Meet some of our teachers and learn about our philosophy

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Jean Lyle has a 4 Star Rating on the Parent Aware Rating Scale

For more information or to find out how to apply for an early learning scholarship, go to

Now Offering Early Morning Drop-Off and Extended Hours!

  • Wednesday/Friday afternoon extended play
  • Early drop off
  • Extended afternoon for enrolled preschoolers
  • Extended morning for enrolled pre-k/kindergarteners (limited space available)
  • Lunch Bunch up to five days per week
  • Contact the school for availability!

At Jean Lyle Children's Center (JLCC), we provide a safe and nurturing school environment for children from 3 to 6 years old to make friends, to take joy in learning, to be both independent and cooperative, to make choices, and to learn through play.  In a setting of respect and acceptance, we provide our students with a transition from the family to the larger world.  Our stable, experienced staff, in partnership with families, supports each child's stage of development, responds to individual needs, and offers guidance and opportunities for continued growth. 

The world of childhood comes alive at JLCC through an emergent curriculum and developmentally appropriate activities located in interest centers throughout the school.  Specifically geared toward the needs and interests of 3 to 6 year old children, this approach fosters our students' curiosity, creative thinking abilities, social interactions and confidence building.

At Jean Lyle Children's Center, staff and families work together to nurture our young students in a child-centered setting filled with meaningful educational experiences.  In this environment, each child is nurtured and supervised within sight and sound of staff at all times. 

 How We Started

Jean Lyle Children’s Center was an outgrowth of the Stella Louise Woods Children’s Center & Lab School located on the Macalester College campus from 1948 to 1979. It was part of the Education Department and served the Macalester community.

When the College elected to discontinue funding the Lab School, three members the of Lab School’s board, Betty Hills, Rica Van and Maxine Simon, decided to continue its mission and open their own school. They located the site of St. Mary’s Church and named the new school in honor of Jean Lyle, the director of the Early Childhood Education Department at Macalester for 16 years. Naming the new school in honor of Jean Lyle, a remarkable teacher and friend, Jean Lyle Children's Center opened in the fall of 1980 and continues to serve children and families today. 

Who Was Jean Lyle?

An extraordinary educator whose ideas and practices form the core of JLCC's preschool and kindergarten programs, Jean Lyle was the director of the Early Childhood Education Department at Macalester College for 16 years.  In this role, she worked to strengthen Macalester's Stella Louise Woods Children's Center and Lab School, using the British infant and preschool system of emergent curriculum.

Welcome to Jean Lyle Children's Center Preschool and Kindergarten - Main Entrance