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10 of the Best Preschools in Houston

toppreschoolshoustonWhen the time comes to send your little one to preschool, you’ll naturally want to find the very best school available to ensure that her academic career starts off on the right foot. For parents living in the Greater Houston area, this task can be a bit less arduous than in other parts of the country due to the fact that Houston boasts a plethora of highly rated preschools. These ten top the lists of parents across the metropolitan area, and are definitely worth checking out if the time for enrollment is nearing.

1. La Petite Academy

While La Petite is a national chain that accepts children from six weeks through pre-kindergarten, the emphasis on “play with a purpose” and strong math, science, language and social learning distinguishes them from big box daycare providers. Kids are assisted in learning about a variety of subjects through a play-focused, age-specific curriculum that encourages their natural curiosity and aptitude for learning.

2. Avalon Academy

In addition to before and after school programs to help working parents meet their scheduling demands, this non-profit organization offers preschool enrichment classes that include computers, dance and gymnastic instruction as well as kindergarten readiness programs. Preschool teachers are all fully accredited, which means that your child is being taught by trained and experienced educators.

3. The Children’s Courtyard

The educational philosophy at The Children’s Courtyard is based upon the High/Scope system pioneered by famed developmental psychologist Jean Piaget. The Frog Street Pre-K curriculum is one of the strongest in Houston, developed by expert Pam Schiller, Ph.D.

4. Childtime Learning Centers

More than forty years ago, the Gerber company founded Childtime Learning Centers. With the “Empowered Child” curriculum, kids learn introductory science, art, math and language skills that will help them as they embark upon an academic career in kindergarten and beyond. In addition to the two Houston locations, there are nine locations throughout the surrounding area.

5. Becker Early Childhood Center

Winner of the 2010 Parents’ Picks award, The Becker Early Childhood Center is located within the Congregation of Emanu El and offers both Judaic and secular programs. Becker Early Childhood Center is also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and offers programs for little ones from fifteen months of age through five years.

6. Esperanza School

In addition to a Kindergarten Preparatory program for preschool-aged kids, Esperanza School also offers a Pre-K Prep program directed at three-year-olds to help ready them for the new experiences of preschool. Written and spoken language skills, vocabulary building, math, science art and fine motor skills are all emphasized in the Esperanza School program.

7. The Woods Private School

Kids not only learn the fundamentals of pre-reading and literacy skills at The Woods Private School, but also strong lessons in social awareness. At an age where it’s not always easy to know what is and is not behaviorally appropriate, young students of The Woods are encouraged to build the social skills that will carry them through adulthood. Computer literacy, Spanish vocabulary lessons, sight words and early mathematics are just a sampling of the entries on The Woods pre-kindergarten curriculum.

8. Montessori School of Downtown

Since 1984, the Montessori School of Downtown has been providing kids from infancy through the early elementary years with a strong education based upon the principals of the Montessori philosophy. Self-directed learning and emotional growth are the name of the game at Montessori School of Downtown, which boasts satellite campuses in Pearland, Clear Lake, Medical Center and Silverlake.

9. Innovative Montessori School

An American Montessori Society full member school with accreditation and licensing through the state of Texas, The Innovative School is a private Montessori campus with a library and multi-purpose space, as well as a fenced playground area.

10. The Westview School

Every child is different, and special in her own unique way. The Westview School understands that kids with learning differences require special attention, which is why their curriculum is based upon helping kids from age two through middle school who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, Aspergers Syndrome or Pervasive Development Disorders. Each preschool class has only five students, with a teacher and a teacher’s assistant, and is grouped with careful consideration of receptive language and learning readiness levels.

Keep in mind that you may want to begin your preschool search quite a while before your child is ready to enroll, as the best schools tend to fill up months or even years in advance. Waiting lists aren’t a problem at all of the top-rated preschools in Houston, but you’ll still want to double check before getting your heart set on one school only to find that classes are filled far into the future.


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