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Iowa City Area Preschool Guide 2018

iowa city preschool guide

Welcome to the Iowa City Moms Blog Preschool Guide 2018! Searching for the right place for your child to learn and grow can be overwhelming, so we are here to help. There are an abundance of preschools, child care centers, and in-home programs to choose from in our area, but we hope this guide will provide you with the information you need to find the best fit for your family. 


Montessori School


Pre-Primary program: 2 years old
Primary program: ages 3-6
Elementary program: ages 6-12

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday
Half-Day Primary and Pre-Primary Program (3-6 years of age) 8:30 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.
Full-Day Primary and Pre-Primary Program 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Before Program 7:30 – 8:15 a.m. After-school Program 3:15 – 6:00 p.m.

Enrollment Info:

A child can be registered to enroll in the Montessori School of Iowa City at any time before attending the school. The earlier a child is registered, the more likely he/she will secure a position. Registration requires a parent or guardian to complete a registration form and submit it with a non-refundable registration fee. Parents are encouraged to observe the school as part of the decision-making process. The registration procedure places the child in a waiting pool for enrollment.

Children entering the Primary program must be fully toilet trained. Discounts are available for multiple children from one family. Please ask for details. Class ratios are 10:1 for the Primary program and 6:1 for the Pre-Primary program.

The Montessori School of Iowa City’s mission is to provide authentic Montessori education that serves the child’s intrinsic motivation to learn and is inclusive, sustainable, and holistic. The Montessori School of Iowa City was founded in 1962 by a group of parents seeking a Montessori-based educational program for their children. The Montessori method of education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician. Fundamental to all of Dr. Montessori’s ideas is a deep respect for a child’s ability to learn. This innate potential to learn is dependent upon a loving environment that encourages the active pursuit of knowledge.

Classroom Lead teachers are certified by the American Montessori Society. Each classroom has a Lead teacher and an Assistant teacher. All staff members are required to pass background checks and are trained in CPR and First Aid as required by DHS. We value excellence in teaching the whole child customized to each student’s intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs and abilities. In addition to an authentic Montessori prepared environment in each classroom, we also offer specialized instruction in Spanish and Music.



Infant-Age 6

Hours of Operation:

7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Enrollment Info:

The Montessori Children’s Garden and Nursery accept registrations at any time of the year. Enrollment is offered in summer and fall for the preschool program and offered as openings become available for the nursery program. Our schools value small class sizes and follow Iowa DHS ratio guidelines.


The Montessori Children’s Garden is a Montessori preschool offering full and half day options for children ages 3-6. We offer activities in the areas of math, language, practical life, sensorial, science, geography, art, and weekly music and Spanish classes. Classes are led by fully certified and experienced Montessori teachers.

The Montessori Children’s Nursery is a school for infants and toddlers guided by the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori. Each child is encouraged to explore in a beautiful and orderly environment with materials carefully chosen for their educational purpose and sensory qualities. These values occur within a safe and supportive environment organized by experienced, Montessori trained teachers.





3-5 years of age. Students should be fully toilet-trained.

Hours of Operation:

Full-time Preschool M-F 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 
Part-time Preschool M-F 8:30 -11:30 a.m. 
Before School Program M-F 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. 
After School Program M-F 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Enrollment Info:

Willowwind accepts applications throughout the school year, enrolling students as space allows. Families may opt to be put on a waiting list if enrollment is full. Small class sizes are one of the many benefits at Willowwind. Preschool classrooms do not exceed 20 students, offering teacher ratios of 10:1.


The goal of Willowwind’s Montessori program is to teach the child as a whole, equally guiding the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth of each child. Through the prepared environment, calmness of the teacher, and attention to grace and courtesy, we strive to offer an educational experience based upon the teachings of Maria Montessori. The core Montessori curricular areas are Practical Life, Sensorial Development, Science, Language, Mathematics, Arts and Culture, and Grace and Courtesy.




3-5 year olds

Hours of Operation:

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Enrollment Info:

Families can choose 2, 3, or 5 mornings a week. Children must be toilet-trained. Low student-teacher ratios.


Christ the King Preschool strives to lay the foundation for skills that will last a lifetime. We provide a nurturing environment to further learning, social skills, and spiritual growth. Our program focuses not only on academic activities such as reading, science, arts, and music, but also places importance on teaching young children how to work well with others in their community. Christ the King Preschool is Christian-based, but is open and welcoming to all faiths.




3-5 years
• 2 DAY (Tuesday/Thursday) program for 3-4 year olds
• 3 DAY (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) program for 4-5 year olds/pre-kindergarten
• 5 DAY program for pre-kindergarten

Hours of Operation:

Tues/Thurs 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Mon/Wed/Fri 8:30 – 12:30 p.m.

