2017 Preschool Guide For Greater Kalamazoo: Great Preschools Your Kids Will Love 2017-08-15T05:36:06+00:00





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This year’s preschool preview is brought to you by our Title Sponsor – AppleTree and Gilden Woods K-Prep Preschool. We thank them and the other preschools listed here for their continued support of KZOOkids.com.


All About Greater Kalamazoo Area Preschools

Use our guide to learn more about a preschool’s programs, policies and enrollment requirements. To use our guide, click on the arrows to the left and in the table below.

*this is a paid advertising section of KZOOkids.com



AppleTree and Gilden Woods K-Prep Preschool



Our K-Prep program offers age specific curriculum for 3 year olds, 4 year olds, and young 5’s. We understand that preschoolers need the freedom to explore, inquire, and engage. That’s why our approach is so effective. We provide a developmentally-appropriate environment for hands-on learning that’s stimulating and fun so your child can grow, play, and learn at their own pace. They’ll love engaging in art, music, movement, and circle time – and you’ll love the confidence and skills they develop.

Families can choose from full-time or part-time schedules from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack are served daily and fun enrichment programs including; fitness, music, Spanish, and Tech Time are included in tuition. In addition, we feature a S.T.E.M. curriculum to promote interest in science, technology, engineering, and math education.

The K-Prep program utilizes a winning combination of industry-respected curriculum such as; the Get Set for School program, and our own proprietary learning tools. This blend provides our preschoolers and young 5’s with dynamic, well-rounded developmental and academic learning objectives and a strong foundation for Kindergarten readiness. Our goal is to teach children essential social, emotional, and academic skills needed for future school success. That’s why we focus on these key areas:

  • Language and Literacy
  • Cognitive
  • Social-Emotional
  • Physical

Call the school nearest you to schedule a tour and see how our unique environment, curriculum, and programming can help your preschooler be fully prepared for Kindergarten by learning and having fun every day! Registration is now open!


Gilden Woods – Portage – 269-359-1115

Gilden Woods – Kalamazoo – 269-389-0118

AppleTree – Otsego – 269-692-3675

EMAIL – appletreeinc@appletreekids.cc




The Montessori School






The Montessori School offers primary education for children ages 3 to 6. Learn more about the specifics below.

  • Offered at our Richland and Kalamazoo campuses
  • Monday through Friday, 9am-noon
  • Full day options available
  • 9-month and 12-month programs
  • Before- and after-school care available
  • 1:10 adult-to-child ratio
  • Cooking, sewing, music, gardening, outdoor time, and more!

The most important time for learning is the period between birth and six years of age. Children are eager to learn from new people and experiences. They absorb all the environment has to offer and it is our responsibility to ensure the world they experience is rich, safe, nurturing, and intelligent. The foundation of self-esteem and all future learning is constructed during these early years and the Primary Program is designed to take advantage of this powerful, formative period.

In the primary classroom, your child will be introduced to many different concepts and will learn both through observing and through direct interaction with our beautifully crafted materials.

  • Children learn to bake, sew, wash dishes, sweep, pour, and more with our lessons in Practical Life.
  • Activities that appeal and refine the senses are the focus of our Sensorial Exercises.
  • Your child will learn size, shape, composition, texture, temperature, weight, loudness or softness, and many other qualities as he or she works with these materials.
  • Language is taught through a specific progression of lessons that engage the senses–children learn letters and sounds through seeing, hearing, and touching them–and through immersion in a linguistically rich classroom environment.
  • Our Mathematics materials are designed to teach your child not only how, but why. Math is hands-on and our lessons teach number values and math operations though concrete materials that children touch and manipulate.
  • Lessons in Grace and Courtesy begin on the first day of school and are reinforced throughout the Primary level. Learning to respect one’s own work and the work of others, to wait one’s turn, and to handle materials gently and put them away neatly after using them–these and other lessons in Grace and Courtesy are essential to maintaining a quiet, respectful, and nurturing environment and to raising respectful and capable children.



