A Message from the Principal

  • Golik

    Dear Early Learning Center Families and Visitors, 

    Welcome to an exciting year at the new Early Learning Center in District 63!  The Early Learning Center (ELC) is home to the First Steps Preschool program and is where District 63’s youngest learners begin their educational journey in a nurturing, safe, and inviting environment. This environment promotes play-based instruction as play is the cornerstone of our beliefs and an essential part of learning for preschoolers. Through play children develop their curiosity, problem-solving skills, verbal and non-verbal language, and social emotional skills. Our program is recognized with a Gold Circle of Quality Rating from the Illinois State Board of Education. I am honored to be the principal of the Early Learning Center and look forward to serving students, staff, and families.

    Early childhood is an exciting time in your child’s education and we are committed to helping every First Steps student reach success without boundaries. At the ELC students will have the opportunities to participate in hands-on, engaging activities in every space of the building. The classrooms are a place where all students explore, problem-solve, practice school-readiness skills, and creatively express themselves around varied units of study. Students can collaborate in the Make It Market while using math skills to mix ingredients. Musical and fine art opportunities will be presented in the outdoor sensory area. Technology and problem solving skills will be fostered in the Tinker Hub. Utilizing the Creative Curriculum, researched-based teaching and best practices, children’s interests, and the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS), our highly qualified, dedicated staff collaborate to design learning experiences for children that promote learning and growth throughout the entire day, thereby supporting our district mission – Empowering all students to succeed in a changing world.

    Teaching Strategies GOLD is the authentic, ongoing, observation-based assessment system that we use to monitor each child’s development in the First Steps Preschool program. It helps us evaluate your child’s progress in the areas of Social Emotional, Physical, Language, Cognitive, Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, and Arts development. 

    At the ELC, we value the partnership we have with families as they play a key role in the development of their child. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with your questions, comments, and/or concerns. 

    On behalf of the ELC Staff, we look forward to a fabulous year of learning for all!

    Follow us on social media - First Steps Preschool Twitter

    Warm regards,

    Barb Golik

About Principal Golik

  • Ms. Golik joined First Steps Preschool in 2016. She began her career as an at-risk preschool teacher at the Early Childhood Development Enrichment Center in Arlington Heights, moving on to Mount Prospect District 57's Westbrook School as a 1st-grade teacher. After receiving her first master's degree she moved on to become a literacy specialist before taking on the role of Interim Principal in 2015. 

    Ms. Golik received her B.S. in early childhood education from Illinois State University and two M.A.s -- in reading education and educational leadership -- from Concordia University.