Lifelong Learning: The Ocala Style 2017 education, school & day care guide

Whether it’s daycare, preschool, high school or college, choosing the right educational path for your children is a common anxiety among most parents. So to make the process a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of Ocala and Marion County’s education options to help guide your way.

Achieve Learning Center

623 NE 27th Ave., Ocala / (352) 620-2555 /

Achieve Learning Center offers day care and after-school care to older children. The center is open from 7am until 6pm and offers a structured atmosphere with plenty of circle time, arts and crafts, cooperative learning and dramatic play.

Alphabet Land Learning Center

2147 SW Hwy 484, Ocala / (352) 307-2067 /

Alphabet Land welcomes children ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age, including a free school-year or summer VPK program. Before and after-school care with pickup and drop-off at certain local schools is also available.

Ambleside School of Ocala

507 SE Broadway St., Ocala / (352) 694-1635 /

Ambleside offers a private, Christian education not committed to any particular denomination to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Ambleside accepts Step Up For Students scholarships and offers scholarships through its school board.

Angels in Arms

33 SW 16th Pl., Ocala / (352) 622-6167 /

Open since 1988, Angels in Arms is sponsored by Blessed Trinity Church and offers care for children 4 weeks through 5 years of age between 7am and 6pm. Angels in Arms offers learning centers and group activities, which give children the opportunity to play, experiment and discover, plus a summer kindergarten readiness program.

Belleview Christian Academy

6107 SE Agnew Rd., Belleview / (352) 245-6151 /

Belleview Christian Academy offers a private, Christian education for students in pre-K3 through eighth grade. The school offers an 18:1 student-teacher ratio, chapel services, and music, computer and art classes.

Blessed Trinity Catholic School

5 SE 17th St., Ocala / (352) 622-5808 /

Blessed Trinity offers a Catholic education for students in kindergarten through eighth grade and is associated with the Blessed Trinity Catholic Church. The school educates approximately 700 students, with most graduates attending Trinity Catholic High School, and has a full list of extracurricular activities.

Bright Beginnings Learning Center

14950 S US Hwy 441, Summerfield / (352) 347-6593 /

Bright Beginnings offers care for children ages 1 through 4, including a free VPK program, as well as an after-school program that picks up from Belleview Elementary, Belleview Christian Academy, Harbour View Elementary and Stanton-Weirsdale Elementary. The center also offers Saturday night care and a fun summer program.

Building Blocks of Ocala Preschool

3731 NE 7th St., Ocala / (352) 694-7440 or (352) 694-3501

Certified teachers and staff at BBO Preschool offer a nurturing atmosphere for children 2 months through 12 years of age. The school offers a free VPK program, after-school care for school-age students and part- and full-time programs as well as fun extracurricular activities.

Building Blocks West

6158 SW Hwy 200, #100, Ocala / (352) 291-9204 or (352) 291-9205

Providing care for infants through preschoolers, Building Blocks West offers free VPK, before and after care and drop-in care for the hectic days when you can’t find a babysitter. A structured curriculum, computer programs and homework tutoring are also available.

Capstone Child Care Academy

7794 SW 60th Ave., Ocala / (352) 351-3777 /

Capstone welcomes children ages 1 through 5 for their preschool education, including a free VPK program. The school also offers an after-school program for school-age children up to 12 years of age and picks up at Hammett Bowen Elementary.

Carousel Early Learning Center

1842 SE 11th Ave., Ocala / (352) 351-2369 /

Carousel offers care for children 6 weeks of age through pre-K, including free VPK classes from 8:30-11:30am. All classrooms have cameras that can be viewed live over the internet. Wraparound care and after care are also available.

College of Central Florida

3001 SW College Rd., Ocala / 
(352) 873-5800

3800 S Lecanto Hwy, Lecanto / 
(352) 746-6721

The College of Central Florida offers a variety of certificates, diplomas and degrees through on-campus and online classes. CF offers bachelor degrees in nursing, early childhood education, agribusiness managements, health care managements and more. The CF Financial Aid Office can help students plan for college expenses.

