Riverbend Park

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Visitor Center Hours: Open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

8700 Potomac Hills Street
Great Falls, Virginia

John Callow,

Department Resources

Riverbend Park Forest Preschool

Preschool Registration is Now Open!

Riverbend Forest Preschool logo

The Riverbend Park Forest Preschool is designed for children 3-5 years old.

Class hours are 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Parents can enroll their children for two (Tuesday/Thursday), three (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), or five-day per week sessions.

Play. Get Dirty. Learn.

Growth mindset and play-based learning

A willingness to confront challenges, a passion for learning, and viewing failure as a springboard for growth are characteristics associated with a growth mindset. We strive to instill a growth mindset in our preschoolers. Children are naturally curious, and our curriculum will evolve naturally with their interests. Our teachings follow nature and how it changes throughout the year. Our program is a balance of teacher-directed and child-directed activities. Teacher-directed activities include letters, numbers, drawing, and nature explorations. Child-directed activities focus on the experiences in nature and the natural curiosities of a preschooler. Our goal is to instill in the children a lifetime love of learning.

Play, Learn, Get Dirty Outdoors

Play and learning outdoors in all weather, getting dirty, and immersing yourself in the outdoors:

Our school days are spent outdoors, rain or shine, hot or cold. Our students need come to school prepared for all of the elements. Rain, mud, and weather can provide exciting and happy experiences for our kids. Children will get dirty, touch bugs, and experience nature. We ask families to support our classroom by dressing children appropriately for the weather. Kids may go home tired, messy, and happy!

Riverbend Park Preschool Enrollment Fee

Ages One child/Siblings Fee
3-5 yrs.

One child


3-5 yrs.




Riverbend Park Preschool Options
(2022-2023 School Year)

Ages Days Times Monthly Fee
3-5 yrs.


9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. $305

3-5 yrs.


9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


3-5 yrs.


9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.




Children must be 3 years old by the start of pre-K.

They must be potty-trained.

Please speak with Riverbend staff before registering if your child has any severe allergies.

Preschool Handbook for Parents

FCPA Preschool Parent Handbook

Riverbend Park Preschool Philosophies

Play and learn outdoors in all weather.

Get dirty. Immerse yourself in the outdoors. We ask families to dress children appropriately for the weather and prepared for all the elements. Our school days are spent outdoors, rain or shine, hot or cold. Rain, mud, and challenging weather can provide exciting and happy experiences. Children will get dirty and touch bugs. Kids may go home tired, messy, and happy!

Growth mindset and play-based learning

A willingness to confront challenges, a passion for learning, and viewing failure as a springboard for growth are characteristics of a growth mindset. We strive to instill a growth mindset in our preschoolers. Children are naturally curious, and our curriculum evolves naturally with their interests. Our teachings follow nature as it changes throughout the year. Our program balances teacher-directed and child-directed activities. Teacher-directed activities include letters, numbers, drawing, and nature explorations. Child-directed activities focus on experiences in nature using the natural curiosity of a preschooler. Our goal is to instill a life-long love of learning.


Our program is not affiliated with any religious organization. Transportation is not provided. The preschool program is fully funded through student tuition. No county tax dollars are used for preschool program operations.


Registration fees are non-refundable and payable at time of registration. If a child leaves the program for one month or more and returns the same school year, a new registration fee must be paid.


Monthly tuition payments are due one month in advance. For example, September’s tuition is due on Aug. 1. October’s payment is due on Sept. 1, etc. If the first day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, tuition is due on the first business day of the month. A late fee of $25 will be applied if tuition is received after the 15th of each month. If payment is not received by the 20th of the month, the child’s preschool enrollment will be terminated.


Refunds/credits may be given for medical emergencies with a doctor’s verification. No refunds/credits are given for absences due to illness.

Program Withdrawal

The center requires written notice of at least two weeks prior to the withdrawal of a child from preschool to avoid being charged the following month’s tuition.

Holidays/ Teacher Workdays

Fairfax County Park Authority preschools follow the Fairfax County Public Schools schedule for holidays and teacher workdays.

Inclement Weather

Fairfax County Park Authority preschools follow Fairfax County Government closures during inclement weather. In unique circumstances, or if the county has not made an announcement, the Park Authority may make a separate announcement on its website based on weather conditions.

To find the latest information:

  • Online: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks
  • Phone: (703) 759-9018
  • Twitter: http://twitter.com/fairfaxcountyparks
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fairfaxcountyparks.


  • If Fairfax County Government is closed all day, preschool is canceled.
  • If Fairfax County Government opens late, preschool programs will start at 11 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.
  • If Fairfax County Government closes early, morning preschool is not affected.

Due to the nature of our local roads, Riverbend Park may close or delay preschool even when the government is open. If this happens, we will contact parents by 7 a.m.

Signing In/Out

A parent/guardian must sign a child in and out each day. Any person picking up a child from this program must provide identification and be listed on a pickup authorization form. Children will not be released to anyone who is not listed on a pickup authorization form. The authorized parent/guardian may update the form at any time by contacting staff in person or in writing. If necessary, changes can be made by filling out a new form. Custody issues require special attention.

Releasing Children to Non-Custodial Parent

Staff members are not permitted to release children to anyone who is not authorized by the custodial parent. If the custodial parent is unwilling to give blanket permission to the non-custodial parent, permission for any granted, specific occasion will be required. A custodial parent denying blanket release MUST provide legal documentation regarding custody.

Late Pickup Fees

Parents are expected to pick up their children from preschool on time. There is a grace period of five minutes after the program ends. Thereafter, a late fee of $1 per minute will be applied. If a child is consistently picked up late, the center may choose to terminate the child’s enrollment. Children become upset when parents are not on time, so please call the site if you know you will be late. Staff members are never allowed to transport children home, nor are they allowed to accept children before class is scheduled to begin.

