We would like to personally welcome you to our school website. Founded in 1969 and nationally recognized for excellence, Kensington School is a private nursery, preschool and kindergarten serving children and families in the suburbs of Chicago. Throughout twelve locations, our innovative curriculum, inspirational teaching, and beautiful classroom environments make Kensington School a distinctive first school experience for each child.

In a world built just for them, you will find busy, curious, and happy children who love being at Kensington School. The sound of laughter, the magic of learning and the hum of activity fill every corner of our buildings. We value our talented teaching staff and build true partnerships with parents, cultivating nurturing environments for children and teachers alike.

As you visit our website, we hope you enjoy seeing a glimpse of the learning that takes place at our schools, from our infant nurseries to our thriving kindergarten classrooms. We invite you to schedule a visit and experience the energy that has impacted the educational foundation of thousands of children.

We look forward to the opportunity to introduce you to Kensington School and to warmly welcome you.

The Marlas Family

About Kensington School

Our History
Barbara Marlas founded Kensington School more than 50 years ago. As an educator, Mrs. Marlas quickly recognized that the children who attended quality early childhood programs were a step ahead of their peers. They were confident, enthusiastic, and ready to learn. Mrs. Marlas immersed herself in researching child development and found most early childhood programs were entrenched in a single philosophy. Each type of curriculum had components that were intriguing:

  • Play-based programs encouraged children’s independence and social confidence.
  • Traditional curriculum helped children regulate behavior and provided exposure to concepts that prepared them for academic success.
  • Curiosity-based programs encouraged a higher level of thinking and language development, as well as allowed for social engagement through small group problem solving and exploration.

Mrs. Marlas wanted her own children to enjoy the benefits of a program incorporating the best of what she gleaned during her research. She exhaustively explored prospective early childhood programs but could not find a school with the right balance. With a mother’s passion for giving her children the best possible educational foundation, and a deep respect for early childhood educators, Mrs. Marlas opened her first school in 1969. Decades later, this small school has grown to directly enrich the lives of tens of thousands of young children.

From the very beginning, Kensington School has always been a family run organization, with her husband, Thomas, and son and daughter, Charles, and Mary Ellen, playing integral roles in its development. Mrs. Marlas continues to lead Kensington School’s nationally recognized curriculum and the entire Marlas family guides the daily operations, creative direction, and continued growth of Kensington School.

With an innovative spirit rooted in sound research, Kensington School has raised the bar on early childhood education, creating a ripple effect that reaches far beyond our school communities.

Our Philosophy and Environment

Innovative Curriculum

Health and Wellness

Admissions and Careers