Education

Faith-Based New York City Preschools: Our Round-Up of Your Options

boy laughing on bench

If you’re looking for a faith-based preschool or nursery option for your kiddos, whether you’re seeking an environment that promotes Catholic, Jewish, Quaker, Episcopalian, Presbyterian or any other denominational values, you’re going to find the right fit for you in New York City! Here’s our round-up of the best, broken down by borough. And remember, while many of these schools identify with a particular religious approach, most open their arms to those of all (or no!) faiths.

Manhattan

ANN, THE PERSONAL SCHOOL

Age 3-Grade 8
314 East 110th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
In Their Own Words: “At St. Ann, The Personal School we believe God calls each child by name. Our community prepares students to take their place in the world, because every child has a special purpose in life. Our mission is to help them find it. This exploration begins in preschool, through joyful play that engages their minds and hearts, and center-based learning that prepares them for their academic career. Individualized lessons in math, literacy, and STEAM and a child-centered curriculum are part of our award-winning Blended Learning program.”
Noteworthy: “The Personal School is our daily call to action, and a reminder of why we are a special community in East Harlem. We take great pride in our 90-year history and we are especially gratified when former students enroll their own children at St. Ann.” stannschoolnyc.org

GRACE CHURCH SCHOOL

Age 4-Grade 12
86 Fourth Avenue
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
In Their Own Words: “Our stimulating and integrated curriculum enables children to become self-confident learners in their new environment. Creativity and individuality are carefully nurtured and encouraged. As students begin to discover the joy and satisfaction of learning, they also come to appreciate how cooperation, respect and fairness are valued throughout the school community.”
Noteworthy: “Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten children have many opportunities to share experiences with the entire school community. They eat lunch in the dining room and attend regularly scheduled classes in the library, art room, science lab, music/dance studio and the Early Childhood gymnasium.” gcschool.org

BROTHERHOOD SYNAGOGUE NURSERY SCHOOL

Ages 2-5
28 Gramercy Park South
Philosophy: Reggio Emilia
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Because independence is an outgrowth of trust, we maintain small classes and high teacher to child ratios. In this environment children can feel safe and encouraged to explore both a variety of materials and their relationships with peers and adults. Children feel important and valued when others listen to them, seek out their ideas, and allow them to express themselves.”
Noteworthy: “Our curriculum is full of opportunities to eat, taste, touch, and sing about the rhythms and cycles of the Jewish year when the holidays make their appearance throughout the year. At Brotherhood, we imbue daily life with Jewish values, informed by the traditions of our ancestors.” nursery.brotherhoodsynagogue.org

THE JACK AND JILL SCHOOL AT ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH

Ages 2.5-5.5
209 East 16th Street
Philosophy: Eclectic
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
In Their Own Words: “Acknowledging children’s efforts encourages the development of the inner motivation within each child. The ability to persevere and work through challenges, to have patience and appreciate the hard work of practice and repetition is visible in all children do, whether building in the blocks, completing a puzzle or learning to write their name.”
Noteworthy: “Each classroom organizes its curriculum around various topics or units of study. This creative and integrated curriculum allows children to spend time gaining understanding of various concepts while working on small motor, dramatic play and art projects. Children can enter the topic through an avenue which suits them most comfortably and then expand their experiences over time.” thejackandjillschool.org

ACADEMY OF ST. JOSEPH

Age 3-Grade 8
111 Washington Place
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
In Their Own Words: “The Academy of St. Joseph empowers and challenges students with a curriculum based on the arts, sciences, and the humanities integrated with the values of the Catholic Church. The Academy fosters the intellectual, spiritual, social, emotional and physical development of students, while instilling in them the highest standards of character, competence, and compassion in a joyful, welcoming community. The Academy creates a strong foundation for students to become life-long learners, responsible citizens and effective leaders as they embrace and improve the global society.”
Noteworthy: “The Academy of St. Joseph is committed to a set of core beliefs which define and bind the community together to create an enriched, vibrant and balanced educational experience for all students. We believe that by working together we can develop students who will embody our mission as people of character, competence, and compassion.” academyofsaintjoseph.org

THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH NURSERY SCHOOL

Ages 2-5.6
12 West 12th Street
Philosophy: Reggio Emilia
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian
In Their Own Words: “The Nursery School follows the progressive educational philosophy of ‘developmental interaction,’ with inspiration from the Reggio Emilia preschools. The ‘Reggio approach’ reminds us to look at children’s competence and potential rather than their limitations. Focusing on what children can do (instead of what they cannot do) leads to higher levels of thinking and performance.”
Noteworthy: “The First Presbyterian Church Nursery School recently launched Project APPLE (an acronym for A Place for Planting, Learning, and Eating), transforming our rooftop playground into a vertical garden that is tended to and used by our students.” fpcns.org

