New York Family Camp Fairs The Blackboard Awards
  • Five Tips to Getting on the Preschool and Nursery Track

    A quick guide on what you should consider when looking for a preschool to be the next step for your child

    By Donna Ladd

     


    Are you thinking of preschool? As we start to wind down in August and a new school year is around the corner, you may be ready to start thinking of a preschool for your little one.

    After a summer of enjoying the parks and socializing with other children, it makes perfect sense to want to continue the momentum of your child reaching his/her milestones. Deciding on a preschool can feel a bit overwhelming. You want a perfect fit for your child where they will be happy and thrive. Here are 5 tips to help you get on the preschool track!

    Have the Chelsea neighborhood in mind? Check out our Chelsea Preschool Guide in NYC. We also have The Ultimate New York City Preschool and Nursery Guide for 2019!

    Why the Location for Your Preschool Pick is Important

    Where a preschool is located is usually a significant factor. Some parents prefer a school that is near home while others look for one near their work. Where you choose your preschool needs to be taken into account. Will it work with your morning routine? If it is a bit of a trek, taking into account the distance is something that will be important to look into. 

    Helpful tip: if dropping off more than one child at different schools (which happens when there is a bit of an age gap), look for one that is easy to walk to or has an easy transportation route.  

    What Type of School Are You Looking for?

    Pick a preschool that is aligned on how you want your children to learn or an environment you find they will thrive in. There are many different teaching philosophies, start first by researching your choice of schools via their websites. If you need a more in-depth understanding on a school’s teaching philosophy — attending a school tour will help answer your questions. 

    Ask for Hours the Preschool Operates

    The hours of operation of a preschool usually factor pretty high in a parent’s list of school needs. Whether you need only half days, early drop-offs or late pick-ups, the preschool you choose should have a schedule that works for your family. 

    Tour the Preschool

    A preschool tour will help you in deciding if the climate of the school is a good fit for your child. There are no right or wrong answers. The school administrators are happy to open up the classrooms to you on tour and will introduce you to the teachers. You know what works for your child, so do not shy away from checking out the classrooms and school facility. 

    The Best Preschool for You

    You can visit every school in your city; however, what matters most is how your child will fit in the preschool. Will he/she be happy? Do you see the teachers pairing well with your child’s personality? Is the daycare able to fit the needs of your child regardless of how big these needs are?  

    Preschool is a big step and exciting for the entire family. There is only pure joy on that first day of school even if there are tears involved. Savor it all for before you know it – it will be time for elementary school!

    Bronx

    La Peninsula Head Start 
    Five locations in the Bronx:
    771 Manida St., 1054 Intervale Ave., 1717 Fulton Ave.,
    490 East 143rd St., 20 West Tremont Ave.
    718-542-7580 (main office)
    lapen.com

    Their five locations offer a safe and supportive environment for children ages 3 and 4. Licensed and highly trained teachers offer a high quality, comprehensive curriculum at these year-round full-day programs. Healthy meals and snacks, health and nutrition screenings, parent education workshops and family support services are offered as well as services for children with special needs.

    Trabajamos Community Head Start
    Three locations in the Bronx:
    940 East 156th St., 718-893-1512
    1997 Bathgate Ave., 917-259-7081
    2167 University Ave., 917-962-9720
    trabajamoscommunityheadstart.com

    Their three locations empower children ages 2 to 5 through a developmentally appropriate, quality education. Providing bilingual early childhood services for over 52 years, they demonstrate commitment and consistency to their communities with an approach that values the human spirit and the holistic development of the child – physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. Their programs examine the needs of the children, families, and communities they serve. Available year-round from 8am-6pm, they offer a healthy breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

    Brooklyn

    ABC Infant & Toddler Center & ABC Child Center
    Greenpoint
    718-389-9004
    [email protected]

    Providing safe, age-appropriate, and stimulating programs for children from ages 3 months to 4 years, while fulfilling their need to laugh, learn, play, make new friends, and discover new things.  Childcare for Infants & Toddlers, ages 3-24 months and Preschool for children ages 2-4 years. Full Day, Half Day Programs & Drop-off Care are available. Open year-round, Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm with rolling admission.  Email for more information or to schedule a tour.

