Boca Grande Preschool (formerly Boca Grande Child Care Center) was founded by Our Lady of Mercy Parish, which generously provides the school building on Park Avenue. It is an agency of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. and has always been nondenominational.
The Boca Grande Preschool was founded in 1987/1988 as the Boca Grande Child Care Center by working mothers of the community, and island residents who saw the need for childcare. They approached Father Charles Sullivan, Administrator of the then Our Lady of Mercy Mission. Father Sullivan agreed to sponsor this undertaking and to provide space for it on the church property. These residents and Father Sullivan were the “founders” of the Center and served as the first Board of Directors. In 2012, it was determined that the operation of the Center would come under the supervision of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice.
The Preschool serves children of families that live and/or work on Boca Grande. The Preschool is a vibrant and visible part of the Boca Grande community and a constant reminder of the importance of early education. The Preschool participates in the annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting (as the flock of tiny sheep in the Christmas Story) and the Spring Fair and Golf Cart Parade. The Preschoolers can also be seen on field trips around town including annual trips to the Boca Grande Fire Station and “A Visit with Santa” sponsored by The Gasparilla Inn.