One of the best things about living in the DC area is the amazing schools we have access to. From free Pre-K3 in DC, to charter schools, private schools, and more, there is an awesome, accessible preschool program for everyone. But with so many options, the choices can become overwhelming!
We’re created this comprehensive list of local preschools to help ease the decision-making process. Read about some of our sponsored schools, and take a look at the tabs below for a list of all of the wonderful preschools in the DC area.
THE GARDNER SCHOOL
The Gardner School of Herndon preschool offers year-round full- and part-time childcare with early childhood education programs for children six weeks old through 5 years.
We are nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). All our lead teachers for preschool classes have four-year degrees in early childhood education, elementary education, or a closely-related field.
The stimulating, creative, and educationally-engineered school has been designed to meet the needs of our most important client—the children. The Gardner School provides a full suite of enrichment classes and our summer camp, Camp Gardner. We have indoor and outdoor playscapes, computer lab, Kids’ Café and Enrichment Studio so students can have experiences outside the classroom too!
We offer discounts for military and government families. Schedule a tour to visit our preschool in Herndon, VA today!
6 weeks to 5 years
With the innovative and proven Montessori Method at our core, Aidan prepares children to learn confidently, think independently, and succeed wherever they go.
Aidan Montessori School is a co-ed, independent private school for children ages 18 months through grade 6. Founded in 1961, Aidan is the only school in DC that holds accreditation from the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools and American Montessori Internationale (AMI).
Aidan follows the highest standards of Montessori pedagogy to prepare children for successful and fulfilling lives. Everything at Aidan revolves around how children learn best. Aidan students grow into independent thinkers, confident learners, effective collaborators, and responsible citizens.
At Aidan Montessori School, education is an adventure. Learning is hands-on. Lessons are welcomed. Work is purposeful. Curiosity is encouraged.
18 Months to Grade 6
CHARLES E. SMITH JEWISH DAY SCHOOL
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School’s Gurim Junior Kindergarten balances academics and play in a developmentally appropriate setting. The program focuses on real world experiences, structured fun, learning through play and song, and building community.
The Gurim classroom promotes children’s learning in all developmental domains, including cognitive, communication, physical, social-emotional, and ethical-moral development. Students are nurtured in a values-rich environment, while benefiting from the characteristics of a larger school including: a roster of specials with dedicated expert instructors, older students as reading/STEM buddies, and enhanced facilities. Gurim is for children who turn 5 in the late Summer through early Spring.
Gurim Junior Kindergarten is CESJDS’s early childhood program. We also serve K through 12th grade students.
Open House: November 17
Admission Application Deadline: January 15
Tuition Assistance Application Deadline: January 31
THE WINCHESTER SCHOOL
Since 1970, the Winchester School has been a special place where children feel safe, respected and loved.
We use a developmentally appropriate approach, which includes hands-on materials, and exposes our students to art, music, Spanish, math, science and language arts. We offer an environment where our students build confidence and take risks under specialized instruction. We offer small class sizes in which our teachers strive to meet the needs of every child.
The Winchester School values and celebrates the diversity of individual children, their families and our staff. We are dedicated to preparing our students as life-long learners and future citizens of the community.
Pre-K3 through 2nd grade
ASPEN HILL COOPERATIVE NURSERY SCHOOL
At Aspen Hill Cooperative Nursery School, caregivers and teachers work together in a warm and friendly atmosphere to raise each child’s educational and personal abilities through positive reinforcement, rewarding learning activities, and the friendly interaction of peers. As a consequence, pupils learn cooperation, creativity, and caring for others. In the true spirit of a cooperative, we, the participating families, give of ourselves and of our time so that our school will be what we want it to be for our children.
Our school is a non-profit organization that is parent-owned and operated and professionally staffed. We are licensed by the Maryland Department of Human Resources and Childcare Administration.
We also offer a Parent Helper Program for our members. It is a nursery designed to provide babysitting for the younger, non-enrolled children of co-oping parents while the parents are assisting in the classroom.
