The Big List of Kalamazoo Preschools – Including Portage

Kids baking at Preschool

Find Your Child’s Perfect Start to School with this List of Kalamazoo Area Preschools

Hello, Preschool!

The arrival of preschool can bring mixed emotions for both kids and parents. It’s exciting and new, but also a bit overwhelming and nerve-racking. After all, you are sending your baby off into the world.

Landing on that perfect preschool for your little one can make the transition into the school years smoother and happier. We are here to help you do just that.

Our preschool guide will give you options and help you narrow down what school fits your child and family needs best.

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Preschool?

Choosing a preschool for your child can seem like such an overwhelming task. When exploring your preschool options around Kalamazoo, keep these important considerations in mind:

  • curriculum, teaching methods and learning philosophy
  • public, private or religious affiliation
  • location
  • practical issues such as drop-off and pickup, recess, hours, and after-hours options
  • parent communication structure
  • food – consider allergy management and food preferences
  • cost
  • staff experience and staff to student ratios
  • classroom resources and playground equipment

Hopefully these factors will get you started as you weigh your options and choose with confidence the best preschool for your family needs.

Hooray for an exciting start to your child’s educational journey!

Kids at preschool with teacher

*It is a parent’s responsibility to research a preschool’s accreditation status. Accreditation is not a legal requirement for preschools in Michigan and choosing an accredited preschool is a parent preference.

Greater Kalamazoo Preschools Guide

This information is updated for the 2020-21 preschool year.
*The following are sponsored listings.

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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 snacks 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 the 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 – 269-459-9301
AppleTree – Otsego – 269-692-3675


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The Montessori School

The Montessori School offers preschool and kindergarten programs for children age 2 years 9 months through age 6 at our primary campus in downtown Kalamazoo.

  • Morning (8:30 AM-12:00 PM) or full-day (7:30 AM-6:00 PM) options
  • Before and after-school care is available
  • 9-month and 12-month programs
  • 1:10 adult-to-child ratio with Montessori-trained and well-educated staff
  • All-Year Montessori program, offering a cohesive community for students needing full-time care

Your child will be introduced to many different concepts, learning through observation and direct interaction with beautifully crafted materials in our safe learning environment.

  • Children learn to bake, sew, wash dishes, sweep, pour, button clothing and more with our lessons in Practical Life
  • Activities that appeal to 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 immerse the student through tactile activities
  • Our Mathematics materials are designed to teach your child not only how, but why. Math is hands-on and lessons teach values and operations using materials that the child manipulates
  • Lessons in Grace and Courtesy begin on the first day of school and are reinforced throughout the Primary level.

750 Howard Street Kalamazoo, MI 49008 | 269-349-3248

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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 offers a unique preschool experience at CELA, the Comstock Early Learning Academy!

CELA offers several flexible Pre-K options for three and four-year-olds.

  • STEM Pre-K classroom, where we introduce your child to science, technology, engineering, and math in a fun, hands-on environment.
  • Chinese Immersion Pre-K. We have partnered with the Confucius Institute at Western Michigan University to offer a program like no other in the Kalamazoo area. Students complete classroom activities and projects through a multilingual approach that teaches them about Chinese language and culture.
  • Half day and full-day preschool programs, as well as childcare and aftercare options for children from 6 weeks to 12 years.
  • In addition to tuition-based programs, our facility also offers classrooms that are a part of the Great Start Readiness Program and Head Start.

All meals and snacks are provided at no additional cost, and transportation is also included for any three and four year-old students in the Comstock Public Schools district.

Call 269-250-8960 to schedule a visit, or visit our website for more information.

6171 East MN Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49048 | 269-250-8960

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Gift of Grace Montessori

Inspired by Montessori. Guided by Love.

Imagine a place…where individual learning styles, curiosity and desire to learn are nurtured, creating lifelong practical life skills, sensory development, love of science, art, music, language arts and spiritual formation.

