The First Congregational Church of Darien

United Church of Christ

A community of faith since 1737

About Us

craftsOur goal is to provide each child with a meaningful experience favorable to growth and development. To that end, we create a friendly, social atmosphere, where a child’s feeling of self-respect and self-confidence is developed, as well as respect and consideration for others.

We believe that play is the work of the preschooler.  For example, when children are playing in the block corner, they are learning…

  • To understand concepts of shape, size, length and location, all relative to mathematics
  • To exercise their imagination and creativity
  • To create and repeat patterns
  • To express ideas and cooperate with others to solve problems

When children play with pegboards they are learning…tools3s

  • The relation of part to whole
  • Eye-hand coordination – a writing skill
  • Concepts of shapes, size, color, location
  • One-to-one correspondence – one peg for one hole, an essential math counting concept
  • To make patterns and repeat patterns, a math concept
  • Possible left to right progression – a reading skill
  • Concepts of addition, adding one peg at a time
  • To recognize and distinguish between colors and sizes
  • Symmetry, shapes, order and design

As a result, our preschoolers focus on fun, while benefitting from the “hidden” advantages of play-based learning.

Director’s Message

Teri_ManningI came to First Congregational as a mother of a 3-year-old, and by the time my youngest child was in the 4’s program, I was ready to return to teaching.  This was in 1994.  I became the Director in 2007.  My bachelor’s degree is in Early Childhood Education and I received my Director’s Credential in 2009.  I currently serve as a State of Connecticut approved Education Consultant for five local preschool programs.

I really do love children. I love the pregnant moms and then the tiny newborns and then seeing them toddle in here with bowed legs and saggy diapers. I love those first tentative steps into the 2’s classroom and I love the imaginative playground games as their social skills develop. I love the lunchtime conversations and the stories they tell. Eventually, miracle of miracles, I watch them leave here, headed to kindergarten, sturdier and more self-assured, and I hope we played a part in that.

The teachers at FCCNS are amazing. They serve as professional resources for each other with the common goal of lifting up our program to make it always better.

I strive to make FCCNS a warm, happy place for every child who passes through these doors.

Teri Manning


The First Congregational Church Nursery School
14 Brookside Road
Darien, CT 06820
203-655-3150
fccns@sbcglobal.net
Director: Teri Manning