Written by: In Our Schools

My First Place Preschool: Celebrating 30 Years

By Vanessa Molina Santamaria

Few early parenting decisions are more important than choosing the right preschool for your child. My First Place Preschool has been the name that parents in South Florida have trusted for more than 30 years.

Sending your child off to preschool, whether it’s at age 1 or age 5, is a huge moment in parents’ lives. The school they choose has to check a lot of boxes, from having supportive, nurturing and caring teachers and providers to having a robust curriculum that prepares your child for kindergarten and beyond. This is part of the reason that there is a lot of turnover in this industry: It can be hard for a preschool to live up to parents’ high expectations year after year.

In the crowded preschool space, however, there is one South Florida school that has stood the test of time: My First Place Preschool. Michele de la Hoz, director of the school, says this longevity didn’t happen due to sheer luck. It’s a testament to the dedication, hard work and continuous focus on improvement of her faculty and staff throughout the years.

Advanced Preschool Curriculum

Much of the school’s success, says de la Hoz, falls squarely on the shoulders of her roster of top-notch early education professionals, many of whom have decades of experience teaching and nurturing young children. Pair all that experience with My First Place Preschool’s advanced curriculum and you have a recipe for future success for young children moving through the school and on to elementary school in their educational journey.

“We utilize a curriculum with a hands-on approach that focuses on learning skills such as language and literacy development, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, social skills, creative arts, math, science and handwriting skills,” says de la Hoz. “The idea is to guide them to explore, interact and exercise their creative imaginations through purposeful daily activities. I think that the 30 years we have spent serving our community proves that the parents trust us and our early education system.”

Preparing for the Next Steps

Some parents may think their choice for a preschool is not as important as the educational steps that follow, but recent studies refute this. A growing volume of scientific research indicates that early childhood is when the brain is growing and evolving most rapidly, so what they are exposed to during that time is critical to future learning, health and life success.

“It is scientifically proven that children’s brains develop faster in the first five years of life, so we take advantage of this fact and teach them early reading skills and writing development, math concepts and language development,” says de la Hoz. “Our mission is to prepare the children for kindergarten. A kindergarten-ready child has the foundational social-emotional, physical and academic skills needed to transition into a formal school setting.”

A Night to Celebrate

Educating the young children of South Florida for 30 years is no small feat. To celebrate the milestone, the school is hosting a gala in December for faculty, staff and friends and family of the school. “This is a night celebrating excellence! We will be celebrating 30 years of providing early-learning education and nurturing young minds,” says de la Hoz. “As true believers of early childhood education and the impact it has in a child’s educational journey, we have worked to improve and strengthen the quality of early childhood education for three decades and will continue doing so for another three decades.”


My First Place Preschool is located at 9450 Sunset Drive in Miami. They currently have a few openings remaining at the school for new students. To learn more about the school or schedule a tour, call 305.271.6633 or visit myfirstplacepreschool.net.

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Last modified: January 9, 2023