We're Opening a Preschool!


Inspiring Learning Through Play – Preschool Coming to New Children’s Museum in September.


What better early childhood learning experience than a preschool and child development program that features weekly live arts and crafts demonstrations, science lessons, planetarium shows, and museum exhibits?

The Children’s Museum of Eau Claire’s new preschool program will provide programs for children ages 6 months to 5 years, including a4 year old kindergarten program with before and after school care, and offer a curriculum that channels and challenges the child as an individual. The program will have a capacity for 60 children total, with the 4K having capacity of 18children for a morning or afternoon session.

A typical school day includes activities that enhance social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth. Experienced teachers encourage children to explore, imagine and create in a small class size setting, fostering an appreciation of all things STEAM.

Lydia Ekenstedt, Director of the program commented, "This program is inspired by the philosophies of Montessori and ReggioEmilia, where children will be presented with a warm, beautiful environment that promotes exploration, discovery, and the freedom to get messy! They will have opportunities to learn practical life skills, with a big emphasis on social/emotional awareness, and building independence.  The children drive the learning to bring out the wonder and beauty that is already inside them."


“The Children’s Museum is thrilled to be partnering with Peace Tree Child Care,” said Michael McHorney, CEO. “Children’sMuseums across this country have been responding to unique community needs since the first one opened in 1899 in Brooklyn. Communities across this country are challenged with meeting demand for affordable, high quality child care. We feel our unique model will contribute to addressing this crisis and possibly inspire other communities to do the same,” McHorney further said.


Lydia has been theDirector of Peace Tree Child Care since its inception in August 2020.Graduating from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, she holds a degree inElementary and Early Childhood Education, has her Wisconsin Teaching License, and also holds a Montessori Certified Teaching Certificate. Lydia’s work history includes teaching elementary school for 6 years in Kindergarten, 1stand 2nd grade, former Manager/Academic Success Coordinator/STEMCoordinator with the Boys and Girls Club of the Sioux Empire, and in-home childcare.


While the project continues during the next 11 months, CMEC will continue focusing on forging new partnerships and building more support across the community – from individuals, volunteers, businesses and foundations. An early enrollment waiting list is established. To add your child to the waiting list, email sarah@childrensmuseumec.com.

For more information visit Children’s Museum of Eau Claire’s website or PeaceTree’s website, www.peacetreecare.com.