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Mommy SOS | Preschools in Scottsdale

Originally published four years ago, this popular article is being brought back during the Season of Preschool Hunting as it includes over 100 comments (from 2012 through the end of 2015) from parents just like you. Read through them for firsthand accounts of schools in the area; add your own comments to help grow this source of first-hand information!

This time last year, I started the Great Scottsdale Preschool Search. Here’s what I found out: Google will get you nowhere. Here’s what else I found out: it’s so valuable to have mom friends whose kids are all the same age as yours – that is, until you all have the same question and no one knows the answer! I have an incredible circle of mom-friends … but when it came to looking for preschools we were all in the same boat!

The two things I really valued during my search were: mom-to-mom input from the few women I know whose kids are a little older than my own and had some preschool experience, AND the fact that most local preschools put out big banners this time of year announcing their enrollment and a phone number or website to call (at least that way I knew what school to Google when I got home!).

What I really could have used, though, was some firsthand information on a variety of schools from a variety of local moms. So this year we thought that Scottsdale Moms Blog could start that conversation and YOU, our readers, could help continue it.

Here’s how it works. If you’re a local mom who has experience with one or more preschools in the area, we’d love you to comment below. Just imagine you’re at the playground and a sweet mama with a 2.5 year old has just asked you where your kids go to school – tell us what you’d tell her. If you’re a mom on the hunt for local preschools, feel free to add your specific questions in the comments.

This year, when your average Scottsdale mom sits down and starts Googling, maybe this post will show up and actually be of some help!

Oh! Another thing I wish I’d known last year: Raising Arizona Kids magazine puts out THE definitive schools guide each year. 2016 Schools, Etc. is available now for under $9 (costs less than two lattes at the drive-through!) and has a good section on preschools. I’d highly recommend using it to accompany the mom-to-mom insight you gain here on the blog.

Ready… Set… Discuss!

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119 Responses to Mommy SOS | Preschools in Scottsdale

  1. Sarah January 27, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Ok, I’ll start. We are at Rainbow Montessori right now and love it. I love the Montessori approach at this age, I love the combined classroom of 3-6 year olds, and I especially love that this school has been around (with the same ownership) for 32 years. Several of the faculty has been around for 20+ years as well. We had the choice of enrolling for 2-day, 3-day, mornings or afternoons or all day, so the flexibility is great.

    Other schools I looked at were Creative Bridges (loved, but too far a drive), PV Co-operative Preschool, and Milestones.

    Feel free to email me directly with any questions about these schools! sarah @ scottsdale moms blog {dot com}.

    • Stephanie June 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      We live in Scottsdale near Chaparral park.

      We visited 4 preschools: Prince of Peace, The Hills, PVUMC & Arcadia Montessori.

      Our almost 3 yr old son starts in July at Arcadia Montessori.

      Our second choice was PVUMC, but their schedule doesn’t work for working parents and they do not offer kindergarten.

      One of my criteria was to find a preschool that offers kindergarten. I feel at this age they should be in a smaller environment, instead of the ‘big’ elementary school environment.

      Prince of Peace is a great preschool, my husband actually attended there.

      There was just something extra special about Arcadia Montessori and it’s year round.
      They have a toddler program 18 months – 3yrs.
      Pre-primary: 3 and 4 year old
      Kindergarten

      They have 3 toddler classrooms: 1 for young toddlers, 1 for older toddlers and 1 for all other toddlers.

      Thanks for creating this blog, you are so right google is not your friend when researching for preschools. Our recommendations came from our Arcadia infant swim teacher.

    • Amy March 16, 2014 at 12:27 am #

      Sarah,

      I’m looking at rainbow Montessori, is your kid still there? Are you still liking the school?

      Thanks!

      Amy

      • JENNA June 18, 2014 at 9:48 am #

        Have you enrolled in Rainbow Montessori? What do you think if you have we just moved to the area and are looking at schools we are at cactus and 50th street

  2. Sara January 27, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    We moved from East Mesa to South Scottsdale last summer. Our daycare in Gilbert would no longer work, so with H being 2, I looked for a preschool. I actually started with Google Maps and the ‘show me nearby xyz’ feature and went to the websites from there. I was working full-time, so I needed extended hours and obviously some place that started at 2, not 3 years old. We found and fell in love with Prince of Peace Lutheran Preschool in Arcadia. I had a great, warm, comfortable feeling from the first moments of the tour. We love the staff and his teachers. It’s a wonderful community.

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 8:33 am #

      Thanks for the great tip – Sara! What a good idea to use Google Maps! 🙂

  3. Valerie January 27, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Hi! My son will be turning two in April and I would love to get him preschool either once or twice a week. He has separation anxiety from mommy and I think this would be good for him for many reasons. I would like,something more structured than not. Any suggestions in north phoenix area or tips on how,to achieve this with a son who might cry alot!!!?? My crossroads are off greenway rd between the 51 and 17. Thank you!

