Our Philosophy and Curriculum

Playgarden Prep was founded in 2007 to create a nurturing first educational experience for NYC toddlers, inspired by the proven Montessori philosophy. Over the years, our curriculum has evolved and expanded to include aspects of other learning styles including: Montessori, Reggio-Emilia, emergent, traditional or core curriculum, and even some custom curriculum! Our unique approach to learning supports cognitive, physical, and social emotional growth through hands-on lessons and materials with diverse learning experiences. Our preschools instill a love for early learning at a young age with a strong focus on language, socialization, and curiosity through independence. We introduce a wide variety of subject matter to promote whole-child development for every type of learner.

Tour Our Tribeca Facility

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Playgarden Prep welcomes students 18 months to 4 years and offers both 4-day and 5-day enrollment. Our certified teachers are experts in introducing first separation and success in a formal classroom environment! 

Students thrive in our carefully designed classrooms, which provide developmentally appropriate materials to encourage each learning style. We use a combination of proven and custom learning tools/materials to connect with our youngest students. 
Our mission is for children to gain independence in an educational community aimed to build a foundation for successful future learning.

Specialized Speech and Language Classroom

Starting January 2022, Playgarden Prep, together with Support By Design, will offer children 2 and 3 years of age with speech or language delays and communication challenges, a specialized preschool program. Our curriculum will focus on learning through play and focused stimulation, as well as create foundations of early literacy and learning from peer modeling. Emphasis will be placed on pragmatic skills and social relationships while ensuring language and communication growth to promote school readiness. The specialized classroom will follow Playgarden Prep’s robust preschool curriculum, in tandem with the other Playgarden Prep’s classrooms. Support By Design will adapt the curriculum as needed with a team of specialist to nurture the whole child approach.

Locations and Programs

We have Manhattan locations in the Upper East Side and Tribeca with a variety of programs:
Preschool Programs: Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Pre-K Program: Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Extended Day: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Afternoon Learning Pods
Four or 5 day programs, which vary by location.


Our tuition varies by location, program and semester. Please look at the Tuition section in the Upper East Side and Tribeca pages.


Playgarden Prep is well known by continuing schools and supports parents in the next steps in their child’s education.  We offer informational sessions to learn about future schools and we happily offer guidance with application processes and interviews. We can also provide letters of recommendation upon request. 
Our graduates have gone on to the following schools:

  • Avenues
  • Bank Street
  • Blue School
  • Washington Market
  • Grace Church School
  • Brunswick School
  • City and Country School
  • Covenant of the Sacred
  • Heart
  • Greenwich Academy
  • Little Red
  • UNIS
  • Friends Seminary
  • Horace Mann
  • Marymount
  • Spence
  • St Ann’s
  • St David’s
  • St Luke’s
  • The Dalton School
  • Trinity School
  • Washington Market
  • Wetherby-Pembridge
  • Whitby School
  • 92th Street Y

The Application Process

We do not conduct interviews of children or parents in the admission process. We created our program to be the first educational experience for toddlers with a curriculum that incorporates different learning styles. We believe every little one that joins Playgarden Prep will be a successful student and will graduate to be ready to be admitted in the Kindergarten program of choice.
Applications are accepted throughout the year on a rolling basis and they are started by filling out an application form on this website. Families may apply for September or January start dates.   
In order to accommodate demand in excess of our capacity we have a priority enrolment system in place: returning students, legacies, existing Playgarden members and new families. Families may also request to be added to the Waitlist.
Please contact us at if you would like to be placed on the waiting list, specifying your location of interest.

Ready to apply?

We look forward to welcoming you to the Playgarden Prep community!


Send us a message and we will contact you with more information.


2023-2024 School Year

Preschool Programs:
  • 3-day AM Program: $15,000 Monday through Wednesday 9-12 PM
  • 3-day Extended Day: $20,000 Monday through Wednesday 9-1 PM
  • 4-day AM Program: $20,000 Monday through Thursday 9-12 PM
  • 4-day Extended Day: $25,000 Monday through Thursday 9-1 PM
  • 5-day AM Program: $25,000 Monday through Friday 9-12 PM
  • 5-day Extended Day: $30,000 Monday through Friday 9-1 PM
Pre-K Program (must turn 4 before 11/1/2023): $35,000
  • Monday through Friday 9-2 PM
*Extended Day includes organic lunch service provided by Playgarden Prep


2023-2024 School Year

*Extended Day includes organic lunch service provided by Playgarden Prep
Preschool Programs:
  • 4-day PM Program: $20,000 Monday through Thursday 1:30-4:30 PM
  • 4-day AM Program: $20,000 Monday through Thursday 9-12 PM
  • 4-day Extended Day: $25,000 Monday through Thursday 9-1 PM
  • 5-day AM Program: $25,000 Monday through Friday 9-12 PM
  • 5-day Extended Day: $30,000 Monday through Friday 9-1 PM
Pre-K Program (must turn 4 before 11/1/2023): $35,000
  • Monday through Friday 9-2 PM


Playgarden Prep students thrive in carefully prepared classrooms designed to encourage independence. Children will be introduced to separation, daily routine and classroom environment. Our program employs the Montessori method to instill focus during individual work, and a more traditional method to build experience in group lessons. We strive to ready students for future success in a variety of educational settings. Potty training is practiced all year and is a vital component in preparing little ones for preschool.


Introduction to phonics, capital and lowercase letters and pre-reading.
Introduction to basic Spanish words.


Focus on number recognition, counting and early addition.
Introduces shapes, patterns and geometry to develop spatial awareness.


Sensory table activities explore sand, rocks, water, soil and other textural elements. Introduction to the scientific method, color mixing, seed to plant and basic experiments.


Projects introduce a variety of mediums, styles and artists. Introduction to holding a stylus, stamping, clay, gluing and paint.


Focus on a new genre of music and introduces a new instrument each month. JAZZ-SOUL-CLASSICAL-REGGAE-POP-BLUEGRASS


Physical education includes yoga, dance, obstacle courses and basic sports fundamentals.


Weekly food tastings and vegan baking projects. Introduction to mindful eating, setting the table, food preparation, and food groups.


Children practice letter tracing for Fine Motor and letter construction with educational tools for Gross Motor, among many activities to build coordination and motor skills.