Marion Technical College

1014 SW 7th Rd., Ocala / (352) 671-7200 /

CTAE offers adult education in a variety of fields, including commercial culinary, cosmetology, firefighting, massage therapy, medical billing, nursing assistant, phlebotomy and welding. The school also offers continuing education courses as well as GED and ESOL programs and leisure classes in photography, sewing and language.

Counts Early Learning Academy

244 W Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala / (352) 351-4738 /

Counts provides child care and education for children ages 12 months through pre-kindergarten, including a free VPK program 9am to 12pm with aftercare available. Part- or full-time child care is offered for younger kids.

Creative Beginnings Preschool

5870 SE 85th Ln., Ocala / (352) 245-2416

Creative Beginnings offers care for infants and children through 5 years of age, including a free VPK program for 4 year olds. The 6,000-square-foot facility offers 10 classrooms, a library, a computer room and three playgrounds. Beyond the classroom, the preschool offers a weekly chapel and dance and soccer.

Creative Kids Preschool

2801 SW 20th St., Ocala / (352) 861-9474 /

Creative Kids offers care for children 6 weeks of age through 12, including a certified VPK program. The preschool program offers a structured weekly curriculum, and lunches and snacks are provided. The school also offers XTREME Kids after-school program and summer camp.

Crossroads Academy

3681 NE 7th St., Ocala / (352) 694-4466 /

Crossroads is a private school that specializes in helping third- through 12th-grade students who have dyslexia, hyperlexia, auditory processing disorders and dysgraphia. The program accepts McKay Scholarships and uses several Lindamood-Bell programs.

Dunnellon Christian Academy

20831 Powell Rd., Dunnellon / (352) 489-7716 /

Affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Dunnellon, this school offers a private, Christian education for infants through 8th-graders, plus a 4-year-old VPK program. Dunnellon Christian Academy offers a scholarship awarded through its school and also accepts the McKay and Step Up For Students scholarships.

Family Ties Child Center

5285 SW 1st Ln., Ocala / (352) 854-3998

3230 SE 58th Ave., Ocala / (352) 694-4554

Offering a free VPK program as well as a structured preschool curriculum for children ages 2 through 5, Family Ties takes pride in its staff-to-child ratio and certified and CPR/first aid-trained teaching staff. The center also offers holiday, summer and vacation care for children up to 12 years.

First Assembly Christian School & Daycare

1827 NE 14th St., Ocala / (352) 351-1913 /

First Assembly is a Christian educational program for infants and preschoolers as well as school-age students through 12th grade, including a free VPK program. The school accepts the Step Up For Students scholarship.

First Steps Preschool

2801 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala / (352) 629-5683 /

First Steps is affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Ocala and offers care to infants and children through age 4. Chapel and library time is scheduled weekly for children ages 3 and 4, and music time is scheduled for children ages 2 through 4.

Grace Christian School

4410 SE 3rd Ave., Ocala / (352) 387-3090 /

This private school offers K-3 and K-4 programs as well as an elementary and middle school program. Grace Christian School offers a tuition assistance program and accepts the Step Up For Students scholarship. A weekly Anglican church service is held in the outdoor courtyard, and the school offers a great selection of extracurricular activities.

Grace Episcopal Early Learning Center VPK

514 SE Broadway St., Ocala / (352) 368-5618 /

Offered through the Grace Episcopal Church of Ocala, this VPK program is free to any child who is 4 years of age by Sept. 1. Early care, extended programs and wraparound care are available until 4pm, five days a week. Plus Stretch & Grow, music and computers are part of the weekly curriculum.

