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About Winwood Children’s Center, Fairfax

Bursting with history, arts, and culture, the city of Fairfax, Virginia is a fascinating place to visit, and, according to Forbes, “one of the best places to live in the country.” An excellent school system is one of the main reasons Fairfax received this honor, and many of city’s best and brightest students get their early start at Winwood Children’s Center, Fairfax.

NECPA logo

Our school is NECPA accredited and we have designed our preschool’s curriculum to strengthen and broaden the emerging intellects of our students. In addition to daily Language Arts, Art, Science, and Math small group projects, our early childhood education center offers a STARs program in which children enjoy weekly lessons in music, sign language, Spanish, and art, as well as a monthly exercise program.

Winwood Children’s Center, Fairfax kids love our state-of-the-art computer lab, especially learning computer skills through fun, yet challenging activities on our SMARTboard. Our big kids get plenty of exercise and time with friends during ballet and soccer time.

Our preschool offers an outstanding Before and After School Care program for Greenbriar East Elementary, Greenbriar West Elementary, Waples Mill Elementary, and Navy Elementary. We also provide enriching child care for teacher training days, snow days, and winter, spring, and summer break.

Our Preschool & Child Care Programs

  • Infant Daycare (ages 6 weeks to 1 year). In this infant daycare program, our child care staff provide stimulating, fun learning exercises to help your little one develop a strong foundation for his or her mental, emotional, and social upbringing.
  • Toddler Childcare (ages 1 to 2). Our caring teachers provide an abundance of art, joyous music, and exploratory adventures in supervised, secure environments in this childcare program.
  • Early Learners (ages 2 to 3). In this early childhood education program, teachers guide and nurture children with activities that focus on the basics of education and the development of positive life habits.
  • Preschool (ages 3 to 4). At Winwood Children’s Center, Fairfax, we make the most of this stage of development by incorporating activities that stimulate the physical as well as the socio-emotional and cognitive capabilities of students.
  • Junior Kindergarten (ages 4 to 5). This kindergarten program prepares your child with lessons in independent learning, and mastering gross and fine motor skills.
  • School Age Program (ages 5 to 12). Our specialized staff is here to ensure that your child is occupied in the company of friends when you have to work.
  • Summer Camp Programs (ages 5 to 12). At Winwood Children’s Center, Fairfax, our bright, cheerful staff lead kids on engaging educational adventures that stimulate their learning and keep their bodies in great shape throughout the summer months.

Our Philosophy

At Winwood Children’s Center, Fairfax, we believe children learn best through play, so we have developed a unique curriculum to ensure they are smiling and every discovery-filled day.

What Makes Our Preschool in Fairfax, Virginia Unique

We strive to keep you involved with your child’s day through a culture that fosters communication and community. In the classrooms for infants and toddlers, our caregivers send you regular updates about your child’s day. We send our preschool parents bi-weekly progress reports, and teachers for all classrooms send home a monthly newsletter and twice-a-year developmental assessment. In addition, our open-door policy and web camera keep parents continuously connected. We even have a Kid Report App if you prefer real-time updates!

Our preschool learning center has more than 30 amazing, dedicated teachers with over 110 years of combined experience. The majority of our teachers are CPR- and First Aid-certified and many have their CDA, Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degrees.

More About Our Preschool Learning Center

Our preschool learning center is located at 12301 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway in Fairfax, Virginia, 22033. You can find us at the corner of Route 50 and West Ox Road, directly across the street from the Harris Teeter Shopping Center. Our early childhood education center is close to the housing communities of Penderbrook and Fair Ridge.

Our Team

Katy Thiltgen

Katy Thiltgen

School Director

Welcome, Thank you for your interest in Winwood Children’s Center. We are located at 12301 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway. Our center has been part of the community since Sept. 1998. My name is Katy Thiltgen and I am the Director of the center. I am originally from Pennsylvania where I attended Kutztown University and obtained my Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhoods. I started with the company in Aug. 2004 as a teacher, an Assistant Director, and since January 2009 the Director.

We have more than 30 amazing, dedicated teachers with more than 110 years of experience with Winwood! The majority of our teachers are CPR and First Aid certified and many have their CDA, Associates, Bachelors, or Master degrees. Our curriculum is designed to strengthen and broaden the emerging intellect of our students. In addition to our daily Language Arts, Art, Science, and Math small group projects we offer a STARs program which highlights weekly lessons in music, sign language, Spanish, and art and a monthly exercise program. The children experience our state of the art computer lab including a SMARTboard on a daily basis. Children in the Preschool III program through Kindergarten also have the opportunity to participate in ballet and soccer. We offer before and after school care for Greenbriar East, Greenbriar West, Waples Mill, and Navy. We also provide care for teacher work days, snow days, Spring Break, Winter Break, and summer camp. We strive to have great parent-teacher communication to keep you involved with your child’s day. In the infant, infant 2, toddler, and two year old classrooms you receive a daily sheet about your child’s day. You will find bi-weekly progress reports in the preschool classrooms. All of our classrooms send home a monthly newsletter and twice a year a developmental assessment of your child. In addition, our Open Door Policy and web camera keeps you connected at a moment notice. On behalf of all our wonderful teachers, I invite you to stop by and visit our school. We would enjoy meeting you and your family and introduction you to ours.

