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Looking for a Preschool in Chicago IL? Here Are the Best Preschools in Chicago

Looking for a Preschool in Chicago IL? 👩‍👧‍👦Here Are the Best Preschools in Chicago

Last Updated on: 4th April 2024, 09:20 pm

Your babies are leaving the nest for the first time ever! While this is an exciting time, you want to consider only the best preschools in Chicago for your little one. With thousands of Chicago preschools within the city limits, this task can feel daunting. Your first step is sitting down with and deciding what you want from your child’s future preschool in Chicago.

Are you only considering private or Montessori? Or is a public preschool okay with you? These are all questions you’ll start asking yourself. Unlike daycare, pre-k and preschools are geared towards education and follow an academic schedule; daycare is more for infants or toddlers who need all-day care.

Here are a few important things to note:

  • What age do kids start preschool?: It depends. If you’re sending your child to a private preschool, it can be as soon as one year old (or when they’re walking.) If they will be attending a Chicago Public Schools preschool, they must be three or four years old by September 1st of the upcoming school year.
  • Is pre-K the same as preschool?: Yes, typically, PreK or Pre K4 is strictly for four-year-old children who will be attending kindergarten the following year.
  • Is preschool free? If your child attends public Chicago preschool, it will be free; private preschools in Chicago are typically paid for unless a scholarship is involved.

Overview of Chicago Preschool Programs

Illinois provides state-funded preschool services to children three and four years old. The Chicago Public Schools is on a mission to offer high-quality early learning experiences to all preschool-aged children in Chicago.

1. The Gardener School – Preschool in Chicago Providing Research-Based Curriculum & Creative Play

The Gardener School, a notable private preschool in Chicago, IL, provides a rich combination of research-based curriculum and creative play activities to stimulate your child’s brain while relaying skills that will continuously benefit their educational needs. The Gardener School is located in one of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago!

The school is designed to encourage creative play and exploration—all rooms are equipped with various cameras, and a two-tier level of security is implemented. Your child will experience a blend of Montessori and traditional learning styles; all meals provided are healthy, and on-site enrichment programs are available, including sports, music, computers, and foreign language classes. Gardner is certainly one of the best private preschools in Chicago!

2. GEMS World Academy Chicago – Best IB Preschool in Chicago With a Curriculum Focused on Developing an Active, Problem-Solving Mindset

GEMS World Academy is an IB private academy in New Eastside, Chicago, one of the best areas to live in the Windy City. GEMS has received various prestigious awards, including International Baccalaureate World School and Apple Distinguished School. Their early learning curriculum is based on the IB Primary Years Program (PYP), which helps develop innate curiosity and imagination within students. The student-to-teacher ratio is 16:1, and they explore eight different fields per school year. As the only private International Baccalaureate continuum, GEMS World Academy is one of the top preschools in downtown Chicago!

3. Guidepost Montessori at Lincoln Park – Great Montessori Preschool in Chicago

  • Neighborhoods: Wicker Park, Magnificent Mile, West Loop and Naperville
  • Programs: Infants to six years old
  • Tuition: Ranges between $16,000 to $22,400. Financial aid is available.
  • Address: (main campus) 2301 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
  • Phone: (773) 598-5749

Guidepost at Lincoln Park is a Chicago Montessori Preschool that is considered one of the top Montessori preschools in Chicago. The mission Guidepost seeks to achieve is to empower each child as they achieve their own independence!

The programs are diverse in age and racial and ethnic demographics. The preschool accepts students as young as six weeks old and can keep them until they are six years old. Spanish Immersion programs are offered for toddlers and children attending Guidepost.

Their inside spaces are large, bright, and full of fun arts, crafts, and interactive toys. Children get ample time outside during their school days at Guidepost. Virtual school and at-home Montessori kits are available for purchase if you want to stay home with your kiddos but would like to add some structure to your day.

4. Christian LEG Early Learning Preschool – Christian Preschools in Chicago IL With a Faith-Based Curriculum

  • Neighborhoods: Grand Boulevard, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Woodlawn, and Back of the Yard.
  • Programs:  15 months to six years old
  • Address: 446 E 43rd St, Chicago, IL 60653
  • Phone: (773) 855-2674

Christian LEG Early Learning Preschool serves as a daycare for children under three, then a preschool for children three to six. They’re professionally associated with Illinois Action for Children, IDHS, and Catholic Charities Partner, and English, Spanish, and Sign language are spoken at this Chicago preschool!

