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The preschool programs at Cadence Academy Preschool, Iowa City are designed to help young children reach important milestones at every stage of development. We take a skill-based approach to early education that balances intellectual, physical, and emotional development and our curriculum is designed to progressively build valuable skill sets each month! Our students graduate from our Pre-Kindergarten program confident and ready for kindergarten!

Ascend Curriculum

Ascend Curriculum LogoOur Ascend Curriculum takes a unique skill-based approach to early education and our teachers introduce new skills within subjects like Mathematics, Literacy, Technology, and Physical Fitness every month.

Skills are taught at a challenging pace and our goal is to recognize where each child is on a particular skill and then take them to the next step without comparing their learning pace to others. We encourage our teachers to modify activities to match the interests and current skill level of each student so that everyone is supported, engaged, and having fun!

NAEYC Accreditation

NAEYC Accreditation LogoCadence Academy Preschool, Iowa City is accredited through The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Our staff is dedicated to going above and beyond accreditation standards to find the practices that best educate and care for young children. We have found that accreditation fosters a culture of reflection and continuous improvement.

School-to-Home Connection

We believe that children thrive when there is a strong partnership between preschool and home. We have an open-door policy with our families and we encourage you to visit at any time. We also offer a variety of communication pieces so that you’re constantly up-to-date with your child’s day and their developmental progress.

Our preschool also hosts a variety of family-friendly events throughout the year. Some of our favorites include our annual Winter Wonderland in January, Family Picnic in August, and the University of Iowa Homecoming Parade!

Our Team

Jean Grauer

Jean Grauer


I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Reading and Language Arts Education K-6. I started working for Cadence Academy Preschool in October 2006. I enjoy reading books, watching movies, and spending time with my family and friends.

Molli DeWolf

Molli DeWolf

Assistant Director

I earned my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Development from Marshalltown Community College and my BA in Criminal Justice and Criminal Psychology from AIU.  I just recently moved back to Eastern Iowa from the Des Moines area with my  husband and had my first child, Jack in April 2022.  In my free time, you can catch me hiking, hanging out with family and friends, and cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones or Chicago Cubs.  One thing I love about working with children is seeing them learning something new every day, whether it is big or small!


NAEYC Accreditation

Every child deserves access to high-quality early learning experiences. NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) has set 10 standards for early childhood programs that can help families make the right choice when they are looking for a child care center, preschool, or kindergarten. The standards and criteria are also the foundation of the NAEYC Accreditation system for early childhood programs. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, schools must go through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program meets each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years. In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

Reviews from Parents

4.8 Rating based on 65 Reviews Leave A Review
Anna Mullen • Google
Iowa City has an overwhelming and diverse range of childcare options to select from. Cadence was recommended to us by coworkers as we prepared for our first child. Communication has been at the center of our experience. Administrative staff are only an email or telephone call away and the daily activity tracker KidReports provides real-time updates on our daughter’s activities as well as pictures. The teachers work diligently to implement the weekly themed curriculum as well as provide constant feedback on her development. The entire Cadence Team works to maintain a welcoming and supportive environment for its families. We are always greeted at Pick-Up and Drop-Off by the Administrative Team and truly enjoy our relationships with each teacher. We also appreciate their responsiveness to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and exposure procedures.
Kaitlyn Bailey • Google
We have been very pleased with our experience at Cadence. The staff are caring, communicative, and knowledgeable. Our daughter is learning developmentally appropriate skills through engaging, creative activities while staying active and having fun. She loves going to play with her friends in a safe and nurturing environment.
Sarah Livesay • Google
We love Cadence. Our kids have had great experiences and great teachers in each classroom. The last 2 years haven't been easy on childcare centers, and Cadence hasn't been immune, but they put our kids first every step.
Yu-Hsin Lin • Google
Our boy has been attending Cadence Iowa City for almost 5 years since he was just ten weeks old, and the experience has been great! If you find yourself that kind of mom that sometimes worries too much and wants to know what/how your child is doing at daycare, you will want to go to Cadence! They are on KidReports, and will send you activity notifications (e.g. diapers, meals, naps, etc.) and pictures during the day, especially for parents of young children. In addition to that, you can always have very insightful conversations with your kid’s room teacher at pick up time. The Director, the Assistant Director, and the teachers are all very hands-on and responsive, and that’s one of the reasons that I like about them. I think we will really miss coming to Cadence when my son moves on to Kindergarten this fall!

Cadence Academy Preschool

Iowa City, IA

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Preparing Your Child to THRIVE

Your child is unique, and we are happy to provide an educational, fun and nurturing environment where each child can develop and thrive in order to build a bright future with unlimited possibilities.