Blog: A Guide to Preschool for Maplewood & South Orange Newcomers

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If you are a parent to very young children, one of your top priorities when moving to a new community is choosing the best preschool for your individual child.

This list is designed to help you narrow down your search. It is arranged in alphabetical order, and includes basic information: geographical location, contact information, the age of children served, the schedule, religious affiliation, the mission statement, and the educational focus.

Once you have chosen a few schools that seem like a good fit, remember to schedule a tour. Just like buying a home, when choosing a school, you must walk through the space and feel it for yourself – don’t just rely on the pictures you see online. With the wide variety of quality preschools available, you are sure to find one in which your little ones will happily learn, play, and make friends.

The Baird Preschool

5 Mead Street
South Orange, NJ 07079
973-378-7754 x2226

The Baird Preschool is a program for children ages 2½ through 5 years old. “Our enthusiastic staff has developed a program that combines educational and recreational activities to provide your child with a balanced preschool experience.” Morning and afternoon classes are offered.

South Orange Country Day School
461 Vose Avenue
South Orange NJ 07052
Phone: 973.762.6451

We want to support students as they explore and make sense of their world. We strive to prepare students to leave SOCDS with: an ability to clearly communicate their needs and to resolve conflict by articulating the facts a respect for our environment and the choices that we make everyday an ability to interact with and respect all people, regardless of learning style and preference, appearance, or experiences a desire to explore new learning environments, and to have the skills to be self directed learners in any learning setting.

Children’s Academy
37 Church Mall
Springfield, NJ 07081

Children’s Academy is a Montessori academic preschool and kindergarten, serving children ages 2½ through 6½. “Our ultimate goal is to provide quality education in a peaceful, nurturing environment.” They offer flexible scheduling with before and afterschool care available.

Far Brook School

52 Great Hills Road
Short Hills, NJ 07078

Farbrook is a pre-k through 8th grade private school, whose statement of purpose is “It is our desire to touch the lives of children so they may live life wisely and with great joy.” Pre-k, or Nursery, is for four year olds; with half day 8am-12pm, and full day 8 am-3 pm. Early morning drop off and extended care are available daily.

Hedwig Gruenewald Early Childhood Center
of Congregation B’nai Israel
160 Millburn Avenue
Millburn, NJ 07041

“A welcoming environment, open to the community, where Jewish customs, holidays, Shabbat and basic Jewish concepts are part of our daily life.” The Hedwig Gruenewald Early Childcare Center offers child/caregiver classes for toddlers 15-23 months, a transitional 2s program which starts with caregivers, and evolves into a drop-off class, and preschool classes for 2, 3, and 4 year-olds. Extended day available 8:30 – 2:45.

Hudson Way Immersion School
587 Springfield Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901

Hudson Way Immersion School offers preschool starting at age 2, day school from kindergarten – 5th grade, and an afterschool language program. They provide language immersion instruction in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and English. “Our preschool program is academically focused and provides a strong foundation for our k-5 program for continued learning of math, science, language arts, and social studies in two languages.”

Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education
of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel
432 Scotland Road
South Orange, NJ 07079

The Iris Family Center is a Jewish-focused school open to all members of the community. It offers child/caregiver programs from birth-24months, preschool classes for children ages 2-4, and a pre-k class for children who turn 5 after the school district’s October 1st deadline. Classes run from 9am-noon, with extended hours from 8am-3pm. “We focus on each child’s developmental needs and promote a positive, secure, and accepting environment, enabling each child to grow with a sense of joy and wonderment.”

JCC Metrowest Early Childhood

Leon & Toby Cooperman Building
Ross Family Campus
760 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052

The JCC Metrowest Early Childhood center offers part-time and full-time preschool classes which include swimming (3s, 4s, and K) for children aged 2-4 years, and full day kindergarten for children who turn 5 by December 31st. They also offer programming and afterschool care for school-aged children. “We build self-awareness and self-esteem through a special ethics and values curriculum in an enriched environment full of language, reading, math, science, art, music, and fun.”

The Kinder Gan Preschool
120 Parker Avenue
Maplewood, NJ 07040

The Kinder Gan Preschool is affiliated with the Maplewood Jewish Center. “We are committed to maintaining the highest educational standards, in a warm, comfortable, stimulating and Jewish environment.” They offer classes to 2, 3, and 4 year-olds.

550 Ridgewood Road
Maplewood, NJ 07040

Kinderenrichment is a half-day kindergarten class located in, but unaffiliated with St. Georges’ church. It is for children who need an extra year of kindergarten or who miss the public school age cut-off, but who turn 5 on or before December 31. “My intention is to empower my students with the knowledge that they can see and think and feel for themselves and in so doing discover the marvelous natural and cultural world that they are heir to.”

Le Parc Place

195 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ 07040
973-616-1968 or 973-762-3077

“Appreciation for all of life’s experiences is encompassed into our philosophy and our approach to early childhood development. We enjoy creating innovative and unique ways for young ones to grow both academically, socially and artistically.” Le Parc Place offers preschool to children ages 2½-5 years. The also offer childcare from 7am-6pm.

