The Best Preschool in NYC (Right in Your Neighborhood!)

The Best Preschool in NYC (Right in Your Neighborhood!) - Playgarden NYC

With so many options when it comes to early childhood education, like Montessori preschool, play-based programs, and many other pre-k options, finding what is right for your little one can be overwhelming. Below you will find some of the best preschool programs in your New York City neighborhood, so you know, whether your little one is attending a Tribeca preschool, Upper East Side preschool, or any other neighborhood’s preschool, that your child is attending one of the best preschools in NYC! 

Downtown Manhattan – Tribeca – SoHo:

Playgarden Prep – Tribeca

As a Montessori preschool, this Tribeca preschool’s mission is to educate little ones through music, play, and thoughtfully developed curriculum, ensuring little ones are prepared for kindergarten and beyond. The passionate teaching and administrative teams at this Tribeca preschool welcome every little one that comes through the door, creating an inclusive environment that little ones will be asking to come back to. They also offer enrichment classes for little ones 6 months to 5 years old, including movement, music, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), and more, making it one of the best preschools in NYC. 

In addition to the Montessori preschool, Playgarden Prep Tribeca has a massive indoor playground, with two climbing structures, a ball pit, and a rotation of equipment perfect for playtime with friends or even booking a birthday party! (And this Tribeca preschool isn’t the only Playgarden location – look for the Upper East Side Preschool Playgarden location later in this list of the best preschools in NYC!)

Address: 95 Franklin Street, Manhattan

Phone Number: (212) 965-9718


Midtown East:

Children’s All Day School

This 2014 Blackboard Award Winning preschool has been part of the community since 1975. C.A.D.S. offers programs for children from 6 months to 5 years old. They strive to “provide a consistent and nurturing setting where children can learn to trust and socialize, while being free to develop and reach their potential at their own pace.”

Little ones are able to learn and grow in this best preschool in NYC with engaging and structured environments for each age group, as well as embrace their natural curiosity with classrooms dedicated to STEAM education.

Address: 109 East 60th Street

Phone Number: (212) 752-4566


Midtown West:

Hopscotch Montessori

A member of the American Montessori Schools (AMS), Hopscotch Montessori is a Montessori school that strives to prepare little ones, from 3 months to 12 years old, for all aspects of life. Little ones in this Montessori preschool program explore what they can do with joy and curiosity, in “a welcoming environment of warmth, care and freedom to encourage students to think freely and solve problems independently to reveal their strengths.” Their mission makes them one of the best preschools in NYC, and is based on 4 pillars: child-driven independence, academic discovery, creative exploration, and a mindset of sustainability. 

Being an international school, little ones at this Montessori preschool are surrounded by different cultures and backgrounds, mirroring the world they will soon walk into, as well having this best preschool in NYC prioritizing respect and kindness for everyone around them!

Address: 649 West 57th Street

Phone Number: (212) 765-0581


Lightbridge Academy

Through The Seedlings Early Childhood Education Curriculum, Lightbridge Academy has been committed to students’ well-rounded growth and development since 1997, making this another one of the best preschools in NYC. In addition to self-led exploration in the classroom, little ones also prepare for kindergarten and beyond through teacher-led activities and lessons, practicing staying on task, and working with friends. 

Lightbridge also uses classroom technology, where teachers use interactive whiteboards “to bring children on virtual field trips, play learning games, interact with oversized stories and bring lessons to life.” 

Address: 602 West 57th Street

Phone Number: (212) 247-5300



Manhattan Schoolhouse

The Chelsea location of Manhattan Schoolhouse was opened in Fall of 2020. Offering day-care and preschool programming inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, letting little ones follow their natural wonder and curiosity, as well as aligning with NYC Department of Education curriculum. Their Universal 3-K and Pre-K programs are “high-quality early childhood programs that prepare children for kindergarten and the world at large.” 

Little ones learn at this best preschool in NYC through enrichment classes indoors, as well as daily walks through the neighborhood and playtime at their local parks. 

Address: 507 West 28th Street (between 10th and 11th Ave)

Phone Number: (212) 879-4400


Upper West Side:

Purple Circle 

Having just celebrated 50 years on the Upper West Side, Purple Circle was founded on the belief that “partnership between families and teachers is essential to the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth of children.” With a play-based approach inside and outside this classroom, little ones explore their interests and talents as teachers observe and take notes, letting the strengths and ideas of students be a part of the daily curriculum at this best preschool in NYC.

Address: 2697 Broadway (the corner of Broadway and West 103rd St)

Phone Number: (212) 866-9193


Morningside Montessori

This not-for-profit, independent Montessori preschool has been part of the community since 1966. Through the Montessori approach as well as early childhood research, little ones learn through “curiosity, joy, compassion, and independence, laying the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.” Relationships are fostered between children, families, caregivers, faculty, and teachers, creating a warm, welcoming, and inclusive community. This best preschool in NYC has a Toddler Program (2-3 years) that introduces little ones to a classroom setting and encourages exploration, which then readies them for the Early Childhood program (3-6 years) where they “learn to work with peers in a different range of developmental stages,” mirroring the real world where they will “work and socialize with people of various ages, abilities, and dispositions.” A fantastic option for a Montessori preschool!

Address: 251 West 100th Street, Manhattan

Phone Number: (212) 316-1555


Upper East Side:

Playgarden Prep – Madison Ave

Much like the Tribeca preschool location, Playgarden Prep UES is a Montessori preschool whose mission is to educate little ones through music, play, and thoughtfully developed curriculum, ensuring little ones are prepared for kindergarten and beyond. With programs including Preschool, Pre-K, and Learning Pods, this Upper East Side preschool helps little ones learn how to “socialize in a classroom setting, hit developmentally appropriate milestones, and acquire valuable life skills.” The mission of Playgarden Prep’s Upper East Side preschool is “for children to gain independence in an educational community aimed to build a foundation for successful future learning,” making it not only one of the best Montessori preschools, but also one of the best preschools in NYC!

Address: 1366 Madison Avenue

Phone Number: (212) 965-9718


Uptown Manhattan:

Gardens Daycare

Located in Washington Heights, Gardens Daycare provides a best preschool in NYC environment for little ones to explore and play, begin learning letters and reading, and more, all preparing them for “a full school day on all levels.” Using the Reggio Emilia approach, Gardens allows the interests of little ones to lead the way, showing teachers how they learn best; they believe “given the opportunity, children will prove to be resilient, no matter how they learn.”

Address: 427 Fort Washington Ave, Suite #2H

Phone Number: (917) 723-2703


Kennedy Children’s Center

For 65 years, KCC has been helping little ones with special needs “learn, grow, and develop their unique abilities.” With the support of families and communities, Kennedy Children’s Center provides “high quality education to young children with developmental delays.” While helping students, they also support families with crucial services, such as physical therapy, family support programs, and other resources. KCC’s preschool program focuses on “purposeful play and learning experiences that invite participation, encourage social and emotional relationships that help children explore their environment.” Another great option for the best preschool in NYC!

Address: 2212 3rd Avenue (between East 120th and 121st Street)

Phone Number: (212) 988-9500


No matter if you’re looking for a Tribeca Preschool, Upper East Side preschool, Montessori preschool, or simply a preschool near where you live, knowing that your child is starting out their early education at one of the best preschools in NYC will make help you feel empowered and give your little one the resources to start their education journey right!


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Miss Julia - Playgarden NYC
Hi, I'm Miss Julia!

Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.