Moravian Academy’s Early Childhood Staff to Adopt New, Internationally Recognized Curriculum

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Studies show that children who attend preschool are significantly more likely to go to college.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (April 10, 2024) — Moravian Academy, a top private college preparatory school in the Lehigh Valley, announced its early childhood staff unanimously voted to adopt the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) for its preschool, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs at its Historic Downtown Campus in Bethlehem. The decision came following an extensive research campaign conducted by the institution to identify the highest-quality early childhood education program.

“Any great school regularly reviews and develops its curriculum,” said Dr. Sara Vanderbeck, assistant director for Moravian Academy’s Historic Downtown Campus. The IEYC curriculum rose to the top because of its skill-based foundation, which allows students to leap into first grade fully equipped to engage with subsequent learning experiences.”

Research shows that children who attend preschool are more likely to succeed in subsequent learning. So how do parents choose from the myriad of options available? Moravian’s decision to incorporate IEYC is grounded in research-based practices that are proven to increase success throughout the child’s educational career. IEYC aligns with the Institute of Education Sciences’ findings on best preparing young children for school. Its work, developed by an expert panel, details seven comprehensive and practical recommendations for early childhood and preschool learning opportunities. Included are intentional instruction focused on

social-emotional skills, incorporating games to build executive function, creating conversations about mathematical ideas and supporting mathematical language, and using shared book reading to build a child’s knowledge of language and print features and the world around them.

“In addition to providing our youngest students with engaging material to explore, we know the IEYC is the very best early childhood program for students,” said Dr. Abby Mahone, Moravian Academy’s director of the Historic Downtown Campus. “IEYC integrates opportunities for language development and mathematical thinking while providing intentional instruction focused on self-management and relationship-building. Students become animal rescuers, weather watchers, and busy builders in our early childhood and kindergarten classrooms. They are fully immersed in the exploration of learning instead of only sitting and practicing letters and numbers. With the IEYC, there is no need for a choice between a rigorous education or a fun experience. Both happen simultaneously.”

The IEYC is built on global best practices in early childhood education and the developmental needs of 2- to 5-year-olds. The curriculum helps establish a smooth transition between early years and compulsory education, promoting playful learning experiences and early skills that nurture curiosity, agency and inquiry. It will replace Moravian’s curriculum for students in preschool through kindergarten in the 2024-2025 school year.

Moravian Academy’s preschool, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten programs offer full-day and half-day options. Preschool students can attend three or five days a week, allowing families to tailor their child’s schedule to fit their lifestyle.

Moravian Academy offers parents and children an opportunity to discover the wonders of its early childhood education program on its campus. Children ages 2 to 5 will join the school’s teachers for a fun and joyful specialist class. Each session begins with an abbreviated morning circle, art, movement, music, or a Spanish lesson before finishing the morning with story time with Dr. Mahone. Classes will run every Friday in April on the Historic Downtown Campus in Bethlehem on April 5, 12, 19, and 26. Registration is $15 per session. Learn more and register at

For more information on Moravian Academy’s Early Childhood programs, visit


Founded in 1742 by Countess Benigna Von Zinzendorf and D. Esther Swain, Moravian Academy epitomizes progressive education with a commitment to placing every child at the center of their learning journey. Our signature programs at each location foster self-awareness, expertise, and a lifelong passion for learning, preparing students for success in our Upper School. We provide various academic offerings and unique educational experiences on our Swain, Historic Downtown, and Merle-Smith Campuses.

Visit us in person to experience firsthand the transformative power of a Moravian Academy education and find more information about our programs on our website,



Information provided to TVL by:
Amiee Goldy