  • ADDRESSES: Kalamazoo Campus – 750 Howard Street Kalamazoo, MI 49008 and Richland Campus – 6274 N. 32nd Street Richland, MI 49083
  • PHONE: 269-349-3248



Kazoo School


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The educational program of the Kazoo School Preschool focuses on children’s interests, the creative arts (visual arts, music, drama, movement), imaginative play, themes and project work, outdoor play, storytelling, nature exploration, and conflict resolution skill development.

Kazoo School Preschool reflects the philosophy of Reggio Emilia, which understands that children are already competent learners! Children are encouraged to follow their interests. Teachers come along side the students, bringing new materials and experiences into the classroom to inspire and support learning.

Kazoo School’s day begins at 8 am. Families that choose the half day option pick their child up at 11:15 am, and full day students stay until 3:15 pm. Families may choose to sign up for 3 days or 5 days per week. Kazoo’s program is part of the larger school that extends through eighth grade. Preschool students interact with older students as well as their peers.

Children must be 3 years old by September 30th. Admission is based on availability of enrollment slots. A non-refundable reservation deposit ensures your child’s enrollment for the upcoming school year. A tuition contract defines payment terms and obligations.


  • ADDRESS: 1401 Cherry Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • PHONE: 269-345-3239



Nature’s Way Preschool


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Nine acres of natural areas serve as an extension of the classroom, allowing children to experience daily nature walks and exploration through forests and along a creek. The naturalized playground provides opportunities for digging, playing in the mud, climbing on rocks, building ‘beaver dams’ and balancing on logs.

Nature’s Way Preschool offers experiences typically found in child-centered programs such as discovery-based learning through play, sensory exploration, large and fine motor activity, creative expression, making friends, and developing social skills. Nature’s Way Preschool is licensed by the State of Michigan, and classes are limited in size to 16 students and two outstanding teachers.

Enrollment for the school year is based on a first-come, first-serve basis. If your child is currently enrolled, you will have first priority to enroll for the following year. This priority policy also applies to siblings of current students as well as siblings of past students. Students enrolling at NWP must be3 years old by September 1, and potty trained.

Open enrollment begins February 1, 2017 and parents can arrange a tour by calling 269 343-7342


  • ADDRESS: 4442 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • PHONE: 269-343-7342



Hearts and Hands


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Heart and Hands offers both co-op and non co-op half day preschool programs in an academic setting. We have a safe, welcoming environment where we use free play, hands-on activities, small and large groups, a full gymnasium and a fenced in outdoor space to engage your child’s love of learning.

We offer three 1/2 day classes:

Threes Class: T/TH 9am-11:30am
Fours AM Class: M/W/F 9am-12pm
Fours PM Class: M-F (5 days a week) 12:45-3:45pm

A completed registration form and $60 deposit are required for enrollment. Deposit is $40 if paid by May 31, 2017.



  • ADDRESS: 217 S. Main St
    Vicksburg, MI 49097
  • PHONE: 269-649-2343 ext 106


Friends of Jesus Preschool

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Friends of Jesus Preschool is a Christian preschool devoted to helping all children develop the love of learning. We offer a family friendly environment with small class sizes and welcoming play spaces. We encourage social interaction skills along with play based academics. Since 1978, Friends of Jesus Preschool has been dedicated to a nurturing, child-centered approach to preschool education.

Our classes run from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. Wraparound childcare is available for one hour before classes begin and one hour after classes end. Students who stay after class ends will eat lunch together and have a short rest time.

-3’s (Yellow Bugs): Tuesday and Thursday
-4’s (Orange Bugs): Monday, Wednesday and Friday
-5’s (Red Bugs): Monday through Friday

Friends of Jesus Preschool follows the Creative Curriculum. We offer several classrooms with fun and exciting interest areas and many options for dramatic play and exploration. Students participate in music and chapel each week. We have a great outdoor space for extended learning and go outside each day. Our program features three field trips per year, as well as several family gathering events to promote friendships between students and their families. We also offer two or three summer camps each year.

