Changing a Preschool or Daycare Mid-year: How to make the decision to switch schools for your child

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Changing a Preschool or Daycare Mid-year

We’re nearly at the mid-term of the school year, and it’s time to take stock of how things might be going for your little one. While your child might be blissfully happy, it can also be the case that sometimes their school isn’t working and you may be considering a mid-year jump to a new school.

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Figure Out What Isn’t Working

The first step is to check in on why you want to move to another preschool or daycare. Listing what isn’t working will help you assess the kind of school that will work for your child. Whether you physically write it down or verbally work them out, list the pros and cons of staying or moving to a new school. There doesn’t have to be any finger-pointing or negativity; this is about what your family and child need in their schooling. No one or one thing has to be the bad guy; sometimes, it just isn’t working. In many ways, parents learn a lot in these early years of education on what type of school path their child needs.

Talk to Your Child’s Teacher or School Principal

Reach out to your child’s class teacher or school principal to schedule a meeting or a time for a phone call. Be honest that you’re considering a change of environment and bring up your concerns about the school. Keep in mind that you only see one side of the story as a parent and that they might have valuable insights to share about your child’s life at school. Once you’ve laid out your concerns, listen carefully to their response and ask them whether they have any suggestions for improving the situation. If you aren’t convinced that change will be possible and still have the same desire to make a move, ask what the process for leaving mid-year might be. If you’re at a private school, understand your billing notice period and how you will retrieve school records.

Research, Research, Research

It’s time to spring into action. Talk to friends, contact a school’s expert, call schools’ admissions departments, and arrange visits whenever possible. Try to identify your options considering academics, travel time, curriculum, cost, and pastoral approach. Most importantly, have an honest discussion with parent coordinators, teachers, and directors about the probability that they will have a space for your child. Don’t necessarily take an initial “no” as a final answer but probe to understand whether there are circumstances in which spots might open up or perhaps get on a waiting list.

Once a new school has been chosen, mentally prepare your child for the move

Alicia Sharpe, a New York City-based Education Consultant, says, “Mental preparation starts at home. Speak with your child about this new coming transition; even if the child is too young to communicate with you verbally, they will understand. If possible, bring your child to visit the new school,meet the teachers, and introduce them to their new classroom before the start of the new school term.

If you have an older child, help them understand that moving schools are not abnormal, but it will be an exciting fresh start. Reassure them that it’s possible to maintain friendships even when they’re at a new school, and consider how you can help them to participate in activities that current friends take part in.”

What sort of behaviors should you address that would lead you to make a move to a new daycare or pre- school?

  • Negative social and emotional behaviors
  • Academic challenges or academic boredom
  • If your child expresses they don’t feel safe
  • Lack of support with special needs
  • Overcrowded classrooms
  • Poor relationship with the teacher or discipline challenges

What are some criteria to look for when deciding to move to another school in the mid-year?

  • School curriculum
  • Teacher certification
  • Staff turnover
  • Genuine and sincere staff
  • Children appear happy when you visit the school
  • Location
  • Cost
  • Likelihood of admittance

Preschool Directory


China Institute
100 Washington St., Manhattan

Now Accepting Applications to China Institute’s Mandarin Immersion early School Year / Preschool Program, opening in January 2022! Inspire your future global citizen to begin a lifetime of discovery and inspi- ration at The School of Chinese Studies! Pre-Kindergartners will love the immersive Chinese language and cultural environ- ment with fun- lled learning experiences every day! Join our next open house in November or December, or stop by every Tuesday through December 21 from 4:30-5:30 PM to see why The School of Chinese Studies has been the leader in Chinese education in New York City since 1933!

Pusteblume International Preschool
244 W 14th St., Manhattan
[email protected]

A licensed, non-profit, independent preschool for children ages 2 to 5 with German and Spanish language immersion.Dual language is an option as well. Our school also offers after-school and enrichment programs for all ages that are open to students from other schools. The Pusteblume curric- ulum is built around inquiry and exploration in the classroom, the school community and the vibrant city that surrounds us. Our licensed, native-speaking faculty teaches music, move- ment, literacy, visual arts, math and science concepts in a fun and warm learning environ- ment that cultivates the growth and development of your child. Schedule a virtual tour.

