If you have a little one about to enter preschool, you know how stressful it can be trying to find one that suits his or her needs and yours. Some preschools only offer half-day programs and the hours might conflict with your work schedule. Perhaps you prefer a full-day preschool to give your child a better opportunity to learn the skills he or she needs for kindergarten and beyond.
Whatever your reason, these 10 Long Island preschools give you the option of sending your child full time and/or taking advantage of an 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.
Buckley Country Day School — Roslyn
This independent, coeducational private school hosts morning sessions for young children, but also gives parents of nursery- and preschool-age children the option of enrolling their child in its afternoon extended-day program from noon to 3pm. After lunch, children engage in arts and crafts, storytime, dramatic play, outdoor play, nature walks, naps, and more. A teacher and an assistant supervise the group.
Port Washington's Child's World Nursery School offers an innovative curriculum for young learners.
Child's World Nursery School — Port Washington
With both a preschool program for 3-year-olds that follows an age-appropriate curriculum and a universal pre-K program for 4-year-olds (mommy and me and toddler programs are also available), this licensed, accredited, nonsectarian school offers something for every young learner. The five-day pre-K program runs from 9am to 2pm, but early hours (8am dropoff) are available, as well as extended-day enrichment programs that include art and science classes, sports, and even Mandarin Adventure.
Countryside Montessori School — Great Neck
Countryside Montessori has full-day (3pm dismissal) options for parents of children as young as 18 months. The school has two primary classrooms and two toddler classrooms and follows the Montessori philosophy, in which children of different age groups and skill levels work together to master math, language, science, practical life, and more.
Miss Sue's Preschool & Day Camp — Plainview
Offering both nursery and preschool programs, this private preschool and day camp is staffed by teachers certified in early childhood education, CPR, and first aid. Daily activities include crafts, hands-on activities, circle time, storytime, cooking, concept-based table games, and more. There are morning (9am-12pm) and afternoon (1pm-4pm) sessions, but parents have the option of sending their child to a full-day session. Extended-day hours are usually until 5pm, but the school will customize its hours to accommodate your needs.
The Green Vale School — Old Brookville
The Green Vale School is recognized as one of Long Island's top early childhood institutions. Pre-nursery, nursery, and preschool students are divided into classrooms with no more than 14 students and are given individualized games and activities to promote learning. As they progress, children are introduced to the Writer's Workshop model and Singapore Math curriculum. Preschool hours are 8:25am-3pm, but an extended-day program is offered until 6pm.
Crestwood Country Day School — Melville
Crestwood's hours are from 9:05am to 3:45pm with the option of enrolling preschoolers in morning sessions, an extended junior day program that runs until 2pm, or the full-day program that ends at 3:45pm. This private school gives preschoolers the opportunity to learn technology, science, music, physical education, and even Mandarin or Spanish.
Early Discoveries Center — Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma
This preschool and day care center gives parents the option of enrolling their child (ages 3-5) in a program that runs from 7am to 5:30pm. Kids engage in science, art, circle time, gym, puzzles, table toys, music, and more.
Ivy League School and Day Camp — Smithtown
This private school, which has been operating for more than 50 years, offers several preschool options, with its longest day running from 9am to 4pm. Early dropoff starts at 7 am and extended-day programs run until 6:30pm. Pre-K teachers uses a range of visual, audio, and tactile strategies to teach an age-appropriate curriculum and Ivy League offers programs for gifted and talented young learners, as well.
The East End
Early Start Play Care — Hampton Bays
Early Start is both a day care and preschool that offers a 7am dropoff and a full-day program ending at 4:30pm. Storytime, circle time, puzzles, and more are taught by certified general and special-education teachers. Extended afternoon hours are available.
The Rainbow Preschool — Bridgehampton
This licensed nursery and preschool offers a full-day program from 8:45am to 2:45pm, with the option of enrolling children in an after-care program with a 5:15pm pickup. The pre-K session focuses on creative arts and skills children need to become kindergarten-ready. Class sizes are limited to 13 students per day and kids who attend the nursery program are given first priority for student enrollment.
Top photo: The Rainbow Preschool in Bridgehampton offers a full day of instruction and late-afternoon pickup. Photo courtesy of the schools.