Iowa City Preschool Guide 2023

preschool guide to the Iowa City area

Welcome to the Iowa City Moms Preschool Guide 2023! 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 the Iowa City area. We hope this guide will provide you with the information you need to find the best fit for your family.



3-12 years old (must be toilet-trained)

Hours of Operation:


  • Full Time Preschool 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Part Time Preschool 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Before & After School Programs 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Enrollment Info:

Visit the Willowwind School website for tuition information, financial aid options available, and details on how to schedule a visit!

Willowwind was founded in 1972 by a small group of local educators and parents who sought to create a different kind of learning environment for local children, one that valued self-awareness, cooperation, and emotional development in equal measure with academic and intellectual achievement. The school’s unique education practices invited child-led exploration, curiosity, creativity, and relationship building, values that remain at the school’s core 50 years later.

The goal of Willowwind’s Montessori preschool 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.



3-5 years old, must be toilet-trained

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday
  • 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. Registration forms can be found on our website, can be sent to prospective families, emailed to families, or picked up in person.

Christ the King Christian Preschool is a well-established preschool that has been providing a positive learning environment for preschoolers for over 30 years. The school strives to lay the foundation for skills that will last a lifetime and provides a nurturing environment to further learning, social skills, and spiritual growth. This 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. The school maintains a low student/teacher ratio in order to better meet the needs of our students to allow for increased one-to-one interaction. Christ the King Christian Preschool is Christian-based but is open and welcoming to all faiths. To learn more about its program, call or email to set up a tour.



Ages 3-5; potty-trained

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday

  • 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

*Extended Before and After care is under consideration. Please indicate if this is of interest to you when joining the waitlist.

Enrollment Info:

To join our waitlist, please follow this link.  If you have any trouble with the registration process, please email Nic, our Director of Lifespan Religious Education and Camp Director at [email protected].

UUS Nature Preschool strives to provide an Iowa City nature preschool option to the Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty area that allows children to thrive in an outdoor, play-based environment while inviting children to pre-academic disciplines curated based on student wonder, readiness, and interests.

With a sustainably built, eco-conscious building nestled on our wooded grounds, our preschool classroom provides a safe place to play and create. The majority of our preschoolers’ day will be spent enjoying our outdoor classroom, giving students access to gardens, an outdoor stage, groomed trails, and a natural playscape right outside the classroom windows.

*Please note that while our Unitarian Universalist teachings are deeply in tune with respect to our environment and the greater natural world, our preschool is not religious and our focus is on being kind neighbors to each other who value diversity, environmental consciousness, and a love of staying curious. People of all backgrounds are welcome to attend.



Ages 2-12

Hours of Operation:


  • Half-Day Schedule (pre-primary classes and primary classes) 8:15 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
  • Full-Day Schedule (pre-primary classes and primary classes) 8:15 a.m.–3:15 p.m.
  • Elementary Classes 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. (before and after school available)
  • Before Program 7:30 a.m. –8:15 a.m.
  • After-school Program 3:15 p.m.–6 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 they 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 schedule a tour prior to registering. Children entering the Primary program must be fully toilet trained. Discounts are available for multiple children from one family.

The Montessori School of Iowa City is a non-sectarian, private independent school. We are a 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. As one of the oldest Montessori schools on the continent, we celebrated our 50th birthday in 2012. We are an Associate School Member of the American Montessori Society.

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. 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. Schedule a tour here to learn more

Other Reader-Recommended Preschools

Iowa City

Cadence Academy

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

Tamarack Discovery School

Treebrook Preschool

UIHC Childcare


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 of Iowa City

Prince of Peace Christian Preschool

Purple Bloom School

Simple Abundance

North Liberty

Corridor Christian Early Learning Center

Creation Kids Preschool (North Liberty location)

Education Station

Frog Hollow Kids Campus

Heritage Christian School

Montessori Children’s Garden


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

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

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Iowa City Moms Blog
At Iowa City Moms Blog we’re a group of local moms who are passionate about connecting other moms to one another and to our community! Whether you’re an experienced mom, a newbie, expecting, or aspiring to be a mom someday, this blog is for you! Join us as we navigate this journey that is motherhood in the Iowa City area!


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