The Montessori School Of New York International 
347 E. 55th St., Sutton Place, Manhattan

In a lovingly, thoughtfully prepared environment, children explore academic dimensions at their own pace and interest level, helping them grow in con dence, self-esteem and independence. classes are equipped with imported, didac- tic Montessori materials that encourage the absorption of concepts through play, leading children to become well-rounded and con dent. Program in- cludes Science, Music, Foreign Language, Musical Theatre, Swimming, Dance, Yoga, Sign Language, and chess. children do extremely well academically, and are prepared for admission to gifted programs. A unique summer program, staffed by the year-round teachers, offers a balance of continued learning and outdoor activities, including theme-based trips and sports activities.

The Studio School
117 West 95th St., Manhattan

It takes curiosity, an open mind, and freedom to see things in new ways. Founded in 1971, The Studio School, nursery-8th grade, is a co-ed school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. central to Studio’s philosophy is the knowledge that intellec- tual vigor and creativity must be  firmly rooted in emotional resilience and stability. These roots are carefully nurtured in the earliest stages of a child’s life and education, allowing time and room to grow strong and spread wide. For 50 years, The Studio School has empow- ered children to integrate who they are with what they learn, cultivating independent think- ers who embrace academic excellence. Join us, embrace humankind and shape the world we inhabit.

Wetherby-Pembridge School
7 E 96th St., Manhattan
[email protected]
jean.monaco@ (dir. of admissions)

At Wetherby-Pembridge, the 2021-2022 school year has been full of inspiration, resilience, progress, and fun. All of the students have taken part in rigorous academics combined with a full range of school-wide activities like karate, forest school, cooking, dance, and STeAM classes. The children have blossomed and grown in con dence and self-esteem and even their youngest learners have enjoyed being part of the wider pupil community, partici- pating in music, art, trips, and sports at the 92Y. Their sense of joy, togetherness, and optimism encourages even the youngest students in a love of school and learning.


A. Fantis School
195 State St., Brooklyn, NY

NYC’s  first Greek Dual Lan- guage UPK4 Program. This program will propel early learners in the acquisition of a language that will benefit them in middle school and beyond. The A. Fantis School is a small, private, and inclusive Greek Orthodox school in Brooklyn Heights for PK3 to 8th grade. Our Greek Dual language program will have instruction split between English and Greek, classroom blend of English and Greek-speaking families, play-based instruction within thematic units of study, daily outdoor play, music and movement, full-day, in-person learning, and daily after-school clubs, and extended day program.

Little Thinkers Montessori
New Park Slope Location:
242 6th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
148 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn, NY
[email protected]

A high quality Montessori education to children ages 2-5 for preschool for the school year (September – June). LTM’s preschool curriculum is individual- ized, multi-aged, and thoughtfully guided to match each student’s needs. Children learn through the academic and experiential process, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, and in uenced by the culturally diverse atmosphere of Brooklyn. The primary goal of LTM’s Montessori program is to use the “whole-child” approach to help each child reach their full potential in all areas of life. Enrolling now for preschool spots at the new Park Slope location for Fall 2021! Please contact the school to learn more.

Montessori Day School Of Brooklyn
237 Park Place, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

MDS is a community of families, children, and educators using the Montessori philosophy to guide and inspire a joy of learning both inside and outside the classroom. MDS is a welcoming community that values diversity. They are committed to excellence in early childhood education and con- tinuous learning. The school serves children ages 2-5 years and is divided into toddler and primary classes. Primary classes have mixed-age groups (i.e., 3-5 years of age) following the Montessori model in which young children learn from older ones and older children reinforce their learning by helping the younger ones.

Phyl’s Academy
3520 Tilden Ave. Brooklyn, NY

All tall trees started as tiny seeds planted in fertile foundations. Phyl’s Academy is that foundation, a place to blossom. In an ideal environment for learning, creative play, and physical activity, we encourage intellectual curiosity, a love for learning and give students the tools they need to lead meaningful lives. Phyl’s students consistently perform in the top 90th percentile in standardized tests. 90% of our graduates attend Independent Schools and Gifted Programs, and our Early Childhood program is noted as exemplary by Chancellor Porter and Mayor de Blasio. Call to schedule a tour.

