Our Vision

The Peppermint Tree Child Development Center is a state-certified, privately owned, non-sectarian, non-denominational center that offers a program developed for young, inquisitive minds. Our curriculum is structured but flexible with highly trained, creative teachers and assistants. We are proud to be a participating center in the national "Strengthening Families Initiative", expanding our vision to serve not only the children of the Peppermint Tree, but also as a resource for the whole family.

The Peppermint Tree is a proud participant in Grow NJ Kids, to assure the highest quality early childhood education and care for our children.

Director Valerie Frost-Lewis doing what she loves!

Our certified, experienced, dedicated teachers provide a stable environment where your child is immersed in hands on multi-sensory learning experiences that promote the joy of life-long learning. The staff is led by Owner/Director, Valerie Frost-Lewis who holds a Master of Science degree in Education with a Specialization in Early Childhood Education.


Our curriculum is based on proven research incorporating developmentally appropriate activities and Learning Centers for both small group and individual attention. Language and literacy are emphasized through daily book readings, circle time, sharing, and encouraged self-expression throughout the day. We explore math concepts, beginning with simple counting and including graphing, weighing, measuring, shapes, patterns and more!

The Creative Curriculum is the basis for our learning environment.  This research based curriculum was also selected by The Toms River Public Schools to prepare children for Kindergarten, so parents can be assured that our educational philosophy is in line with the schools our graduates will enter.

Our facility is designed with room to play and learn. We offer an array of learning materials to stimulate each child’s interests:

  • books
  • paint
  • easels
  • arts & crafts
  • science
  • nature
  • manipulatives
  • blocks
  • play dough
  • water tables
  • sand tables
  • and much more!


We have an expansive park-like playground with swings, slides, sand play, picnic tables, climbers, and plenty of room to explore and imagine! In addition we have two on-site swimming pools with a life guard on duty for summer camp sessions.

Our Enrichment Programs include:

  • Mr. Scott the Music Man, incorporating music and movement for a fun-filed session that both children and their parents can enjoy! Find out more about Mr. Scott at his website.
  • Chick hatching
  • Community Visitors
  • Literature Explorations
  • Science Experiments
  • Gardening
  • Field trips
  • Nature walks
  • Dramatic play
  • Cooking
  • Creative art using a variety of media

Mr. Scott the Music Man

The Peppermint Tree offers a “before” and “after” school program to better serve the local community. School – age children engage in both indoor and outdoor recreational activities including board games, ball games, arts & crafts, puzzles, and more. Transportation is provided by the Toms River school system for the Cedar Grove elementary school, the East Dover elementary school, and the 1144 Hooper Avenue pre-school facility.