The Best Preschools in Chelsea, Gramercy, Flatiron, Midtown, Kips Bay, & Murray Hill

We never quite stop thinking about school, even in the summer! If you’re weighing the pros and cons of different preschools this summer, we’re here to help. Our preschool guide tells you everything that you need to know, including ages, philosophy, religious affiliation, mission, and noteworthy features. We know how busy summer can be, so we want to make the preschool research process easier for you. Finding a preschool near work makes it super convenient to drop the kids off and head to work within the same commute – a major plus! Should you want to send your little one to a preschool in these areas, we’ve got the comprehensive outline of schools here! And if you want to take a look at all NYC preschools and nursery schools in the five boroughs, check out our ultimate nursery school program guide.

Chelsea:

AVENUES: THE WORLD SCHOOL

Age 3-Grade 12
259 10th Avenue
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Avenues’ Early Learning Center focuses on the whole child and provides an environment rich in hands-on opportunities to grow socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. The program focuses on providing developmentally appropriate experiences in math, science, language and literacy concepts as children learn to express their creativity and ideas while building the skills needed for later learning.”
Noteworthy: “Beginning in Nursery (3s) children will spend half of their days in either Mandarin or Spanish immersion. They will continue the language immersion through the Lower School with the goal of fluency.” avenues.org

CHELSEA DAY SCHOOL

Age 2-5
319 5th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The children at Chelsea Day School play. They play to make sense out of their world, to learn more about themselves and each other, to develop language and to express themselves. Rules foster physical and emotional safety. Discipline is valued as a teaching tool, and adult intervention is supportive rather than punitive or moralistic.”
Noteworthy: “Arts Alive is an after-school program that is offered Monday through Thursday from 3-4:30pm [for Chelsea Day students]. Children will have a snack and play time along with the afternoon’s activity. Some activities offered include play-acting, art and nature, creative movement and cooking.” chelseadayschool.org

CHELSEA PIERS KIDS PRESCHOOL PROGRAM

Age 2.7-5
Pier 62–23rd Street and Hudson River Park
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The mission of CP Kids is to create a learning environment in which young children learn through play, actively developing their language, cognitive, social/emotional and motor skills. At CP Kids, children are given concrete experiences to encourage interaction with the world around them and exploration of new ideas and materials.”
Noteworthy: “Once a week, students participate in a micro-sports class led by a Chelsea Piers professional coach. These classes are included in the CP Kids tuition and provide students with a unique introduction to different sports. Children learn basic rules, movements, and how to follow directions and work as a team. Additionally, sports classes provide further opportunity to develop both gross and fine motor control.” chelseapiers.com

CORLEARS SCHOOL

Age 2-Grade 5
324 West 15th Street
Philosophy: Inquiry-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The curriculum at Corlears reflects our strongly held belief that young children are natural learners, curious about the world around them and learn and grow from experiences that are meaningful and relevant to them. It provides an organizing framework for instructional practices and serves as a catalyst for a dynamic process that encourages students to be actively engaged in their own learning.”
Noteworthy: “Students have a chance to discover, practice and revisit concepts both as novices during their first year in a classroom and as mentors during their second. Younger students are inspired to take intellectual risks as they observe their older classmates and understand what comes next. Older students develop confidence as they are challenged to support their younger peers by sharing their knowledge in clear and concise ways.” corlearsschool.org

THE KID’S KORNER PRESCHOOL

Ages 2-5
247 West 24th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words:  “Our child-centered approach to learning enables each child to explore and discover their world through first hand experiences in our classroom centers: reading corner, science, blocks and puzzles, computer, housekeeping, art, drama and music. Children also play everyday in our secure playground.”
Noteworthy: “As an extension to our community inspired curriculum, several field trips are planned during the school year at which time parents are welcome to participate with their children. Monthly trips are planned to the library as well as school trips to the zoo, natural history museum or just short walks around the neighborhood.” thekidskornerpreschool.com

LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE & ELISABETH IRWIN HIGH SCHOOL

Age 4-Grade 12
272 6th Avenue
Philosophy: Progressive
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Simply put, progressive education works with a child’s natural inquisitiveness and desire to do, to experiment and to be involved. Progressive education asks students to truly understand a topic and to demonstrate and to defend their understanding. It asks them to think beyond the page, beyond the ‘right answer.’”
Noteworthy: “There has never been a more critical time for critical thinkers. When answers can be Googled in the tap of a finger or click of a mouse, asking the right questions is what counts. Living by core values is what counts. Our progressive program equips students with the confidence to discern fact from slant, and to contribute to society in a meaningful way.”