LUKE’S SCHOOL

Age 4-Grade 8
487 Hudson Street
Philosophy:Academic
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
In Their Own Words: “St. Luke’s is a traditional school, in that it has a strong academic curriculum, high standards, clear and consistent boundaries and expectations. Within that structure, we emphasize freedom. We use varied educational approaches and techniques to help stimulate independent thinking—to free the children to question, challenge, explore, and pursue truth wherever it leads.”
Noteworthy: “St. Luke’s School is growing from tiny to small, allowing our school to offer more individualized instruction and expand our programs as we maintain the sense of community that has nurtured our students’ growth for generations…We are thrilled with the opportunity to welcome more students and families into our community as the school grows.” stlukeschool.org

EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE PRESCHOOL AT MANNY CANTOR CENTER

Ages 0-4
197 East Broadway
Philosophy: Reggio Emilia
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Teachers and children work collaboratively to co-construct a curriculum that draws inspiration from the children’s interests. Families are our partners, joining together with the children and teachers to create a seamless connection between home and school. Exploration, play, open ended questions, and beautiful spaces provide an excellent framework for learning.”
Noteworthy: “The curriculum incorporates Jewish values that are universally relevant, such as the values of gratitude and respect for our environment. We strive to create a culture in which the classrooms are collaborating and engaging children and families to create a shared community of meaning.” mannycantor.org/edgies-preschool

CENTRAL SYNAGOGUE MAY FAMILY NURSERY SCHOOL

Ages 2.4-5
652 Lexington Avenue
Philosophy: Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Our goal is to nurture the development of the intellectual, social and emotional, language and physical skills that will establish a strong foundation for each child as an eager and curious learner throughout his or her life, and shorter term, will ensure a successful transition to kindergarten.”
Noteworthy: “Our children have the opportunity to explore gardening and learn how plants grow in our Second Floor Terrace and Garden. Each class has its own garden plot, and throughout the year will plant seeds, nourish them, watch them grow, harvest and then eat their produce!” centralsynagogue.org

THE KAPLAN NURSERY SCHOOL OF SUTTON PLACE SYNAGOGUE

Ages 1.11-5
225 East 51st Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Within the context of play, our balanced program includes both structured and open-ended activities enabling children to build the skills and self-assurance needed to become confident, joyful and life-long learners.”
Noteworthy: “We are committed to sharing the value of Judaism by integrating the celebration of Shabbat and Jewish holidays into an age-appropriate program, and our school is an integral part of the vibrant and long-standing Sutton Place Synagogue community. Family members, the most important people in the lives of young children, participate in the nursery school experience in a variety of meaningful ways.” spsnyc.org

MANHATTAN JEWISH MONTESSORI

Ages 2-4
336 East 53rd Street
Philosophy: Montessori
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Manhattan Jewish Montessori is a small, intimate Jewish preschool in East Midtown whose mission is to provide a warm and nurturing environment where children can grow and develop emotionally, cognitively and physically. Based on the knowledge that the formative years of early childhood are vitally important, each child is viewed as a seed that we nurture with the utmost care.”
Noteworthy: The school offers a weekly Baby Loves Shabbat class, “a gentle, musical introduction to Jewish songs and traditions, centered around a Shabbat party just for the littlest learners! Enjoy music and instruments, parachute play, candle lighting, and Challah baking each week in our beautiful preschool classroom.” manhattanjewishmontessori.com

BARTHOLOMEW COMMUNITY PRESCHOOL

Ages 2.6-5
325 Park Avenue
Philosophy:Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
In Their Own Words:“St. Bart’s educational philosophy is based on fostering a love of learning, while celebrating and embracing each child’s uniqueness. We are committed to providing an environment where children’s curiosity is encouraged.”
Noteworthy: “Once a year, the school focuses on a week-long International Studies theme including music, food, art, and dancing from other countries and culture. This culminates in a school wide International Day celebration on the Friday of that week, ending with an international feast for all!” stbarts.org/preschool

ALEPH BET PRESCHOOL OF MURRAY HILL

Ages 2-4
133 East 29th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “All children learn best when learning is fun, interesting and meaningful. The philosophy of Aleph Bet Preschool is based on play. Children develop physically, emotionally, and socially through the manipulation of objects and toys in their environment.”
Noteworthy: “This community minded preschool has also fostered lasting friendships among many of the parents. Parents who have sent their children to Aleph Bet NY will proudly tell you that they felt like their child received first class care and attention! The director is very involved and extremely approachable. The teachers are professional, experienced, attentive and available even after school hours.” alephbetny.com

