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Today's Family Magazine

2019 Preschool Guide

Mar 18, 2019 04:30PM

Finding the Right Preschool for Your Child

Finding the Right Preschool for Your Child

Tips to consider and questions to ask when searching for the perfect preschool for your child. (Includes a special preschool visit checklist and preschool vocabulary section at the end.) Read More » 


Tell them you heard about them in Today's Family!

Listing of Preschools

Scroll to see Lake and Geauga listings.


Starting Point
(216) 575-0061
(800) 880-0971
Starting Point for child care and early education, a nonprofit agency, is northeast Ohio's child care and early education resource and referral source, serving families, early childhood professionals and the community.  Starting Point works to:
  • Link families with child care services
  • Increase the supply of child care
  • Improve the quality of child care
  • Stimulate early education alternatives
  • Address child care and early education issues
The agency serves Ashtabula, Lake, Cuyahoga and Geauga counties.

Cleveland Metropolitan School District
(216) 838-0110
It is the vision of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) that every student in Early Childhood grades pre-K  through grade 3 will be successful in a rigorous instructional program. CMSD’s Early Childhood program addresses the language and cognitive development of students in addition to the social, emotional and physical needs of every child.

The mission of the Early Childhood Office is to create a rich and stimulating, child-centered environment in every classroom.  Parents can expect to find developmentally appropriate teaching strategies in a center-based setting in every one of their classrooms.

CMSD continually strives to optimize the conditions for learning for their youngest learners.  Each student is valued for his or her unique experiences and learning style as they work toward the ultimate goal to help them become successful independent learners.

Visit to learn about required documents for enrollment and preschool locations.

Call 216-838-0110 to enroll today, seats are limited!

Cleveland Montessori
12510 Mayfield Road, Cleveland
(216) 421-0700

Communion of Saints School
2160 Stillman Road, Cleveland Heights
(216) 932-4177
Communion of Saints preschool program follows a play-based, child-centered philosophy enhanced by their welcoming Catholic tradition.    
Both classes encourage active, hands-on learning while following Diocesan standards and guidelines; supporting children to explore and discover their world through play has been established to be the optimum way for young children to learn.

Children will engage in dramatic play to encourage pre-literacy skills, build with blocks and sort objects to establish mathematical concepts, create process-based art to encourage aesthetic understanding, and move their bodies in both the large-muscle room as well as the outdoor play area to develop physical growth.

3-Year-Old Program
8:30–11:00 am*
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday

4 & 5-Year-Old Program
8:30–11:00 am*
*There is an optional extended day from 11:00 am – noon for both classes.

For more information or to schedule a tour, call (216) 932-4177, visit or send an email to [email protected]

Corpus Christi Academy Preschool
5655 Mayfield Road, Lyndhurst
440-449-4242 ext. 102
The Corpus Christi Academy prekindergarten program offers both full- and half-day options to meet the needs of your family.   The half-day program is offered M–F from 8:15–11:15 am and the full-day program is offered M–F from 8:15 am–2:15 pm.  Prekindergarten students will examine their world using a play-based approach that encourages critical thinking and builds confidence as the littlest Eagles learn to soar.  Before-and after-care options also available.

Creative Playrooms Montessori & Child Care Centers
Solon (440) 248-3100
Independence (216) 524-8008
Parma (216) 898-9520
Strongsville (440) 572-9365
Westlake (440) 835-5858
Maple Hts. (216) 475-6464
At Creative Playrooms Montessori & Child Care Center, their mission is to offer the highest quality, learning environment for the successful development of the total child, in clean, modern, and safe facilities.  This is achieved through programs balancing individual experience, small group participation, and large group activities.  Nurturing, caring caregivers teach the various classes.

They believe that children carry within them the full potential of the person they will someday become.  Creative Playrooms is continually at the forefront of innovation program development and continue to set the industry standards in child care.  Their goal is always to ensure that the best interest of the total child remains the single most important consideration.