PUSTEBLUME INTERNATIONAL PRESCHOOL

Ages 2-5
244 W 14th Street
Philosophy: Progressive
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “A German and Spanish immersion program for ages 2 to 5  combining the best of international and American teaching methods in a nurturing setting that cultivates the growth and development of your child. The licensed native-speaking faculty teaches music, movement, literacy, and visual arts in a fun and warm learning environment.”
Noteworthy: Founded in 2012 by three parents who saw a need in Manhattan for a German and Spanish immersion preschool. This school is not only unique for featuring two dual languages for preschool- it is committed to fostering creativity, independence, and self-sufficiency in their students. pusteblumenyc.org

Gramercy/Flatiron:

THE ACORN SCHOOL

Ages 2-4
330 East 26th Street
Philosophy: Hands-on
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The educational approach at The Acorn School provides children with an exciting learning environment that is both integrated and self-stimulating. With guidance from our teachers, the children engage in both independent and collaborative exploration. The learning and growth process is encouraged via ‘hands on’ experiences that foster a child’s innate sense of creativity and curiosity.”
Noteworthy: “Parents may volunteer to become a class parent and have the opportunity to observe their children during the school year. Open Houses (in the older children’s classes) and seasonal newsletters are offered to help keep parents informed of classroom activities.” acornschoolny.com

BEGINNINGS, A TODDLER PROGRAM AND NURSERY SCHOOL

Age 2-5
130 East 16th Street
Philosophy: Reggio Emilia
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “We aim to create a nurturing and stimulating environment in which children’s curiosity is respected, creativity valued, and collaborations supported.”
Noteworthy: “Each class begins with a phase-in schedule that suits its particular age group. Teachers visit each child’s home before school starts, and every class begins in half-groups and works up to a full day schedule… It is a slow gentle process, with the pace of separation determined on an individual basis. This phase-in period usually lasts between six to eight weeks, and parents and caregivers remain in the room to support children until they are ready to separate. Teachers assess when they think a child is ready for separation, discuss it with parents and together work out a plan that is gradual and nurturing.” beginningsnursery.net

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

CHILDREN’S INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP AT UNION SQUARE

Ages 2-5
17 East 16th Street
Philosophy: International
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “It is important to us that each child and family feels that his or her language and culture brings a wonderful addition to our program. We believe children, through this rich international environment combined with art, music, dance, yoga, readiness and play, will develop their social, emotional and physical skills fully and become prepared for the global world we live in.”
Noteworthy: “Every month the children study the countries they come from. This is done through music, songs, dances, books and learning words in different languages. Artwork reflects a celebration of all the nationalities. We introduce the children to food from a variety of countries.” childrensinternationalworkshop.com

ÉCOLE INTERNATIONALE DE NEW YORK

Ages 3-Grade 8
206 Fifth Avenue
Philosophy: International
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “EINY students are immersed in French and in English, but the goal isn’t just to teach French and English. These languages are also the means by which we teach math, science, reading, geography, history, art and physical education. Therefore, our students learn French and English by studying in French and in English.”
Noteworthy: “Our school is the reflection of the society in which we live, where many cultures and languages coexist to create a stimulating and multicultural environment that nurtures each child. Each student studies one or several foreign languages while developing his/her own global identity through a myriad of child-centered activities and educational projects.” einy.org

EXPLORE + DISCOVER EARLY LEARNING CENTER

Ages 0-5
444 2nd Avenue
Philosophy: Reggio Emilia
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Explore + Discover offers the highest quality education and care for infants and toddlers in a social setting that encourages exploration, play, friendship and artistic expression as pathways for learning and self-discovery.”
Noteworthy: “Designed for guided sensory learning, our space allows teachers and children to create experiences of sight, sound and touch. Explore + Discover also works to connect students daily to the natural world by introducing natural elements such rocks, sticks, flowers, and leaves.” explorediscover.net

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

Kips Bay:

THE BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF NEW YORK

Ages 3-Grade 8
20 Waterside Plaza
Philosophy: Inquiry-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The Preschool Early Years classrooms at BISNY are designed around an innovative program where children learn through inquiry. They are taught thinking routines, organizational strategies and problem solving, helping them to become independent, confident, globally minded children. We believe in teachable moments and differentiating our curriculum to meet the needs of each child as an individual learner.”
Noteworthy: “We maintain print rich, stimulating classroom environments which nurture the creative and enthusiastic nature of our children. Come and see what our students have created: Pirate World, Rapunzel’s Tower, and the Pizza Pizza Restaurant; and you’ll find out how our inquiry-based curriculum leads to well-rounded children with a love of life-long learning.” bis-ny.org

Midtown East:

CENTRAL SYNAGOGUE MAY FAMILY NURSERY SCHOOL

Age 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 FAMILY SCHOOL

Ages 1.6-12
323 East 47th Street
Philosophy: Montessori
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The Family School, founded in 1975, was established in an effort to provide diverse populations with a warm, inclusive, Montessori environment that fosters independence, creativity and tolerance.”
Noteworthy: “Through interacting with younger and older peers, our students develop leadership skills, self-confidence, and grace and courtesy. They experience a true academic environment in which they are also exposed to a wide variety of Specials, including Chess, Yoga, Martial Arts, Drumming, Art, and five Foreign Languages weekly, giving them the opportunity to find their passions, while developing a wide fund of knowledge.” 212-688-5950