GraceWay Academy and Preschool

2255 SE 38th St., Ocala / (352) 629-4523 /

Associated with Grace Presbyterian Church, GraceWay offers care for children ages 2 through fifth grade, including a free VPK program. The school accepts Step Up For Students scholarships and offers weekly Bible lessons and chapel as well as after-school care, gymnastics classes, music, Spanish and more.

Happy Hearts Preschool

208 SE Tuscawilla Ave., Ocala / (352) 622-7636 /

Open since 1946, Happy Hearts is a non-denominational preschool offering half-day classes for children beginning at 18 months of age and extending through age 6 for children whose parents wish to delay kindergarten enrollment. The school also offers a VPK class for children who are 4 by Sept. 1.

Highlands Baptist Learning Center

3530 E Fort King St., Ocala / (352) 694-2194 /

Affiliated with Highlands Baptist Church, this center offers care and education to children 8 weeks through 12 years of age, including a free VPK program. Opened in 1972, the school offers bus transportation from Ward Highlands and Maplewood Elementary for children enrolled in after-school care.

Kinderoo Children’s Academy

5180 SW 60th Ave., Ocala / (352) 275-5343 / (352) 854-3800 / Find them on Facebook

Kinderoo offers child care and preschool for children beginning at age 1 and a free VPK program for children who are 4 before Sept. 1. Full- and part-time programs are available as well as drop-in care and summer and winter camps.

Liberty Christian Preparatory Academy

850 NE 36th Ter., Ste. F, Ocala / (352) 694-2223 /

Liberty Christian is a private school made up of individual home-educating families. The school is accredited by the Florida Council of Private Schools and offers education to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Marion Technical Institute

1614 E Fort King St., Ocala / (352) 671-4765 /

MTI is a public high school offering technical and classroom education for junior and senior high school students. Students earn a high school diploma while also receiving practical career experience in automotive technology, building sciences, business and finance, culinary arts, logistics, law, IT and robotics.

Meadowbrook Academy

4741 SW 20th St., Bldg. 1, Ocala / (352) 861-0700 /

Affiliated with Meadowbrook Church, this school offers a Christian education for children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. The school offers both morning and afternoon care and accepts the Step Up For Students scholarship.

Meadowbrook College

4741 SW 20th St., Ocala / (352) 873-3767 /

Meadowbrook College offers a four-year Bachelor of Science in Ministerial Leadership program and a two-year Associate of Ministerial Leadership program, both through Southeastern University. Financial aid is available, and students receive hands-on ministry experience through Meadowbrook’s Ministry Tracks. The school also offers an accredited associate in arts degree.

Montessori House of Ocala, Inc.

9880 SW 84th Ct., Ocala / (352) 282-0195 /

Montessori House offers education for infants through 6 years old. Computers are present in preschool and elementary classrooms, daily Spanish classes are offered in every classroom and students enjoy extracurricular activities, including art, music, science and sign language.

Montessori Preparatory School of Ocala

2967 NE Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala / (352) 351-3140 /

This school features classrooms for children 3 months through sixth grade. All classrooms contain beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of learning, and the elementary curriculum is a blend of Montessori and traditional, so students can succeed in middle school.

Ocala Christian Academy

1714 SE 36th Ave., Ocala / (352) 694-4178 /

Ocala Christian Academy offers a private, Christian education to children 3 years of age through 12th grade and accepts the Step Up For Students and McKay scholarships. The school offers a competitive athletic program for middle and high school boys and girls.

Ocala First Preschool

1126 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala / (352) 620-0003 /

Affiliated with the Ocala First United Methodist Church, this preschool welcomes 2 and 3 year olds and offers a free VPK and VPK with extended hours for 4 year olds. Half-day and two- and three-day programs are available for younger children, and early care is available starting at 7:30am.

Play Academy

4460 SE Maricamp Rd, Ocala / (850) 258-5828 /

Play Academy offers two after-school options: general education with homework help or general fitness that rotates between various sports, including golf, gymnastics, cheerleading and more. The 10,000- square-foot building also has a full-time 2-4 year old space (7am-7pm) and will be adding a newborn/infant room in the spring. After-school programs are open to kids in kindergarten through 7th grade, and the facility is open until 7pm.

