Preschool: Tours, Open Houses and Registration Guide 2012-2013

Choosing your child’s preschool is a tough decision. Montessori, play-based, academic….? Do you need part-time, full-time, want a cooperative school…? There are so many decisions to be made.

Luckily, Baristaville offers lots of choices. We’ve worked really hard to create a list of Baristaville preschools so you can start the process of enrolling your little one in the 2012-2013 school year.

Here are your preschool options:





Watchung Cooperative Preschool
71 Mount Hebron Road
Montclair, NJ, 07043
Ages 2 1/2 – Pre-K
“We encourage learning through hands-on, child-guided play experiences.”
Registration will begin on January 23.  Based on the overwhelming demand, the Watchung Cooperative Preschool is going to offer a Creative Play PM class for 2-3 year olds starting January 3, 2012. The class will be Monday and Tuesdays from 12-2:30 pm. Open House will be held on February 4 from 10 am until 12 pm.

Park Street Academy
46 Park Street
Montclair, NJ, 07042
(973) 783-1900
Ages 2 1/2 – kindergarten
“At each stage of development children are introduced to a greater breadth of learning techniques and thematic units. Our children surprise us every day with their capacity for learning. They are inquisitive, bright and eager to try new things.”
Instead of an “open house,” parents can make appointments for an individual tour of the school.
Open Enrollment: Monday, January 9 at 7:30 am First-come, first-serve basis contingent upon payment of an annual, non-refundable registration fee and deposit.

Montclair Community Pre-K
49 Orange Road
Montclair, NJ, 07042
Ages 3 and 4
MCPK believes in educational excellence, diversity and serving as a community resource. The school offers a comprehensive Related Arts Program, a thriving Parent Association, a full time school nurse and prides itself on outstanding kindergarten readiness.  Financial aid for tuition is available for Montclair families.
Open house tours from December 15 – 16 at 9:30 am and January 17 – 20 at 10 am. Open registration for 4-year-old program will take place from January 24 – 27. Open registration for 3-year-olds will take place from January 31 – February 1.

St. Cassian School
190 Lorraine Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07043
Pre-K – 8th grade
“Our mission is to help each child develop as a whole, independent person spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically.”
Call 973-746-1636 for more information.

Montclair Cooperative School
65 Chestnut Street
Montclair, NJ, 07042
(973) 783-4955
Ages 2 1/2 – Pre-K / Grades K – 8th
“At the heart of our educational approach is the belief that children thrive in an environment that emphasizes a progressive approach to learning, a sense of community among students, teachers and parents, and the development of social skills.”
Open House on Thursday, December 8 and Thursday, January 12 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am. Register to attend here. Private tours can also be arranged.

Union Congregational Nursery School
176 Cooper Ave
Montclair, NJ 07043
Ages 2 1/2 – 5
The Union Congregational Weekday Nursery School offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum based largely on the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy. This approach is rooted in support of a child’s strong self image. Reggio Emilia is founded on the belief that early childhood learning revolves around a symbiosis of parent, teacher, and child. It supports the child’s fundamental right to grow and learn naturally in an environment which is favorable to social interaction between children in a group as well as children and adults. At UCWNS children enjoy opportunities to engage in activities supporting their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. Each group’s explorations are sustained by 2 classroom teachers and a studio teacher as well as specialists in music and creative movement.
Open House tours on Thursday, December 15 and Wednesday, January 11 from 9:30 am – 11 am and Saturday, January 7 from 10 am – 11:30 am. Registration dates run January 23 – 27.

MMO Programs
40 South Fullerton Avenue
Montclair, NJ, 07042.
(973) 744-6521
Infants – Pre-K
MMO’s educational philosophy supports the staff in fostering the social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of each child within the community of the classroom.
Registration for new families with children between the ages of 15 months -Pre-K begins Tuesday, January 17.  Please call the office or e-mail to request an application or schedule a tour. Registration for the infant care program is ongoing.

