Preschools

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Looking for a Preschool in Chelsea? Start Here.

Are you just a parent, standing in front of a preschool, asking it to let your child in? We know that sometimes conjuring the right preschool fit is almost as daunting as getting your kid into the right college, but the odds are excellent that you'll find a great spot for your little one, and if you're in the Chelsea neighborhood, you're in luck. This famously family-friendly downtown NYC neighborhood offers plenty of wonderful options for preschool-searching parents.

Before you launch your hunt for a preschool in the Chelsea neighborhood, it helps to know what kinds of questions to ask on a preschool tour, and how other NYC parents decided on a preschool. There are also a few terms to know: Our list below sorts preschool options by type, including Traditional Preschools (which follow the NYC school calendar), Year-Round Preschools (which are in session during the summer and holiday breaks), Cooperative (which requre a time investment from parents), Dual-Language (Mandarin and Spanish preschools are popular), Religious, and Montessori or Reggio-Emelia (which both focus on child-led learning). ​

And even though it is strongly recommended that your start your search early (at least a year in advance), remember that spots do open up. Ask about wait lists if you're late to the process or new in town. Good luck!

25 Exciting Things to Do with LI Preschoolers

Long Island is an awesome place to raise a family. From Nassau County to the East End and everywhere in between, there is no shortage of ways to entertain kids, including high-energy toddlers, so we’ve rounded up a list of 25 exciting things to do with Long Island preschoolers

Check out these fun activities around the Island that will keep little ones happily busy, including exploring the great outdoors, discovering something new in a museum, visiting a different playground or parkgetting creative, and much, much more. We hope this list inspires you and your preschooler to take advantage of all Long Island has to offer families.

For more inspiration, check out our guide to entertaining your Long Island preschooler and our Events Calendar.

HudsonWay Immersion School Brings Mandarin and Spanish Bilingual Education to NYC and NJ

Founded in 2005 by an expectant mom committed to giving her soon-to-be-born twins a bilingual education, HudsonWay Immersion School (HWIS) has grown from a home-based class of five kids into an academically rigorous, full immersion Mandarin and Spanish language program for children ages 2 through grade 8. Beginning in PreK, HWIS's core curriculum is taught in both English and the selected foreign language, with the goal of helping students develop advanced cognitive skills, higher second language proficiency, strong social skills, and an increased awareness of the many diverse cultures in our ever-changing world.

Over the last 14 years, the bilingual school has expanded to two campuses in Stirling, New Jersey and New York City, including a brand new facility in Midtown West that just opened in time for the 2019–20 school year. With all this momentum, we sat down with the mastermind mom behind HudsonWay Immersion School, Sharon Huang, to learn more about the unique dual language program and the new Manhattan campus.

Popular Upper West Side Preschools (and How to Know Which One Is Best for You)

Gearing up for the great preschool hunt? In neighborhoods like the Upper West Side where preschool spots are in high demand, some preschools may require you to send your application in September the year before your child will enroll, after which you'll be invited to visit and confirm your interest in the school (some have early admissions and wait lists!), with final acceptance letters going out in February or March. If that sounds unsettlingly like college admissions to you, you're not alone.

But never fear. The Upper West Side is home to a lot of great preschools, and your odds of finding a comfortable fit for your family are excellent. We've compiled our best Preschool Admissions Tips as well as 10 Questions to Ask During a Preschool Tour, and don't forget that our Preschools Directory is an excellent resource. And to start your preschool search on the right foot, we've highlighted some of our favorite preschools in the Upper West Side and broken them down into categories to help you decide which may be best for your family. Good luck!

10 Full-Day Preschools on Long Island

Finding a full-day preschool on Long Island can be stressful. Whether you need a preschool program that accommodates your work schedule or simply prefer a longer day to give your child a leg up on the skills he or she needs for kindergarten and beyond, finding the right preschool program for your family is important.

These 10 Long Island preschools give you the option of sending your child full-time and/or taking advantage of extended-hours programs. Check out our Guide to Long Island Summer Camps for Preschoolers and our full Preschool Guide and Directory of Schools for more ideas on keeping your preschooler active and engaged.

14 Popular Preschools in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Finding the right preschool fit is almost as daunting as getting your kid into the right college—meaning, people will try to terrify you, but odds are good you'll find a great spot for your little one, even if it isn't your first choice. Close your eyes. Breathe.

Whether you opt for a full day, five-day-a-week program or just a few half days, your child will benefit from spending time with kids and adults who are outside your family circle. Potty training, reading, small motor skills, early math—all of these come in time, but preschool will lay the foundations. The most important factor in choosing a preschool is whether you and your child feel comfortable there. Do the children look happy? Are they engaged in projects or play in the classroom? Are the teachers focused, but also friendly and welcoming? That's what counts.

Also consider whether you'd like to commit your own time, which would make you a perfect candidate for a co-op preschool, or if the time commitment required might be hard for you to fulfill, in which case a traditional or year-round preschool would be best. The difference between a school that embraces Reggio Emilia and one that uses a Montessori method are slight (both embrace open space and child-directed learning), but you may find you prefer teachers who consider themselves "guides" en route to making the child independent (Montessori) - or you may be drawn to Reggio's emphasis on communication and documentation. Home-based preschools may feel "cozier" and more a continuum of what your child has already experienced in your own home.

After that, look for:

  • Communication: How the school interacts with parents, and how parents interact with teachers, is key.
  • Security: Who has access to the school during the day? What is the teacher/child ratio for your child's age group?
  • Structure: What is a typical day at school like? Are there special progams, such as music or science?
  • Discipline policy: Does it align with your own? How is potty training handled (if your child is not quite "there" yet)?
  • What are the facilities like? Is everything sparkling clean? Is there a separate play space? What are the options for outdoor play?

And even though it is strongly recommended that your start your search early (at least a year in advance), remember that spots do open up. Ask about wait lists if you're late to the process or new in town.

We've done a little research on Park Slope preschool options, breaking down some fundamentals for you, below, but remember our Directory is an excellent resource, too! And prep for your interviews with 10 Questions to Ask During a Preschool Tour and our Preschool Admissions Tips.

Happy hunting.

6 Ways to Ease the Preschool Transition for Kids — and Parents

The start of a new school year gets everyone's nerves jumping—including when it's time to make the transition to preschool.

Every child is, of course, different. Some love to dive into new adventures without so much as a look back. Others are more cautious, preferring to watch and get the lay of the land. But children and parents are bound to be apprehensive about a child's first day (or week, or month) in a new environment, surrounded by new people and new routines.

We asked veteran preschool teachers in the NYC metropolitan area for their no-fail tips to help make this transition a positive experience for all and came away with six top suggestions.

If you're still searching for the right preschool, check out our directory of NYC schools, as well as those in the surrounding suburbs, such as New JerseyWestchester, and Long Island.

Affordable After-School Classes For Long Island Kids

Even the most creative parents on Long Island know the value of quality after-school classes. Kids learn valuable skills, social tools, and critical thinking under the supervision of caring, qualified adults. Here are some of our favorite affordable after-school programs for kids on Long Island. You might be surprised to learn that many of these classes and programs fall within a conservative budget.

While you're at it, check out our rundown of great STEM classes for Long Island kids and our Long Island Classes and Enrichment Guide.

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