JEWISH COMMUNITY PROJECT

Ages 2-5.5
146 Duane Street
Philosophy: Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “The Preschool provides children and their families the opportunity to explore their Jewish culture and offers the seeds for establishing Jewish identity which is defined differently for each of us. The program emphasizes a sensory approach to cultural Judaism and the Jewish holidays, as this is a wonderful way for children to appreciate their heritage and their community.”
Noteworthy: “The JCP Arts Appreciation Curriculum connects children’s natural curiosity to interactive experiences with professional artists. The curriculum provides guided inquiry and first-hand exposure to professional art and artists across varying media within the visual and performing arts. Children think critically, imagine, exercise curiosity, respect varying points of view, and find ways to express themselves and their ideas.” jcpdowntown.org

THE EPISCOPAL SCHOOL

Ages 2.5-5
35 East 69th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Judeo-Christian
In Their Own Words: “Our program provides opportunities for each child to grow and learn through a variety of structured activities and free play experiences. The activities are individualized to meet the needs of each child at his or her own stage of development. The age-appropriate curriculum allows children to explore ideas and develop skills through art, music, dramatic play, creative movement and cooking. Field trips, interactive science experiences and readiness activities in reading and math further enhance the program.”
Noteworthy: “At Chapel, Bible stories are told to reinforce the children’s awareness of the Judeo-Christian heritage and traditional values. Sharing, honesty, responsibility, concern for the feelings of others, and respecting differences are all subjects for Chapel discussions.” episcopalschool.org

RABBI ARTHUR SCHNEIER PARK EAST DAY SCHOOL

Age 2-Grade 8
164 East 68th Street
Philosophy: Inquiry-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “All of our students, especially the very youngest, learn by doing. Students learn to use their five senses to make sense of the world. They create order from the chaos that surrounds them and become independent thinkers. They learn to trust, to follow directions and to communicate verbally.”
Noteworthy: “All learning is interdisciplinary, centered around the Jewish holidays, Shabbat, Israel, and the calendar. Our children learn Hebrew language and Jewish culture. Children learn about Israel in a variety of ways—including Torah stories, famous places, holidays, fairs, and charity drives- in order to make cultural connections between the American Jewish community and the state of Israel.” parkeastdayschool.org

RENANIM PRESCHOOL AND NURSERY SCHOOL

Ages 20 months-5 years
336 East 61st Street
Philosophy: Piaget
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Piaget believed that an appropriate environment enhances a child’s inherent motivation to investigate, understand, learn, and overcome the cognitive and physical hurdles that he or she encounters. This self-study equips the child with adequate tools to cope with the surroundings of his daily life.”
Noteworthy: “In Hebrew ‘Renanim’ means happiness. We offer an excellent preschool education in an atmosphere of happiness and joy for children 20 months to 5 years old. We started in Israel and now operate in Manhattan and in Riverdale. With over 45 years of experience, we have a lot to offer your child.” renanimmanhattanpreschool.com

TEMPLE EMANU-EL NURSERY SCHOOL

Ages 2-5
10 East 66th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Temple Emanu-El’s Nursery School provides a warm, comfortable environment in which children can develop emotionally, cognitively and physically. Our goal is for each child to have a positive first school experience. We support and work with our families for the benefit of the child.”
Noteworthy: “Our facilities include two sunny, outdoor playgrounds; an indoor playroom; a library; and a kitchen…We work with each child individually according to the child’s interest and abilities. The children engage in a wide range of activities at every age level. Major Jewish holidays are observed with the children. However, we welcome children from diverse ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds.” emanuelnyc.org

THE CATHEDRAL SCHOOL

Age 2-Grade 8
319 East 74th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Nonsectarian
In Their Own Words: “We believe that Pre-Kindergartners learn best when an intriguing, fun and welcoming environment surrounds them. It is a time for curiosity, discovery and growing self-awareness. The Pre-Kindergarten program focuses on social and emotional development through exploration and thematic units including literacy, guided reading, handwriting and pre-math activities.”
Noteworthy: “The development of literacy is the central focus. Children are introduced to early concepts of print and provided with direct instruction in letter recognition, letter and sound knowledge, and sight words that are building blocks for developing strategic readers. We augment the literacy curriculum with a rich array of age appropriate academic subjects including writing, mathematics, science, religion and ethics, and social studies. Our Kindergartners develop numerical understanding by means of counting and manipulating objects and by acting out and drawing solutions to problems. We follow the Singapore Math Curriculum as the foundation to mathematical learning.” cathedralschoolny.org