Kinder Prep Montessori Nursery & Preschool
15 Bridge Park Dr, Brooklyn, NY

Kinder Prep Montessori is expanding and opening a brand new second location in Brooklyn Heights in December 2021. Now offering in-person and virtual tours! Kinder Prep Montessori Nursery and Preschool is committed to the development of the whole child, by fostering the love of learning and encouraging confidence through the acquisition of academic, social, emotional, and physical skills. They establish in children a strong work ethic, creativity, respect, and compassion for others. Kinder Prep offers a Montessori approach along with a creative curriculum that targets all your child’s developmental needs and prepares your little learner for a bright academic future.


Kuei Luck Early Childhood Centers
NEW LIC: 2-03 Borden Ave, Long Island City, NY 718-670-9919
Rego Park/Forest Hills: 99-39 66th Ave, Rego Park, NY 718-679-9909

With a new location in Long Island City now open for the 2021-22 school year only one block away from Hunter’s Point South Park. Kuei Luck Early Childhood Center is a Reggio- inspired, Mandarin Immersion Nursery & Preschool and believes that early learning experiences have a profound impact on a child’s social, emotional, and intellectual development.

Their student-led immersive language model is rooted in exploration, experimentation, and play. Students are encouraged to explore learning through art, music, play, and nature and their approach encourages young learners to deepen their knowledge of subjects they are most curious about. Now enrolling for the current school year and 2022-2023 at the new LIC location. Contact the school for more information. Collaborate with the New York Family Media team to spread the word


A Child’s Dream LLC
10 Mill Road, New Rochelle

A Child’s Dream Nursery and Preschool feature a small, personalized setting that creates a secure and structured environment. This encourages children to socialize and interact while learning. Offering 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds programs two to five days a week. We offer many fun and exciting programs such as: Movement, Lunch Bunch, Kindergarten Readiness as well as a partnership with Soccer Shots of Westchester. Celebrating 20 Years of loving, engaging and teaching the littlest students. Join our family- like community for the 2022-2023 school year! Registration is now open.

French American School Of New York
Manor Campus (Nursery- Grade 3)
111 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont

Live Locally, Learn Globally at FASNY! Founded in 1980 as a one-classroom preschool, the French-American School of New York, FASNY is an international and bilingual N-12 day school educating more than 720 students on three campuses in Mamaroneck and Larchmont. FASNY’s bilingual preschool program begins at 3 years old and is play-based with an emphasis on language acquisition. The curriculum is interconnected, between themes and languages and across age groups, following the same structure, adding skills, and increasing challenges as the students go between grade levels. No French is required at any level!

Hudson Country Montessori School
340 Quaker Ridge Road, New Rochelle

Hudson Country Montessori School inspires and promotes innate curiosity and a love of learning through their progressive Montessori pedagogy. HCMS also strives to help children grow into respectful, socially-adept and compassionate leaders. The curriculum is designed to empower students to become independent, creative thinkers and con dent achievers. Private, co-educational school, toddlers (18 months) through 8th grade. Schedule a private tour today!

Liberty Montessori Schools
155 Beechmont Dr., New Rochelle
631 W. Boston Post Road,Mamaroneck

Offering programs up to Grade 3 a unique kindergarten enrichment curriculum that includes a special music program unique kindergarten enrichment curriculum that includes their special music program and the Challenger Program for advanced students. They also have special multilingual programs in Chinese, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. Call now to make an appointment, meet the school director and tour their facility and learn more about Liberty.

Montessori School Of Pelham Manor
1415 Pelhamdale Ave, Bronx, New York
pelhammontessori@gmail. com 

Upholding a “tradition of excellence” for almost 50 years, this school  rmly holds to the principles of child development devised by Dr. Maria Montessori. Children ages 3 to 5 work with apparatus in a prepared environment progressing at their own rate, developing the con dence and love of learning that is the hallmark of Montessori. Our small class sizes make it easy for our instructors to find out how to best cater to your child’s unique learning needs. Prepare your child for a lifetime of learning.

The Nurtury Montessori Schools
431 N. Ridge St., Rye Brook
2097 Palmer Ave., Larchmont
1144 North Ave., New Rochelle
1146 North Ave., New Rochelle
130 Flandreau Ave., New Rochelle
914- 632-6200

The Nurtury is committed to promoting quality, full-time Montessori childcare for children ages six weeks to 6 years. The  rst six years of life are when intelligence and personality are formed. We significantly understand this concept, and as a result, The Nurtury has set the standard for full-time Montessori childcare. Call today at 914-632-6200!