2, 3, and 4 year olds
Open Houses: February 3rd-7th
New Member Registration: February 8th
NYSMITH SCHOOL FOR THE GIFTED
The award-winning Nysmith School serves 550 students. The daily curriculum includes diversified reading and math classes, hands on science, technology, foreign language, social studies, logic, and much more. Reading and math classes are diversified up to four grade levels above level. 1:9 ratio. The Nysmith School minimizes repetition in school as well as homework.
The Nysmith School is committed to nurture each student’s love of learning and help students develop their potential.
Located just off the Dulles Road at Exit 9A (Chantilly/Herndon) in Herndon. Bus service available.
Come see why parents from all over the country have specifically relocated their families for their children to attend The Nysmith School.
3 years through 8th grade
THE GODDARD SCHOOL OF WASHINGTON D.C. (THE WHARF)
We are more than a typical childcare; we are committed to providing the highest quality preschool experience for the children in our community. Our nurturing approach will give your child the opportunity to develop into a joyful, confident learner who is prepared for success in school and in life. Construction is complete and opening day is approaching just as fast as classroom spots are being secured.
Please inquire for more information on our program and how you can enroll your child! We are conveniently located 1/2 mile from two metro locations; L’Enfant Plaza and Waterfront-SEU.
6 weeks to 6 years
HOLY TRINITY: AN EPISCOPAL DAY SCHOOL
Holy Trinity offers a transformative education so every student becomes “The Best You.” We encourage inquiring minds, faith, individuality, inclusion, and service.
As an Episcopal school, we respect the dignity of all. Our students learn more about more: STEM initiative; core academics, Spanish; sacred studies; poetry; technology; coding; music, and outdoor education.
3 years to grade 8
Friday, October 18, 2019 9:30-11:30am
Monday, November 11, 2019 9:30-11:30am
Friday, January 10, 2020 9:30-11:30am
Sunday, February 9, 2020 1:00-3:00pm
Friday, April 24, 2020 9:30-11:30am
SANDY SPRING FRIENDS SCHOOL
Sandy Spring Friends School is a Preschool (Age 3)-12th grade progressive, coed, college preparatory Quaker school. Our students are engaged in the learning process; enjoy the integration of academics, arts, and athletics; and seek to become constructive, caring, and effective citizens of the world.
At SSFS, we believe students learn best when creative thinking, active listening, and positive interactions are reinforced in the classroom. Through close collaboration between teachers and peers, students develop a deep love of learning. Our students learn to shape questions about concepts and ideas, to reflect upon their learning, and to put their learning into action—developing initiative and self-advocacy skills in the process.
Enrichment activities include:
• Hands-on farming, with curriculum connected to Next Generation Science Standards
• Music and art classes
• Spanish classes
• Physical Education
• Optional extended hours to 6:30 pm, and full-day care on inclement weather closing days (if Montgomery Co. administrative offices are open).
Age 3 through Grade 12
Fall Open House (1:00-3:30 pm) – Oct. 20
Preschool “Snapshot Days” (9:00-10:00 am) – Nov. 12 and Nov. 19
SSFS “Discover Days”(8:15-11:00 am) – Nov. 11, Dec. 3, Jan. 8, Feb. 21, Apr. 1, May 19
BRIGHT HORIZONS EARLY EDUCATION AND PRESCHOOL
Bright Horizons offers a unique early education experience built on 30 years of expertise, and on what working families have said they want and need for their children…and for themselves. Child care and early education isn’t just what Bright Horizons does – it’s who they are.
Infant through Kindergarten Prep
GENEVA DAY SCHOOL
Encouraging a lifelong love of learning, Geneva Day School provides exceptional classes and extraordinary programs to children aged two through six.
“We create lots of opportunities to explore the world,” states Director Suzanne Funk about the school’s innovative, age-appropriate approach, known as the Geneva Method.
Voted Best Preschool three times in the Bethesda Magazine Readers’ Poll, families agree that the school’s ideal student-teacher ratio successfully launches their children.
A thematically-inspired curriculum includes literacy, art, music and movement, environmental education, field trips and outdoor play; the Geneva Method’s formula for STEAM places student scientists/authors/explorers first!