CHABAD PRESCHOOL

Ages 2-4
419 East 77th Street
Philosophy: Creative
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Chabad Preschool is a small intimate Jewish preschool. Our mission is to provide a warm and nurturing environment where children are introduced to Jewish values and traditions, discover the joys of learning and are gently acquainted with formal education.”
Noteworthy: “Chabad Preschool also has a special needs program called the Friendship Circle. The Friendship Circle was established to extend a helping hand to Jewish families who have children with special needs and involve them in a full range of social and Judaic experiences. The Circle’s unique formula introduces teenage volunteers to the children and their families. The Friendship Circle also offers an after school program for children 5-10, called the Children’s Circle. Financial Aid is available.” chabaduppereastside.com

MADISON AVENUE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH DAY SCHOOL

Ages 4 months-5 years
921 Madison Avenue
Philosophy: Reggio Emilia
Religious Affiliation; Presbyterian
In Their Own Words: “We believe children are inherently competent; that they are born with all the potential capabilities they need in life to learn, to aspire, to love—to succeed as human beings. We also believe that children’s intellect is expressed not just verbally but in many non-verbal ways, including music, art, and materials construction and through manipulation of elemental sensory materials such as sand, water and earth.”
Noteworthy: “Sensory exploration—without an adult planned outcome—is the finest, most natural way for a child to discover what these visually, tactilely appealing things can do (‘Oh—it drips!’), how they can control them (‘I made a mark!’) and what they can create (‘My red and yellow turned orange’).” mapcds.org

RESURRECTION EPISCOPAL DAY SCHOOL

Ages 2.9-6
119 East 74th Street
Philosophy: Montessori
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
In Their Own Words: “[Children] between the ages of 2 and 5 are ready for and, indeed, thrive in an academic environment. Within a sensibly structured classroom and under the encouraging guidance of trained Montessori teachers, each child is given the freedom to learn at an individual pace, allowing his/her abilities to emerge and flourish.”
Noteworthy: “REDS has a beautiful playground with brightly colored structures designed specifically for the ages of our children and a safe surface on which to run. This space provides daily opportunities for children to develop physical coordination especially upper body strength and spatial awareness. In addition, the playground fosters a special time for social interaction and imaginative play.” redsny.org

JEAN BAPTISTE TODDLER PLAY GROUP

Ages 18 months-4 years
184 East 76th Street
Philosophy:Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic
In Their Own Words: “This child-centered facility is a warm and inviting space where parents/caregivers and their children, together with the Play Group’s director, Pauline Reenock, play, sing, do arts and crafts projects, dance, and have circle time and snack. Through these activities the children, learn, explore and develop their social skills in a supportive play-and-learn environment.” stjeanbaptisteny.org

TEMPLE ISRAEL EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING CENTER

Ages 2.4-5
112 East 75th Street
Philosophy: Bank Street
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “The Early Childhood Learning Center, like Temple Israel as a whole, approaches Judaism as a tradition and heritage to be celebrated by everyone who wishes to participate. Friday mornings include a brief ‘Shabbat’ ceremony, with the rabbi present to teach traditional blessings and songs.”
Noteworthy: “Each light, airy classroom is tailored to the size and needs of its students. All rooms open onto a common hallway in the middle, with a terrace playground on either side, each appropriate to the size and skills of the children.” templeisraelnyc.org

TEMPLE SHAARAY TEFILA NURSERY SCHOOL

Ages 2.5-5
250 East 79th Street
Philosophy: Emergent
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “The caring sense of family and community that is so central to the Temple is also central to the Nursery School. The school incorporates the strong traditions and values of Judaism in a nurturing environment, where children enjoy learning with their friends in a well-equipped physical space. Our school has a multi-faceted approach to learning with a very rich and child-driven curriculum.”
Noteworthy: “We have an Early Childhood consultant who is at school each week. She visits all of the classrooms regularly, meets with the Nursery School staff, holds occasional group talks on topics of interest to families with young children, and is available to meet privately with parents to discuss any areas of concern.” shaaraytefilanyc.org

