Miami Children’s Museum Launches National Collective of Museum-Based Preschools

“Museum Playful Learning Collective” To Examine Impact of Museum-Based Preschool Education Across 10+ Participating Museums

MIAMI, June 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Miami Children’s Museum, South Florida’s premier institution for interactive and engaging early childhood learning through art, science, culture, and literacy – and the only museum-based K-5 school in the country – is proud to announce the launch of the Museum Playful Learning Collective, a groundbreaking national partnership of more than 10 museums aimed at examining the impact of formal museum preschool education on school readiness among children. This initiative, funded in part by a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, seeks to answer critical questions about the advantages of museum-based preschool education, the alignment of curriculum with museum programs, and the best methods to measure kindergarten readiness.

The Museum Playful Learning Collective will be officially launched at the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance’s summer conference during a panel titled “Unifying Museum Education: Leveraging Environments for Children’s Education.” This panel will explore key questions such as integrating early learning programs with existing museum exhibits, unique opportunities provided by museum programs, and the collaboration between museum educators, classroom educators, and curators.

Participating partners include The Creative Learning Center (Miami-based traditional preschool partner), Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, Boston Children’s Museum, The Strong National Museum of Play, The Children’s Museum, Great Explorations, Thinkery, The Woodlands Children’s Museum, Fort Worth Science and History Museum, Explora, and Bay Area Discovery Museum. The collective aims to identify commonalities among these varied institutions and redefine early childhood education in museums, ensuring every child has the opportunity to embark on a transformative educational journey. Through interviews, surveys, observations, and child data, the project will articulate the benefits and impacts of museum schools on early learning, sharing these insights with the broader fields of early childhood education and museums.

Deborah Spiegelman, CEO of Miami Children’s Museum, emphasized the importance and timeliness of this collective: “As the only museum-based K-5 school in the country, it was a natural fit for Miami Children’s Museum to take a leadership role in launching the Museum Playful Learning Collective and spearheading this vital research. This initiative represents an unprecedented collaboration among museum educators, enabling the sharing of best practices, curriculum support, and innovative educational strategies. This collaboration with children’s and science museums aims to integrate them into the formal world of learning and establish themselves as integral educational institutions. Notably, it will also provide a pathway for museums to cement their importance in early childhood education.”

In addition to the collective’s launch, the Miami Children’s Museum, in collaboration with University of Miami faculty, have submitted a paper for peer-review describing the museum gallery framework. The teams are also conducting a literature review of early childhood education in museums. Findings from these studies will be shared with other institutions in the Collective and beyond.

For more information about the Museum Playful Learning Collective, please visit

Miami Children’s Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution dedicated to enriching the lives of all children by fostering a love of learning and enabling children to realize their highest potential. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to play together, learn, imagine, and create. The museum offers bilingual, interactive exhibits, hundreds of daily programs and classes, a Subway restaurant, Kid Smart educational gift shop and learning materials related to arts, culture, community, and communication. Celebrating 40 years of fostering childhood education and imagination, Miami Children’s Museum also marks 20 years in its iconic Watson Island location.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. IMLS envisions a nation where individuals and communities have access to museums and libraries to learn from and be inspired by the trusted information, ideas, and stories they contain about our diverse natural and cultural heritage. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Melissa Benhaim

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SOURCE Miami Children’s Museum