2018 Preschool Guide For the Greater Kalamazoo Area2018-08-08T06:36:07+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 available
  • 9-month and 12-month programs
  • Before- and after-school care available
  • 1:10 adult-to-child ratio with highly Montessori trained and educated staff
  • Cooking, sewing, music, gardening, outdoor time, and more!
  • Highly trained teachers and staff

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 in a safe learning environment.

  • 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





Kalamazoo Country Day School



Kalamazoo Country Day Preschool is a responsive, safe and nurturing environment for children that are 3 and 4 years of age. We have small class sizes that allow for differentiated learning and relationship building. Social-emotional, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills are taught through thematic units and are integrated into small group activities and play. We encourage family-school partnerships which promotes a strong community of parents within the school.

We offer a five or three-day program, with half or full day options. Before and aftercare are available. Schedule an appointment for a tour or visit us during our open houses.


ADDRESS: 4221 East Milham Rd., Portage, MI 49002

PHONE: 269-329-0116





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.

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 This curriculum offers 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, nature walks in Kleinstuck Preserve, and monthly field trips (based on age and enrollment status).

Families registering their preschooler full time (5 full days per week) for the 2018-2019 school year will receive a free family membership the school year. With the YMCA membership, your family can spend quality and active time together by swimming, playing tennis, or attending family nights and parent’s nights out. This membership may be used at both the Portage and Maple locations.

We are a proud participant of Kalamazoo County’s KC Ready 4’s, which provides tuition assistance for qualifying families to enroll their 4-year-old in an affordable high-quality program. Visit www.kcready4s.org for more information about the program.

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




Kazoo School


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Kazoo School PreKindergarten 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. Children must be 3 years old by September 30th.


ADDRESS: 1401 Cherry Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

PHONE: 269-345-3239





Hearts and Hands



At Heart and Hands we offer three half-day programs:

  • T/TH 3s Class
  • M/W/F 4s Class
  • M-F (5 day) 4s Class

Our 2 and 3-day classes have a parent co-op option. Our 5-day class participates with both KC Ready 4s and GSRP funding which means tuition is FREE to qualifying families. Because our classes are only half-day we are able to create a school-like atmosphere with a daily schedule balancing free choice time and academic activities that will prepare your child for a successful kindergarten year. Heart and Hands uses The Creative Curriculum which covers 38 objectives in Development and Learning for preschoolers. Smaller class sizes allow for more individual attention for each child.



ADDRESS: 217 S. Main St., Vicksburg, MI 49097

PHONE: 269-649-2343 ext 106




Friends of Jesus Preschool

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Preschoolers need a blend of learning, playing, singing, sharing, reading, writing, exploring, laughing, counting, creating, moving and doing to experience their world and prepare for kindergarten. Since 1978, Friends of Jesus Preschool has been offering this blend to preschoolers in the greater Kalamazoo area. We offer experienced and caring staff, small class sizes, engaging classrooms and a family friendly environment. Helping children develop first friendships and early social skills are also an important part of what we do. Come in for a tour and see what we’re about.



ADDRESS: 2122 Bronson Boulevard, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 | Inside Zion Lutheran Church

PHONE: 269-382-2360





Curious Kids: Bright Beacon & Safe Harbor

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Curious Kids offers two Preschool options. Our Bright Beacon program is offered in the morning or afternoon during the school year. Our Safe Harbor program is offered 2, 3 or 5 full days year round. Both programs use the Creative Curriculum model. We gladly accept KCReady 4s clients!



ADDRESS: 1010 W. Milham, Portage, MI 49024

PHONE: 269-323-6780




CHUM Co-op Preschool


CHUM Co-op Preschool is enrolling! We believe that children learn best through play and hands-on activities with degreed teachers. Preschool activities include:

• Sharing/Story Time
• Music/Finger Plays
• Dramatic/Creative Play
• Color/Shape/Number
• Science
• Tactile Exploration
• Large/Small Motor
• Art
• Cooking

Schedule a private tour today!



ADDRESS: 7028 Oakland Dr., Portage, MI 49002

PHONE: 269-251-2131





More Great Preschools

The listing below is a full 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