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Great Start Preschool & Daycare, Inc.  About Us 
Great Start Preschool & Daycare, Inc. is a non-profit, community outreach of Word Alive Church in Gilbert, AZ. Since our school opened its doors in 2006, we’ve treated every student and parent like they were a part of our family. Other preschools may be bigger, but no one does what Great Start does. Our classroom management system, Dr. Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline, helps shape our school culture and build connections between families and schools, teachers and students and teachers and parents. Through fostering an environment of emotional safety and love, children are ready to learn and fully blossom! 

Our director, Shirley Perysian, spent 40 years as an elementary teacher here in Arizona, gaining priceless wisdom and experience in not only developing curriculum but cultivating young minds and creating life long learners! In addition, all of our lead teachers hold bachelors degrees and many are certified teachers. 

Because we are a non-profit preschool, we are able to couple the highest quality child care with best rates in Gilbert! Our facility is located on three acres of sprawling green grass! When the children are not in the classroom they are outside playing on our large playground equipment under the mature shade trees. Our large property allows us to host grand Fall Kids Carnivals, Easter Picnics, Water Days, Spring Carnivals, Christmas parties and more! We involve our students in these programs. Currently, all of our students perform songs and dances at every Easter Picnic and Fall Kids Carnival! 

Don't just go to preschool, become a part of a family! At Great Start Preschool your child feels at home!  


Great Start Preschool was founded by Pastors Mark and Karen   Di Bernardo (pictured left) in 2006. Inspired by their eight grandchildren, they envisioned a school that felt like a family, and an environment that felt like home. It was important that in addition to an outstanding curriculum, developed by a certified teacher with over 40 years of experience, that learning is always fun! 

With four grandchildren still attending Great Start, Pastors Mark and Karen understand kids! All of our curriculum and activities are focused on learning with a hands on approach. 

​Students don't just count objects on a page, but can reach out and count the toes of our visiting certified therapy dog, or practice their colors by creating their own finger painting masterpiece.  A lesson on sharing and kindness may come from Spiderman or Optimus Prime! Perhaps Cinderella will visit and read them a book.  "Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin