Are you looking for preschools in Greenwich, CT? The Greenwich preschool enrollment process may not be as crazy as the NYC preschools but you do still have to plan ahead otherwise you will locked out of your first choice preschool.
I consider myself an expert when it comes to choosing the right Greenwich preschool, having sent 2 children to 3 different Greenwich preschools.
It is a very exciting milestone to send your child to preschool! This is especially true if this is your first child! I remember being excited about the many small milestones with my first child.
I was excited to sign her up for baby gym classes, to sign her up for baby music classes, I was even excited to do the Greenwich Library baby lapsit programs!
It’s just fun to experience these milestones with your child and to see your child interact with other children and be happy with their new experiences.
The good thing about Greenwich is that there are so many preschools to choose from. This can be a bad thing too, because the Greenwich preschool landscape can get confusing, especially for someone new to town or if you are looking into preschools for your first child.
To make it easier for you, I categorized Greenwich preschools by type and answered some of the frequently asked questions about preschools in Greenwich. Here is my guide to preschools in Greenwich CT.
Greenwich Preschools: Private School Feeders
If you are planning to enroll your child in a private school, then you should consider enrolling your child in preschools that have a track record of sending their graduates to private schools.
Why is this helpful? It’s helpful because your child will be enrolled in a preschool where the preschool director is familiar with the private school admissions process.
Plus the preschool director will typically have a relationship with the private school admission director. Who knows, it may increase your chances of getting into that private school!
In fact, I know of preschools that actually have private school admissions representatives come in to observe applicants in their preschool classes every year!
And as a parent, it’s great to have support from other parents who are going through the same private school admissions process as you are.
First Presbyterian Church Nursery School and Putnam Indian Field School are two schools that send a lot of their graduates to local private schools like Brunswick, Greenwich Academy and Rye Country Day School.
Are you on the fence? Still trying to decide between private school or public school? We asked moms to weigh in on the private school versus public school debate.
Faith-Based Preschools in Greenwich, CT
If you are looking for faith-based preschools, Greenwich Catholic School is a good option.
Most Affordable Greenwich Preschools
If you are looking at the preschool price tag and getting sticker shock (especially if you are sending twins or triplets), then the Greenwich preschool that will give you the best value is Greenwich Christian Preschool. Their tuition is almost half the price of most preschools in Greenwich CT.
Another affordable Greenwich preschool option is the Cos Cob Community Preschool offered by the Town of Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation. It is the least expensive preschool program in Greenwich.
Montessori Preschool in Greenwich
If you are looking for a Montessori preschool in Greenwich for your child then you should look into Whitby School. Whitby School is a Montessori preschool in Greenwich that takes children as young as 18 months. And you can actually keep your child at Whitby until 8th grade! The only thing is, Whitby is not cheap, it’s one of the more expensive Greenwich preschools.
Language Immersion Preschools in Greenwich, CT
Greenwich is fortunate to have the only Chinese immersion preschool in Fairfield County. Mencius Mandarin Preschool is a preschool program that combines a play-based and structured preschool curriculum all taught in Mandarin Chinese.
The best part is there are no prerequisites for enrollment, your child does not need to know any Chinese at all. You will be amazed when one day your child comes home from school singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in Mandarin Chinese!
Best Greenwich Preschools for Working Parents
The best Greenwich preschools for working parents are the preschools with late pickup (as late as 6:30pm). To be honest, most Greenwich preschools are really geared for families with stay at home moms or nannies, families who have the time to pick up their kids from preschool at noon or if there is extended day, 2-3pm.
The short Greenwich preschool days are unrealistic if both you and your spouse work full-time (especially if you have to commute into NYC!).
Fortunately, there are several Preschool/Daycare programs in Greenwich that allow you to pick up at 6pm or later. Below are Greenwich preschools with late pickup.
Little Friends Greenwich is a daycare program in Greenwich that has a built-in preschool curriculum and a late pick up time as late as 6:30 pm. And they take infants as young as 6 weeks old. It’s important to note that there is usually a 12-18 months waitlist at Little Friends so add your name on the waitlist as soon as you can!
YMCA of Greenwich and YWCA of Greenwich both have preschool/daycare programs that have early drop off times (7:30 am drop off for YWCA and 7 am drop off for YMCA) and 6 pm pickup for both.
Plus they take children as young as 15 months (YWCA) and 6 weeks old for YMCA. The good thing about the YMCA and YWCA programs is they both have amazing facilities and can include swimming, and gymnastics for your child.
Greenwich Preschools in the Backcountry (North of Merritt)
If you live in backcountry Greenwich, CT, you should enroll your child in preschools in the backcountry since it takes you 30 minutes just to drive to town and then another 30 minutes to drive back home!
Remember preschool days are short, so it’s smart to find a preschool close to home.
Preschools with an International Community
Neighborhood Preschools in Greenwich, CT
Living in Old Greenwich, CT or Riverside, CT, it’s fairly common to see children walking, scootering or biking to and from school since most parts of Old Greenwich and Riverside are walkable neighborhoods.
St. Saviour’s Church Nursery School is a neighborhood school in the Old Greenwich section of Greenwich, CT. St. Paul’s Day School is a neighborhood preschool in the Riverside section of Greenwich.
Greenwich Preschools: Frequently Asked Questions
When to Apply to Preschools in Greenwich, CT
You need to apply to Greenwich Preschools one year before but you should start the preschool research process 1.5 years before you send your child to preschool.
This is especially true if you are new to the preschool application process in Greenwich CT, it’s important to know that you need to start thinking about preschools at least a year in advance.
If your child starts preschool next September, you need to start looking into Greenwich preschools this Fall. Many preschools in Greenwich will start giving tours and making applications available in September.
