About Cheverly Weekday Nursery

At Cheverly Weekday Nursery, we provide children with a place to grow outside the home, and help our students learn more about themselves in relation to other children, to adults other than the parents, and to the world around them. We strive to help children grow in the richest, most satisfying, most constructive way while preparing for the school years ahead. Learning is hands-on, and designed to develop independent thinking, self-sufficiency, social and emotional maturity, and readiness for kindergarten. Children enjoy multiple free-play areas (including water, sand, art, dramatic play, blocks, science, manipulative games and toys), story and music times, educational field trips, and more. In addition, children receive speech, language, vision and hearing screenings, personalized attention, and the opportunity to participate in annual Christmas and spring programs. Your child will be given the freedom to grow and learn in an environment balanced with enough guidance and structure for each child to feel secure.

Our Team

Crystal Lal is an experienced educator with an M.A. from George Washington University in Human Development and Education and a B.A. from University of Northern Colorado in journalism.  She has worked as an editor and managing editor at the National Science Teacher’s Association and is an advocate for strong science education starting at pre-kindergarten.  The founder of the Cheverly Community Market, she extends her passion for healthy eating, nutrition, cooking and developing community into the daily routines and through special curriculum in the classroom. Crystal’s true talent lies in art education. She employs a Reggio Emilia-based approach where the teacher nurtures each child’s creativity and artistic expression through known interests, exploration, and broad exposure to wide variety of artistic tools, materials, and techniques. She is certified in CPR and first aid.

Sue McElroy is a teacher in our 5 day program. She has an MA in Special Education and a BA in Elementary Education, both from Buffalo State College. Sue has taught Kindergarten for 7 years and Special Education for 2 years. She has taught in Buffalo, Hawaii and Virginia. Most recently Sue was the Kindergarten teacher at St. Ambrose in Cheverly. She was lucky to have been able to stay home with her 3 children for 10 years. Since Sue has taught Kindergarten, she knows the Kindergarten expectations for the students. She incorporates books and songs into the Cheverly Weekday Nursery play-based curriculum to develop Pre Kindergarten skills. She is certified in CPR.

Beth Harder has more than 10 years of experience teaching two and three year-olds; first with the Mother’s Day Out Program (a precursor to the current program) and then as the director of her own Cheverly-based program in PreSchool Fun. With a B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary, Beth’s passion is children’s literature. She loves sharing books–both classics and newly written–with the children as a way of introducing themes, ideas, and crafts into the classroom. She also believes that young children learn best through play. With four children of her own, Beth is patient and nurturing, dedicated to helping the youngest enjoy their preschool experience. Beth earned the 90-hr certification in Child Growth and Development/Curriculum and Activities Planning from Prince George’s Community College and is certified in CPR.

Anna Hawkins teaches our two and three year-old classes and is the Cheverly Weekday Nursery School’s music specialist. She began her childcare/teaching career with Cheverly Weekday Nursery as an aftercare teacher from 2008 through 2012, then became a substitute teacher in 2012.  She taught at Beth Harder’s PreSchool Fun program before returning to Cheverly Weekday Nursery in 2014 as a primary instructor. Prior to moving to Cheverly in 2006 she was the orchestra librarian for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Anna has a degree in music, has successfully completed Music Together training in early childhood music, and sings in the St Ambrose Church choir.  She has two school-age children (Weekday Nursery alums!) and enjoys cooking, gardening, running and knitting.

Robin Lester assists in the classrooms and runs the Cheverly Weekday Nursery after-care program. She has worked for numerous local institutions and private families and has more than 28 years of experience lovingly caring for children. She has built strong bonds with many families and is a valuable resource for the community. Robin holds a certificate in Early Childhood education, has successfully completed numerous educational workshop classes, and is certified in CPR and first aid.