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

LYCEUM KENNEDY FRENCH AMERICAN SCHOOL

Ages 3-Grade 12
225 East 43rd Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “We provide our young children with opportunities to maximize their full potential and to prepare for later grades. Our ultimate goal is to help our children become independent and to make their first years at school a wonderful experience that fosters a love of learning that will last a lifetime.”
Noteworthy: “In each class, our teachers work together to create an atmosphere that is warm, nurturing and supportive. Our comprehensive curriculum promotes mastery of basic reading, writing, and math skills. It allows the teachers to recognize each child’s strengths, interests and abilities.” en.lyceumkennedy.org

MANHATTAN JEWISH MONTESSORI

Age 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

THE MONTESSORI SCHOOL OF NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL

Ages 2-Grade 8
347 East 55th Street
Philosophy: Montessori
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The uniqueness of each child is emphasized and fostered in our well-prepared classrooms, which are designed to promote the development of emotional, physical, intellectual and social needs. One of the most distinguishing features of the Montessori method is its extensive use of manipulative items.”
Noteworthy: “Most modern research suggests that people have a far greater ability to learn foreign languages during the first six years of life. We take advantage of this and introduce children to French and Spanish.” montessorischoolny.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

VANDERBILT Y EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER

Ages 6 months-5 years
224 East 47th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Our program is committed to providing a safe, supportive living and learning environment for young children. It offers a nurturing, yet challenging program for children who are enrolled on a full-time basis, as well as an early group experience for children who attend part-time. Teachers create a warm and loving atmosphere while covering a developmentally-based, engaging curriculum, where children can play, discover and learn.”
Noteworthy: “Social development is at the core of our program. We want our children to feel they are liked, respected and an integral part of the life in the classroom. The Vanderbilt Y’s Early Childhood Program functions as a close-knit community of teachers, children and families. Each child develops a strong sense of community and belonging.” ymcanyc.org

Murray Hill:

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

MARYEL SCHOOL

Ages 2-Grade 6
28 East 35th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Our philosophy is based on the idea that every child has a gift or a unique talent which they express in a special way.”
Noteworthy: “The mission of Maryel School is to provide a dual language of Spanish and English education for children ages 2 through 12 in a warm, responsive, and supportive atmosphere that will allow each child to begin his or her social and academic journey through life. At Maryel, we deeply believe that when young children are exposed to different languages, they are taught to be more tolerant and respectful of other cultures and traditions, which enables them to become more responsible and active citizens of the world.” maryelschool.org

THE GODDARD SCHOOL

Ages 2-5
751 2nd Avenue
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Our approach is based on widely accepted childhood development and brain-based learning research that clearly indicates the deepest, most genuine learning occurs for children through play and fun activities. We foster the cognitive and social development of each child through fun activities that are lovingly guided by highly trained teachers.”
Noteworthy: “From infant to toddler to preschool and beyond, our teachers maintain constant collaboration and communication with parents in order to prepare each child for social and academic success… Our Infant Program guides your baby’s early experiences toward a lifelong love of learning.” goddardschool.com

Multiple Locations in Midtown Manhattan:

NEW YORK PRESCHOOL

Ages 18 months-4 years
38 East 22nd Street
369 3rd Avenue
401 East 55th Street
Philosophy: Progressive
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: To fulfill our mission of enriching the development of children, NY Preschool hosts a  curriculum that incorporates STEAM lessons which include stories, songs and art. This approach begets a developmentally appropriate, academically rigorous foundation that prepares your child for social and emotional success in future schooling. Our environment pairs a warm, nurturing classroom with purposeful play in our state-of-the-art gymnastics facility to offer a unique and progressive learning environment that sparks each student’s intellectual, physical and social growth.”
Noteworthy: “At the end of each school day, teachers make an announcement to provide families with the details of the day’s activities. In addition, teachers connect with each parent or caregiver individually at the end of each class to give an overview of the child’s day, provide details about exciting developments and achievements and discuss areas for improvement. Teachers are also available to parents and caregivers before class each day.” nypre.com

PRESCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Ages 1.6-5
121 West 19th Street
337 2nd Avenue
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 ambiance 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

BRIGHT HORIZONS

Ages: From infancy to kindergarten
910 9th Avenue
406 West 55th Street
258 West 26th Street
253 West 72 nd Street
126 East 46th Street
Philosophy: Play-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: 
“The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children is a nonprofit organization focused on brightening the lives of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness and other crises. We do this by creating and supporting Bright Spaces; warm, safe, enriching spaces in homeless shelters and other agencies for children and youth to build caring relationships, heal from trauma through play, and experience the joy of childhood.
Noteworthy:
“The Foundation believes that we can make the world a better place by engaging Bright Horizons’ employees, clients, families, friends, and community partners to strengthen families, support our communities, share our knowledge, and encourage others to join us in making a difference.”

 

 

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