Summer is not yet upon us, but if you have young kids, now is the perfect time to secure your child’s spot in preschool. Most preschool programs are specifically designed to start when your child is as young as 3 years old. Curriculum typically focuses on color recognition, numbers and the alphabet, all with the goal to ready your child for pre-k and kindergarten.
With a soon-to-be 3-year-oldd of my own, I was surprised — and delighted — to see how many wonderful programs are available right here in the South Sound. In an effort to help you find the perfect preschool for you and your child, here’s a snapshot of some of the early learning facilities in the area.
1. North Tacoma Cooperative Preschool
North Tacoma Cooperative Preschool is where children ages 2 to 5 learn in a positive and safe environment. The co-op features low tuition, high adult-to-child ratio, parent education opportunities, and a wonderful teacher with 15 years of classroom experience. North Tacoma Cooperative Preschool exists for the purpose of enriching the experience of young children and their parents. It is comprised of a group of parents, children and professionals who are involved together in learning and growing. The focus is on developing effective social skills, growing confidence, and enjoying exploration. The 3-year-old class meets Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The cost is $75/month. North Tacoma Cooperative Preschool is committed to keeping tuition low, so all families can be involved. To do that, each family is repsonsible for fundraising $350 during the school year.
Central Lutheran Church
409 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403
2. Nurture in Nature Preschool
If you are looking for a non-traditional preschool, check out Nurture in Nature Preschool in Tacoma. Nurture in Nature’s mission is to provide early childhood development while inspiring kids to love nature. Research shows that children who spend time in nature pay attention better, think more clearly, and are able to cope more effectively with stress. Class sizes are 12 students with two teachers per class. Nurture in Nature offers part-day classes for 3- to 6-year-oldss. The nine-month program is offered Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. As a nature-based preschool, Nurture in Nature does not follow a set curriculum. Instead, the focus is discovery based and child-driven. The cost is $1,890 per student.
Nurture in Nature Preschool
1919 S. Tyler St.
Tacoma WA, 98405
3. Rocking H Preschool
Rocking H Preschool offers classes for 3- to 4-year-olds, meeting Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. At Rocking H Preschool, the focus is on wonder, experience and discovery, and they build on intra-personal skills, develop self-discipline, self-control and learn from experience. They weave in interpersonal skills as well, teaching children how to better listen and communicate.
Rocking H Preschool
6207 84th St E
Puyallup WA 98371
4. All Saints Catholic School
All Saints Catholic School, located in Puyallup, is a private Catholic school with a preschool center open to fully potty-trained children ages 2.5 to 5 years old. They offer both a full day program and half-day program. The preschool program is located at the Fife campus and operates on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The 3-year-old class emphasizes language development and literacy, social-emotional skills, numeracy and movement. Also included are basic science concepts, jumping, music and art. Depending on the half day or full day program, lunch, rest time and outdoor activities are also included.
All Saints Catholic School (Fife campus)
2323 54th Ave E
Fife, WA 98424
5. Clarkmoor Childhood Development Center
Clarkmoor on JBLM offers a preschool with the cost based on the active duty spouse pay scale. Children must be 3 years old to begin the program, and parents can choose from three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) or a full five-day program with all classes meet from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Interested families can schedule a tour or attend an open house.
Clarkmoor Childhood Development Center
2095 Bitar Ave. at Lewis Main
6. Curious by Nature School
Curious by Nature School is part of the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation (GGHF), a qualified 50I(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization serving the greater Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula community. The 2016–2017 school year marks Curious by Nature’s fifth year with a new outdoor classroom and learning gardens. The school offers a one-of-a-kind, nature-based early childhood program where children go outside to learn, explore and play every day, rain or shine. The certified teachers combine child-centered philosophies (Reggio Emilia approach) with nationally-recognized nature-based, multi-disciplinary curriculum in music, language, arts and crafts, math, science, culture, and learning about Pacific Northwest habitats. The classes are offered to children ages 2 to 6, with daily activities including natural science experiences, art activities, music and movement and regular nature walks in the Adam Tallman Nature Park, a protected wetland preserve maintained by the City of Gig Harbor. Children are exposed daily to a wide variety of native plant and animal habitats.
Curious by Nature School
7191 Wagner Way, Suite 101
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
7. Rainy Dayz Preschool
Rainy Dayz Preschool‘s Bumblebees program offers classes Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Tuition ranges from $250 to $325 per month, with 5% discounts available for active or retired military personnel. Discounts are also available for Tacoma residents (proof of residency required) and for parents who pay tuition in full.
Rainy Dayz Preschool
2709 Jahn Ave. NW, Suite H7
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
8. Preschool Powered by Play
Preschool Powered by Play at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma serves children ages 3 to 5 — and their adults. Preschool Powered by Play believes in the innate capacity of children to wonder, hypothesize, investigate and direct their own learning. The program is facilitated by museum program staffwho listen, observe, and nurture the emergent interests of children through the support of the museum’s play-based classroom. The program features weekly engagement in a creative classroom and the museum. Preschool Powered by Play operated on a 1:6 adult to child ratio, and parents are encouraged to attend class and participate. The school meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and again in the afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Drop off preschool is $350/month and the co-op option is $250/month. Museum memberships are included in the price of tuition.
Preschool Powered by Play
1501 Pacific Avenue, Level 1
Tacoma, WA 98402