We are a fully licensed facility. Our teachers and staff have many years of experience in working with and nurturing growth in young children. All staff is CPR and First Aid certified and participate in 16 hours of continuing education each school year.

Open enrollment begins February 1st, 2017. We’re happy to arrange tours of our preschool at any time. You can schedule a tour and/or ask to receive an enrollment packet by calling the preschool office at 269-382-2360, or emailing our office at mvandermeeden@friendsofjesuspreschool.com

Once we have received your completed enrollment documents and the $75.00 enrollment fee, your child’s spot is reserved. (Please note that students enrolling in our programs must be potty trained by the beginning of the school year.)

Open Houses:

Thursday, February 16 and Tuesday, March 7 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Great news! We’ve added another Open House to our Spring schedule. If you’d like to come for a visit, and couldn’t make one of our previous Open Houses, please join us on Wednesday, April 19th, anytime between 4:00 and 6:00pm. If you have questions, please feel free to call at 269-382-2360 or email at mvandermeeden@friendsofjesuspreschool.com



ADDRESS: 2122 Bronson Boulevard, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 | Inside Zion Lutheran Church
PHONE: 269-382-2360



Curious Kids

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Curious Kids offers two high-quality Preschool options for your child. Our Safe Harbor program offers full day Preschool. Families have the choice of 2, 3 or 5 days per week. This program is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Safe Harbor is open year round.

Our Bright Beacon program offers half day Preschool. We offer a 2 or 3-day program for the 3’s and a 3 or 5-day program for the 4’s. Our morning classes meet from 9 -12 and our afternoon classes meet from 12:30 – 3:00. Bright Beacon follows the Portage Public Schools calendar.

Both programs use the Creative Curriculum model. Our experienced & caring teachers strive to make your child’s first school experience a positive one!

Curious Kids has a 4 star rating with the Great Start to Quality program. Both Preschools offer KC Ready 4’s classes.

Children must be potty trained and turn 3 or 4 by September 1, 2017 to qualify.


ADDRESS: 1010 W. Milham, Portage, MI 49024
PHONE: 269-323-6780


Westwood Christian Co-op Preschool







At Westwood Christian Co-op Preschool, you’ll love what we have to offer.

*Fully licensed.
*Established in 1981.
*Excellent, experienced, certified teachers.
*Half day classes for 3’s. 4’s, and Young 5’s, 3’s must be 3 by Dec. 1 and potty trained. 4’s must be 4 by Dec. 1. and Young 5’s must be 5 by Dec. 31.
*Fosters each child’s awareness that he/she is a unique child of God and helps develop God-given potential.
*Cooperative program allows parents the opportunity to observe and participate in their child’s education.

Our preschool students are exposed to:

*Loving Christian atmosphere.
*Exciting “hands on” activities.
*Curriculum centered around child’s individual needs.
*School readiness learning.
*Small class size–limited to 14-16 children.
*Low cost.
*Few working days.
*Field trips.


ADDRESS: Westwood Christian Co-op Preschool, 620 Northampton Rd., Kalamazoo, MI 49006
PHONE: 269-381-8691


Early Learning Center at the YMCA



YMCA Early Learning Center programs strengthen families and boost youth development by offering learning readiness experiences and comprehensive child development programs. Our programming at the Y addresses the holistic development of young children by supporting brain development, early literacy, development of healthy habits, and strong parenting skills. Early learning builds a foundation for future and ongoing achievement and success.

Our programs are licensed by the State of Michigan and promote the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of your child and responds to the needs of the entire family. Our preschool is inclusive and uses Creative Curriculum and PNC’s Grow Up Great curriculum. These curricula offer a hands-on learning environment that encompasses both fine and gross motor skills along with preparing the children for kindergarten. Our programs also offer special activities including tennis lessons, swim lessons, and monthly field trips (based on age and enrollment status).

Parents registering their preschooler full time (5 full days per week) for the 2017-2018 school year will receive a free youth membership for the child during the school year. Families have the option to upgrade to a family membership at a discounted rate. With the YMCA membership, your family can spend quality and active time together by swimming, playing tennis, or attending family nights and parents nights out. This membership may be used at both the Portage and Maple branches.