    Beyond Basic Learning: On the Green
    Fort Greene / Clinton Hill
    718-622-1000
    beyondbasiclearning.com
    [email protected]

    The state-of-the-art nursery school has an open space design with bright natural sunlight and an adjacent private outside area for children to experience the outdoors. The infant program starts at 2 months to 3 years and provides children the opportunity to learn at their own pace. Families are encouraged to come into the classroom and participate as the staff sings, reads, and learns with the children.  Families come from the community with roots from around the world representing more than 15 different countries in any given year. The school is committed to providing an environment where each child’s natural curiosity to learn is guided to support the acquisition of skills that promotes critical thinking and self-awareness. The educational approach embodies the works of educational leaders such as Montessori, Piaget, Sprague-Mitchell, Dewey and Vygotsky.

    CHALK Preschool
    Cobble Hill
    718-237-7300
    Chalkpreschools.com

    CHALK’s first NYC location in beautiful, historic Cobble Hill, Brooklyn is opening its doors this fall and currently enrolling children ages 2-6. The school’s mission is to educate young minds and facilitate the enjoyment of learning; to support the growth of the whole child across emotional, social, physical, and cognitive domains to ensure the development of strong, confident, life-long learners.  CHALK strives to provide an environment where children thrive, creativity abounds and hands-on early childhood learning experiences incorporate art, laughter and knowledge, in a safe and inspirational preschool setting

    Dillon Child Study Center @ St Joseph’s College
    Clinton Hill
    718-940-5678
    dillon.sjcny.edu
    [email protected]

    Offering half- and full-day, mixed-age programming for 2-5-year-olds in an atmosphere where children are free to express their feelings and ideas. Children learn through play, developing confidence, competence, and dispositions for future learning. The toddler, preschool and kindergarten programs offered here are led by NYS certified teachers and assisting them in the classroom are students from SJC’s Department of Child Study. The laboratory preschool is composed of modern, spacious classrooms and parents are encouraged to observe their child’s interaction with teachers and classmates.

    Guidepost Montessori at Brooklyn Heights
    212 Hicks St., Brooklyn, NY
    929-524-3588
    guidepostmontessori.com
    [email protected]

    Guidepost Montessori at Brooklyn Heights is among a growing network of schools that serves over 2,200 families worldwide. This campus serves children from 3 years old through grade 5 and includes two different programs: Children’s House (ages 3 to 6) and Elementary (ages 6 to 11). Guidepost classrooms offer your child a personalized learning experience, meeting your child where they are with hands-on learning opportunities for every child. 

    Guidepost Montessori at Williamsburg
    717 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, NY
    347-464-0490
    guidepostparent.com
    [email protected]

    Guidepost Montessori at Williamsburg is among a growing network of schools that serves over 2,200 families worldwide. This campus serves ages 12 months through 6 years old and includes three classrooms: Infant (12 to 18 months), Toddler (18 months to age 3), and Children’s House (ages 3 to 6). Guidepost classrooms foster independence in a thoughtfully designed environment for child-directed exploration. Williamsburg also offers an engaging outdoor space with native plant species. 

    The Learning Experience Clinton Hill
    Clinton Hill
    718-571-8075
    thelearningexperience.com
    [email protected]

    An independently owned and operated childcare and early learning center. Using child-centric activities and play, combined with a proprietary, research-based curriculum, we cover all aspects of a child’s most important developmental years. By Learning, Playing and Growing, our children will flourish in a newly constructed purpose-built facility with an indoor playground for children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age.  The school aims to provide an enriching early childhood experience to inspire our children to love learning and get ready to take on the world at large. The founding staff is heavily trained in Reggio Emilia philosophies and Montessori formats. Open year-round (except major holidays) daily from 6:30am-6: 30 pm. Enrolling now for Fall.  

    Metrokids Preschool
    859 60 St., Bay Ridge, NY
    718-686-8335
    382 Baltic St.,Cobble Hill, NY
    718-855-2889
    metrokidspreschool.com
    [email protected]

    With two locations in Brooklyn, Metrokids Preschools provide the highest quality preschool education with professional services for a warm, nurturing and responsive environment. There is a deep focus on early literacy as well as promoting an understanding of science technology, engineering and mathematics for their students. Strategy-based learning, scientific method, STEM, advanced language development, and student-inspired thematic learning guide the development of their impressive curriculum.