Imagine a place…where children explore and satisfy their individual gifts in a loving, mixed-age, specially designed learning environment.

Gift of Grace Montessori is such a place – founded in 2018 and nestled in the beautiful Texas Township community – offering full and half day programming for children ages 3-5 years (preschool and young 5s).

Seeing is believing – call to schedule a tour and meet the teachers, explore the beautiful classroom and learn more about our unique Montessori-inspired curriculum.

8097 Vineyard Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 | 269-365-5775

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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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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 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 respond to the needs of the entire family. Our preschool is inclusive and uses Creative Curriculum – offering a hands-on learning environment that encompasses both fine and gross motor skills along with preparing for kindergarten.

Our programs also offer special activities including tennis and 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 2020-21 school year will receive a free family membership for the school year. 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.

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

1001 W. Maple St., Kalamazoo, MI 49008 | 269-345-9622, ext 151

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PCCN Preschool

PCCN Preschool is founded on the philosophy that children and their families benefit from high-quality early childhood programs.

We are proud partners with KCReady4s, a program that provides tuition assistance to qualified families, student supports, family engagement opportunities, and continued professional development for staff.

Our approach to learning is that teachers act as guides, resources, problem-posers, and partners in learning. We provide an environment which encourages active exploration and discovery. Opportunities are provided for children to take responsibility, make decisions and learn through play. Each child’s learning is filtered through his or her unique screen of self-concept. Materials are provided to foster early literacy, math, science, social studies, as well as fine and gross motor skills.

Because children absorb what their bodies are experiencing, the more involved the experience, the greater the potential for learning. We encourage the child to grow in his sense of self-confidence, self-worth, and creative ability, as well as in independence and self-control.

In the co-operative spirit, parents partner in our play once a month. We offer a non-participating option for those unable to be in the

We offer 3 classes:

  • T/TH 9:00-11:30 AM 3s class
  • M/W/F 9:00-11:30 AM Braided 3s-4s class
  • M-F 12:30-3:30 PM PreK class

3600 W Milham Ave, Portage, MI 49024 (located inside the New Apostolic Church of Portage) | 269-323-7855

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Kalamazoo Country Day School

Kalamazoo Country Day School is the only private, independent non-profit school in southwest Michigan. It provides progressive, individualized instruction that emphasizes problem-solving, communication and high-level thinking.

For 40 years, the KCDS Preschool has provided guided, hands-on activities that foster curiosity, build a lifelong love for learning, and create meaningful and developmentally appropriate bridges to academic and social-emotional growth. Each day at KCDS holds opportunities to explore through indoor and outdoor play that integrate math, literacy, social studies and science. Small class sizes, academic differentiation and flexible themed units allow even the youngest of learners to guide their own education.

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

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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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Christ for Kids Preschool at St. Michael Lutheran

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

Certified teachers lead each 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. Preschoolers will enjoy weekly chapel, music class and time with second grade book buddies!

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


  • Age 3   M/W or T/TH 8:15-11:15 
  • Age 4  (3 day)  W/TH/F 8:15-11:15 or 12:15-3:15
  • Age 4   (5 day) M-F 8:15-1:15 or 12:15-3:15

Schedule a tour 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 60 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 | 269-993-0066

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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
  • Fosters each child’s awareness that s/he 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 experience:

  • A loving Christian environment
  • Exciting “hands on” activities
  • Curriculum centered around child’s individual needs
  • Preparation for kindergarten
  • Small class size–limited to 14-16 children
  • Low cost
  • Few working days
  • Field trips

620 Northampton Rd., Kalamazoo, MI, 49006 | 269-381-8691

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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 class that meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-11:30 AM. We offer a morning (8:30-11:30 AM) and/or afternoon (12:15-3:15 PM) 4 year old class that meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

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

Please contact us for more information.

