There are many great preschools on the Upper West Side. The good news is that this means there are plenty of good choices available for your child. The bad news is that it can also make the search process a tad more complicated. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Find the program that best suits your child’s needs by taking a look at the guide below! And then you can start thinking about elementary schools …
Rutgers Community Programs
236 West 73rd Street (between Broadway and West End Avenue)
(212) 877- 8227 (x212)
Rutgers believes that play is the work of children. Activities are centered on children’s curiosities, interests, and questions, where learning is dynamic, hands-on, developmentally appropriate, and meaningful. The beautiful, well-equipped classrooms provide a sense of warmth and belonging. The play-based approach engages children in rich literacy experiences, numeracy experiences, creative expression, experimentation, social-emotional learning, gross motor play, and in-depth explorations of topics that interest them. Open-ended materials spark creativity, imagination, and problem solving and foster the development of language, self-regulation, and collaboration, all important competencies that set the stage for future joy and success in learning. Rutgers offers rolling admissions on a first come, first served basis. Please email Director Jennifer Moore for information and a virtual tour, or call her at 212-877-8227, extension 212.
80 Riverside Boulevard (at 64th Street)
La Maternelle offers year round programming for ages 3 months to 5 years in a nurturing environment. Your kids will be excited to be in this bright and welcoming space, and you will be happy to know that the bilingual foundation you provided will serve them well in the future. They’ll be learning French from expert instructors, all of whom are native speakers or bilingual!
Milestones UWS Preschool
319 W. 74th Street
Milestones provides children with a nurturing and safe environment. As a result, they can learn to experience the world through play. This Upper West Side preschool employs a curriculum that’s structured around play. Examples of play are free play, group play, and guided activities. Learning activities stimulate a curiosity towards a child’s surroundings. The teachers at Milestones are committed to sticking to a schedule. Regular hours instill a sense of centeredness and consistency in each child. The preschool accepts children ages 2 to 3 of different. Milestones also accepts children of diverse backgrounds. It is located in a family-owned townhouse right across from Riverside Park. The school also has a garden where children can plant flowers and get acquainted with nature.
River Park Nursery School
711 Amsterdam Ave.
The teachers at River Park Nursery School are professional and attentive. Teachers at River Park have at least 15 years of experience. The goal of each teacher is to see each child grow through exposing them to a series of creative experiences. These experiences help them acquire language, math, science, and reading skills. The staff is dedicated to bringing out the best qualities in every child. They take a whole child approach to learning. This also takes into account their creative, social, emotional, and intellectual development. The school’s mission is to help each child navigate the 21st century world as best as they can. The school is housed on a ground floor. It also has a large outdoor area for recreation.
606 Columbus Ave.
Columbus Pre-School offers a curriculum that’s entirely devoted to the holistic development of each child. This approach to child-centered education is rooted on play as the foundation of intellectual curiosity. It also takes into account each child’s own interests and the way they relate to others. Every teacher at Columbus holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Teachers are also certified by the NYS. The preschool’s philosophy is inspired by that of Reggio Emilia. The Italian teacher believed teachers should let each child grow at their own pace of learning. Parents enjoy the school’s open-door policy. It allows them to walk in on a class to cook or read. They also like being present in their children’s education and meeting with other students.
Broadway Presbyterian Church Nursery School
601 West 114th Street
Broadway Presbyterian Church Nursery School serves to children ages from 2 to 4. It fosters a nurturing and warm environment. This Morningside Heights school welcomes children of different races, religions, and economic backgrounds. The teaching model follows the developmental interaction approach. The study model also helps the child get to know the world. It’s based on active play experiences. Many of the activities use art materials in order to make learning fun. The goal is to help each child develop his or her senses. Children also start to understand how things work. Other activities are also designed to help the students become skilled in reading and math. For example, teachers will lead a rhyming story dictation. Teachers also lead counting games to boost their intellectual growth.
Weekday School – Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive
The Weekday School at Riverside Church serves to students ages 2 to 5. The school is home to a diverse community that is built on the principles of cooperation and respect. Children learn about different religious ideologies. They are also exposed to a wide range of cultures and traditions. It’s the school’s mission to help each child discover his or her own strengths. They do so while making them develop a curiosity towards the world. Teachers are also focused in the individualized needs of each child so that they can pursue their own passions. The Weekday School is deeply committed to the physical health of its students and has three indoor play areas. One of the areas has bicycles while another one has a garden courtyard where they can also plant flowers.
Purple Circle Early Childhood Program
251 West 100th Street
The Purple Circle offers an early childhood program for children aged 2 to 5. This Upper West Side preschool opened in 1972. It has a long history for being a parent-cooperative school where families play a great role. Families help shape the lessons their children receive. The small teacher to student ratio is one of Purple Circle’s most outstanding qualities. Each classroom has one lead teacher and two assistant teachers. There’s no more than one lead teacher for every three to six children. Purple Circle creates a safe environment in which each child receives individualized attention while learning. The curriculum is also based on active experiences that involve drawing, playing, and reading.
Twin Parks Montessori School
202 Riverside Drive
The teachers at Twin Parks Montessori strive to see each child acquire a healthy sense of self-esteem and confidence. Children can then make their own choices. The activities at this preschool test their curiosity for the world around them while remaining respectful. Other activities also teach them life skills such as how to use the bathroom or drink out of an open cup. The school has three great programs. One is designed for infants between 3 months and 16 months of age. Another one is for toddlers over the age of 2. Finally, the early childhood program is reserved for children that are at least 3 years old. Twin Parks is the largest accredited Montessori program in all of Manhattan.
Bank Street School for Children
610 West 112th Street
The Bank Street School for Children serves students from nursery all the way to the eighth grade. The school is housed in the same building where adult students attend graduate school. Grad students are working towards receiving their own certification to become teachers. Bank Street’s philosophy is firmly centered on teaching the principles of a progressive education. Such an education is all about integrating children into a multicultural world. Furthermore, it also teaches them how to be responsible global citizens. The teachers are also dedicated on helping each child become emotionally, socially, physically, and intellectually whole.
River School West Side
75 West End Ave.
River School West Side serves to children that are from 8 weeks to 6 years old. The programs are specialized according to the needs of each age group. There’s one for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and another one for pre-kindergartners. River School West Side is continually ranked as one of the best preschools on the Upper West Side. River School West Side offers all-day immersive programs where children enjoy fun after-school activities. Some of these activities include chess, yoga, foreign languages, and even ice skating lessons. The educational program is funded by child psychiatrist Richard A. Kresch. He believes each child should leave the program feeling like they are ready for the next step in life.
All My Children Day Care & Nursery School
101 West 85th Street
All My Children Day Care & Nursery School stands out for it’s eco-friendly approach towards childhood education. The curriculum takes a holistic approach that’s based on the principles of nature. Most of all, how a flower blooms only after being properly watered. The teachers at All My Children are committed to creating the leaders of tomorrow – in and out of the classroom. This is done mostly through play since that’s how almost all children learn. Play gives children increased communication and also interpersonal skills. All My Children commits to reducing the effects of pollution. Pollution destroys the environment and any hope for a healthy upbringing. As a result, the facility is eco-friendly and also free of any environmental hazards.
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