St. James Preschool
581 Valley Road
Montclair, NJ
Ages 2 1/2 – Pre-K
“St. James Preschool offers a secular program for preschool age children, which is designed to foster the development of the whole child — emotionally, socially, intellectually and physically.”
Open house dates: Wednesday, December 7 at 10 am, Thursday, January 5 at 10 am, Saturday, January 7 at 10 am, Monday, January 9 at 7:30 pm and Monday, January 20 at 9:30 am.
Priority registration for church members, returning students and siblings of former students from January 23-27. Open registration from January 30 – February 3.

Children’s Studio
289 Park Street
Montclair, NJ, 07043
Ages 2 – Pre-K
“A hands-on project-based approach to learning and discovery is most frequently used to accomplish our goals. It is not our intention to foster a predetermined learning style for a child but rather to discover, along with the child, the type of learning style, or combination of styles, that is natural and organic to that particular child, be it visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.”
Contact the school
here or call 973.746.6455 for more information.

Parkside Montessori School
53 Norwood Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07043
Ages 2 1/2 – 5
“Montesorri is rooted in the idea that children learn best in a social environment that respects and supports their individual personalities and their unique modes of development. It is a sensori-motor approach with an emphasis on self-directed, non-competitive learning.”
Call 973.509.7379 to get more information about registration.

Montclair Kimberley Academy Primary School
224 Orange Road
Montclair, NJ 07042
Pre-K – 3rd grade
“MKA’s three Signature Programs: The Ethics Program, The Writing Challenge, and the Core Works Program are woven throughout our curriculum (Pre-K-12) reflecting our belief in nurturing our students not only in intellect but also in character, honor and integrity from the earliest years.”
Please email or call 973-509-7930 with any questions or for more information.

Ben Samuels Children’s Center at Montclair State University
Montclair State University
Montclair, NJ, 07043
Ages 12 weeks – Pre-K
“We believe that all members of our community (children, families, center faculty, and university students and faculty) are of promise and potential that is realized through collaborative inquiry, reflection, and attention to interactive and nurturing relationships. Our community, in turn, is enhanced as each of us grows.”
Call 973.655.7177 to place your name on the wait list.

Shomrei Emunah Preschool
67 Park Street
Montclair, NJ, 07042
Ages 2 – Pre-K
“The preschool encourages a positive sense of self, caring relationships with others, and a broader sense of community, while inculcating a positive sense of Jewish identity by teaching our young students about our traditions, holidays, and values, through storytelling, songs, blessings, and frequent visits by and interaction with our rabbi.”
Contact Elynn Finston through email or 973.746.5031, ext. 4

Pilsbury School
433 Park Street
Montclair, NJ 07043
Ages 2 1/2 – Pre-K
“Our curriculum is literature/ language based. It connects school, home and the community through stories and activities the children can relate to.”
School tours begin October 1 and remain ongoing until enrollment is full. Email here to schedule a tour.

Over the Rainbow Nursery School
32 Pleasant Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07042
Ages 2 ½ – 5
“We recognize the continuing need for wholesome, educational and socially responsible early childhood programs. We believe that learning is a lifelong process and our role, as educators, is to nurture each child’s natural curiosity and propensity to learn.”
Instead of an “open house”, parents can make appointments for an individual tour of the school here.


Shoresh Preschool
936 Broad Street
Bloomfield, NJ
Full and part-time classes for 2, 3 & 4 year olds
“Our curriculum includes a mix of linguistic, numerical and cognitive skill building tools in a warm and nurturing setting. The curriculum also includes art, music, movement, cooking, science and nature. Children learn best through play and exploration of their environment. Through hands on learning experiences the children become active, curious and creative learners. Judaism is integrated throughout our program.”
Open house dates: Wednesday, January 25 from 10:30 am- 12 pm and  Thursday, January 26 from 7 pm – 8:30 pm. Contact Arlene Sherman through email or 973-338-1500 ext. 7 to arrange a tour and for more information.

Executive Baby
102 Broad Street
Bloomfield, NJ
Ages 6 weeks – Pre-K
“Our learning program focuses on meeting each student’s individual needs while preparing them for their future education.Your child’s educational experiences involve hands-on exploration in a center-based learning environment.”
Call 973.743.3531 to schedule a tour and for registration information.