Mickey Fried Nursery School

of Oheb Shalom Congregation
170 Scotland Road
South Orange, NJ 07079

The Mickey Fried Nursery School offers child/caregiver classes for 1-2 year olds, and preschool classes for children ages 2-5 years old. Classes run from 9am-12pm with extended day offered from 8am-6pm. “Our school offers a warm, creative environment where each child’s unique style of living and learning is valued and nurtured.”

Millburn Co-Op Nursery School
951 Ridgewood Avenue
Millburn, NJ 07041

Millburn Co-Op Nursery School is a two-year program for 3 and 4 year olds. “Children learn through play in an atmosphere that is warm and supportive. We offer stimulating and varied activities designed to help each child grow physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially at his or her own pace.” Classes are offered for morning or afternoon.

The Montessori Children’s Academy in Short Hills
200 Hartshorn Drive
Short Hills, New Jersey 07078
Phone: 973-258-1400
Fax: 973-258-1430

Just minutes from John F. Kennedy Parkway, at the intersection of Parsonage Hill Road and Hartshorn Drive, the Short Hills campus is the location of the Montessori elementary program, as well as its 2½ through 6 years old programs. The mission: “The Montessori Children’s Academy is committed to inspiring and motivating young children to learn by providing the finest Montessori educational experience. Using traditional Montessori methods, we provide a developmentally challenging, yet appropriate learning environment that engages children’s natural curiosity and helps them to develop a lifelong love of learning. We respect, nurture and expand the academic, social and emotional gifts of each student while preserving the true spirit and purpose of childhood.”

Montrose Early Learning Center
of the South Orange Maplewood School District
525 Academy Street
Maplewood, NJ 07040
973-762-5600 x.1748 or x1840

The Montrose Early Learning Center is affiliated with the South Orange-Maplewood school district, and follows the public school calendar. Classes are offered to 3 and 4 year-olds, half day mornings or afternoons, and full day from 9am-3pm. Extended day available. “Our vision is to create a model of early childhood education by offering preschool programs to the community which are accessible for all learners, using a variety of techniques and centered on best practices of early childhood education.”

Morrow Memorial Preschool
600 Ridgewood Road
Maplewood, NJ 07040

Morrow is a cooperative preschool “With a Christian foundation, the primary goal at Morrow is to welcome each child into a happy, safe, nurturing environment that lays the foundation for life-long learning by promoting the core values of love, patience, kindness, curiosity and self-esteem.” Offers classes morning and afternoon for children ages 2½-4 years old, and a pre-k 5 year-old class 8:45am – 1:30pm.

Neighborhood House Nursery School
12 Taylor Street
Millburn, NJ 07041

“A home away from home environment where children learn to love the process of learning and discovery. Out staff works diligently to prepare each child for the transition to elementary school through fostering confidence, self-awareness, and the ability to connect all learning to the world in which we live.” Programs available for 2½ through 5 year olds. Scheduling is flexible, offering classes morning, afternoon, or full day (8:30am – 3:30pm).

The Nursery at Our Lady of Sorrows School
162 Academy Street
South Orange, NJ
Phone:(973) 763-4040

The Nursery at Our Lady of Sorrows School is located at 162 Academy Street in the completely renovated convent building of Our Lady of Sorrows Church. The Nursery  provides year round affordable and loving child care for children 6 weeks to 3 years of age. A secure, password-protected, state-of-the-art parental webcam service allows parents to observe their own children via the web during the day or review the archived recordings at any other time. The Nursery also offer free commuter parking to parents and is convenient to the South Orange train station. For more information, visit here.

Open Door Nursery School

432 Wyoming Avenue
Millburn, NJ 07041

Located at the Wyoming Presbyterian Church on Wyoming Avenue, Open Door Nursery School has been a fixture in Maplewood-South Orange, Millburn, Short Hills, and surrounding communities for more than 40 years. The school’s philosophy is to provide an atmosphere that is responsive to the development of the whole child and is committed to his/her physical, intellectual, social, and emotional wellbeing.  Open Door is dedicated to providing new enrichment programs and educational outreach activities throughout the year.  These include visits from Turtle Back Zoo, Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, Lydia Johnson Dance, and many more. Open door is holding its registration on Saturday, January 9, 2016. Doors open to new families at 10:45 a.m.; lottery begins at 11 a.m.

88 Franklin Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052

Playhouse is a cooperative preschool emphasizing learning through play for children ages 2½-6. “Playhouse is a place where people can be heard and feel comfortable, where process takes precedence over product.” The Playhouse mission is to “provide an environment conducive to different learning styles, with structured activities and also free play.” They offer a variety of schedules including extended day options 7:30am-5:30pm.

Prospect Cooperative Nursery School
646 Prospect Street
Maplewood, NJ 07040

Prospect is a cooperative, non-sectarian nursery school located in Prospect Presbyterian Church. “Through the combination of a thoughtfully conceived program and specially-selected classroom materials, our staff seeks to foster each student’s self-esteem, individuality, creativity, social, physical, and cognitive skills through the use of music, movement, art, creative play, and language.” They offer morning and afternoon classes and an optional lunch program for children ages 2½ through 5. Prospect is open now for registration; Deadline is Dec. 18 and parents will be notified by Jan. 8, 2016.