THE CAEDMON SCHOOL

Age 2.8-Grade 5
416 East 80th Street
Philosophy: Montessori
Religious Affiliation: Lay Catholic
In Their Own Words: “Loving learning is the most important mission to which we aspire. Faculty members describe graduates as students who bring whimsy and rigor to work and play, can envision multiple routes to a solution, construct imaginative ideas and innovative alternatives, and problem solve confidently. Our curriculum offers classes in music, violin, art, Spanish, Latin, technology, physical education, library, yoga, and science.”
Noteworthy: “Nothing could be more exciting than teaching readers how to crack the code! The reading instruction at Caedmon is multi-faceted. Using both the leveled reading system of Fountas and Pinnell and the multi-sensory techniques of Orton-Gillingham, we empower our readers by providing interesting stories, knowledge of phonics rules, and attainable goals.” caedmonschool.org

MARYMOUNT SCHOOL OF NEW YORK (EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM)

Age 3-Grade 12
1026 Fifth Avenue
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
In Their Own Words: “Within a structured yet creative environment, the children learn to explore their world, communicate, make choices, and develop independence. As they grow in awareness of their own abilities and needs, they learn about the needs and abilities of others. The students begin to understand their role as members of a community based on mutual respect, sharing, and love.”
Noteworthy: “Art is an integral part of the Nursery program, designed to offer children experiences that promote creativity, expression, and experimentation. Through a wide variety of experiences, the children develop increased fine motor skills, spatial perception, and the ability to use their language skills to describe their artwork. The year culminates with an interdisciplinary theme unit, “I Am Special,” that includes the creation of self-portraits.” marymountnyc.org

PARK AVENUE SYNAGOGUE EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER

Ages 2.6-5.6
50 East 87th Street
School Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Our educational philosophy is that the learning process of young children is an active, creative one. We strive for a balance between teacher-directed and child-initiated activities. The underlying structure in the classroom, combined with a flexible curriculum, enhances the development of children.”
Noteworthy: “The staff consists of teachers trained in Early Childhood Education. In addition to the three teachers in each class, music and movement specialists, an occupational therapist, a speech and language consultant and a school psychologist support the program.” pasyn.org

RAMAZ SCHOOL

Ages 3-Grade 12
125 East 85th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Our educational program is child-centered, play-based, and allows children to explore, manipulate, and interact with their environment. We work in small groups to allow for questioning and learning by using all the senses, and to give the teacher a sensitive understanding of how each child learns.”
Noteworthy: “The holidays are a significant part of our curriculum and each one sets the stage for a great variety of learning opportunities. For example, at Chanukah, students fry latkes and make scientific discoveries related to oil. During Purim, the children write their own plays, learn about shapes, and investigate the science of sound using ra’ashanim.” ramaz.org

SAINT DAVID’S SCHOOL

Age 4-Grade 8
12 East 89th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
In Their Own Words: “The mission of Saint David’s School is to educate boys to fulfill their potential through rigorous academic pursuit, deliberate moral introspection, and critical analysis of ideas and issues. The classical tradition of balance has guided the school since its beginning. The school seeks to engender intellectual curiosity, appreciation for the arts, skill and sportsmanship in athletics, and an enduring love of learning.”
Noteworthy: “In the pre-primary grades, the curriculum introduces a vast array of topics and disciplines that aim to foster a love of discovery while cultivating the skills necessary for continued academic achievement. By following the Golden Rule, boys learn to work and play together while taking their first steps toward independence.” saintdavids.org

IGNATIUS LOYOLA DAY NURSERY

Ages 2-5
240 East 84th Street
Philosophy: Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic
In Their Own Words: “Self-confidence and self-esteem are integral to effective learning. The goal of the Day Nursery is for children to develop an understanding of their uniqueness, a sense of mastery, and an excitement about school that remains with them for life.”
Noteworthy: “St. Ignatius Loyola Day Nursery is a home away from home where faith, love, and knowledge form the cornerstones of a rigorous child-centered curriculum. In a bright, safe, beautiful townhouse on East 84th Street, children develop a strong sense of self, an abiding respect for others, and a lifelong love of learning.” ignatiusdn.org

92ND STREET Y NURSERY SCHOOL

Ages 2.6-5
1395 Lexington Avenue
Philosophy: Hands-on
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “We believe children learn best in a clearly structured program which emphasizes creative expression through ‘hands-on’ experiences, provides opportunities for play and encourages respect for others. Our goal is for children to become responsible members of their classroom community and develop the confidence and independence needed to fulfill their potential.”
Noteworthy: “We are committed to building a strong sense of community between parents, teachers, and children. We firmly believe that communication between parents and the school is essential in fostering young children’s growth. Celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays teaches children the joy of Jewish culture and heritage.” 92y.org