Age 2 through Kindergarten
SAINT ANN CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Believe, Achieve, and Inspire. These three words embody the guiding principles of Saint Ann Catholic School where we develop students who follow the example of Christ in learning, leading, and caring.
Saint Ann Catholic School is located in Arlington, VA and enrolls approximately 250 students in preschool through 8th Grade. Our small size means that each student receives more personal attention as well as the individualized educational and spiritual guidance that promotes strong academic and leadership skills.
Pre-K3 through 8th grade.
Sunday, November 3rd 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Tuesday, November 19th 9:30am – 11:30am
Sunday, January 26th 2020 10:30am – 1:00pm
WASHINGTON WALDORF SCHOOL
Founded in 1969, the Washington Waldorf School is a vibrant school community that is part of the worldwide Waldorf education movement (celebrating 100 years).
Our Early Childhood program supports the development of children’s awakening capacities to think clearly, to feel fully, and to act freely. Our preschool and kindergarten emphasize creative imagination and play along with considerable time outside in all weather.
Our classes start at birth with a parent-child program and go through 12th Grade. Our school traditions and festivals connect us with a strong community spirit. Some options include: forest kindergarten, summer camps, and healthy lunches.
Parent-Child, Preschool to 12th Grade
MONTESSORI SCHOOL OF FAIRFAX
Montessori School of Fairfax is an AMS and VCPE accredited applicant enrolling students from18 months up to 12 years old.
The school is a family based, owned and operated entity- fully embracing the Montessori philosophy; dedicated to do the best for every child.
18 months through 12 years
CAPITOL HILL DAY SCHOOL
Capitol Hill Day School is an independent, progressive prekindergarten through 8th grade school on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. It is a close-knit school in a historic building in a diverse and vibrant neighborhood that makes abundant use of the neighborhood as an extended classroom.
Experiences outside the classroom add vast new dimensions to what happens inside. Their Field Education Program is unparalleled, opening up whole new worlds for students.
Pre-K4 through 8th grade
ROCK CREEK MONTESSORI SCHOOL
The Rock Creek Montessori School, located in a beautiful wooded setting in Silver Spring, MD, serves children from 18 months through kindergarten using the philosophy and curriculum of Dr. Maria Montessori.
The main goal of the program is to help children develop a rapport with their environment and to support them as they develop physical, social and intellectual independence. The teacher follows each child’s progress and presents carefully designed lessons and materials on a one-to-one basis as the child is ready.
18 months through Kindergarten
Monthly open houses are held the first Wednesday of each month.
SUBURBAN NURSERY SCHOOL
Suburban Nursery School is a cooperative, play-based preschool for 2, 3, and 4-year olds, located in Bethesda, MD that has been in operation for over sixty years.
As a cooperative school, we give parents the unique opportunity to be part of their child’s first school experience. Having parent involvement, both in and outside the classroom, fosters a close-knit community that benefits our children, parents and their families. We offer sibling sitting, early drop-off, after school enrichment programs and a range of co-oping options for busy families.
2, 3, and 4
First day for new families to apply: November 14th
Applications due: December 15th
Admission decisions sent: January 2020
OUR LADY OF VICTORY SCHOOL
Our Lady of Victory is a dynamic and diverse Catholic school located in the heart of Washington, DC, with 220 students in PK3 through 8th grade. OLV is well known for its academic excellence, superior staff, small student/teacher ratio, well-rounded graduates and its recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.
Pre-K3 through 8th grade
CONCORD HILL SCHOOL
A leader in early childhood education since 1965, Concord Hill School nurtures and inspires children to embrace and enjoy learning during the early childhood years. Our Five Core Values guide our dynamic academic and social curriculum, anchoring our teachers, students, and parents in an inclusive and joyful community.
Age 3 through Grade 3
Friday, October 25 at 9:00AM
Friday, January 24 at 9:00 AM
THE RIVER SCHOOL
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, The River School’s innovative program provides children with a premier, personalized education and challenges them to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity and find their voice.
River’s researched-based, one-of-a-kind inclusion model pairs a master’s level educator with a speech-language pathologist in every classroom. Classroom practice emphasizes experiential, collaborative learning and social development. A play-based, thematic curriculum seamlessly integrates literacy, math, science, visual arts, drama, PE and yoga.
