Park Slope

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.

Great Party Spots in Brooklyn for Baby's First Birthday

Let’s face it: Your baby's first birthday isn’t just about celebrating the start of toddlerhood. It’s about acknowledging the fact that you’re still standing after a whole year of parenting, even if you can’t remember the last time you slept!

At this age, the kids in attendance probably won't be running in circles (in fact, many of them might not be walking), so you don't need as much space as you will in a few years, and there’s a good chance that your guest list is heavy on the grown-ups. We've already rounded up great best first birthday spots in Manhattan, and now we've put together a list of top Brooklyn baby-friendly first birthday bash spots that adults and kids will appreciate.

Looking for more party-perfect ideas? Take a look at these Brooklyn gym parties, or visit our handy Party Guide and Directory to find entertainers and more.​​

Mommy and Me Swim Classes in New York City for Babies and Tots

Mommy and me swim classes (or daddy and me) are a wonderful way to spend time with your baby or toddler. Ideally, these lessons should be enjoyable, stress-free, educational, and a good source of exercise for kids and parents.

During the summer, swim lessons offer overheated families the chance to cool off while young kids become comfortable in the water, a skill they'll certainly use a lot in the coming years, what with all the great swimming pools and beaches in NYC. Parent-child swim classes are also offered around the city throughout the fall, winter, and spring, both on weekends and after school.

Most classes for wee ones and their caretakers take place in indoor pools. Except for the free swim lessons offered via lottery by the New York City Parks Department, mommy and me classes invariably cost something. We've rounded up the top parent-child swim programs across the city (and for more options, see our roundups of swimming classes for all ages in Brooklyn and Queens).

Spotlight on STEM Programs for Kids in NYC

If you have a child who's interested in science and math, you may already be familiar with the incredible STEM programs available to kids around New York City. The great thing about many of these programs is they encourage creativity and experimentation—two pillars of childhood fun, and great motivators that support learning outside a school environment. Read on for awesome exploration-based STEM programs for New York City kids focusing on science, math, technology, and creativity.

Best Brooklyn Splash Pads and Water Playgrounds for Summer Fun

When the sticky NYC summer heat sets in, kids need fun things to do to keep cool (bonus points if the kiddos also get a chance to burn off some energy). There’s no better solution than water playgrounds—get cool in the water, dry off to hit the other playground equipment, rinse and repeat. All afternoon.

And best of all, hitting a water playground is a FREE summer activity you can do every day. We’ve rounded up the best water features and playgrounds around Brooklyn so that you and the little ones can try a new place to spray and play every day of the week. 

It's a long summer! Find more ways to keep cool with our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Parks Guide, which includes splash pads in other boroughs too!

5 Brooklyn Adventures Perfect for Preschoolers

A New York City day with a preschooler is likely to be full of adventure and excitement, but those short attention spans can be downright exhausting. Thankfully, the borough of Brooklyn is filled with non-stop kid fun, even for the most rambunctious little ones.

Of course, there's no shortage of fantastic zoos and gardens, museums, and playgrounds for spending a day out and about in the city, but we've developed five parent-tested, Brooklyn-based itineraries that are perfectly tailored to the younger crowd. 

Nature Programs for NYC Toddlers and Preschoolers

When your city kid has exhausted every museumshow, and playground option in town, it’s nice to be able to get a dose of nature thanks to NYC’s array of zoos, gardens, and parks. And for nature-loving, dirt-loving, mud-loving, bug-loving city kids, the good news is there's no shortage of programming for toddlers and preschoolers in each borough. 

We've rounded up our top places in New York City where your toddler or preschooler can marvel at, learn about, and connect with nature. See our guides for even more camps and classes aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.

The Best Boat Rides for Families in NYC

Going out on the water in New York lets you see the city from a whole new perspective. Whether you're sailing down one of the rivers, taking a FREE kayak out for a spin, or cruising on the ocean looking for whales, it's relaxing, refreshing, and a great way to stay cool on a summer day with the kids.

While there are all kinds of boat tours on offer around NYC, from the Circle Line to the citywide ferry service, the question for parents is, which ones are truly family-friendly? After all, once you're on the water you're committed to the ride regardless of tantrums, seasickness, or boredom.

To help you figure out which NYC boat rides will work best for your family, we've highlighted some personal favorites, and broken down the best options by type, including the best boat rides for wildlife watching, best for would-be pirates, best for your budget, and more. Discover even more family-friendly things to do this summer in our Summer Fun Guide

One Medical's Doctors Share How to Find the Best Pediatricians in NYC

You may have heard of One Medical — the super convenient membership-based primary care group that's been winning over New Yorkers for years — but did you know that select locations can treat you and your kiddos? We caught up with the group's Manhattan- and Brooklyn-based doctors to get tips on how to find a pediatrician who's right for your crew.

Not familiar with One Medical? The NYC medical practice seeks to provide exceptional patient-focused healthcare and service. With an annual membership fee, you get loads of parent-approved perks, including same- or next-day appointments, online scheduling, secure messaging with providers, and 24/7 virtual care, so you can get help whenever you need it (yup, even in the middle of the night).

Dedicated to meeting families' needs, the Tribeca and Park Slope offices feature kid-friendly waiting areas with books and toys (despite short wait times), diaper changing tables in well-stocked restrooms, space for breastfeeding and newborn care, and plenty of stroller parking. Plus, your whole gang can see the same doc, or at least doctors at the same practice, giving you a more convenient and cohesive healthcare experience.

To learn more about One Medical and meet the pediatricians, join Dr. Peggy Chapman, MD, MS, FA in Tribeca on Tuesday, June 25 from 6:00 to 7:00pm or join Dr. Penelope Hsu, MD in Park Slope on Tuesday, June 18 from 6:00 to 7:00pm. And to help prepare you, they've shared the top questions you should ask on a pediatrician interview (plus a preview of their answers.)

Brooklyn Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Backyards and Patios

Brooklyn boasts its share of restaurants with sidewalk tables, but those of us with kids enjoy those eateries with more spacious outdoor dining. A backyard, picnic tables, roof decks, or sometimes even a bit of grass? We're sold!

Just in time for summer, we've rounded up of our favorite spots from across Brooklyn that feature ample outdoor space, serve delicious food, and welcome families with children. If you're in the mood for variety, we've included a mix of cuisines: Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Southern comfort and, of course, pizza, BBQ, and New American.

Headed to Brooklyn from a surrounding area? Browse our Brooklyn Kids Guide to take full advantage of the borough while you're there, or peruse our NYC Restaurant Guide for more family-friendly eats.

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