THE BRICK CHURCH SCHOOL

Ages 3-5
62 East 92nd Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Judeo-Christian
In Their Own Words: “Our mission speaks of play as the work of children, and the importance of striking a balance between skill building and project work while being mindful of children’s different learning styles. It also speaks of the need for balance between teacher direction and children’s choice. Every aspect of our educational program is designed to attain these balances and provide children with play-based learning opportunities to further their learning and help them reach their highest potential.”
Noteworthy: “Cooking is a satisfying experience for children and provides a vehicle for teaching math, science, language, social studies and more, all with a delicious opportunity to enjoy the results of their labor as a shared snack or meal.”  brickchurchschool.org

CONVENT OF THE SACRED HEART

Age 3.2-Grade 12
1 East 91st Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
In Their Own Words: “The Lower School academic program emphasizes academic rigor, is designed to develop competency, higher-order thinking, encourage creativity and promote independence in each student. Language and culture, and an understanding of people and events are integrated into every aspect of the program.”
Noteworthy: “The Convent of the Sacred Heart is New York City’s oldest independent school for girls, established in 1881 by the Society of the Sacred Heart. Part of a worldwide network of over 150 schools committed to the mission of Sacred Heart education, the school was originally housed in a brownstone on Madison Avenue at 54th Street.” cshnyc.org

THE ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL SCHOOL

Age 3-Grade 12
30 West End Avenue
Philosophy: Inquiry-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “We stimulate children’s curiosity and encourage them to ask questions, take risks in learning, and solve problems. We also support the children’s developing social skills and their emerging independence. We create an atmosphere that invites children to observe, to be active, and to make choices.”
Noteworthy: “We develop our most powerful themes from Jewish and American holidays, family and community, and nature. During the year, additional themes emerge which reflect the interests of a class. In this way we combine cultural identity, fields of knowledge, and an expanded view of the world.” heschel.org

THE DAY SCHOOL AT CHRIST & ST. STEPHEN’S

Ages 2-4
122 West 69th Street
Philosophy: Inquiry-based
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
In Their Own Words: “It is our goal to provide children with skills that will push them beyond traditional learning and promote dynamic thinking that results in children who don’t want to just know that something happens; they want to know how it happens, why it happens and when they can apply it and experience it for themselves.”
Noteworthy: “Chapel is led by the parish clergy and is held weekly in the side chapel of the church. Chapel services focus on the unique worth and beauty of each child as a creation of a loving, empowering God, as well as the ethical and moral values that flow from that belief. Diversity and inclusiveness, hallmarks of our Episcopal tradition, are part of Chapel services and an appreciation of other faith traditions is fostered.” thedayschoolatcss.org

THE NURSERY SCHOOL AT HABONIM

Ages 2-6
103 West End Avenue (at West 64th Street)
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “The goal of the Nursery School of Habonim is to promote the well-being and development of each child. We wish to foster self-esteem, confidence, basic trust, and a strong sense of community. We believe that children learn best through an early childhood curriculum that is based on creative and constructive, child centered, developmentally appropriate activities and purposeful play.”
Noteworthy: “The school recently moved to this brand new, bright, airy, location on West End Avenue. There is a warm, welcoming atmosphere that you will feel as you walk through the door. They do a school-wide assembly every Friday called “Rock Shabbat” including the Cantor, Rabbi, and Nursery School Director on guitar and drums. There has also been an expansion of the program activities to include babies and toddlers in Movement, Music, Soccer, and Yoga.” habonim.net

STEPHEN WISE FREE SYNAGOGUE EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER

Ages 1-5
30 West 68th Street
Philosophy: Reggio Emilia
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “We take an interdisciplinary approach to learning, where children’s interests are integrated into all areas of the curriculum. For example, a class that is interested in trees might be encouraged to paint pictures of trees they have seen in Central Park, read books about trees that grow in the rainforest, sway like trees in the wind during movement time, plant seedlings in the rooftop garden and cook with fruit that grow on trees.”
Noteworthy: “Jewish identity is important to our philosophy. We work to infuse Jewish values into everyday life as well as finding meaningful ways to celebrate Shabbat and holidays.” ecc.swfs.org

BEIT RABBAN DAY SCHOOL

Ages 3-5
15 West 86th Street
Philosophy: Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Children learn to respect a multiplicity of interpretations and recognize how the ideas of others can enrich their knowledge and religious experience. A child’s ability to appreciate personal strengths, challenges and accomplishments are cultivated and encouraged- whether it is navigating social dynamics, unique approaches to learning and problem solving or just discovering their own voice.”
Noteworthy: “In response to the growing Jewish Day school tuition crisis, Beit Rabban launched a pioneer program called Tuition Affordability Initiative to take effect for the 2014-2015 school year. Under this program, families can enroll multiple children with a tuition cap at 15 percent of the household’s adjusted gross income, regardless of how many children are enrolled.” beitrabban.org

