French Preschool Guide in NYC: Find the Best Preschool for Your Kids

a woman holds a crayon as she shows a young girl how to draw with another young girl playing with wooden blocks next to her

Teaching children a second language early on has been proven to help them develop better cognitive skills that will be beneficial later in life. If you want to introduce your child to French, enroll them in one of the city’s French preschools. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t already speak the language — many of these preschools require no prior knowledge of French!

French Preschools in Manhattan

French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

22 E. 60th St., New York, NY 10022

Founded in 2012, the FIAF Preschool offers foreign language immersion by teaching classes entirely in French. All teaching staff are native French speakers, and FIAF Preschool’s stated goal is that students will be bilingual after two years at the school. The curriculum centers on building students’ social, cognitive, linguistic and motor skills. Students even take part in a pen pal project with preschoolers in French-speaking countries around the world. No prior knowledge of French (or English, if your child is a native French speaker) is necessary!

Neighborhood: Lenox Hill

a group of kids holds hula hoops above their heads in a French preschool in New York

Lyceum Kennedy

225 E. 43rd St., New York, NY 10017
815 Second Ave., 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10017

In Lyceum Kennedy’s preschool, students spend half of their time immersed in English and half of their time immersed in French for a truly bilingual learning experience. Each class is taught by a native English speaker and a native French speaker, with the help of a bilingual assistant. The curriculum draws from both French and New York education standards; it focuses on language, math, science, social studies, physical activity and social development. Students do not need to have prior knowledge of French. Lyceum Kennedy offers classes from nursery to high school, and it operates in two locations within Manhattan.

Neighborhood: Midtown East

Petits Poussins Too

2235 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, NY 10027

Petits Poussins Too focuses on building students’ language and motor skills, artistic ability and knowledge of math and social studies. Each class is taught by a native French speaker and a native English speaker. Classes are capped at 14 students and half- and full-day sessions are available. Petits Poussins Too offers preschool for children ages 2 to 5 and also offers daycare services for children ages 3 months to 2 years.

Neighborhood: Harlem

The École

206 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010

Each class at The École is led by both a native English-speaking teacher and a native French-speaking teacher. The École offers a nursery class, a preschool class, and a mixed nursery-and-preschool class. The school also offers classes through grade 8 and the student-to-teacher ratio is 8:1. Students do not need to have prior experience with French; those who don’t will receive personalized assistance through the French as a Second Language program.

Neighborhood: Flatiron

a boy puts a wooden block on top of a tower of other wooden blocks on a table in a French preschool in New York

Greenwich Village

La Petite Ecole

7 W. 10th St., New York, NY 10011

La Petite Ecole aims to provide French language immersion and an arts-integrated curriculum at its core. Through child-centered projects as well as collaboration with artists, the preschool tries to build math and science skills, literacy and social development. The school day is taught completely in French. La Petite Ecole operates in two locations within Manhattan.

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Village Preschool Center

136 W. 10th St., New York, NY 10014

Village Preschool Center offers a literary-based curriculum which draws upon educational philosophies like the Montessori method and Reggio Emilia’s teaching approach. Several preschool programs are offered based on a child’s age (children ages 2 to 5 are welcome) and the time of day that the class is held. The curriculum includes daily French lessons, reading, science, music and physical activity.

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

Upper East Side

Arc En Ciel

1656 Third Ave., New York, NY 10128

Founded in 2014, Arc En Ciel operates a toddler class for 2- and 3-year-olds, as well as a preschool class for 3- and 4-year-olds. The curriculum includes reading, singing and drawing. Classes take cues from both the French national curriculum and New York’s state standards.

Neighborhood: Upper East Side

a woman reads a book to two young boys as they sit in front of a bookshelf in a French preschool in New York

Lycée Français de New York

505 E. 75th St., New York, NY 10021

Lycée Français de New York focuses on developing kids’ communication skills in both French and English through a curriculum centered on arts, music, library time and physical activity. Students do not need prior knowledge of French; half of their class time will be conducted in French, and the other half will be conducted in English. Each class is taught by a native French speaker and a native English speaker. Lycée Français de New York offers classes from nursery to high school.

Neighborhood: Upper East Side

Upper West Side

L’Atelier

271 W. 73rd St., New York, NY 10023

Founded by three native French teachers, L’Atelier offers a unique take on the French “école maternelle,” which teaches children in nursery through kindergarten age. Children don’t need to have prior knowledge of French. In fact, every class is divided into thirds: one-third who are native French speakers, one-third who know some French and one-third who don’t know any French. L’Atelier focuses on fostering creative expression and play and on helping children question and explore their environment. L’Atelier offers both nursery and preschool classes.

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

La Petite Ecole

159 W. 82nd St., #1, New York, NY 10024

La Petite Ecole aims to provide French language immersion and an arts-integrated curriculum at its core. Through child-centered projects as well as collaboration with artists, the preschool tries to build math and science skills, literacy and social development. The school day is taught completely in French. La Petite Ecole operates in two locations within Manhattan.

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Les Petits Sourires

120 W. 97th St., New York, NY 10025

Preschool at Les Petits Sourires is available for children ages 2 to 4.5 years old. Les Petits Sourires offers great flexibility for busy families: The school is open 12 months a year, seven days a week. A typical day includes verbal and written French practice, outdoor discovery, French storytime, free play, nap time and more. Les Petits Sourires also offers drop-in daycare services at select times on weekends.

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

French Preschools in Brooklyn

French For Little Ones

33 Nassau Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222

This preschool offers instruction that draws from the French national curriculum. The preschool focuses on building the children’s social skills and fostering their emotional growth and independence. Classes take place in half-day sessions, and students do not need to have prior experience with French. French For Little Ones also offers mommy-and-me programs, after-school enrichment programs and summer camps.

Neighborhood: Greenpoint

a woman holds a crayon as she shows a young girl how to draw with another young girl playing with wooden blocks next to her in a French preschool in New York

Le Jardin de Louise

1331 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11226

Le Jardin de Louise focuses on cultivating perception/observation, communication and artistic expression. The school admits students ages 18 months to 5 years of all levels of French proficiency. Classes impart culture to everyone from French beginners to native speakers through music, reading, games and meals. Le Jardin de Louise offers three classes, divided by age.

Neighborhood: Flatbush

The Language and Laughter Studio

139 Nevins St., Brooklyn NY 11217

At The Language and Laughter Studio, their academic approach specifically engages your child in activities to enhance their developmental skills in language learning. Students are encouraged to speak French or even Italian in their workshop activities. It is their goal to lay down the foundation of language learning. Browse their selection of classes and summer camps programs!

Neighborhood: Boerum Hill

Science, Language & Arts International School

9 Hanover Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201

This independent Nursery to Grade 8 school in Brooklyn, focuses on hands-on science, arts, math and are committed to providing children with a rich and rigorous multilingual education in French and Mandarin. Through meaningful play, songs, games, and daily routines, students absorb their target language. Children can apply without any prior exposure to their target language.

Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn

Smith Street Workshop

104 1st Place, Second Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11231

At Smith Street Workshop, they offer French classes that are highly interactive and get kids excited for learning a new language. Their goal is to make language learning fun and meaningful and to instill a lifelong love and appreciation for the French language and culture. Browse the variety of classes offered on their site to find the best workshop for your kids and register now!

Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens

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