Their centers offer programs for ages 6 weeks to 12 years old; infant/toddler, nursery school, prekindergarten, Montessori program, chartered private kindergarten, before- and after-school programs, and summer camp.  Some activities offered are swimming lessons in their indoor pool, computer labs, music, gymnastics, Spanish classes, and science.  Their experienced cooks serve breakfast, snacks and hot lunches. Please call for a personal tour.

Fairmount Early Childhood Center
24601 Fairmount Boulevard, Beachwood
(216) 292-2344
Fairmount Early Childhood Center is where learning is fun and play is important.

The preschool environment encourages children to manipulate developmentally appropriate materials and allows them to become confident creative explorers.  Hands-on learning activities stimulate and challenge the students to encourage social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth. 

The curriculum balances both teacher-directed and child-initiated learning, with an emphasis on responding to children’s learning styles.  The curriculum is aligned with the Ohio Early Learning and Development Standards and developmentally appropriate practices.

The preschool follows the Beachwood City School year calendar.  Fairmount offers programs for children ages 3–5 years.  Three-year-old programs run three and five days a week.  Four-year-old programs run half day and all day, five days a week.  Extended care is available between 7:15 am–5:45 pm. 

Fairmount Early Childhood Center is located in Beachwood and is open to residents and nonresidents.

Contact Karen Leeds, preschool director for more details.

Gilmour Academy
34001 Cedar Road, Gates Mills
(440) 473-8165

Gross Schechter Day School
27601 Fairmount Boulevard, Pepper Pike
(216) 763-1400
Gross Schechter Day School’s Early Childhood Center (6 weeks and up) encourages creativity, exploration and self-discovery in a nurturing and caring environment filled with the joy of Jewish learning and living. 

Their curriculum is designed to foster growth in all areas of a child’s development.  Children have the opportunity to share and play in a cooperative setting as they build positive, lifelong bonds with their classmates and teachers.  Creative exploration is encouraged through art, music, technology, movement and yoga.  Children also experience a rich variety of learning experiences including math, science, building, manipulatives, books and sensory play. 

Jewish practices and the Hebrew language are incorporated into their daily classroom activities to help foster children’s Jewish identity.

Call (216) 763-1400 or visit for more info.

Horizon Child Development Center
1050 E 200th Street, Euclid
(216) 481-3830
2285 Columbus Road, Cleveland
(216) 344-3000

Lawrence School
(440) 526-0717
Lower School (K–6)
1551 East Wallings Road, Broadview Heights
Upper School (7–12)
10036 Olde Eight Road, Sagamore Hills
Lawrence School's Alphabet Adventures program is strategically designed to give preschool and kindergarten-aged children a structured literacy approach to help improve alphabet knowledge, pre-reading skills, and phonemic awareness.  Highlights of the program include small group and individualized instruction, multisensory methods, and evidenced-based strategies – all taught by teachers trained in Orton-Gillingham methodology.

Each class lasts for an hour-and-a- half and new students are admitted throughout the school year.  Flexible scheduling includes a pay-as-you-go structure with classes offered twice a week ($25/class) and on Saturday mornings ($35/class).  All sessions are held at Lawrence Lower School, which is located at 1551 E. Wallings Road in Broadview Heights.

To learn more, please visit or call (440) 832-7850.

Mandel JCC Early Childhood Program
26001 S. Woodland Road, Beachwood
(216) 831-0700, ext. 1375

Mandel JCC Early Childhood program, for children ages 18 month to pre-K, is committed to helping young children learn and experience new and extraordinary things every day.  From exceptional child care, beautiful classrooms, a children’s garden and swim and yoga lessons, all this and more can be found at The J.

