The Homestead Schools for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers

2024 Summer Registration

2024/2025 Registration

2023/2024 Calendar

Our Mission and Philosophy

The Homestead provides a foundational curriculum offering children a safe, loving, learning environment in which to explore and attain skills that are essential to being responsible, respectful members of society. We look forward to supporting the development of your child as we help to guide their progress in academic, social, emotional, physical, and life skills. We use a loving approach to foster mindful interactions with each other and the world around us.

The Homestead believes in the unique spirit of each child. We believe that it is our role to honor this by providing a balanced program that incorporates child-centered exploration with teacher directed guidance to make new experiences and concepts available to the children. Our gently structured day provides security for the children in its consistency.


The Homestead’s curriculum is a balance of teacher directed and child-centered learning opportunities. There are monthly themes to guide the activities and lessons. Within these themes the teachers will create lessons pursuant of the children’s interests in the topic. Our skilled teachers differentiate instruction to support each child where they are in their development; the lessons accommodate a variety of learning styles. Acknowledging that every child’s skills and interests blossom in their own time, the children will be exposed to Kindergarten readiness concepts.

The Preschool

The Homestead offers a thoughtfully designed space in which the children can explore, create, play, and develop skills. The Homestead’s design is inspired by the concept of wildflowers. The vision of an open field dappled with colorful blossoms anchored by treasures from a time gone by is the guiding metaphor for our school. We have created a space where children will blossom. The classrooms are attractive, spacious, clean, and orderly to invoke a sense of comfort and security in the environment for the children to interact with each other and the materials. The classrooms are stocked with open-ended, primarily natural materials, which will challenge, stimulate, and inspire the children’s creativity to engage in imaginative, symbolic play.

Homestead Preschool Parent Handbook

The Infant Toddler School

Newly constructed in 2022 adjacent to the preschool, The Homestead Infant and Toddler School features 5 beautiful and spacious classrooms for children 6 weeks to 2 years of age.  Each child has access to learning materials appropriate for their development.  Kids will have daily access to a shared gym space and playground for gross motor activities.  

Homestead Infant/Toddler Parent Handbook

The Homestead School at Lakewood

Newly renovated in 2023, The Homestead at Lakewood is just a short walk from Infant Toddler School and Preschool. The two story school has 7 classrooms for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. There is a huge open common space upstairs for everything from gross motor activities to dance performances to group sing-a-longs.  

Our Teachers

Joanne Pillsbury  – Early  Ed  Coordinator

I hold a Professional Educator’s License for the State of Vermont with an Elementary Education endorsement and the state awarded me the status of Highly Qualified Teacher.  I began teaching preschool in 2006 and fell in love with teaching our youngest learners. I have taught children ages two, three and pre-kindergarten. I have been the Early Education Coordinator for The Homestead and Part 2: The Early years for the past five years. I love being able to work with the families as much as the children, and in my position of leadership I help to guide teachers in their important work. As a parent and educator I value my work in Early Education and I consider it an honor that families choose to entrust their precious children to our care. With humor and a loving, open heart, I believe in building strong relationships in order to be able to effectively communicate and meet the needs of the children, families and staff with whom I work. I want everyone to thrive in a healthy, happy environment.

Kathleen SchaffnerHomestead Director

For the past 20 years, I have been lucky enough to work in education, and I could not be more excited to continue my journey at The Homestead.  I graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a degree in Sociology and Spanish. During my junior year, I studied abroad at the Universidad de los Andes in Mérida, Venezuela. In addition to taking college classes, I volunteered at a primary school tutoring children in English. After graduation, I traveled to Costa Rica where my love of education and working with young children began. I taught in a Kindergarten classroom at a beautiful bilingual elementary school nestled in the cloud forest of Monteverde. I moved to Vermont in 1997 to attend The University of Vermont and earned my graduate degree in Elementary Education. I fell in love with Vermont and never left after graduation. I currently hold a Level II Elementary Educator’s License. My first teaching job was as a reading specialist in a first grade classroom at the Warren School in Warren.  In addition to my love of teaching, I value the importance of mentoring teachers and enjoy creating a teaching community where teachers share ideas and techniques, always striving for children’s success.I am an active member of my south end community in Burlington and am very involved in our local youth athletic programs, holding positions on various league’s boards. In my free time I enjoy running, reading, traveling, playing field hockey, enjoying Vermont and spending time with my husband and two children.


Jess Lamorey
All Registration and Wait list Inquiries

Kathleen Schaffner
Director – The Homestead Preschool
(802) 800-1442

Tessa Highter
Director – The Homestead Infant & Toddler School
(802) 343-8480

Sam Lyons
Director – The Homestead at Lakewood Commons
(802) 343-4362

Joanne Pillsbury
Preschool Coordinator
(802) 825-2144

1475 Shelburne Road, South Burlington, VT 05403
Hours 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.