River offers morning parent tours on school days and hosts a series of Parent & Child Open House events during the admission season.
18 months through grade 3
Located in Alexandria, Browne Academy is a diverse independent day school committed to developing the whole child through extraordinary teaching, exceptional academic programs and a nurturing community. We empower students to be critical thinkers, inspired innovators, engaged peers, and ethical leaders prepared with the confidence to thrive in a dynamic world.
We offer a play-based curriculum and engaging academics for our preschool and junior kindergarten students. These youngest learners receive the benefit of specialized instruction from highly qualified and nurturing educators. Our program includes art, library, math, music, P.E., reading readiness, science, social studies, Spanish, and a social/emotional curriculum.
3 years through 8th grade
Rosemount offers year-round dual language (English/Spanish) early childhood education for children birth-5 and family support services for their parents. The Center serves 240 children annually – 163 children in 17 classrooms at its Mount Pleasant site in DC and an additional 77 children and at-risk pregnant women through home-based services.
Open from 8AM to 6PM Mon-Fri, Rosemount is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and deemed “high quality” by the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).
Enrollment options include full private pay, DC subsidized, DC PreK, and federally funded Head Start.
0 to 5
SPRING BILINGUAL MONTESSORI ACADEMY
Spring Bilingual Montessori Academy (SBMA) seeks to create a learning environment in which the student is encouraged to explore his or her own innate sense of curiosity and eagerness to gain knowledge.
Our program is carefully designed to meet the individual needs of each child. The difference between our environment and that of other Montessori institutions lies in the parallel instruction of foreign language to all facets of the learning process. We believe that children learn best when they learn with others who are both similar and different from themselves. It is with great pride that we note that both our student population and our staff are diverse racially, socio-economically, and geographically.
Spaces available in the Primary for this school year!
3 to 6 years
November 9th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
January 11th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
KinderCare Learning Centers is America’s largest, most accredited child care provider, serving more than 165,000 children every day at more than 1,380 centers. For 50 years, we’ve been creating safe, encouraging environments where kids can learn, grow and build confidence for life.
At KinderCare, hardworking families are family—regardless of needs, backgrounds, and experiences. To learn more about KinderCare in your neighborhood, visit us online at https://www.kindercare.com/regions/washington-dc, on Facebook or on Instagram. For resources, information, and activity ideas for parents and teachers of young children please visit KinderCare.com/blog.
Infant through Kindergarten
BASIS INDEPENDENT McLEAN
BASIS Independent McLean is an age 2 – grade 12 private school in Tysons Corner. Students in our Early Learning Program (Toddlers, PreK, and Kindergarten) participate in a curriculum that is both challenging and pedagogically appropriate while fostering discovery, independence, and a love of learning.
Each classroom is led by two teachers who are experts in early childhood education and who empower students to ask questions and broaden their understanding of the world inside and outside the classroom. In addition to their daily movement period, students have two recesses and scheduled time for open play each day.
Age 2 through grade 12
Saturday, October 26
Saturday, January 11
Early Learning Meet & Greet:
Monday, November 11
SMITHSONIAN EARLY ENRICHMENT CENTER
Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) – The Museum Is Our Classroom
For more than 30 years, SEEC has been educating young children in the world’s largest museum complex. Nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
SEEC focuses on the cognitive, physical, and emotional growth of each child to help them succeed socially and academically. SEEC instills in its students a lifelong love of learning by encouraging them to think, tinker, play, and ask questions.
SEEC also supports the development of a child’s identity by ensuring they see themselves in the world around and encouraging them to embrace others who may be different from them. At the heart of SEEC is their community and their relationships with students and caregivers. We hope you will learn more about us at an upcoming open house.
Infants – Kindergarten
Kindergarten Open Houses: Tuesday, December 10, 10:15-11:30am; Wednesday, January 15, 3:30-5:00pm; Thursday, February 6, 10:15-11:30am
Preschool Open House: Thursday, January 9, 3:30-5:30pm
Admission Deadline: Applications due March 1st