Jenn LeVay

Jenn LeVay

Assistant Director

Ms. Jenn has been in the Early Childhood Education field since 2003 and loves everything about it. She has been at Winwood Fairfax since August 2020 and has been a part of the Winwood family since 2017. Ms. Jenn has her bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Management as well as an Associates in the same field. Always ready with a smile and a warm greeting, she brings excitement to our school daily.

Naima Mendil

Naima Mendil


Naima has worked with children for 25+ years, and has been with Winwood since shortly after we opened in 1998. Naima has always worked in our Infant program, and most enjoys creating artwork with the little ones and watching them smile as they learn in our care. In addition to a Bachelors degree from Algeria, Naima is MAT trained and CPR/first aid certified. She loves working closely with the families to make sure each baby is cared for in the most caring and loving way!

Reviews from Parents

4.8 Rating based on 69 Reviews
Christine Mills • Facebook
September 27, 2021
Winwood in Fairfax is fabulous! They have such a family focused atmosphere from the moment you tour the facility to your child’s first day of school. The administration team is professional and welcoming and all of the teachers are caring and knowledgeable in their field. Definitely recommend Winwood!
Jennifer Hall • Google
August 22, 2021
I had both my boys enrolled at Winwood and were very happy with the care they received there. The staff is super friendly and great with the kids! You can definitely tell they are experienced childcare professionals!
Cathleen Chandler • Google
July 29, 2021
We have had a wonderful experience at Winwood Fairfax! We have been going here for 5 years now and have been so happy with all of the classrooms - from infancy all the way through pre-k. My kids both love going to school and are always excited to see their teachers and friends - which really says a lot given their young ages (ages 1 and 5). The staff is absolutely wonderful to the point where we consider them an extension of our family. Additionally, when my daughter went to her kindergarten screening this past spring, the vice principal asked what preschool she went to since she was very impressed with her counting and reading skills. When I said Winwood, her response was "Oh she's a Winwood kid!" The Winwood reputation and the skill sets that are developed from their early childhood education program are well known through out the Northern Virginia area schools - both private and public. I would highly recommend Winwood Fairfax for children of all ages!
Misty N. • Yelp
June 29, 2021
I was very happy with the care my children received at Winwood from infancy to school age.Facility:  Pros: Easily accessible off route 50. They keep the facility as up to date as they can. While I was there, they made many improvements including new flooring, paint, new cabinetry in the rooms, new playground equipment, new tv monitor in the lobby, and changes in décor. There is a nature trail from an adjacent neighborhood that is nice for the kids to use for a class activity. Cons: The building is old. The center backs to a trees/wooded area that is not part of the centers property which attracts mosquitos. The parking lot is small and can be crowded when there are events or during certain drop off/pick up times.Classrooms: Pros: Most of the teachers seem to genuinely care for the kids and we are satisfied and happy with the care received here. The staff was also responsible for the successful potty training of my children (thank you for your patience and diligence!). My children developed their writing skills and began reading skills here which prepared them well for Kindergarten. Special shout out to Ms. Nicky who has always gone above and beyond. She is an absolute gem. Your child will be very lucky to have her as a teacher - she is the most dedicated teacher and is really invested in the wellbeing and education of your children. Cons: The experience my children had in couple of the classrooms were very different because of the change in staff in some of the rooms. Where one classroom seemed a bit unorganized for one child, it was well led for the other and vice versa.Food:  The school is nut free! The center has been excellent at accommodating my son's allergies and were very helpful when his allergies first started presenting. They also documented what foods he was able to eat and which foods he could not and would always have alternatives for him when he couldn't eat the meal/snack. Detailed menus are sent out before each week.Technology: The school has cameras in all the classrooms as well as an app to get updates and pictures of your child.Management: I always felt comfortable talking to management about any concerns I had and they were great about addressing and taking action on any issues I brought to their attention. Special shout out to Ms. Katy for all her hard work and help over the years!Reliability: Winwood is almost always open - they do not close when Fairfax County Schools are closed. There have only been a few delayed openings or early closings due to inclement weather. On rare occasions there have been a full closing due to weather.Safety during COVID: I felt completely comfortable returning to Winwood once they opened back up during the summer of the pandemic. Temp checks at the door, health questions every morning, frequent hand washing, drop off and pick up at the front door, good protocols and communication for illnesses and any suspected COVID cases.Distance learning: They were an absolute life saver for distance learning when Fairfax County Schools were virtual.We would still be at Winwood if we haven't moved. It wasn't just a school - teachers and staff as well as other parents became family.

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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.