MANHATTAN DAY SCHOOL

Age 2-Grade 8
310 West 75th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Manhattan Day School is an Orthodox Yeshiva with Torah as the foundation of its philosophy. Education consists of developing intelligence, acquiring knowledge, mastering skills, and forming character. It is the role of both the teacher and parent to cooperate, to guide, and to assist in the development of the whole child, academically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.”
Noteworthy: “The MDS model of experiential Jewish education serves as the building block for your child’s Jewish identity. Through song, dance, tefillah, Shabbat and holiday celebration, and Parsha programming, we begin to nurture your child’s early relationship with God, the Jewish people, and the land of Israel.” mdsweb.org

THE SAUL AND CAROLE ZABAR NURSERY SCHOOL AT JCC MANHATTAN

Ages 2-5
334 Amsterdam Avenue
Philosophy: Progressive
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “The Saul and Carole Zabar Nursery School at The JCC in Manhattan is a progressive preschool that embraces families from all backgrounds and cultivates a connection to Jewish values and tradition. Teachers work collaboratively to create environments and experiences that spark wonder and creativity, build confidence and skills, allow children to explore materials, and encourage a questioning mind.”
Noteworthy: “Daily reflections, journey binders, small booklets, visual narrations on the walls and videos provide windows into the world of the children at school. This documentation helps teachers, parents and children understand and deepen the learning at school, as we think collaboratively about children’s learning.” nurseryschool.jccmanhattan.org

RODEPH SHOLOM SCHOOL

Age 2-Grade 8
10 West 84th Street (2s-K)
168 West 79th Street (Grades 1-8)
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Children in our Twos and Threes programs learn how to move through a school day, how to develop positive and satisfying relationships with others, and how to function within a group. We also expose our youngest students to a wide range of learning materials and give them chances to explore and make sense of the world around them.”
Noteworthy: “Each morning, students initiate social play through learning and work centers where children select what and with whom they will play. Their interactions with adults and peers grow positively as they learn to modulate their words to communicate wants, needs or ideas.” rodephsholom.org

CHABAD EARLY LEARNING CENTER

Ages 2-5
166 West 97th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “In early childhood, the seeds of learning, Jewish identity, curiosity and caring are planted. Our program spans a period of intense personal, social and academic growth. Young children develop at different paces. Our teachers are sensitive to the wide range of abilities and developmental levels within this age group.”
Noteworthy: “Preparing and celebrating Shabbat is a special time at Chabad. Challah baking is the first activity of the day followed by a warm and joyous Shabbat celebration. Parents are often invited to join their child’s class for this meaningful weekly event.” chabadelc.com

GENEVA SCHOOL OF MANHATTAN

Age 2.5-Grade 8
138 West 90th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Christian
In Their Own Words: “The Geneva School of Manhattan believes that a child’s early years provide the best opportunity to cultivate an enduring love of learning. Our youngest students are immersed in a nurturing environment within the structure of the classical Christian education model.”
Noteworthy: “Shorter learning periods interspersed with periods of music, physical playtime, learning centers, French, and outdoor exploration allow our students to flourish intellectually and emotionally. Most importantly, our students are taught biblical principles such as honesty, perseverance, and love and respect towards others, which foster the development of a vibrant character.” genevaschool.net

ADULTS AND CHILDREN IN TRUST (A.C.T.) PROGRAMS AT THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE

Ages 2-4
1047 Amsterdam Avenue
Philosophy: Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Nonsectarian
In Their Own Words: “For the young, small is beautiful. Our class of no more than 15 is kept that way to be certain there will be time to get to know and nurture each child. A small group and low teacher-child ratio makes it possible for a teacher to be there when children need help taking turns, playing together, and resolving squabbles. It also gives us the freedom and flexibility to respond to individual needs and interests.”
Noteworthy: “The Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s 13 idyllic acres make possible our unique encouragement of your child’s curiosity and desire to explore. Learning about the homes and habits of the squirrels and peacocks living on the grounds, raking leaves, digging for worms and making them a home, planting bulbs, tending plants, harvesting vegetables, observing and drawing the flowers of spring, gathering art materials from nature, picnicking on lovely days, sledding and building snow people in winter, are just some of the things we’ll do as your child learns about learning and the great big beautiful world.” stjohndivine.org