Must be 2 yrs 9mo and potty trained. Private tours are offered by appointment.


ADDRESS: 1001 W. Maple St., Kalamazoo, MI 49008
PHONE: 269-345-9622 ex 151



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The mission of the Child Development Center is to cooperate with parents to nurture the development of enthusiasm, confidence and early life skills that are necessary for each child’s success in school and later life. By working together, we can support your affection, encouragement and training so essential for achievement and fulfillment in coming years.

CDC preschool programs are typically offered for ages 3 to 5 years. Our skilled staff uses Creative Curriculum, including child-led and teacher-led activities, to help your child progress in their social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth. Several of our locations offer GSRP (state funded) and KCReady 4s (privately funded) preschool programs for families who qualify.

Enrollment requirements are available on our website.



ADDRESS: We have 6 locations in Kalamazoo County.
PHONE: 269-731-5775 (business office)

Christ For Kids

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We are a part of St. Michael Lutheran Church. We have a preschool for 3 year olds, 4 year olds, and 5 year olds with wrap around childcare on site.

St. Michael Lutheran School Preschool partners with parents and preschool staff to help each child attain their God-given abilities by providing a quality education while nurturing their faith with God’s Word, creating Mighty Messengers for Christ! Christ is the heart of our program! We believe children learn best through play and design our lessons to encourage reasoning, questioning and experimenting while providing hands-on materials for learning.

Registrations requirements are completion of registration form and $100.00 registration fee. Currently enrolling:

  • Must be 3 by September 1 for 3’s preschool
  • Must be 4 by September 1 for 4’s preschool
  • Must be 5 by March 1 for 5’s preschool


ADDRESS: 7211 Oakland Drive Portage MI 49024
PHONE: 269-327-4889

St. Monica Catholic Preschool

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Educating the whole child is the focus of St. Monica’s Early Education program. Step into our preschool classroom and you’ll find children using their cognitive skills to identify letters, or putting their fine motor skills to use by building seasonal objects, such as igloos in the winter, and a green plant garden in the spring. Our students also study the Catholic faith through a Montessori-based program used worldwide, called The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

Our preschool is fully licensed and our curriculum follows the Michigan standards for early childhood education. We offer full and half day options for children ages 3, 4 and 5, in addition to a Transitional Kindergarten program.

We welcome families to contact our preschool to schedule a visit. Routine tours are scheduled the third Thursday of each month from 9-11 a.m. Private tours can also be arranged by calling the school. Registration forms are available on the school website.



ADDRESS: 530 West Kilgore Road, Kalamazoo, MI
PHONE: 269-345-2444



St. Augustine Cathedral School

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The St. Augustine Cathedral School preschool program emphasizes the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of each child. Our fully licensed preschool, offers 3-year-old and 4-year programs, with special classroom components that nurture each child’s creativity and spirituality.

These components include the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program, which teaches children the rudiments of the Catholic faith using a hands-on, Montessori approach. We also offer Kindermusik, a program that combines music and movement to develop creativity in our preschool students.

St. Augustine’s preschool follows the Michigan standards for early childhood education. Full and half day options are available. If you’re interested in seeing our preschool, feel free to stop by our regular open house, offered the third Thursday of each month from 9-11 am. Private tours can also be arranged by contacting the school. Registration forms are available on the school website.

Please contact our school for more information. We look forward to meeting you.



ADDRESS: 600 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI
PHONE: 269-349-1945



Kalamazoo Country Day School

KCDS provides a supportive, challenging and creative environment to prepare your children for kindergarten.

Oral language and literacy, number sense, motor skills, behavior and self-care are addressed daily and we offer our youngest students an extracurricular program including Spanish, art, music and P.E.

Our teachers have college degrees with Early Childhood or Lower Elementary certification.

KCDS offers full and half day options, three or five days a week for preschool and Junior Kindergarten. School days run from 8:10 AM until 3:10 PM. We provide before and after school care.

Call us to schedule a tour of our school!


