking skills. We focus on building self-confidence and problem-solving. The result—children receive the preparation they need for learning success in a safe, supportive, nurturing and encouraging environment.

Physical Development

We offer opportunities to develop coordination, balance, and agility. We work on developing both the small and large muscles of the body. The brain wires for motor development from birth to 2 years and refines that wiring between 2 and 6 years.

Social-Emotional Skills

Children learn to control their behaviors, build interpersonal relationships, self esteem and self help skills. The brain will wire for social behaviors and emotional intelligence from birth to 4 years. It will refine and strengthen this wiring between 4 and 8 years.

Communication Skills

We build both receptive (listening) and expressive (speaking) language skills. The most fertile time in a child’s life for the acquisition of vocabulary is from birth to 5 years. By the time a child is 5 years, he or she possesses three-fifths of his or her vocabulary.

Thinking Skills

Children develop the understanding of cause and effect relationships and practice problem solving in everyday activities. The understanding of cause and effect relationships, the basis for problem solving, wires between birth and eighteen months. Problem solving itself wires between eighteen months and age 4 years.


The attention span of children are short. They need a constant exchange between passive and active activities. At Sheldon Acres, children move between enrichment classrooms that work in consort with their ability to maintain attention. Brain development research findings indicate that the brain is more receptive to information and pays closer attention to information when things are new and different. When the brain grows accustomed to a particular activity, or space, it has a tendency to tune it out. It blocks learning. According to Dr. Gold Scheible, former Director of the Brain Research Institute at UCLA, unfamiliar activities are the brain’s best friend. Researchers believe that children placed in novel and stimulating environments, but not over-stimulating, are more focused and more likely to process the information they are learning. Our enrichment classrooms are designed to encourage learning.

Dr. Kay Albrecht, author and advocate for quality child care and education says that children benefit from a wide variety of experiences: child-initiated, teacher-directed, large group, small group, indoor, outdoor, quiet and active. Sheldon Acres Child Development Center’s unique approach to early childhood education offers children all of this in a highly enriched environment.

Children ages 2 and older begin their day outdoors choosing the various activities as they socialize with their peers and with their teachers. Choice is a critical component of the Sheldon Acres classroom. Choices allow children to match their instructional goals with their personal goals and that provides children with a strong motivation to participate. It allows children to feel more positive about their work. Positive feelings result in an increase in body chemicals that in return increase the potential for memory.

We certainly want children to remember what they learn. The children move to their primary classroom to participate in morning circle activities discussing the weather, calendar activities, singing songs and finding out the various activities they will be doing in the enrichment and core curriculum rooms after a nutritious morning snack.

In the enrichment and core curriculum rooms, the children will participate in a teacher-directed lesson lead by the enrichment and core curriculum teachers. Children are allowed to practice and reflect on what they have learned before moving to another room. According to research, practice and reflection are critical steps in learning. Each step plays a role in assisting the brain in its attempt to process information and store it in long term memory.


Specializing in Early Childhood Learning understand that early interactions with children affect brain wiring.  Warm, responsive care appears to have a protective biological function, helping children weather ordinary stresses. The quality of relationships and experiences during the first 3 to 5 years has a deep and lasting impact on how the brain gets “wired.” Early wiring of the brain sets the foundation for future development in life. At Sheldon Acres, our skilled teachers specialize in early childhood learning. They are well prepared to guide children in the building of a solid learning foundation. The primary teachers provide security and continuity of care, while enrichment classroom teachers provide content area expertise. This team teaching combination is core to the Sheldon Acres philosophy and unique in our early childhood learning center.


Baby Smarts Jackie Silberg. 2009 Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House

Brain Smart Choices Dr. Becky Bailey. 2006 Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House 

A Good Start in Life: Understanding Your Child’s Brain and Behavior Norbet Herschkowitz, M.D. 2002 Washington, DC: The National Academies Press

Right From Birth: Building Your Child’s Foundation for Life Ramey, C.T. & S.L. 1999 New York: Goddard Press

Start Smart, Building Brain Power in the Early Years Schiller, Pam. 1999 Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House

Multiple Intelligences: The Theory and Practice Gardner. H. 1993 New York: Basic Books