Iowa City Preschool Guide 2020

Iowa City Moms Preschool Guide 2020

Welcome to the Iowa City Moms Preschool Guide 2020! Searching for the right place for your child to learn and grow can be overwhelming, but 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 of Iowa City


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

Hours of Operation:

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 Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education. 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.


Montessori Children's Garden and Nurtury


6 weeks to 6 years

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.

Garden: 319-665-9625

Nursery: 319-626-2608



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.



3-5 year olds

Hours of Operation:

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Enrollment Info:

Our preschool year begins in September and ends in May with registration for the fall beginning in February. We also accept applications throughout the school year as long as there are still openings. Students can be placed on a waiting list if the preschool classes are full. 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 play based 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. Christ the King Preschool is Christian-based, but is open and welcoming to all faiths.


Purple Bloom School


Pre-K for ages 3-5

Overall school for ages 6 weeks to 6th grade

Hours of Operation:

7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Enrollment Info:

Call 319.338.3873 or 319.431.4604 or email [email protected] to schedule a tour get receive our application packet!

Purple Bloom houses three Pre-K rooms for ages 3-5! We offer social/emotional focused play-based learning including yoga, gym class, music class, and LOTS of outdoor play! All levels of potty training accepted from diapers to potty experts for Pre-K! Not quite ready for kinder? Bridge year program for 5 year olds also available!



3-5 years of age and fully potty trained at enrollment.

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 welcomes applications throughout the year, enrolling students as space allows. Prospective families can expect to have a school tour and classroom visit as part of the enrollment process. Preschool classes are capped at between 18-20 students with two teachers per room ensuring a personalized experience for each child. Families may opt to go on a waiting list when enrollment is full.

Willowwind’s Montessori Preschool offers an engaging educational experience based upon the teachings of Maria Montessori. The goal of Willowwind’s preschool program is to teach the whole child, equally guiding their physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth. Students learn through observation, hands-on exploration, and modeling of peers and teachers.

Lead teachers are Montessori certified with backgrounds in early childhood education. Teachers guide children through self-paced learning using personalized materials to suit each child’s specific needs. The core Montessori curricular areas are Practical Life, Sensorial Development, Science, Language, Mathematics, Arts and Culture, and Grace and Courtesy. Along with these curricular areas, students also engage in regular social-emotional learning, as well as specials classes like physical education, art, and music.

Willowwind’s Montessori Preschool is committed to helping each child discover their unique strengths and talents in a learning environment that embraces exploration and questioning. Willowwind School develops passionate and confident individuals who value empathy, independence, community, and responsibility. Students value mutual respect, cooperation, and collaboration in classrooms where lasting and rewarding relationships are built.

We encourage families to investigate, explore, and enjoy the spirit of learning that takes place at Willowwind’s Montessori Preschool! Contact us to schedule your tour today. See you soon!


La Montessori Nurtury


6 weeks-6 years

Hours of Operation:

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

Enrollment Info:

La Montessori Nurtury enrolls on an ongoing basis. Call or email to schedule a tour. We have full time and part-time (Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday) options. All options are inclusive of an unlimited amount of hours between 6:30 am and 5:30 pm and include breakfast, lunch and snack.

La Montessori Nurtury is excited to welcome your child to our unique Preschool Program, featuring experienced teachers; a peaceful, no-clutter environment; 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, and language. There is emphasis on cultivating grace and courtesy, fostering a sense of community in the classroom, and preparing students for life beyond our 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 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. We also partner with local organizations and professionals to complement our classroom studies, familiarizing our children more with our Corridor community.

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.

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.


nolte logo


3-5 years of age.

Students must be toilet-trained.

Hours of Operation:

2-DAY PROGRAM (3 year olds): 9 am-12:15 pm T/TH
3-DAY PROGRAM (4 year olds): 9 am-12:45 pm MWF
5-DAY PROGRAM (5 year olds): 9 am-12:45 pm M-F

Enrollment Info:

Performing Arts Preschool accepts applications through the school year, enrolling students as space allows. Placement for fall begins in February. Preschool classes are capped at 16 students, offering a 8:1 teacher ratio. Each preschool room has a lead teacher and an assistant teacher. There are also designated music and art instructors who teach small-group lessons each day.

As parents and educators, we’ve noticed the recent trend toward a focus on letters and numbers in preschool. This seems to come at the expense of vital social, physical and creative development during our children’s most crucial early learning window. The CREATE Curriculum, designed by the Performing Arts Preschool faculty, is finely tuned to the developmental stages of preschoolers, and nurtures analytical and creative learning.

We seek to develop the whole child — mind, body and spirit — while fostering academic readiness and creative abilities through a deeply enriching fine arts curriculum.

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


All Aboard Daycare/Preschool

Lakeview Preschool

Play & Learn Preschool


All God’s Children Preschool

The Good Earth

West Branch

Hoover Elementary Pre-K

West Branch Community Early Learning Center

Multiple Locations

ICCSD preschool programs

Head Start through HACAP

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Lianna is a homesteading mama of three: a sparkly seven-year-old daughter, a joyful five-year-old boy, and a confident three-year-old boy. After graduating from the University of Iowa’s college of education, she started Wondergarten Early Enrichment Home, a multi-age, play-based early childhood program. A self-proclaimed Queen Dabbler, she has a long list of hobbies (from gardening and canning to sewing and painting), and doesn’t mind being only mediocre at all of them. She lives with her husband, mother, three kiddos, dog, cat, rabbits, dwarf goats, and chickens on an acreage in the country. The Cornally family spends their time talking about education, learning how to grow and preserve their own food, and romping around in their woods.


  1. I cant say enough good things about The Good Earth Nature based preschool! Its the best. Amazing teachers, the kids are always outside, get to interact with animals daily, and explore.


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