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

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Full List of Kalamazoo Area Preschools

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 Rd, Portage | 269-324-1138

Adventure’s Learning Center, 4295 Bishop Ave, Portage | 269-323-3600

AppleTree Learning Center, 909 Dix St, Otsego | 269-692-3675

Bullfrogs & Butterflies Christian Preschool, 5902 S. 12th St, Portage | 269-488-2120

Calico Corner Pre-School, 2323 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo | 269-345-6901

Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo, St. Augustine Cathedral School – 600 W Michigan Ave & St. Monica Catholic School – 530 W Kilgore Rd, Kalamazoo | St. Augustine Cathedral School – 269-349-1945 & St. Monica Catholic School – 269-345-2444

CHUM Co-Op Preschool, 7028 Oakland Dr, Portage | 269-251-2131

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

Christ for Kids Preschool and Childcare, 7211 Oakland Dr, Portage | 269-327-4889

Comstock Early Learning Academy, 6171 East MN Ave, Kalamazoo | 269-250-8960

Curious Kids, 1010 W Milham Ave, Portage | 269-323-6780

Discovery Center Kids, 4102 W Michigan Ave, 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 Ave Kalamazoo | 269-344-6541

Gift of Grace Montessori, 8097 Vineyard Parkway, Kalamazoo | 269-365-5775

Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool, 1518 E Centre Ave, Portage and 4620 Arboretum Parkway, Kalamazoo | 269-359-1115 and 269-459-9301

Great Explorations Preschool, West Portage | 269-762-7115

Haven’s Little Treasures Christian Preschool, 5350 N Sprinkle Rd, 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 | 269-381-2044

Kalamazoo Country Day School, 3221 E Milham Rd, Portage | 269-329-0116

Kazoo School, 1401 Cherry St, Kalamazoo | 269-345-3239

Learning Village-Fairfax, 202 Fairfax, Kalamazoo | 269-382-3887

Learning Village – Lake St, 215 Lake St, Kalamazoo | 269-341-6070

Little Miracle’s Christian Learning Center, Southridge Church, 6726 Texas Dr, Kalamazoo | 269-353-2700, ext. 222

Little Steps Childcare & Preschool (Portage/Mattawan School Systems), 7890 S 8th St, Kalamazoo | 269-544-1888 or text 269-998-2887

Looking Glass Child Care, 5527 Parkview Ave, Kalamazoo | 269-372-9766

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

Milwood Co-Op Pre-School, 3919 Portage St, Kalamazoo | 269-381-6209

The Montessori School, 750 Howard, Kalamazoo and 6274 N 32nd St, Richland | 269-349-3248

Mrs. O’s Preschool, 8025 Moorsbridge Rd, Portage | 269-993-0066

Nature’s Way Preschool, 4442 Oakland Dr, Kalamazoo | 269-343-7342

New Wonders Discovery Center, 7000 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo | 269-326-4926

Northglade Montessori Magnet School, 1914 Cobb Ave, Kalamazoo | 269-337-0700

Otis Montessori Academy, 810 E Center Ave, Portage | 269-327-8277

PCCN Co-Op, 3600 W Milham Rd, Portage | 269-323-7855

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

St. Augustine Cathedral School, 600 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI | 269-349-1945

St. James Lutheran Preschool, 2381 Romence Rd, Portage | 269-327-7706

St. Monica Catholic School, 530 W Kilgore Rd, Kalamazoo | 269-345-2444

The Shamrock Montessori, 7508 Oakland Dr, Portage | 269-324-4818

Small World Christian Preschool, 2400 Winchell Ave, Kalamazoo | 269-344-4920

Small World Learning Center, 3616 Lake St, Kalamazoo | 269-341-9800

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 Rd, Portage | 269-250-9452

YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo, 1001 W Maple St, Kalamazoo | 269-345-9622

1 thought on “The Big List of Kalamazoo Preschools – Including Portage”

  1. Colleen Ackerman

    New Wonders Discovery Center. 7000 Stadium Kalamazoo.
    We have been there with 3 kids for 7 years they are Amazing. Can’t believe they are not on the list already.

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