BROADWAY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH NURSERY SCHOOL

Ages 2-5
601 West 114th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian
In Their Own Words: “Our teaching follows the Developmental Interaction/whole child approach, with an emphasis on rich, hands-on experiences and time to reflect and represent those experiences through language and physical means. Play is at the heart of the curriculum, and children are given many forums for play – dolls and pretend materials, blocks, building manipulatives, sensory materials such as sand, water and play dough, art materials, and science investigations.”
Noteworthy: “Parental involvement is vital to a child’s successful school experience. Parents and teachers work in partnership to that end. We encourage a close relationship and copious communication with the teachers.” greatlittleschool.com

ST. HILDA’S & ST. HUGH’S EPISCOPAL SCHOOL

Age 2-Grade 8
619 West 114th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
In Their Own Words: “Classrooms are carefully organized to create a learning environment that allows the children to grow in all aspects of their development. Classroom areas are supplied with materials through which fine and gross motor skills are strengthened and developed. In senior kindergarten, formal math instruction begins, along with formal language arts instruction using phonics and a literature-based curriculum.”
Noteworthy: “The outstanding faculty of St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s is dedicated to educating children at the earliest stages of their development. An essential part of our comprehensive academic program is foreign language instruction, which begins in nursery with a choice of French, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish; we introduce Latin in seventh grade.” sthildas.org

PRESCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Ages 1.6-5
121 West 19th Street
337 2nd Avenue
201 East 6th Street
207 Thompson Street
40 West 22nd Street
Philosophy: Reggio Emilia
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “We enthusiastically embrace one of the most important tenets of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education – that the environment is the third teacher. Children thrive and develop most optimally in a beautiful, natural environment that reflects their interests and work while also reflecting the ambience of home.”
Noteworthy: “At the cornerstone of our school is our arts program. Children are naturally creative and derive much pleasure from involvement in the arts. They learn a host of skills and acquire tremendous self-esteem when given varied opportunities to create. Because we consider art such an integral part of our program, our NYC preschool has appointed an atelierista – an art director who provides our children with open-ended opportunities to create. Our children use a wide array of art media including acrylic, finger, and water paints, pastels, crayons, and markers.” nycpreschool.org

Brooklyn

BROOKLYN FRIENDS SCHOOL

Age 3-Grade 12
375 Pearl Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Quaker
In Their Own Words: “The Brooklyn Friends School Preschool program follows a curriculum that supports individual learning styles and developmental readiness. Our three and four year-olds meet increasingly complex challenges and practice social skills through hands-on, concrete experiences, and become curious, motivated, and competent learners.”
Noteworthy: “Community service is an important and inherent part of our Preschool education just as it is in every other division in our school. Service projects include collecting pennies, books, food, or clothing for various organizations with which the school has partnerships. Each class also takes a turn baking a special snack for a local women’s shelter.” brooklynfriends.org

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS SYNAGOGUE PRESCHOOL

Ages 2-5
131 Remsen Street
Philosophy: Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “Housed in an inclusive, caring, Jewishly diverse community, our progressive Preschool encourages students’ young voices and all they have to share each year.”
Noteworthy: “With three teachers in every classroom, every child’s unique personality and learning style can be embraced. Children learn through play and project work as teachers guide children to explore their interests–children may complete a study of the firehouse, find out all about the farmers at the local green market, or invite an author to come hear them read their own class book.” bhsbrooklyn.org

GRACE CHURCH NURSERY SCHOOL

Ages 2-4
254 Hicks Street
Philosophy: Holistic
Religious Affiliation: Nonsectarian
In Their Own Words: “We believe that meaningful learning situations, which provide the foundations of love of learning and respect for all peoples, encourage children to grow and flourish.”
Noteworthy: “The School’s music program seeks to inspire the love and joy of singing. Weekly classes include a diverse repertoire of songs celebrating many cultures, daily life in our city, and various holidays and celebrations that occur during the school year.” gracechurchschool.org

PLYMOUTH CHURCH SCHOOL

Ages 2-6
75 Hicks Street
Philosophy: Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Congregational Christian
In Their Own Words: “The Plymouth Church School philosophy embraces developmental principles that encourage each child’s social, emotional, intellectual, moral, and physical development. We believe that children learn through a multi-sensory approach that encourages asking questions, finding answers, and sharing discoveries.”
Noteworthy: “Children three and older attend a weekly community gathering called Chapel. Lasting fifteen minutes, Chapel includes music, stories, and discussion on such topics as cooperation and compassion. Religious and cultural holidays important to our school are recognized to affirm the diversity of God’s family.” plymouthchurch.org

 

 

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