Enrollment Info:

Stepping Stones Preschool follows the ICCSD calendar and holds classes August through May. Families register by filling out the registration form (available on our website) along with the $40 registration fee. Parents may enroll their child in either a FULL or COOPERATIVE tuition plan. Parents choosing the cooperative plan will get to share their child’s preschool experience a certain number of days per semester (see registration form) and receive a discounted rate by participating in the classroom. Stepping Stones Preschool has two classroom teachers in addition to one parent from the Cooperative Plan to ensure an average child/adult ratio of 6:1.


At Stepping Stones Preschool students develop the skills they need for Kindergarten while having fun learning! Our mission is to provide a high-quality education for 3-5 year olds that encourages kindergarten readiness and provides opportunities for parent involvement at home and school. This early childhood education program is designed to nurture the development of the whole child. Stepping Stones Preschool is a non-profit corporation, licensed by the state of Iowa and affiliated with the Iowa City Community School District and the State Wide Voluntary Preschool Program (SWVPP). Tuition for qualifying 4-year-olds is supplemented by SWVPP and is offered at a discounted rate.




3-5 years of age

Hours of Operation:

Tues/Thurs Preschool: 9:00-12:00
Mon/Wed/Fri Pre-K: 9:00-12:00
Mon-Fri: 9:00-12:00
MWF: Extended Day Learning Program 12:00-1:00 (for an extra fee)

Enrollment Info:

Children must be three (by the first day of preschool) to five years old, toilet trained, and not yet enrolled in kindergarten. Prior to your child’s first day of attendance, we must have a physical form, immunization record, financial agreement, and a completed registration form on file. A deposit of one month of tuition must accompany your registration in order to reserve a place for your child. This payment is non-refundable but covers your last tuition payment (in May). There is also a $25 non-refundable application fee due at the time of registration. Please call for a tour of our preschool.

A Christian preschool is a very effective agency for teaching Christian love through example and experience. It provides time for quality education and training in a warm and friendly atmosphere where preschool children can learn to play creatively with one another. Each child develops skills and self-reliance at his/her own rate of progress.

Parkview Christian Preschool is a play based program. Preschool children are guided to discover the world around them and learn through hands-on experiences. They are encouraged to follow directions, show consideration, and develop skills at their own rate in a developmentally appropriate way. Through play, each child will develop physically, socially, intellectually, and emotionally. Students are encouraged to solve problems, use their skills, and discover their place in the world as they begin to understand the role of others.



6 weeks-6 years

Hours of Operation:

6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Enrollment Info:

We are currently accepting enrollment reservations for June 2018. You are welcome to join our wait list. Wait list forms are accepted on an ongoing basis. If you are placed on our wait list, we will contact you if openings become available at any point throughout the year. We invite your child to join us at La Montessori Nurtury, where a life long love of learning is born!

La Montessori Nurtury is excited to welcome your child to our beautiful new space, featuring a peaceful, no-clutter environment; experienced teachers; child-led learning; unique enrichment activities; and an incredible outdoor area for learning and play.

LMN offers an authentic Montessori experience that is also fresh and convenient for today’s busy families in an ever-changing world. The timeless Montessori method encourages the natural inclination of children to be independent and to learn. By allowing children to freely explore their carefully-prepared environment, teachers nurture their natural curiosities in each curricular area, while also encouraging meaningful participation in the life of their family, community, and school. At LMN, teachers create individualized learning plans for each student in the curricular areas of practical life, geography and cultural studies, sensorial, math, science, language, music, and art. There is emphasis on cultivating grace and courtesy, fostering a sense of community in the classroom, and preparing students for life beyond its walls.

In the Montessori philosophy, the classroom is viewed as a microcosm of society—that is, a little community itself—so LMN strives to bring the modern world in. Foreign language classes taught by a native Spanish teacher are part of our cultural curriculum component. Fun activities are planned to teach about age-appropriate current events, and families are encouraged to share about their cultural traditions and travel experiences.

To provide convenient extracurricular opportunities, on-site enrichment classes are offered for children ages 2-6 years old including soccer, gymnastics, cooking class, yoga, and dance. Even the schedule is designed to be convenient for busy families. LMN Day School offers fulltime and part-time program options (Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday) for children ages 6 weeks-6 years. All options are for an unlimited amount of hours every day of the week or on the specified part-time days.

A Pre-K Enrichment program is included for 4-5 year olds in our preschool classes. This is a small group that meets three times weekly to focus on kindergarten readiness. The focus is on challenging children in the areas of language, science, and mathematics. Monthly plans are provided for the Pre-K parents outlining concepts and methods used.

Preschool teachers are Montessori certified and hold a high standard of qualifications including bachelors’ and masters’ degrees in early childhood education.