In partnership with parents and families, The J’s Early Childhood program provides quality care and education for more than 100 young children annually.  Their experienced and nurturing staff help children learn, grow and gain independence in a safe and developmentally appropriate environment, all within a Jewish framework.  Families of all races and religions attend The J’s Five-Star-Step-Up-to-Quality rated child care and preschool programs. As one parent said, “We are so impressed with the staff and facility. We couldn't be happier with the Mandel JCC Early Childhood program.  You have had such a positive impact on my child.”

Montessori School of University Heights
23599 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst
(216) 381-8388
The Montessori School of University Heights is celebrating 50 years as a pre-primary school dedicated to helping the child become the unique person his/her Creator intended in a Christian atmosphere of peace, love, and respect.  Their approach involves:
  • Providing comprehensive, individualized opportunities for growth.  Each child is introduced to the materials as the child becomes ready for the concepts that the material embodies.  Children develop order, concentration, coordination, independence, and self-discipline.
  • Engaging children in a caring, supportive community. Their multi-age environment, serving children ages 3 through 6 years old, provides a family-like atmosphere.  Children develop compassion and confidence.
  • Respecting each child's developmental abilities and personality.  Montessori children enjoy choosing their own work each day guided by adults who are sensitive to each child's unique personality. Children experience joy in learning.
They warmly encourage interested parents to schedule a personal tour.

Our Lady of the Lake School
175 East 200th Street, Euclid
(216) 481-6824
Early learning is essential to lifelong success.  Little ones should grow to love learning in a warm, caring environment with lots of individual attention and a full range of resources for young learners.  At Our Lady of the Lake School, you will find that they are like a family. Your child will learn good habits and attitudes in their loving Catholic community. Through patient and respectful methods, their earliest learners develop a positive sense of themselves, which will make a difference throughout their lives.

Our Lady of the Lake Preschool nurtures the whole child, with small classes, highly qualified teachers and an excellent school culture.  Their curriculum meets all state standards, stimulates curiosity, builds self-esteem, challenges physical and intellectual abilities, fosters creativity and encourages self-expression and social skills.  And access to quality facilities provides their preschool students opportunities not available elsewhere, including:
  • Full gymnasium
  • Arts programs
  • Computer lab
  • On-site library
They make busy schedules possible, with both half-day and full-day programs, as well as a full-day aftercare option.  Space is limited, so call now for registration information.

Ruffing Montessori School
3380 Fairmount Boulevard, Cleveland Heights
(216) 321-7571
As a leader in Montessori education, Ruffing is unlike any other Cleveland independent school.  For nearly 60 years, Ruffing Montessori School has provided children, 18 months to 8th grade, an education rooted in tradition and guided by Montessori-trained teachers deeply devoted to the academic, social, and emotional development of each child.

Being a student at Ruffing offers children a global perspective and a strong understanding of their impact on the world.  Ruffing students are independent, engaged, and responsible citizens of the world.

Discover Ruffing Montessori for yourself; join them for a tour or classroom observation where you can see first-hand the purposeful hum of activity in their incredible multi-age classrooms and experience the warmth and authenticity of every member of the school community.
For more information contact the admissions office at 216-321-7571 or [email protected]

Saint Paschal Baylon Preschool
5360 Wilson Mills Road, Highland Heights
(440) 442-6766
The preschool at Saint Paschal Baylon is a quality program designed to suit the developmental needs of young children, promoting their spiritual, emotional, social, physical and intellectual growth.  They offer an Early Learning Program, Pre-K Program, and Jr. Kindergarten Program.  The programs follow the Diocese of Cleveland’s preschool curriculum and are center based using an integrated approach where learning occurs through active exploration and interaction in a "hands on" environment.  Multi-sensory activities that enhance the total development of the child are planned in a sequential manner that follows a theme or is part of a unit. 

Admission is open to children who have turned 3, 4, or 5 years old by September 30 of the year of enrollment.  Admission to junior kindergarten is open to children who will turn 5 by January 1 the year following admission and have at least one year of preschool experience.  A screening may be required.  All children entering the preschool classes must be toilet trained. 