The Education Station
156 Washington Street
Bloomfield, NJ
Ages 6 weeks – kindergarten
“The curriculums of the Education Station are thematically based and encompass the major areas of development, incorporating many different media and materials to help students understand their external, inner, social and intellectual selves.”
Call 973.743.7003 or email program director here for more information.

Foundations Prep School
1350 Broad Street
Bloomfield, NJ
Infants – kindergarten
FPS offers webcams in classrooms up to age 4.
“It is our philosophy that educational learning takes place through everyday interactions with peers, adults and independent play-time. We strive to utilize those learning “windows” in your child’s life by introducing basic reading skills and classroom structure much earlier than most childhood centers in our area. We never pressure the children to learn and have found that most children desire to learn when it is presented in a fun, exciting, and caring way”
Currently enrolling. Call 973.900.0600 for more information and/or to tour the school.

Glen Ridge

Middleton Early Learning Center
P.O. Box 8196
Glen Ridge, NJ
Ages 2 1/2 – kindergarten
“Our classrooms offer a unique, responsive environment that helps children develop confidence in themselves and in their abilities. Each child creates her/his own learning experiences from carefully chosen materials displayed on shelves arranged into interest centers.”
To arrange a visit, call the director at 973.677.4176. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Glen Ridge Public School Pre-K
“The philosophy of the Glen Ridge Pre-Kindergarten is based on the understanding that the early years are crucial to subsequent educational programs. We recognize that the rate of learning and development during these years maximizes each child’s potential; therefore, the learning environment builds upon the opportunity that is inherent in the enthusiasm, openness and readiness to absorb new experiences displayed by most children during their formative years.”

Linden Avenue School
205 Linden Avenue
Glen Ridge, NJ
Pre-K: The program is comprised of two options:   8:30 am – 12:30 pm; and 8:30 am – 3:00 pm.
Registration week – January 9 – 13.

Forest Avenue School
287 Forest Avenue
Glen Ridge, NJ
Pre-K: The program is comprised of two options:   8:30 am – 12:30 pm; and 8:30 am – 3:00 pm.
Registration week – January 9 – 13.

Nursery School of Christ Church
74 Park Avenue
Glen Ridge, NJ
Infants – kindergarten
“The Nursery School Christ Church offers children a rich, language-based curriculum.”
Call 973.743.7582 for more information.

Pilgrim Nursery School
195 Ridgewood Avenue
Glen Ridge, NJ
Ages 2 1/2 – 5 and afternoon enrichment classes
“Pilgrim is dedicated to providing a developmentally appropriate learning environment coupled with a warm and nurturing staff. Children’s play is their work!”
Call 973.743.5596 ext 13 for registration information.


South Mountain YMCA
13 Jefferson Avenue
Maplewood, NJ
Ages 6 weeks – preschool
“Our five preschool classrooms are always filled with new discoveries. Our experienced teachers are always using new and enticing experiences to the help the 3 and 4 year olds learn.”
If you have any questions or would like to request a tour, please contact
Danielle Myers at 973.762.0860.

Prospect Co-op Nursery School
646 Prospect Street
Maplewood, NJ
Ages 2 – 4
“Recognizing the individuality of each child is at the core of our curriculum.  Through the combination of a thoughtfully conceived program and specially-selected classroom materials, our staff seeks to foster each student’s self-esteem, individuality, creativity, social, physical, and cognitive skills through the use of music, movement, art, creative play, and language.”
Registration for the 2012-2013 school year is open from January 3, 2012 – January 13, 2012.F or detailed information please email the Registrar here. or call 973.763.8955.

Morrow Memorial Preschool
600 Ridgewood Road
Maplewood, NJ
Ages 2 1/2 – 4
“Morrow Preschool is run within a co-operative framework. As such, we encourage parents and caretakers to assist our teachers with the day-to-day classroom activities. The involvement of family and friends in the classroom is extremely valuable, as it allows teachers more one-to-one time with the children.”
Lottery for public registration on January 7 at 9:30 am. Contact the Registrar office here for more information.