However, since there are some Greenwich preschools that require you to submit your name or application early in the Fall, I actually recommend that you start looking into preschools 1.5 years in advance.
My suggestion is to start doing your Greenwich preschool research in the Spring. So by the time September rolls around, you are ready to submit applications and you don’t waste precious time shopping around because you have already done your research and know which Greenwich preschools you are applying to.
For example, Bridges School in Cos Cob, CT starts accepting applications on September 1 of every year. You have to call and add your name to the list. The list is created in the order they receive the calls, which means the earlier you call the higher your name is on the list.
Another school that accepts applications on a first-come/first-served basis is St. Paul’s Day School in Riverside, CT. There are often limited spots for new families because priority enrollment is given to siblings and St. Paul’s Church parishioners.
My advice to you is to start looking into preschools 1.5 years before your child starts preschool. You need to be prepared come September, so you can be first in line when submitting applications and if you have to become a church member in order to get enrollment priority, then you need to start that ASAP not when you are applying!
If this is your first child and you are not familiar with Greenwich Preschools and the application process- you definitely need to start looking in the Spring!
You just moved to Greenwich, CT and did not apply to preschools in the Fall, is it too late to get into a Greenwich Preschool?
If you are late in the preschool application process, don’t worry! The good thing about living in Greenwich is that there are a lot of preschools to choose from.
If you apply in the Spring or Summer before the start of the school year, chances are you will still be able to find a preschool in Greenwich for your child. You may not be able to get into your first choice preschool because those are likely to be full already, but you will still be able to find a few Greenwich preschools with openings for your child.
Check out: 10 Reasons to Move to Greenwich, CT
Even if you don’t get into your first choice preschool the first year, you can always move your child to your first choice preschool the following year.
Especially if you are applying to a 2s program, those classes are usually smaller and fill up quickly but there may be openings in the 3s class the following year at your first-choice preschool.
Find Out: How Much Does It Cost to Live in Greenwich for a family of four? (over $17K a month!)
What Age Do You Send Your Child to Preschool in Greenwich, CT?
Most families in Greenwich, CT start sending their children to preschools at 2 years old. They enroll their child in the 2s program.
Are 2s Programs in Greenwich Preschool Full Day?
Most 2s programs in Greenwich are half-day programs without extended day options. And most Greenwich Preschool 2s programs are not for the entire week, they are 2-3 days per week. Yup, it’s not ideal if you are a family of dual-working parents- you will need a nanny to help with the pickup.
Are 3s Programs in Greenwich Preschool Full Day?
3s programs in Greenwich preschools are typically half-day programs. In some preschools, there is the option to extend the day to 2-3pm. The good news is the 3s program is Greenwich preschools are 5 days a week program.
The extended days at Greenwich preschools usually start at 3 years old in the 3s program.
How Old Are Children When They Attend Preschools in Greenwich?
Greenwich, CT children attend preschools from age 2 to 4 years old with some children attending preschools at 5 years old (depends on birth date and whether you are holding back your child for a year because you are enrolling your child in private school for Kindergarten).
In Greenwich, you should plan to send your child to preschool for 3 years before starting Kindergarten.
What’s Better: Afternoon or Morning Preschool Sessions?
Most preschool families prefer morning classes. This is due to afternoon nap schedules. You will find that morning sessions are usually more popular and tend to fill up more quickly than afternoon sessions.
However, as a new family, you are usually last in enrollment priority so you may not get a spot in the morning session. With my daughter, I did not get my first choice and was stuck with an afternoon session.
But I actually ended up liking the afternoon session and kept her in the afternoon the following year. I find the afternoon session less hectic because you can leisurely take your time in the morning, have lunch, and then go to preschool. There is less of a rush in the morning to get out the door.
As for my daughter’s afternoon nap, she ended up dropping her nap and went to bed at night early instead.
Is there a Greenwich Public School Preschool program?
Yes, Greenwich has public preschool programs. There are actually 2 types of preschool programs offered in Greenwich. There is the Greenwich Public School preschool program and there is the Cos Cob Community Preschool offered by the Town of Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Greenwich Public School preschool program is a preschool program offered by the Greenwich school district and are held in 5 different schools (Hamilton Avenue School, New Lebanon School, North Street School, Parkway School and Old Greenwich School). Entry to the Greenwich Public School preschool program is by lottery and space is limited.
Application to the Cos Cob Community Preschool is submitted online on the Town of Greenwich website similar to the way you’d apply for town youth programs and beach passes. Both preschool programs are for children 3 and 4 years old.
Click here to find out more about how to Apply to the Greenwich Public School Preschool Program.
Do I need to Potty Train my Child to Start Preschool in Greenwich?
If you are enrolling your child in a 2s program, you don’t need to have your child potty trained. The teachers will actually work with you in potty training your child.
I remember when my daughter was just starting to potty train we had just enrolled her in a 2s program. Her preschool teachers really helped facilitate the potty training process. She went to school in pull-ups and since other children in her class were also potty training it made it an easier process to potty train my daughter because she saw the other children doing it too.
However, if you decide to wait a year before sending your child to preschool. Many 3s programs do require your child to be potty trained (you should call the schools to check).
Preschools and Daycares in Greenwich, CT
- Mencius Mandarin Preschool
- Greenwich Catholic School Preschool
- Little Friends Greenwich
- Sacred Heart Greenwich
- Whitby School
- Putnam Indian Field School
- Christ Church Nursery School Greenwich
- First Presbyterian Church Nursery School Greenwich
- The Preschool at Second Congregational
- Greenwich Christian Preschool
- Round Hill Nursery School
- Bridges School
- YWCA Greenwich Preschool
- YMCA of Greenwich
- Chabad Gan of Greenwich Preschool
- Temple Sholom Selma Maisel Nursery School
- St. Saviour’s Church Nursery School
- St. Paul’s Day School