Hello, Preschool!

What an exciting time in a child’s life – everything is so fresh and new for them. And as parents, we want to help build on their natural curiosity when we send them to preschool. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all schooling, though. Which leave Kalamazoo-area families to wonder, which preschool is the best fit for my child?

To help you with this big decision, we’ve listed options for your family to consider. When you’re deciding on a preschool, be sure to research big ideas like the school’s learning philosophy and allergy management, as well as smaller, yet important items like curbside drop-off and recess policies.

The first listings you see are from our sponsors – we thank them for supporting us and making this resource possible.

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AppleTree and Gilden Woods

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 AM – 6:00 PM, 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


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The Montessori School

The Montessori School offers primary education for children ages 3 to 6 at our Richland and Kalamazoo campuses.

  • Morning or full-day options; before and after-school care available
  • 9-month and 12-month programs
  • 1:10 adult-to-child ratio with Montessori-trained and educated staff
  • Spanish bilingual program in Richland
  • All-Year Montessori program in Kalamazoo

The foundation of self-esteem and all future learning is constructed during these early years and the Montessori Method is designed to take advantage of this powerful, formative period.

Your child will be introduced to many different concepts and will learn through observation and direct interaction with beautifully crafted materials in our 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.
  • Language is taught through a specific progression of lessons that engage the senses and immersion.
  • Our Mathematics materials are designed to teach your child not only how, but why. Math is hands-on and lessons teach values and operations through 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.

Kalamazoo Campus – 750 Howard Street Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Richland Campus – 6274 N. 32nd Street Richland, MI 49083



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 high quality program is licensed by the State of Michigan and promotes the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of your child. 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 2019-2020 school year will receive a free family membership for the school year. With the YMCA membership, your family can spend quality and active time together by swimming, playing tennis, or attending family nights. This membership may be used at both the Portage and Maple locations.

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

Must be 2 years and 9 months old and potty trained. Private tours are offered by appointment.

1001 W. Maple St., Kalamazoo, MI 49008 | 269-345-9622 ex 161

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Bullfrogs & Butterflies Christian Preschool

Our preschool program is filled with investigation, exploration, and discovery where active and enthusiastic children can refine and expand their skills and knowledge.Through intentional teaching practices, purposefully-designed learning environments and enriched activities, our teachers ensure your preschooler will have a joyful, appropriate and meaningful learning experience that leads to success in school, and in life.

Our preschool program helps children advance their skills in pre-academic areas such as literacy, math, and science, as well as in other essential areas such as art, social and emotional well being, and health and wellness. Our child-centered approach ensures that children are exposed to a diverse array of learning activities and that they thrive in all areas of child development, creative thinking, problem solving, empathetic collaboration, curious investigation and astute decision-making.

Our Preschool offers scheduling options to meet each families needs including 2, 3 or 5 day schedules in our 3-4 year old class and 5 days (AM half day or full day) in our PreK classes. We are also a qualified provider for both GSRP and KCR4’s PreK funding programs.

5902 S. 12th Street, Portage, MI 49024 | 269-488-2120

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Kalamazoo Country Day School

Kalamazoo Country Day Preschool is a responsive, safe, and nurturing environment for children 3 and 4 years of age. We have small class sizes that allow for personalized learning plans, and lesson-guided assessments help us address each child as an individual.

Social-emotional, cognitive, fine, and gross motor skills are integrated into small group activities and play, supported by our comprehensive, research-based curriculum. Preschool is where KCDS Kids begin to develop the confidence, creativity, and critical learning skills that are the hallmark of a Kalamazoo Country Day education.

Our Young Fives Program is perfect for children who need a little more time for social or emotional development after Preschool, and helps transition kiddos into confident, and capable kindergartners. We offer three or five-day programming, with half and full-day options, and our Professional Care Staff provides exceptional Before and After-Care to families with more demanding daytime schedules.

Sit with our Head of School, Dr. Scott Kemple, for coffee and bagels, or schedule a tour and visit us during one of our open houses. We can’t wait to meet you!

4221 East Milham Rd., Portage, MI 49002 | 269-329-0116

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Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo

The Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo offer two great preschool options. St. Augustine Cathedral School, downtown, and St. Monica Catholic School, on the border between Kalamazoo and Portage, provide fully-licensed, welcoming preschool classrooms located within nurturing, Catholic faith-based elementary schools.

Children benefit from a curriculum that provides activities and skills from each developmental area –cognitive, creative, physical, spiritual, language, and Social Emotional Learning – making up the “whole child.” In addition, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a central component of our curriculum. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a hands-on program that focuses on the faith development of each individual child.

We offer full and half days for 3 and 4-year-olds. See our website for more details, and schedule your visit today!