Garden Academy
276 Parker Avenue
Maplewood, NJ
Children ages 3+ with autism
“Emphasis is placed on language acquisition, social interaction, self-help skills, pre-academic and academic skills, play skills and on the decrease of maladaptive behaviors. All aspects of the program at Garden Academy derive from the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).”
Parents need to make a request for intake and follow this procedure.

120 Parker Avenue
Maplewood, NJ
Ages 2 – 5
Part of the Maplewood Jewish Center. “Integrating every learning style in the KinderGan curriculum provides each child with the tools they need to succeed.”
Registration begins in January. Please call Director Frumie Bogomilksky at 973.763.7455 to tour or for more information.


Hedwig Gruenwals Early Childhood Center
160 Millburn Ave.
Millburn, NJ
Ages 2 – Pre-K
“A nurturing, non-competitive place where children can develop their cognitive, gross motor and fine motor skills through play, experimentation and hands-on experiences in all subject areas. Jewish holidays, Shabbat, and basic Jewish concepts are part of our daily life”
Call 973.379.4040 for more information.

Millburn Co-op Nursery
951 Ridgewood Road
Millburn, NJ
Child must be three by October 1 of the year of entry. Children attend for two consecutive years.
“Using a humanistic approach, the staff draws from eclectic sources. The program incorporates the concepts of, (among others) Adler, Piaget and Montessori, with a strong emphasis on socialization and independence.”
Admissions are rolling and on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information call 973.379.2778 or email

Montessori School of Millburn-Short Hills
5 Bleeker St.
Millburn, NJ 07041
Full day and half day programs for children ages 2 1/2 to kindergarten
“A Montessori classroom is an open classroom with mixed age groups, enabling children to work at their own pace and ability in a challenging program. There is an orderly sequential progression of the learning materials from concrete to abstract, from simple to complex. This promotes an atmosphere where the children learn how to think and ask questions.”
Open House on December 7 from 1 pm – 2 pm. Registration and visitation began in November. For questions, information or to schedule a visit, call 973.379.4710 or email

Zadie’s Nurturing Den
One Walnut Street
Summit, NJ
Infants – Pre-K
“We are determined to develop your ’little ones’ into self-confident and self-expressive beings who excel in mastering the basic academic skills needed to achieve life’s success.”
Instead of an “open house,” parents can make appointments for an individual tour of the school here.

St. Stephen’s Preschool
119 Main Street
Millburn, NJ
Ages 15 months- kindergarten
“We seek to create a stimulating, loving environment.  We strive to provide hands-on opportunities for children to explore and to solve problems (the way children learn best).  By these means we hope to challenge and encourage children to develop sound concepts and ideas, and to build the skills, which will be the foundations of their future lives.”
If you would like to get more information and schedule a tour, call Sheelagh Clark at 973.376.3534:Prompt 20.

St. Rose of Lima Academy
52 Short Hills Avenue
Short Hills, NJ
Pre-K through 8th grade
“St. Rose of Lima’s Preschool offers children a loving Catholic community setting in which to grow and learn. Classrooms are bright, cheerful, and designed to encourage student exploration and discovery.”
Open house tours on January 26 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. / January 29 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. / February 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Far Brook School
52 Great Hills Rd.
Short Hills, NJ
Grades nursery – 8th
“Teachers encourage children to approach problems in as many different ways as possible, stimulating curiosity and initiative in children while fostering independence and developing the ability to think, reflect, feel, and conceptualize.”
Small group tour on Friday, January 6 and January 20 gives an opportunity to learn about Far Brook from current parents, Directors of the Lower and Upper Schools, and the Director of Admissions. Click here to register or call (973) 379-3442.

