We've been waiting for you to come to this place--


Faith PYC's Philosophy

Each child is a unique Child of God, with individual gifts, interests and abilities. At Faith, our programs recognize that children develop on their own individual schedules and are all “smart” in different ways. Our goal is to nurture each child's intellectual, physical, social and spiritual growth through part-day enrichment programs.

Faith PYC students expand their knowledge and understanding of the world and of themselves through interactive exploration and discovery. Our Christ-centered curriculum provides developmentally appropriate academics that include early learning skills in math, language, science, Bible, art, music and motor development.

Language arts, science and early mathematical skills develop through meaningful conversations, productive play, hands-on nature study and art experiences. Children also learn through dramatic play experiences, children's literature, picture journals, group sharing times and music opportunities.

Our curriculum model achieves the Goals and Standards for Young Children issued by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Illinois Early Learning Standards Many of the ISBE’s goals are derived from “The Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood.” For the research basis for The Creative Curriculum, see research. Over the years, the staff has implemented project based curriculum strategies, deriving curriculum from the interests of the children. This means that curriculum activities change from year to year and from group to group, while the goals and standards met remain the same. Please click here for more information about how The Creative Curriculum appropriately helps children to meet goals and standards.

Our activities and educators make Faith PYC an inviting place for children to form a strong foundation for school readiness and Christian character. Upon leaving our school, children are better able to make appropriate choices and sound decisions and have developed emotional security, independence and a sense of worth through God’s love.

Licensing: Faith Lutheran PYC meets or exceeds the safety standards set by Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). As a church preschool, we are exempt from day care licensing requirements. Fire, health and safety requirements must be met as well as class size and supervision ratios to receive approval for preschool operation through DCFS. We meet Illinois State Fire Marshall approval and have met Health Department standards.

Godly Play:

In addition to the academic and social curriculum, Faith offers a strong, appropriate Christian studies curriculum. In 2006, through generous gifts from members of our congregation, we began fully implementing our version of "Godly Play" using the manipulatives and storytelling techniques developed by Jerome Berryman. This weekly "chapel" time has become a hallmark of our program.

To learn more about Godly Play, you might enjoy their website.


Children exploring, loving & learning at Faith PYC

Our developmental, child-centered program allows children to discover the joy of learning and the connected worlds of friendship, nature, self-expression and listening. Our daily routines of indoor and outdoor free-play, art, snack-time, and group times for stories and music, provide a predictable framework within which children can feel safe and secure as they explore new relationships, new materials, new feelings and new ideas.

Faith PYC is a safe, warm and nurturing environment where learning is exciting because learning is discovering--the child's own discoveries.

Our Beginnings...

Programs for Young Children (PYC) began in 2002, when the congregation at Faith Lutheran Church decided to develop an outreach to families and children in O'Fallon through preschool programming. Services have expanded over the years to include playgroups for toddlers and their caregivers as well as parent education & support for families with children ages 0-3 via Baby TALK, a family support program which includes home visits with developmental activities and screenings.

PYC Administrative Team

Penny Cooper

Interim Administrator

Stephanie Jackson

Administrative Assistant

Kristin Flor

Communication Specialist

PYC Teaching Team

Heather O'Donnell

PreKindergarten, STEAM

I am from Virginia and met my husband in college at George Mason University, where I earned a BS in Early Education with a minor in psychology. I then completed 30+ hours towards a Masters in Education at Shenandoah University. For twelve years, I taught Kindergarten and then First Grade in Northern VA before moving to England with my two young daughters and husband for five years. While there, I partnered with our British village primary schools to learn about and study their system of play based schooling for young children. In 2008, we moved to Illinois. I joined PYC in 2012 as the PreK Lead teacher and established the STEAM program with the assistance of awesome co-teachers.

Kristin Howe

Pre-K, Enrichment, BabyTALK

I have an Early Childhood Education degree with a minor in psychology and a Special Education endorsement. I also have completed master’s classes in Project Construct/Project Approach and Autism. I taught PreK/Inclusion in the public school system for 3 years. At PYC and Faith Lutheran Church I have taken on many roles. I have been the Nursery Manager for Faith Lutheran Church since 2008, facilitated Playgroups from 2009-2020, been a Parent Educator for PAT from 2009-2016, BabyTalk Family Support Specialist from 2016- present, and teacher of the Enrichment Program from 2011- present.

Penny Cooper


Hello friends! I am Penny Cooper and I have been married to my wonderful husband Dave for 34 years. We have two beautiful daughters Morgan and Madelyn and one precious dog named Bella. I started my career at PYC in 2004 as a teacher’s assistant in the PreK classroom where I taught for numerous years before transitioning to the preschool classroom as a teacher’s assistant and then teacher. My background is in Pediatric nursing and I have always loved working with young children and families!

Kristen Burton

Preschool, Playgroup, BabyTALK

I graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood. Two years later, I obtained my Master’s Degree in Reading Education. While living in Springfield, Missouri, I taught 3rd and 5th grade at Horace Mann Elementary School for seven years until my husband and I welcomed our oldest daughter. In 2016, I joined the staff of PYC as a Family Support Specialist for our BabyTalk program, and I also served as a playgroup facilitator. Since 2019, I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Penny as a classroom teacher in our preschool class.