LEG is highly reviewed and recommended by community moms and dads. Parents love the wide range of classes available! Your young ones will adore everything from music lessons to physical fitness programs.

5. Lincoln Park Preschool – National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accreditation

If you’re seeking a warm, nurturing environment for your toddler, consider Lincoln Park, Chicago. You will find various programs and activities to foster your child’s imagination and critical thinking skills. Founded in 1994, Lincoln Park is established and well-renowned in its community. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has accredited the school since 1999.

The programs offered are full days for the entire year, making it the best preschool in Chicago for busy, working parents. Finding a Chicago, Illinois, preschool that checks all your boxes can feel daunting, but with adequate research, you will find one that fits your family’s needs.

6. Mary Meyer Preschool – 5-Star NAEYC Accredited Preschool in Chicago IL

Mary Meyer Preschool in Chicago is a notable private preschool located in one of the best areas in Chicago, Lakeview. You will have access to morning programs (8:35 am to 11:30 am) and afternoon programs (12:35 pm to 3:30 pm.)

For every twenty children, there will be three full-time masters-educated teachers. reasoning, solving problems, exploring ideas, experimenting, and reaching conclusions are at the forefront of what is taught to children attending Mary Meyer. Children are encouraged to be interactive with each other and to help resolve issues together, encouraging independence and teamwork.

Uniquely, Mary Meyer hosts residences in varying industries, which encourages hands-on learning in topics not discussed in the daily curriculum. There have been art, music, and theater residents at Mary Meyer in the past. Tuition for the 2024 – 2025 school year is $14,252 per child. If you’re looking for top-rated preschools in Chicago, bump Mary Meter to the top of your list!

7. Nature Preschool | Chicago Botanic Garden – Nature Preschool in Chicago IL

The Chicago Botanical Garden nature preschool has an entirely different approach to strict, private preschools that follow a strict curriculum. If you want your child to spend their days outdoors, exploring nature, this preschool program in Chicago is for you.

The curriculum focuses on exploration and nature discovery; the goal of this program is to emphasize the importance of taking care of our planet and foster curiosity in earth science. Your child will learn the value of the plants, wildlife, and natural habitats that sustain our world. The curriculum is diverse and also covers other important topics such as math, science experiences and experiments, language and vocabulary, art, music, movement, building, and environmental awareness.

Each day is split into six segments—active play, group activities, free choice, social/emotional interaction, journal, and snacks! Your child will love spending his days outdoors with his best friends and beloved teachers; Chicago Botanic Garden Preschool is arguably one of the best preschools in Chicago!

8. Creative Scholars Preschool – One of the Best CPS Preschools in Chicago

Creative Scholars Preschool is a CPS preschool in Chicago, IL, that can provide daycare services to infants and young babies and preschooling to toddlers three to five years old. The goal of the preschool here is to nurture your child’s early academic, social-emotional, and creative skills—essentially, they’re prepping your child to excel in kindergarten and beyond!

Classroom sizes are small, with no more than 20 kids per two full-time teachers and one assistant. The teachers will encourage the young half of the class to gain independence, problem-solving skills, and confidence. The older kids get to focus on play, social interactions, and creative building skills.

Once your child is five, they will be moved to the junior kindergarten class to begin basic writing, reading, and math experiences. Creative Scholars is a great option if you need a trusted preschool in Chicago; you will find a plethora of positive reviews and experiences on their website and Google reviews tab.

Creative Scholars tuition varies. The two-day program is $1,350 per month, 3-day program is $1,750 per month, and the 5-day program is $2,565 per month.

Map of Chicago Preschools

Explore which preschool in Chicago will best fit your needs with this handy map!

Finding the best preschools in Chicago can feel daunting, and while you’ll find a refined list above, doing your own research is a good idea, too. Before enrolling your kiddo in a new school, you have much to consider, so figuring out how to get your belongings to your new address should be your last concern. If you’re looking for a preschool in Chicago, IL, due to a pending relocation, let Federal Companies handle the planning and heavy lifting. Call us today at (800) 747-4100 for a free quote.


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