Developmental Pre-School and Kindergarten (DPK) Enriches Young Minds, Bodies, and Spirits

For over three decades Developmental Pre-School and Kindergarten (DPK) has been providing the best educational setting for young children in Plantation Acres. The unique academic setting offers children a fun and exciting environment to develop healthy and positive self-esteems, communication abilities, and learning skills. Additionally, individualized instruction enables each child to learn at his/her own rate in classrooms with a low student-teacher ratio.

Kathie Geller O’Dwyer, M.S., C.C.C.slp, Owner / Director of Developmental Pre-School and Kindergarten, answered some commonly asked questions about her school.

How did Developmental Pre-School & Kindergarten come about? I sought to return to work as a speech and language pathologist outside the home when my children were two and three years of age. Unable to find a pre-school that would enhance my children’s interest to learn academics and have fun at the same time, I embarked upon the creation of Developmental Pre-School and Kindergarten in order to fulfill this goal. 

Developmental Pre-School and Kindergarten was created to be an academic-enriching environment for children ages 16 months through 6 years of age. The goal of the school is to build a strong, energetic learner who utilizes all his/her senses to glean information and analyze its meaning.

What sets Developmental Pre-School & Kindergarten apart from other preschools? DPK is one of the only pre-schools that has classrooms with narrow age parameters, small class size and additional staff to insure exceptional pupil-teacher ratios. It is also a pre-school with the owner on the premises to preserve quality control in the learning environment. In addition, DPK boasts an exceptional private Kindergarten that does accept children who may miss the Broward County cut off of September 1st.

How long have you been in South Florida?
We have been serving the Plantation, Sunrise, Davie and Weston communities for 31 years.

What type of curriculum does Developmental Pre-School & Kindergarten use? DPK utilizes a curriculum I created called “The Learning Ladder”. This curriculum covers all the different areas of learning in a hierarchy of skills. I was a pioneer in the Child Care industry in implementing a cognitive curriculum of this type. 

Please tell us about the facility. The 10,000 square foot, free-standing building is built on three acres of land with plenty of room for active Pre-schoolers. There are ten spacious classrooms, a library, music room, gymnasium, Spanish language lab and computer center. Our playground is a safe and secure, huge park-like area with plenty of climbing equipment designed for safety and action.

Please tell us about your background. I hold a Master’s Degree in Speech, Hearing and Language Pathology from Adelphi University. Since graduating in 1972 with my degree, I have taught children with speech and language delays and learning differences in the public schools of New York. I was the Director of Speech and Language Services at Phoenix Day School for the Deaf and Blind and the District Diagnostician for St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana. I moved to South Florida in 1982 and built my first nursery school in 1985.

Please tell us about your faculty and staff. The faculty consists of 24 well-trained staff who have a variety of credentials including, Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degrees and/or Child Developmental Associate Credential, as well as extensive knowledge about Pre-School children and their developmental needs.
DPK also has several specialists such as Physical Education, Music, Spanish teachers, Reading and Pre-School Computer Specialists, and a Speech-Hearing-Language Pathologist. All staff are fingerprinted and cleared through Child Care Services, and have received 45 hours of In-Service training mandated by the State of Florida.

Do you offer flexible scheduling? Depending upon the age of the children, students may attend two, three or five days a week. The academic day runs from 8:30 a.m. though 2:00 p.m. depending on age parameters. Extended day hours are available from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Do you offer a summer camp program?
In addition to DPK’s academic year that coincides with the Broward County School calendar, DPK offers a wonderful, action packed Summer Camp called Camp Phoenix, which includes swimming daily in our large, heated swimming pool. Beginning in April, DPK offers swim instruction with a licensed Water Safety instructor that is open to the community.

What else would you like us to know about Developmental Pre-School & Kindergarten? I feel that I cannot do a better job for my incoming students than I did for my children and grandchildren. I encourage all interested parents to check out our website and come on over for a tour. The door is always open at Developmental Pre-School and Kindergarten.

For more information about Developmental Pre-School and Kindergarten, Camp Phoenix and/or the Dolphin Swim Program, call 954-472-4673. Visit the website at www.DPK1.COM .They can also be found on Facebook at