University School
Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8
20701 Brantley Road, Shaker Heights
(216) 321-8260
Grades 9 to 12
2785 SOM Center Road, Hunting Valley
(216) 831-2200
University School is excited to announce a Junior Kindergarten for boys, opening this fall. Boys will be invited to explore, discover, learn and play in a hands-on, joyful classroom, engaging in activities that encourage the development of language and math skills infused with science, language, art, music, physical education, and outdoor play.

Join them for Super Summer Preschool Camp!  This camp is designed to engage pre- kindergarten boys in a creative and stimulating environment. Boys can enjoy 1, 2, or 3 weeks of explorations that will guarantee a unique journey of discovery: “3-2-1 Blast off!”; “Camp, Fish, Explore”; and “Playful Shadows Day and Night.” The camp is run by their dynamic US teachers.

Programs are held at the Shaker Heights campus, which features a primary wing designed for young boys, and an innovative design lab, STEAMworks.


All Saints School of St. John Vianney
28702 Euclid Avenue, Wickliffe
(440) 943-1395
The All Saints School of St. John Vianney in Wickliffe is a vibrant preschool, pre-K, elementary and middle school, with a long history of academic excellence.  They offer a family environment and a continuum of education from preschool through junior high.  Located on the campus of the Center for Pastoral Leadership, the school offers a faith-based, technology-enriched learning environment for students starting in preschool continuing through eighth grade.

All-day preschool and pre-K are offered.  Latin, music, art, and physical education are available, as age appropriate, with a speech pathologist on staff.   The school's experienced teachers are dedicated to the students' initial social development as Christians enabling them to achieve their highest academic and spiritual potential.

All Saints is committed to preparing foundational thinkers and learners, and good stewards of the Catholic church, empowering students to thrive in high school, college and beyond.

Friends Early Learning Center
2846 SOM Center Road, Willoughby Hills
(440) 944-1026
The primary consideration at Friends Early Learning Center is the growth and well-being of each child. They believe in providing an environment where their infant, toddler, and preschool children are respected and valued for their contributions to the learning process.

The educated, caring and enthusiastic teachers take into account the individuality of each child and are attentive to their specific strengths and needs.  Parents are welcome to participate in activities such as field trips, parties, special breakfasts, a Christmas program, and family picnics.

Each day, children participate in a variety of developmentally appropriate discovery and play-based activities.  Through play, children experience the joy of discovery and learning.  In addition to small motor skill activities, large motor skill play activities are scheduled in either the indoor or outdoor playground.  Breakfast, a hot lunch and two snacks are served daily.

Hershey Montessori School
10229 Prouty Road, Concord Township
(440) 357-0918
At Hershey, classrooms are called “communities” where students work in multi-age groups so they can learn from and interact with others of diverse ages and interests.  These programs include the Parent-Infant Program (2 months to 12 months), the Young Child Community (12 months to 36 months), Children’s House (3 to 6 ½ years), Elementary (6 to 12 years) and Adolescent Community (12 to 18 years). 

Students are given blocks of uninterrupted time to figure out a problem, to ask questions of their teachers, or share their passion for a subject with another student.  They work and learn at their own pace and make choices regarding which activities they want to take part in.  When children are given a choice, they are already naturally engaged and interested, so they are never bored.

For more information call Lakisha Wingard, director of admissions, at (440) 357-0918, email [email protected], or visit

Hope Ridge Preschool
9870 Johnnycake Ridge Road, Mentor
(440) 639-8817
Hope Ridge Preschool, located in Hope Ridge United Methodist Church in Mentor, has been serving the preschool needs of Lake County for over 50 years!  They strive to provide an educational setting where children "love to learn and learn with love," and aim to encourage children's innate curiosity as they explore the world around them.   They have a variety of scheduling options for 3-, 4- and 5-year-old students.  Programs range from two- to five-day options and include opportunities to participate in special events throughout the year.