South Orange

South Orange Country Day School
461 Vose Ave
South Orange, NJ
Ages 2 1/2 – kindergarten in a Montessori education
“A progressive, child-centric environment. Our community of families reflects the diversity of our neighborhoods. This diversity creates an environment where children experience different cultures and global experiences and, most importantly, learn how more alike we are than how we are different.
If you are interested in touring the school, please contact Ms. Annemarie at 973.762.6451 or
here. Download registration form here.

The Baird Preschool
5 Mead Street
South Orange, NJ
Ages 2 1/2 – Pre-K
“Our enthusiastic staff has developed a program that combines educational and recreation activities to provide your child with a balanced preschool experience. While allowing for and encouraging positive social interaction, the children learn the basics of counting, alphabets, color and shapes.”
Applications will be accepted at the Baird between January 3 at 9 am to January 7 at 12 pm. On Friday, January 7, a random drawing will be held to determine in which currently non-enrolled will be entered. Call 973.378.7754 for more information.

Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel Iris Family Preschool
432 Scotland Road
South Orange, NJ
Ages 2 – 5
“Program of early childhood education focuses on each child’s developmental needs and promotes a positive, secure, and accepting environment enabling each child to grow with a sense of joy and wonderment.Our goal is to promote individuality, creativity, and communication through encouraging children to grow at their own pace in a stimulating, yet stress-free environment.”
Open enrollment begins in January. Contact 973.763.4116 for more information.

Mickey Fried Nursery School
170 Scotland Rd.
South Orange, NJ
Ages 2 -5
“Our school offers a warm, creative environment where each child’s own unique style of living and learning is valued and nurtured. The school’s rich and meaningful program of Jewish content is offered at the children’s level, encouraging a positive identification with our religion, culture and people.”
Registration begins in early January, with priority given to synagogue members and existing nursery school students. For more information or to arrange a visit, please e-mail or call Iris Ehrlich at (973) 762-7069.

The Nursery at Our Lady of Sorrows
162 Academy Street
South Orange, NJ
Ages 6 weeks – 3 years-old
“We follow the Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) standards and use the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards as our guidelines.”
Please contact Director Bonnie Hughes at 973.763.4040 or email.

Beth El Preschool
222 Irvington Ave.
South Orange, NJ
Ages 18 months – 4’s program
“Offers a wide range of activities and experiences for children to be nurtured physically, academically, socially and Jewishly. Our Jewishness is integrated into the program by exposing children to Jewish culture and traditions. All students participate at age appropriate levels. We are an integral part of Congregation Beth El’s synagogue, although children of all faiths, and levels of observance are welcome.”
Open House on Sunday, January 29 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm. For more information call the director, Sandy Sachs, at 973.763.0113.

Weekday Nursery School
11 Irvington Avenue
South Orange, NJ
Classes for 2, 3 or 4 year old children.
Weekday Nursery is a co-operative nursery school, where the parents agree to assist in the classroom on a rotating basis. “Our philosophy is based on the research that young children learn and develop best when they are actively involved in a loving and safe environment. Children are given opportunities to learn about and experience new things.”
Contact Liz Lehrer at 973.762.7879 or email here.

West Orange

Playhouse Cooperative Preschool
88 Franklin Avenue
West Orange, NJ
Non-Profit, sliding scale nursery/preschool, as well as summer programs. Ages 2 1/2 through kindergarten
“Following the guiding principles of developmentally appropriate practice for young children, the Playhouse strives to provide each child with the tools needed to form a confident and positive self-concept as a learner.”
Currently giving tours. Open House on Wednesday, January 18, 2011 from 7 pm – 9 pm. Please call 973.736.9451 for tour appointments and further information.

JCC Metrowest Preschool
Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, Ross Family Campus
760 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ
Ages 2 – kindergarten
“We build self-awareness and self-esteem through a special ethics and values curriculum in an enriched environment full of language, reading, math, science, art, music, and fun.”
Call 973.530.3479 or
email for more information.