St. Augustine Cathedral School – 600 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 | 269-349-1945
St. Monica Catholic School – 530 W Kilgore Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 | 269-345-2444
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK (St. Augustine) | FACEBOOK (St. Monica)

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Comstock Early Learning Academy

Comstock Public Schools is thrilled to introduce CELA, The Comstock Early Learning Academy! This multi-faceted preschool is part of our 10 year plan, and will be opening in Fall 2019 in the building now known as Green Meadow Elementary.

We will be offering several different preschool experiences for three and four year-olds: a STEM preschool, a Reggio Emilia preschool, world language immersion preschool as well as Comstock GSRP & Head Start.

3010 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

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Milestones Child Development Center

MIlestones Child Development Center

Our philosophy at Milestones Child Development Center is to create and apply a hands-on approach in an environment where children learn through interacting with their surroundings and daily experiences.

Milestones Child Development Center is a play-based program for children that engages and furthers the child’s cognitive, language, social, emotional, physical, and creative development. Each child is given opportunities to explore their environment and expand social and problem solving skills.

Our staff serve as role models and encompass positive images of children, recognizing that they are capable of many things. With this in mind, our staff constantly encourages children to reach new potentials. Teachers embody the roles of facilitators, observers, evaluators, and providers of a warm, nurturing environment.

Parents are encouraged to become involved with their child’s education by taking the responsibility of assisting their child in growing to his or her fullest potential. We believe it is essential for parents, teachers, and families to work as a team with a common goal to continually develop and increase children’s knowledge and growth.

8101 Moorsbridge Road, Portage, MI 49024 | 269-443-2148

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Starting Point Preschool

Starting Point Preschool

God loves kids and so do we! At Starting Point Preschool, our goal and heart’s desire is to help your child learn about God and His world!

We are now offering a NEW 4’s Afternoon Preschool Class! The class will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-3:30 PM. Enrollment is NOW OPEN but spots are filling fast! Get all the details on our website.

2345 N. 10th St., Kalamazoo, MI 49009 | 269-375-4815

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Heart and Hands Preschool

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.

217 S. Main St., Vicksburg, MI 49097 | 269-649-2343 ext 106

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Friends of Jesus Preschool

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.

2122 Bronson Boulevard, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 (Inside Zion Lutheran Church) | 269-382-2360

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Haven’s Little Treasures Christian Preschool

Nurturing students to learn and grow in God’s truths academically, socially and spiritually.

We offer a 3 year old preschool class that meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-11:30 AM and a 4 year old class that meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30-11:30 AM. We also offer an extended day option for the 4 year old class.

Our learning activities include creativity and imagination, music, Bible, physical development (either outside or in our gym), socialization, field trips and readiness activities like introduction to letters and their sounds, handwriting, language, table and group games and so much more.

Please contact us for more information and schedule a tour today.

5350 North Sprinkle Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49004 (inside Haven Church) | 269-344-5871

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Christ for Kids Preschool at St. Michael Lutheran

St. Michael provides a Christian setting for young children to develop and grow spiritually, emotionally, socially, intellectually and physically.

Certified teachers lead each preschool class using a multi-sensory approach and cross-curricular activities designed to help children develop at their own pace in a loving and caring environment. Frequent newsletters keep parents informed of classroom themes, events, and volunteer opportunities.

All members of the community are welcome regardless of faith affiliation.

– 3’s M/W or T/TH 8:15-11:15
– 4’s M-F 8:15 – 11:15 or 12:15-3:15
– 5’s(Transitional Kindergarten) M-F 8:00-11:30

Schedule a tour any time or come to an Open House!

7211 Oakland Drive, Portage, MI 49024 | 269-327-4889

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Mrs. O.'s Preschool

Mrs. O.’s Preschool provides a nurturing environment and high quality education for young children. With over 50 combined years of early elementary teaching experience, we believe in developmental, age-appropriate learning, where children learn at their own pace. We offer a balanced combination of academics, play, and structure to give children a positive first school experience.

As mother and daughters, we promote the importance of family since parents are children’s first teachers. Mrs. O.’s Preschool will create an educational bridge between your homes and our school, because it takes a village to raise a child.

8025 Moorsbridge Road, Portage, MI 49024

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The list below is based on feedback from readers. Do you know of any others? Please leave us a comment and we’ll get them added.

Note: Preschools in bold are also 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

Child Development Center (seven locations in Southwest Michigan) | 269-731-5775

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

Haven’s Little Treasures Christian Preschool, 5350 North Sprinkle Road, Kalamazoo | 269-344-5871

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

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

Milestones Child Development Center,  8101 Moorsebridege Road, Portage |  269-443-2148

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, 3600 West Milham Road, Portage | 269-323-7855

RHCS Preschool, 700 N. Fletcher, Kalamazoo | 269-383-0505

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