The Red Oaks School
21 Cutler Street
Morristown, NJ 07960

The Red Oaks School is a private school educating children aged 3 through 8th grade. Their early childhood program and kindergarten follow a Montessori curriculum and are for children ages 3 to 6. “The Red Oaks School provides life-changing educational experiences for young people, inspiring personal and intellectual growth, encouraging deep engagement with learning, and promoting global citizenship.”

The South Mountain YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center

10 W. Parker Avenue
Maplewood, NJ 07040

The South Mountain YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center offers 7am to 7pm childcare programs, preschool, and enrichment classes to children from the age of 6 weeks through preschool. The South Mountain YMCA also provides summer camp, afterschool care, and enrichment programming for school aged children and teens. “As the largest childcare provider in Maplewood, the Y offers a childcare program with families in mind and creates an environment where your child will thrive.”

Thelma K. Reisman Preschool

of Beth El
222 Irvington Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079

“The mission of the Thelma K. Reisman Preschool of Beth El is to provide a warm and nurturing Jewish environment for young children.” They offer programs for children ages 18 months through 5 years old, including child/caregiver programs and kindergarten. They also offer early drop-off as early as 8 a.m., and extended day.


465 Valley StreetHours of Operation:
Phone: 973-761-4309

At Totri prides itself on its warm, welcoming atmosphere, lovely facility, and exciting, enriching activities. Owner/Sponsor Milena Rodriguez has been caring for children since 1995. After 15 years running a popular family daycare in the area, she expanded to the current location in 2010 to include a preschool program. Milena loves participating in the fun activities the Totri children are up to, and can often be seen enjoying herself as much as the kids.

Village Babies Development Center
401 Valley Street
South Orange, NJ
(973) 378-5906

Village Babies Development Center is an early childhood development facility located in South Orange, New Jersey. Our goal is to provide the children in our care with a gentle, secure, and fun learning environment. It is our hope that our dedicated staff of caregivers, unique learning programs, and beautiful facility will inspire your children to view Village Babies as a second home. Explore our site to learn more about why Village Babies is the right choice for you and your family.

Weekday Cooperative Preschool
111 Irvington Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079

Weekday Cooperative preschool is a multicultural, cooperative preschool, offering classes to children ages 2½, 3, and 4 from 9am-12pm. “The academic curriculum is woven into the fabric of the everyday schedule, providing opportunities for social interaction and discovery of new things through a hands-on approach.”

Early Childhood Educational Consultant
Overwhelmed with so many choices? Nicole Van Giesen can help you determine which preschool or childcare option is right for your child based on your educational philosophy, income, and work schedule.

Do you need help finding a nanny?
Dr. Nanny Referral Agency

“We are an elite nanny referral service.” They can provide parents with full-time, part-time, on-call, and temporary nanny assistance.


This list was provided by Mark Slade Keller Williams 917.797.5059 Good Homes. Selling a Maplewood/South Orange/Millburn/Short Hills area home involves many steps and having an experienced Maplewood New Jersey Real Estate Agent and Realtor®, specializing in the Bedroom Communities of New York City in Essex/Union County— Millburn, Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, South Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Springfield, Summit, Madison, Chatham, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Westfield–by your side will make the transaction run a lot smoother. I would love to be your Maplewood/South Orange New Jersey Area Real Estate Professional! I assist both buyers and sellers in the Bedroom Communities of New York City, mostly served by NJ Transit’s Mid-Town Direct Train Lines, offering commutes of 45minute or less to NY Penn Station, with either the purchase and or sale of residential real estate.

As an Accredited Buyer’s Agent (ABR), I have received special training to guide and educate you through the entire home buying process. From start to finish, I listen to your needs and desires in what you would like and take the information you give me to find you home. My GO-TO team can provide you the best in Real Estate advice with regard to attorney choices, Home Inspectors and Mortgage Loan Officers

As your Maplewood/South Orange/Millburn/Short Hills/Essex/Union County New Jersey listing agent I am well versed on as your local expert in all things in the Maplewood and South Orange area Real Estate Market. You can expect personalized service that includes a detailed consultation on how to best position your Mid-Town Direct home to be competitive in today’s market with training to provide my clients with an in-depth Advanced Comparative Market analysis, and advice on staging. As my office’s technology officer as well as both a Zillow Platinum Premier and Trulia Premier agent, I use the latest and most up-to-date marketing methods to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible. Being your New Jersey Real Estate Agent and Realtor ® not only involves just finding the home or selling the home, but being your guide, negotiator, advisor and advocate and making sure that your needs and goals are met. Being your New Jersey Essex/Union County area Realtor® (with a little bit of Morris County thrown in for good measure) is one of my truest passions, and “Helping You Find Your Dream Home” is my number one priority.

Mark Slade

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