3 to 5 years old
Must be potty trained

Hours of Operation:

Preschool 9:00 a.m. until Noon
Extended hours from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Enrollment Info:

3 day session – Monday/Wednesday/Friday
2 day session – Tuesday/Thursday
5 day session – Monday-Friday

To ensure your child’s position, please mail your completed Enrollment Form along with the $50 non-refundable registration fee to Our Redeemer Preschool. Upon receipt of the Enrollment Form and fee, the enrollment packet will be sent to you containing all additional paperwork to be completed.


Our Redeemer Preschool has been fulfilling the educational and spiritual needs of children in the Iowa City area since 1981. Licensed by the State of Iowa, Our Redeemer Preschool is a non-profit organization administered by a Board of Directors who have a passion for children. Our Redeemer Preschool desires to nurture our children with Christ as the center of their lives. Our philosophy is to provide a Christ-centered atmosphere that allows children to observe, make choices, be active, explore, and experiment.

Our Mission

* To introduce and reinforce the basic Christian truths about God—who made and cares for us, and Jesus—who always loves and forgives us.
* To encourage each child to grow physically, academically, socially, and spiritually.
* To give ample opportunities for independent, self-initiated activities, as well as opportunities for peer interaction and cooperation.
* To promote learning through play—One in Christ Curriculum is used. Teachers engage students where they are developmentally and help them grow.


preucil logo


Ages 3-5

Hours of Operation:

M-F 8:15-3:30

Classes: We offer 2-day (T/Th), 3-day (M/W/F), and 5-day (M-F) options.

We hold morning (9:00 – 1:00), afternoon (12:30  3:30), and full day (9:00 – -3:30). We have an early drop-off option.

Enrollment Info:

Children must be 3 years of age and toilet trained. Registration is ongoing and takes place year round. It is usually possible to make an offer to everyone on the list. It is beneficial to get your placement form/fee in early if you want a specific program (2-, 3- or 5-days). Placement for fall begins in January/February.

We are a play-based fine arts preschool, inspired by the Reggio approach and the Suzuki Method. We focus on creativity, imagination and exploration. Our goal is to help each child grow and learn in all areas of human experience as it fosters cooperation, caring, confidence, action, intellect, knowledge, beauty, and inherent motivation.

The Reggio Emilia schools were developed in Italy post WWII by parents and educator Loris Malaguzzi. The schools have become world renown for their innovative methods and were named by Newsweek as one of the ten best schools in the world. Preucil embraces this approach in our arts-rich and engaging environment.

Children learn best through play and hands-on activities in which they are active participants. We approach learning in a spontaneous, playful manner. Project based learning and emergent curriculum are interwoven to create a curriculum that values children’s ideas and promotes in-depth investigation of those ideas. Music and art are offered daily with trained teachers. In music, children work on basic musical skills and most importantly, experience the joy of music. Our art studio is available daily for children to explore—it is a haven for their creative risks and whimsy. Children explore the world and its natural phenomena in our spacious playground. Sand, mud, water, grass, logs and stones are just a few of the natural materials that are accessible. Developing friendships and the important social skills of negotiation and compassion happens as we learn and play together.

Class sizes number between 16 and 19. Each class has a lead teacher and one or two aides, an available full-time art teacher and a daily music class taught by a music teacher. Preucil Preschool has been celebrating children’s interests, ideas, and curiosities since 1976.

Other Reader-Recommended Preschools

Iowa City

Apple Tree Children’s Center

Christ the King Christian Preschool

Discovery Cottage Preschool 

Good Shepherd Preschool 


Kirkwood School for Children

La Petite Academy

Lion Heart Early Learning Center

Mary Jo Small Child Care at Brookland Woods

Our Redeemer Preschool

Parkview Preschool 

Preucil School of Music

Regina Early Childhood Center

Stepping Stones Preschool

Sunshine Daycare & Preschool

Treebrook Preschool

University Preschool

Willowwind School


Academy of Early Learning

Creation Kids Preschool (Coralville Location)

Grace Garden Preschool and BASP

Handicare Inc. Daycare Center

Helping Hands Playschool

Love-A-Lot Early Childhood Center 

Montessori School

Nolte Performing Arts Preschool

Prince of Peace Christian Preschool

Simple Abundance

North Liberty

Corridor Christian Early Learning Center

Creation Kids Preschool (North Liberty location)

Heritage Christian School

Montessori Children’s Garden 

North Liberty Community Preschool

Purple Bloom Preschool


Graceland Preschool


Prairie Green School


All Aboard Daycare/Preschool 

Lakeview Preschool 

Play & Learn Preschool


All God’s Children Preschool

West Branch

Hoover Elementary Pre-K

West Branch Community Early Learning Center

Multiple Locations

ICCSD preschool programs 

Head Start through HACAP

Local mamas – Do you love your child's preschool?

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