Promiseland Academy

3732 NE 7th St., Ocala / (352) 694-1473 /

Promiseland is a Christian-based preschool affiliated with First Church of the Nazarene offering care to infants and children through age 4 and a free VPK program. VPK wraparound care and before and after care are also available.

Queen of Peace Children’s House Montessori

6455 SW SR 200, Ocala / (352) 854-2181 /

Queen of Peace Children’s House, affiliated with the Queen of Peace Catholic Church, is a Montessori school focused on educating children ages 3 to 5. This school offers a free VPK program, as well as after school and extended care, and daily Bible teaching and prayer.

Rasmussen College

4755 SW 46th Ct., Ocala / (352) 629-1941 /

Rasmussen College offers certificates and associate and bachelor’s degrees in programs such as business, graphic design, early childhood education, health sciences, justice studies, nursing and technology. Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are available.

Rasmussen College School of Nursing

1227 SW 17th Avenue, Ocala / (352) 291-8565 /

Rasmussen’s School of Nursing is located on its own campus in Ocala and offers a reputable, fast-paced array of nursing programs. Programs offered include practical nursing, professional nursing, Bachelor of Science in nursing, Master of Science in nursing and an RN to BSN bridge option.

Redeemer Christian School

155 SW 87th Pl., Ocala / (352) 854-2999 /

Affiliated with Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, Redeemer offers a private education to students beginning at 3 years of age through high school. The school accepts the Step Up For Students and McKay scholarships and also offers an in-house scholarship.

Riverland Christian Academy

19455 SW 61st St., Dunnellon / (352) 489-6177 /

Affiliated with Riverland Baptist Church, this school educates students in pre-K4 through 12th grade and accepts the Step Up For Students and McKay scholarships. The school utilizes the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum and offers volleyball, basketball and cheerleading.

Small Talk Educational Child Care

2125 NE 2nd St., Ocala / (352) 622-6481 /

Small Talk offers care to infants through children in middle school, including a free VPK program for children 4 years of age. Transportation to and from select elementary and middle schools is available as well as before and after care for older kids.

Souls Harbor Christian Academy

12650 SE County Hwy 484, Belleview / (352) 245-6252 /

Founded in 1979 by Souls Harbor First Pentecostal Church, Souls Harbor Christian Academy educates students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Scholarships are available, and students are given the opportunity to participate in drama activities and sports such as flag football and basketball.

St. John Lutheran School

1915 SE Lake Weir Ave., Ocala / (352) 622-7275 /

Affiliated with St. John Lutheran Church, this school serves children beginning in pre-K3 through high school. St. John Lutheran offers in-house financial aid, and the preschool division offers half- and full-day programs. The school also offers a competitive athletic program with a wide range of sports.

Saint Leo University, Ocala Education Center

3001 SW College Rd., Bldg. 20, Ocala / (352) 671-3391 /

At the Ocala Education Center, Saint Leo offers on-ground classes during the evenings and weekends as well as online and distance learning classes. Programs offered include an Associate of Arts in business administration, criminal justice and liberal arts; Bachelor of Arts in accounting, criminal justice, human services, elementary and middle grades education, psychology and business administration; a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems; and a Masters of Education.

St. Paul’s Christian School

800 SE 41st Ave., Ocala / (352) 694-4219 /

Affiliated with St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Christian School welcomes children ages 2 through 4 and offers a free VPK program as well as an advanced K-4 program.

Step-by-Step Success, LLC

7558 SW 61st Ave., Ste. 3, Ocala / (352) 671-5335 /

Step-by-Step Success offers a variety of services for children with autism and other developmental disabilities, including a private school program. Some insurances are accepted, and private pay options, scholarship programs and finance options are available.