For more information or questions email Samantha Meunier, preschool director, at [email protected] or call the preschool office at 440-639-8817.

Horizon Child Development Center
8303 Tyler Boulevard, Mentor
(440) 205-8420
1050 E. 200th Street, Euclid
(216) 481-3830

Horizon offers a program for children 6 weeks to age 13.  They have an enhanced preschool and pre-K program that includes Creative Curriculum.  They are the only center in Lake County to receive a grant from ODE to provide free preschool, for qualifying children who are 4 years old, from 9:00 am–11:30 am, Monday through Friday.  Their summer program stimulates enthusiasm through their piano lessons and educational field trips.  They believe that given the right to progress, children become empowered to achieve multiple tasks and develop a willingness to learn. 

Whether your children are marvelous at math or adore science, Horizon empowers them to learn through their own curiosity and sense of wonder.  They provide ongoing professional development by supporting an award-winning program.  Contact their office for more information or to enroll your child.

Lake Geauga United Head Start
Painesville Center
350 Cedarbrook Drive, Painesville
(440) 392-5636

West Center
32114 Vine Street, Willowick
(440) 943-0388

Lakeland Community College Teaching Learning Center/Campus Kids
7700 Clocktower Drive, Kirtland
(440) 525-7500
Lakeland Community College has an on-site early childhood child care program that serves as a lab school for the Early Childhood Education Department.  There are three different programs that are offered within the center, all of which are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The Teaching Learning Center (TLC) is a year-round program that is open to the community at large, serving children ages 16 months through 5 years.  Their TLC part-time program is for children ages 3 through 5.  This program is also open to the community and runs August to May, five days a week. Campus Kids serves all Lakeland Community College students’ children ages 3 through 10.

All of their programs provide developmentally appropriate experiences for young children.  Using a discovery-based curriculum, learning is emphasized through guided exploration and play.  They provide a low teacher to child ratio, and ensure that all of their teachers are experienced educators with degrees in early childhood education, as well as Ohio teaching licenses.  Call today for more information!

Madison Pre-K
(440) 428-5111
Madison Pre-K offers families many choices for their children's first school experiences.  They offer a 4-year-old program five days a week that provides free preschool to qualifying children.  And there are morning and afternoon classes for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds. 

Their partnerships with the Madison Public Library, community services, and Rabbit Run Theater give little ones opportunity to investigate STEM, interact with the firefighters and police officers, and every month participate in dance and movement with the theater. 

Their teachers all have master's degrees in early education and they have speech and occupational therapists, psychologist, etc. on staff to help with any special needs.  They use a strong phonemic awareness program to make sure your child has early readiness skills and they are play based.

Their curriculum offers the opportunity to explore their environment and learn by doing.  They have a courtyard  with art, science, and social studies explorations as well as a gross motor room (for those days when it's just too cold to go outside) and a large playground when it's a beautiful day.  Registration is ongoing and students can enroll on their third birthday! 

Mater Dei Academy Preschool
29840 Euclid Avenue, Wickliffe
(440) 585-0800
Mater Dei Academy's preschool program for ages 3, 4 and pre-kindergarten strives to provide a creative noncompetitive environment for the young child.  Interaction with other children and adults in an atmosphere of Christian love and concern, promotes the healthy development of each child as an individual.  Their philosophy is that learning experiences encourage spiritual, intellectual, social and physical growth.

The preschool program creates a setting where your child will develop a positive self-image and become aware of the fact that he/she is a child of God and will grow in His love while developing skills, increasing independence and experiencing accomplishments.  Small class size allows for individual attention while allowing your child the enjoyment of being a part of a group and accepting the need to share and cooperate.  Children develop math and early reading skills, and explore science through experiments.

For more information on their programs, please call the school office or visit their website.