    Midwood Montessori
    2825 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY
    718-253-3242
    midwoodmontessori.com

    Midwood Montessori provides preschool and kindergarten for children ages 2.9 to 6 with a rich curriculum tailored to each child’s pace. Special attention is given to encourage socialization, while the academics are taught on a one-on-one basis by a dedicated and nurturing staff. Morning, afternoon and full-day sessions, after-school classes, summer camp, early drop off, and transportation services are available.

    MUSE Academy
    Fort Greene/Downtown Brooklyn
    (929) 400-1751
    museacademybk.com

    MUSE Academy is an independent private school in Brooklyn. Rich with programs such as music & performing arts the foundation of their education  program is to enhance cognitive development, confidence, and creativity. Their unique Pre-K and Kindergarten programs nurture a passion for learning from an early age. MUSE Academy’s faculty come from leading universities and conservatories around the world. Their approach engages children to learn and communicate using an inquiry-based learning model. Muse has a rigorous academic curriculum which includes literature, the humanities, math & science, Spanish, and the visual arts. Register for an information session at museacademybk.com or call the Head of School at (929) 400-1751.

    NY Preschool
    Multiple Locations throughout Manhattan
    nypre.com

    The NY Preschool classroom, a warm and welcoming home base for learning through stories, songs and art, is paired with a state-of-the-art gymnastics facility. Their unique learning environment sparks physical growth and discovery while the creative curriculum, which combines the traditional and the progressive, supports each student’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth. 

    Rivendell School
    277 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY (Park Slope Gowanus)
    718-499-5667, ext. 14
    rivendellnyc.org

    This pre-primary Montessori school provides a respectful, inclusive community, helping children feel powerful and confident as learners and as social and emotional beings.  Toddler, half-day and extended day programs are available for ages 2 to 6. Rivendell School offers beautiful Montessori classrooms, an excellent student/teacher ratio, and a warm, cooperative atmosphere where children learn to work and play. 

    Stepping Stones Early Childhood Learning Center
    Stepping Stones Nursery School
    245 86th St., Brooklyn, NY
    718-630-1000
    The Next Step
    9321 Ridge Blvd., Brooklyn, NY
    718-630-1001
    steppingstones86.com

    Stepping Stones is a private nursery school founded in 2002 by two NYC Public School teachers. Children ages 2 to 5 are educated at their two locations where a love of learning is fostered in a safe, caring, and nurturing environment. All students are loved and cared for by their nurturing teachers who are dedicated to their classes. Teachers are highly qualified with various levels of education and years of experience in early childhood education.

    The Williamsburg Neighborhood Nursery School
    Williamsburg
    718-782-4181
    wnns.org
    [email protected]

    WNNS was founded on the belief that a good early childhood program should provide children and their families with a bridge between the worlds of home and school. The nursery school environment must be both structured and nurturing; it must combine the safety and comfort of home with the social and intellectual stimulation of school.  The curriculum is firmly based on the ideals of Progressive education. As such the program is play-based, child-centered, and focused on social-emotional growth. WNNS provides a school experience that is carefully structured, yet also allows the children to explore the school world at their own pace and in their own way. It is this combination of structure and freedom that encourages the children’s spontaneous curiosity and introduces them to the joys of learning.

    Windmill Montessori School
    1317 Ave. T, Brooklyn, NY (Sheepshead Bay)
    718-375-7973 or 718-375-4277
    windmont.org

    The family-oriented Montessori method nurtures students in grades pre-K to grade 8 emotionally and academically, promoting a sense of purpose, a love of learning and civility. Small classes meet the students’ individual needs. Their main objective is to provide a carefully planned environment that is enriching and stimulating, and that will help children develop the habits, attitudes, skills, and ideals, which are essential for a lifetime of learning and creative thinking.

    Manhattan

    Metrokids Preschool
    Multiple locations in Manhattan
    check the website for a complete listing
    metrokidspreschool.com
    [email protected]

    These dynamic schools provide the highest quality preschool education with professional services for a warm, nurturing and responsive environment. There is a deep focus on early literacy as well as promoting an understanding of science technology, engineering and mathematics for their students. Strategy-based learning, scientific method, STEM, advanced language development, and student-inspired thematic learning guide in their impressive curriculum.

    The Montessori School of New York International
    347 E. 55th St., New York, NY (Sutton Place)
    212-223-4630
    montessorischoolny.com

    At Montessori International, children are encouraged to explore all academic dimensions, helping them become well-rounded, confident citizens of the world. Classes are equipped with a full complement of didactic imported Montessori materials that encourage the absorption of concepts while playing. Science, music, foreign language, musical theatre, swimming, dance, yoga and chess are part of the program as well. Summer Camp, staffed by the year round teachers, allows children from other programs to experience a Montessori summer. 