Sylvan Learning of Ocala

3231 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala / (352) 622-6284 /

Sylvan offers extensive tutoring services for students in pre-kindergarten through high school. The facility also offers a variety of other programs, including an accelerated after-school program, ACT and SAT prep, and Sylvan EDGE, which includes robotics and coding for kids.

Taylor College

5190 SE 125th St., Belleview, / (352) 245-4119 /

The college’s School of Nursing offers LPN to ADN bridge, practical nursing and professional nursing options and is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. They also offer a variety of career prep, associate degree and diploma programs.

The Cornerstone School

2313 SE Lake Weir Ave., Ocala / (352) 351-8840 /

Available programs include a pre-K3 and 4 as well as elementary and middle school. This independent private school also offers a vigorous STEM program and has instituted the Tribes Program since 2006. Before care and after care are available, and the school offers need-based financial aid and accepts the Step Up For Students scholarship.

The Reading Clinic

1333 SE 17th St., Ocala / (352) 867-0027 /

The Reading Clinic specializes in children with learning differences in the area of written and oral language. The core curriculum provides instruction in all traditional subjects, including math, science, geography, geometry, writing and literature. The school also offers both a summer and school-year traditional VPK program.

Tiny Tykes Child Care

3111 NE 14th St., Ocala / (352) 629-5838 / Find them on Facebook

Tiny Tykes Child Care welcomes infants and children through age 4 and offers a free VPK program. Tiny Tykes offers a fun-filled, educational curriculum. Children who have turned 4 years of age by Sept. 1 of the current school year are eligible for the free VPK program.

Trinity Catholic High School

2600 SW 42nd St., Ocala / (352) 622-9025 /

This ninth- through 12th-grade facility is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The college-prep program focuses on giving students the resources needed to excel in college. The school also offers a full selection of arts, clubs and athletic programs.

Triumphant Tots Inc

1425 NE 63rd St., Ocala / (352) 351-2470 / Find them on Facebook

Triumphant Tots accepts children starting at 4 weeks of age through fifth grade. The center offers a free VPK program and before and after-school care for school-age children with pickup from nearby elementary schools.

Victory Academy

3401 SE Lake Weir Ave., Ocala / (352) 622-4410 /

Victory Academy is a classical Christian college-preparatory school for children ages 3 and 4 through sixth grade (with a grade being added each year through 12th). The school offers a Christian education along with a classical curriculum, innovative programs and an environment that promotes independent thinkers.

Village View Christian Academy

8585 SE 147th Pl., Summerfield / (352) 307-2100 or (352) 693-5941 /

The Early Education Center has programs available for children ages 6 weeks through 5 years, including a free VPK curriculum. The school offers grades kindergarten through high school and a variety of extracurricular and sports programs. Village View accepts the Step-Up For Students and McKay scholarships and offers a church scholarship for members of the Village View Community Church.

Webster University

4414 SW College Rd., Ste. 942, Ocala / (352) 861-9330 /

Webster University offers accredited graduate and undergraduate degrees to students with opportunities to study in Ocala or even earn a master’s degree online. Webster is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers a full selection of athletic programs and campus life options.

Editor’s Note: This is not a comprehensive list of education options. Every effort was made to attempt to research and include as many schools as possible and to ensure accurate information was included. Specific details are subject to change at the school’s discretion. Please contact the school directly for the most up-to-date information.

Posted in Ocala Style Features

Share this post


What's New at Ocala Style

Plant Culture: Gardens in Movies

Movies about gardens and gardening offer inspiration and, usually, a...

Community Connector

Through her work in several key roles, Sara Lambert is...

The Florida Art Collection

The “transformative” gift from Samuel and Roberta Vickers may be...

Fall Arts and Events Guide

Our Picks for Some of the Best Chills and Thrills...

An Epic European Journey

Celebrating 30 years of marriage, Amy and I found ourselves...

Feeling ‘Fine’

The Ocala Arts Festival will bring in more than 150...