A Child’s Way – Jewish Montessori
300 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange, NJ
973.731.0160 x224
Ages 18 months – kindergarten
“At Child’s Way children develop a passion for self initiated learning.  By exploring all the areas of our classroom with the guidance of peers and teachers, students experience learning in an integrated, holistic way.”
Montessori Journey: a hands-on exploration of the Montessori materials and learning philosophy.  Find out how a Montessori education is different on December 1 at 7 pm. Offers monthly tours to new families starting at 11 am: 12/7
, 1/11, 2/8, 3/7, 4/18, 5/2 and 5/23.

Golda Och Academy
122 Gregory Avenue
West Orange, NJ
Pre-K – 5th grade
“Inspiring each student to be a lifelong learner, Golda Och Academy – a Conservative Jewish day school – guides each student to achieve his or her unique intellectual, creative and social potential. ”
Open Houses: December 1 from 9:30 am – 11 am. Arrange a tour by calling 973.602.3601 or e-mail here.


Executive Kids
271 Grove Ave
Verona, NJ
Ages infant – Pre-K
“Academic excellence is what we want to achieve as long as the child is engaging in activities that are enjoyable.  Children will learn through play and play time can be very educational. Our curriculium is developed to create an atmosphere to do just this.”
Enrollment is open year round to new students. There are only a few openings, but they offer a waiting list. Call 973.571.9515 for more information.

Community Montessori Academy
23 South Prospect Street
Verona, NJ
Preschool – kindergarten
“Inside our school you will find a buzz of content engagement among the students as they work, grow and learn in their classrooms.  It is our passion at Community Montessori Academy to provide the highest quality environment, staff and opportunity for each child and family. It is our passion at Community Montessori Academy to provide the highest quality environment, staff, and opportunity for each child and family. ”
Schedule a tour for more information about enrollment online here.

The Children’s Institute
1 Sunset Avenue
Verona, NJ
Serving children facing learning, language and social challenges, ages 3-21.
“At The Children’s Institute, we know that a child’s disability does not define who they are. For more than 50 years, The Children’s Institute has been developing the academic, social, behavioral, communication, life and career skills of children, adolescents and young adults on the Autism spectrum and related disabilities. We use an array of evidence-based strategies including Applied Behavioral Analysis, Differentiated Instruction and Universal Design.”
Open House for preschool and elementary program on Tuesday, February 28 10 am. The event will include an overview of the programs and support services provided, the opportunity to meet the school’s administrators, as well as a full tour of the school. Open to the public, but reservations are required.  For more information about the school, or to make a reservation, please call 973-509-3050 Ext. 233.

The Children’s House
26 Montrose Avenue
Verona, NJ
Ages 2 1/2 to 6 years
“Where Children Shine! The Children’s House is a Montessori preschool serving all of Essex County since 1966. The mission of The Children’s House is to provide a Montessori-guided education enabling each child to realize his or her richest potential by becoming an independent, self-motivated and contributing member of the community. Several programs available depending on the age of the child, including a Kindergarten Enrichment Program.  French and music taught.”
Open House Dates: January 10 at 7 pm and January 11 at 9:15 am or call 973.857.1234 or email for a tour of the school.


Congregation Agudath Israel Early Childhood Center
20 Academy Road
Caldwell, NJ
Ages 2 – 4
“Our program recognizes all aspects of a child’s growth, including the development of social relationships and the capacity to get along with others. Emotional development is a priority and to that end, we help children to build confidence and understand themselves. In September 2012, the early childhood center will keep its doors open from 7am to 6pm.  And unlike most synagogue programs, Agudath will remain open for children enrolled in the extended day program during almost all Jewish holidays. The ECC has set a mission of making working parents’ lives simpler. ”
Open House on December 14 at 9:45 am and Tuesday, January 10 at 8pm. Interested families should RSVP to Judy at 973-226-2537.

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  1. My main criteria were: Close enough to walk if needed, accepted non-potty-trained children, and had morning slots for part-time open. That narrowed it down considerably since we were looking after the school-year had already begun. We feel incredibly lucky with our choice, but every family is different.

    I think the bottom line is that you need to find a place in which you’re comfortable leaving your child for all or part of the day. And after that, I think most of it comes down to whether the school’s “personality” suits yours.

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