    NY Preschool
    Multiple Locations throughout Manhattan
    nypre.com

    The NY Preschool classroom, a warm and welcoming home base for learning through stories, songs and art, is paired with a state-of-the-art gymnastics facility. Their unique learning environment sparks physical growth and discovery while the creative curriculum, which combines the traditional and the progressive, supports each student’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth. 

    Polis Montessori World School at Museum Mile
    12 E. 79th St., New York, NY (at Museum Mile)
    917-388-1710; manhatt[email protected]
    775 Columbus Ave., New York, NY (at Columbus Circle)
    917-388-1710; [email protected]
    polis.school

    Polis Montessori World School has two Manhattan campuses, located on either side of Central Park. The west side campus, called Columbus Square, offers toddler and primary programs (ages 2 to 6), and Museum Mile on the east side offers primary and elementary (ages 3 to 11). Each Polis classroom is a beautifully prepared Montessori environment, and Mandarin immersion is also available. Polis schools are intentionally located in cosmopolitan cities, where students take daily walks to parks and plan weekly visits to museums.

    Pusteblume International Preschool
    244 W. 14th St., New York, NY  (Chelsea)
    212-206-1137
    pusteblumenyc.org
    [email protected]

    Pusteblume offers German or Spanish immersion programs for 2 to 5 year-olds and afterschool activities for children up to 12 years of age. Licensed, native-speaking faculty teaches music, movement, literacy and visual arts in a fun learning environment. They combine the best of international and American teaching methods in a nurturing setting that cultivates the growth and development of your child. This multilingual, multicultural environment prepares your child to participate and succeed in the international world. 

    Queens

    Kuei Luck Early Childhood Center
    Rego Park
    718-679-9909
    klpreschool.com
    [email protected]

    A Reggio-Inspired and Mandarin Immersion Nursery and Preschool, the school’s play-based curriculum welcomes all types of learners to explore and play. The school believes that children learn best in an environment that supports and builds upon their interests and curiosity. Through the process of inquiry, children begin to ask questions about their world. Nurturing teachers act as facilitators to encourage and support children in their learning. Schedule a tour today to see the state-of-the-art facility and submit your child’s application for the 2019-2020 school year.

    Metrokids Preschool
    Multiple locations in Queens
    Check the website for a complete listing
    metrokidspreschool.com
    [email protected]

    These dynamic schools provide the highest quality preschool education with professional services for a warm, nurturing and responsive environment. There is a deep focus on early literacy as well as promoting an understanding of science technology, engineering and mathematics for their students. Strategy-based learning, scientific method, STEM, advanced language development, and student-inspired thematic learning guide in their impressive curriculum.

    NY Preschool
    4545 Center Blvd., Long Island City, NY
    347-813-4999
    nypre.com
    [email protected]

    The NY Preschool classroom, a warm and welcoming home base for learning through stories, songs and art, is paired with a state-of-the-art gymnastics facility. Their unique learning environment sparks physical growth and discovery while the creative curriculum, which combines the traditional and the progressive, supports each student’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth. 

    Sunnyside-UP
    Sunnyside
    718-784-6173 ext. 410
    scsny.org
    [email protected]

    A program offered by Sunnyside Community Services, Sunnyside-UP provides education for children in an environment focused on exploration and discovery. The curriculum and program use the Department of Education units of study that align with the Common Core standard. Free pre-K is available for students who are four years old.  Also serving 3-year-olds, subject to availability. The school and staff reflect the diversity of the Pre-k students and their families and is multi-lingual, ready to prepare students regardless of their first language. The school provides learning experiences few other programs can — including the ability for children to participate in movement, music, and art exercises with seniors in our Adult Day Services Program.  Pre-k students at Sunnyside Up get priority enrollment in free after-school programs at PS 199, 150, or 343 if they attend. As the children grow, there are programs for after-school, college and career readiness. Sunnyside Community Services provides an entire slate of activities and programs for all ages.

     

     

     

    Donna Ladd

    Donna Ladd is the Executive Editor at New York Family. She and her artist husband, live in Brooklyn, New York, where you can find her on weekends running – literally…

    See More Related Articles