Mentor Christian Preschool
8600 Lake Shore Boulevard, Mentor
(440) 257-3172

St. Gabriel Learning Loft Preschool & St. Gabriel School
9921 Johnnycake Ridge Road, Concord Township
(440) 354-7574
Part Time or Full Time Preschool through Eighth Grade , Plus My Buddy & Me classes for 2.5-year-olds.

St. Gabriel School and preschool have been preparing graduates for life through faith, learning, and love for over 50 years.  They have state-of-the art-facilities and one-to-one technology.  They are proud to introduce their newly constructed Innovation Center maker space. 

Through compassion, dedication, and expertise, their teachers ignite learning and see their vocation as a ministry.  It requires more than knowledge, but a heart with deep love for the children who God entrusted them with to find their gifts and talents to make the world a better place.  Their school is the second home where children learn about the world around them and most importantly their wonder, awe, and love for Jesus.

They are a STEM designated school by ODE and instill a strong sense of purpose and service. There are a wide variety of After School programs that give students enrichment experiences. They are proud to be a part of the Better Together initiative, striving to serve all students and meeting their needs.

Call for a tour or register for their next open house on April 9 at (440) 354-7858 or online at

St. Mary of the Assumption Wee Learn Preschool
8540 Mentor Avenue, Mentor
(440) 255-9781
Wee Learn Preschool and Pre-K programs, located in the kindergarten wing of the school, explore learning through a center-based curriculum using blocks, manipulatives, everyday math counting, dramatic play, writing, art, gym, and technology.  Their teachers are cheerful and love teaching little ones.  They have a quality academic program where Ohio state standards are implemented within a Catholic environment.
  • On My Way program is a one-hour program held on Wednesdays, designed for 2-year-olds to experience a positive learning environment while having “fun” in a classroom setting.  The child attends with parent, guardian or caretaker. 
  • Preschool is for children who are 3 years old before September 30.  This class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning or afternoon.  The child’s first independent school experience emphasizes the joy of learning!
  • Prekindergarten (Pre-K) is for children who are 4 years old before September 30.  Two options are offered.  The three-day class meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the morning or afternoon.  The four-day class meets on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in the morning or afternoon.  Along with kindergarten readiness, these enriching programs nurture social-emotional development.

Small Hands Big Dreams Learning Centers
8465 Market Street, Mentor
(440) 255-7775
9823 Chillicothe Road, Kirtland
(440) 367-2145
Small Hands Big Dreams features both a full-time and part-time preschool program taught by experienced and degreed teachers.  Small Hands focuses on making parents’ lives easier by providing all meals, formula, diapers and wipes.  The high quality, individualized curriculum features a STEAM core and aligns with the Ohio Early Learning Standards.  In addition, the center offers high quality infant and toddler programs that focus on early independence, social and emotional skills, sensory related activities, creative expressions, and early exposure to letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. 

Parents have secure live video access to their child’s classroom at their fingertips and receive a customized digital daily report that includes pictures and ties to the early learning standards.  Please call, visit their website or stop by anytime for more information.


Lake Geauga United Head Start
Geauga Center
12406 Madison Road, Huntsburg
(440) 636-5387

Saint Anselm School Early Childhood Education Program
13013 Chillicothe Road, Chesterland
(440) 729-7806

St. Helen Preschool
12060 Kinsman Road, Newbury
(440) 564-7125
St. Helen Preschool Program is licensed and accredited through the Ohio Department of Education.  The faculty and staff follow the Ohio Early Learning Content Standards established by the Ohio Department of Education to ensure that their young learners enter kindergarten ready for success.  Their curriculum entails English/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, fine and gross motor skills, music/art and a developmentally appropriate religion program.

St. Helen Preschool is committed to a warm, affirming environment, religious formation and creativity that will nurture cognitive, social and language development in each child.  They are committed to open communication with parents concerning their child’s progress and development.  Their goals are that each child will develop his or her self-esteem, make a good social adjustment and learn respect for others. 

They help each child to grow in sharing and cooperation.   Their main goal for each child is to increase their independence and nurture their desire to learn.