ADDRESS: 4221 East Milham Rd., Portage, MI 49002
PHONE: 269-329-0116



More Great Preschools

The listing below is a full that that we put together based upon feedback from our KZOOkids.com readers. While this may not be a full listing of all of the area preschools, it is a good place to start when seeing all of the great options that we have available. Note: the preschools that are bolded in this listing can be found in the advertising section of this guide. 


Adventure Kid’s Childcare, 9773 S. Sprinkle Road, Portage | 269-324-1138
Adventure’s Learning Center, 4295 Bishop Ave, Portage | 269-323-3600
AppleTree Learning Center, 909 Dix Street, Otsego, MI | 269-692-3685
Bullfrogs & Butterflies Christian Preschool, 5902 S. 12th St.. Portage | 269-488-2120
Calico Corner Pre-School, 2323 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo | 269-345-6901
CHUM Co-Op Preschool, 7028 Oakland Drive, Portage | 269-251-2131
Christ for Kids Preschool and Childcare, 7211 Oakland Drive, Portage | 269-327-4889
Curious Kids, 1010 W Milham Ave, Portage | 269-323-6780
Discovery Center Kids, 4102 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo | 269-372-0007
Friends of Jesus Preschool of Zion Lutheran Church, Zion Lutheran Church, 2122 Bronson Blvd, Kalamazoo |269-382-2360
Gagie School, 615 Fairview Avenue Kalamazoo | 269-344-6541
Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool, 1518 E. Centre Avenue, Portage | 269-359-1115
Great Explorations Preschool, West Portage | 269-762-7115
Heart and Hands Christian Preschool, 217 S. Main St, Vicksburg |269-649-2343
Jack and Jill Co-Op, 8047 Church St, Richland | 269-629-9149
JumpStart Childcare Center of Kalamazoo, 6712 Financial Pkwy, Kalamazoo | 269-544-3000
Kalamazoo Christian Preschool, multiple locations around Kalamazoo | 269-381-2044
Kalamazoo Country Day School, 3221 E. Milham Rd, Portage | 269-329-0116
Kazoo School, 1401 Cherry Street, Kalamazoo | 269-345-3239
Learning Village-Fairfax, 202 Fairfax, Kalamazoo | 269-382-3887 and Learning Village – Lake St., 215 Lake Street, Kalamazoo | 269-341-6070
Little Miracle’s Christian Learning Center, Southridge Church, 6726 Texas Drive, Kalamazoo | 269-353-2700, ext. 222
Looking Glass Child Care, 5527 Parkview Ave., Kalamazoo | 269-372-9766
Milwood Co-Op Pre-School, 3919 Portage St, Kalamazoo | 269-381-6209
The Montessori School, 750 Howard, Kalamazoo, MI and 6274 N 32nd St., Richland | 269-349-3248
Nature’s Way Preschool, 4442 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo | 269-343-7342
Northglade Montessori Magnet School, 1914 Cobb Ave., Kalamazoo | 269-337-0700
Otis Montessori Academy, 810 East Center Ave., Portage | 269-327-8277
PCCN Co-Op, 2731 West Milham Road, Portage | 269-323-7855
St. Augustine Cathedral School, 600 West Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI | 269-349-1945
St. James Lutheran Preschool, 2381 Romence Road, Portage | 269-327-7706
St. Monica Catholic School, 530 West Kilgore Rd, Kalamazoo | 269-345-2444
The Shamrock Montessori, 7508 Oakland Drive, Portage | 269-324-4818
Small World Christian Preschool, 2400 Winchell Ave, Kalamazoo | 269-344-4920
WMU Children’s Place Learning Center, The Children’s Place Learning Center at WMU, Kalamazoo | 269-387-2277
Wee Care, 625 Oakland Dr., Portage | 269-327-3100
Westwood Christian Co-Op Preschool, 620 Northhampton Rd, Kalamazoo | 269-381-8691
WoodsEdge Y Preschool, 1501 E. Milham Road, Portage | 269-250-9452
YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo, 1001 W. Maple St., Kalamazoo | 269-345-9622