Potty Training

Children must be 3 and older and must be completely potty trained by the first day of school. Preschool teachers are aware that accidents may happen, and those instances will be handled in a sensitive manner. Please send in extra clothes in case a change is needed.


For some children, preschool is their first separation from Mom or Dad, and the experience is often difficult. It is important to tell your child that you are leaving and to assure them that you will be back to pick them up after school. For the first few days, you may want to stay in the building near your child’s classroom until your child feels comfortable.

Children’s Belongings

Children should come dressed in comfortable play clothes and sneakers. Children should be dressed for the weather, rain or shine. You may leave rain jackets, rain boots, or extra shoes at preschool. We strongly encourage you to label all children’s belongings. Fairfax County Park Authority and the center staff are not responsible for lost items. Leave electronics and other devices at home.

Food from Home

For food brought from home, Fairfax County Park Authority encourages healthy choices consistent with USDA guidelines. These include fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, biscuits/muffins, cereal and 100% juice. Snacks will be kept indoors. If you wish to send a special treat for your child’s birthday, please make prior arrangements with the teachers. All snacks and lunches from home MUST be labeled with the child’s name and the date. Food left at the center will be thrown out at the end of each day.

Behavior Management

If children have difficulty controlling their behavior, staff will try to redirect the behavior by providing positive alternatives. The teacher will talk to the child privately about the behavior problem. Children may be directed to an individual activity (i.e., reading, puzzles) if the inappropriate behavior persists. In the event of a continuing behavior problem, parents will be notified. Repetitive behavior such as extreme tantrums/crying, kicking, or biting will be reported to parents immediately. Depending on the severity of the behavior, the child may be dismissed from the program.

Sunscreen, Bug Spray, and Lotion

Staff members are not permitted to apply sunscreen, repellents, or lotions to children. Please apply these items before school. You may send sunscreen with children to school, and teachers will help them to self-apply.

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Virginia law mandates government staff, including Park Authority staff, to report any cases of suspected child abuse, neglect, or exploitation to the Youth Services Office and Child Protective Services. Confidentiality will be maintained.

Sick Children

A child who arrives with symptoms of illness will not be permitted to stay. If your child has a temperature over 100 degrees or shows signs of illness, you will be notified to pick up the child. If your child becomes ill prior to the school day, please notify the site if your child will be absent. If a child has vomited or had diarrhea within the previous 24 hours, he/she is not permitted to attend class. By enrolling in our preschool, parents agree to notify the center within 24 hours if any household members develop a reportable communicable disease as defined by the Board of Health. Life-threatening diseases must be reported immediately. The site will notify parents about any communicable disease outbreaks. Please note, there are no refunds or credits for missed days due to illness.

Head Lice

The symptoms of head lice include severe itching and scratching on the head and/or visible live lice or eggs (nits). Eggs of head lice attach to hairs as small, round gray lumps. If you suspect your child has head lice, contact your child’s teacher immediately. Treatment includes special shampoo to kill lice and combing to remove nits. Children may return to school only after thorough treatment and removal of lice and nits. Multiple treatments might be necessary.


We strongly suggest medications be given at home whenever possible. If your child requires medication at school, you must submit the Medication Authorization Form. Medications to be taken or kept 10 days or longer require a physician’s signature on the form. You can get this form from the preschool staff. All medication, including EpiPens and inhalers, must be in the original box and labeled with the child’s name, date issued, and the appropriate signatures.

Parent/ Teacher Communication

Teachers will send home a school year calendar schedule. You may also receive monthly information or calendars. Teachers will communicate how snacks will be assigned or if children should bring their own. Parent/Teacher conferences are held on mid-year Fairfax County teacher workdays. Informal conferences are available upon request throughout the school year. Parents are welcome to visit or observe the program anytime. It is often helpful to let teachers know when you are coming and who you will bring. Volunteers are welcome after they provide proof of negative TB test results to the program director.

Licensing Information

Fairfax County Park Authority preschools are licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services. Standards for licensed programs address certain issues such as health precautions, play space, staff-child ratios, program guidelines, recordkeeping and building codes. Compliance with standards is determined by periodic visits to the site by a licensing agent. A birth certificate or passport is required to be shown upon enrollment. For more information contact the Fairfax Licensing Office, 3701 Pender Dr., Suite 125, Fairfax, Va. 22030.

Physical Examination and Immunization Record

An immunization record and a completed physical examination form signed by a physician are required prior to a child’s admittance. Records for children age 5 and younger must be dated within one year of enrollment.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an emergency or facility closure, staff will notify parents by phone and/or email as soon as possible and provide information about picking up children. Preschool staff will stay with the children until the last child is picked up. Contact the center manager to review the facility Emergency Preparedness Plan. Monthly evacuation and biannual shelter-in-place drills are conducted. Parents will be notified immediately if a child is lost, requires emergency medical treatment, or sustains a serious injury. Minor injuries will be communicated to parents at pick-up.

Lines of Authority

Address any questions, suggestions, or concern to your child’s preschool teacher, the program director, the center manager, and/or the Youth Services Manager at Fairfax County Park Authority headquarters. This is the staff chain of command.

Contact Information/Phone Numbers

  • Riverbend Preschool: 703-324-9638: 
  • Riverbend Park Main Office: 703-759-9018
  • FAIRFAX COUNTY PARK AUTHORITY: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks

To request reasonable ADA accommodations, call (703) 324-8563 • TTY: Va. Relay 711

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