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      Hi Valerie! My daughter was in a daycare/preschool from about 14mo-25mo and I’m not exaggerating when I say she cried every day at drop-off. She still liked ‘school’ and thrived there, but the initial good-bye never really got easier. It is super normal at that age and some kids are more affected than others. If it helps, she’ll be 4 in a few months and separates easily and confidently from me now. 🙂

      I know Creative Bridges (51 and Bethany Home area) has classes for young toddlers and flexible days you can attend. I really liked visiting there. I’m sure there’s more in the area I’m not familiar with, though…

    • Tina McFarland January 27, 2012 at 10:44 am #

      Valerie – We take our daughter to Scottsdale Learning Center. We attend the one off the 17 and Carefree Hwy but there is one right around Tatum/Greenway. We absolutely love the entire staff there and they always take such great care of our daughter. She is so happy to be dropped off each morning which tells us they are good to her. You should check it out. They can even go part time and their prices are reasonable. You can stop by anytime to ask questions and get a tour. The website is http://www.scottsdaledaycare.com. Good luck!

      • Nicole January 18, 2016 at 10:15 pm #

        Looking at research and how children develop, a child that cries when dropped isn’t typically communicating that the staff isn’t ‘good to her/him’. The child is more likely to be communicating “I miss my parent.” I’m glad for you that your child is happy to be leaving you each day but do want to stress to parents that behavior is communication. When your child cries at drop off, it is typically their way of telling you, “I’m not ready for this.I need you.” It can be a difficult transition for all to get through. Of course, parental behaviors and feelings play a part in your child’s development in yhis area as well. If you are confident and excited for them, they will be too. If your anxious or emotional, your child will be too.

  4. Beth January 27, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    We started Prince of Peace last August and love it. They have a relaxed yet structured approached with a great faith base. Baylor’s language skills went through the roof within a few months of being there. Great teachers, nice parents and lots of fun school events. We love it!

  5. Steph January 27, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Ooh, ooh, ooh. Sarah – you wrote this post for me, right???!!! 😉

    I can’t wait to hear all of your tips.

    In your comments please be sure to mention what major crossroads the school is at as driving distance is a big deal for most moms when considering a preschool.

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Good call on the cross streets, Steph. Distance was a huge factor for me (which is why I loved Sara’s suggestion to use Google Maps). Rainbow Montessori is at Cactus and 64th Streets. I know people very happy at La Casa de Cristo (Bell and 64th) and I have known families at Paradise for Tots on Tatum and Thunderbird too. Those are all not too too far from you…(but I’m sure there are others even closer…).

  6. Kimberly Peterson January 27, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Both of our children went to preschool at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church at approx Lincoln and Tatum. They start with the twos program. It is a very loving, caring and nurturing environment. They do have chapel time everyday, and there are families from all denominations.
    We moved our children to Rancho Solano Private School for the 3’s and 4’s, and have been very happy there ever since. Also, a nurturing environment with an outstanding academic plan. Our children were reading and writing as they went into kindergarten. I hope this helps.

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      Thanks, Kimberly! Very helpful. 🙂

  7. Kirsten January 27, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    We go to Christ Church School on Lincoln, just west of Tatum. I’ve had my oldest there for three years now. We started when he was 18 months doing a “Play & Learn” class (like a mommy & me) together. There are many things I like about the school. His teachers have all been great, the classrooms and playground are all so nice and clean and well designed. And most importantly, my son LOVES going to school. He begged all summer to go back, which I take as a great sign! One of the things that is kinda different about Christ Church is that the kids wear uniforms. You may think this is a little much for preschool, but I have to say it is fabulous! We have the biggest issues about what we are going to wear on our non-school days…A way too small, hideous football jersey, a summer outfit when it’s 48 degrees out, his Spiderman halloween costume(this is our usual first choice, which is adorable but would get too be a little much if we did it every day!) The school is also adding an elementary school at a rate of one grade per year, meaning that next year they will go up to 2nd grade. I haven’t decided if we’ll stay all they way through but it is kinda convenient when I start thinking about putting my youngest in preschool and my oldest in elementary and only have to drive to one place! I’m all about convenience! Also, You do not need to be potty trained for the 2 year old class. (I have boys so this was not going to happen!) So that was a plus for us!

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 9:20 am #

      Such good things you bring up, Kirsten – good things for others to think about as they look at schools: uniforms (we have friends at St. Joan of Arc where they also wear uniforms in preschool), potty training, and continuity to elementary school. We also have the option of staying at Rainbow Montessori through 2nd grade. It’s just nice to know that the option to continue is there, whether you use it or not. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Kirsten January 27, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Maybe I need some school advice for myself… I meant “to” not “too’!

  9. Katie Callaway January 27, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    We recently moved to the East Coast.. but prior to our move.. we enrolled our little guy at Scottsdale Christian Academy and LOVED it! He was in the young fours class with Mrs. Small.. She is a fantastic teacher! Our decision to place him there was based on a lot of things (distance was not one of them – we lived about 20 minutes from the school and although that was tough, it was worth the drive) What we Did look at.. we compared SCA’s test scores to several of the other Christian schools in Phoenix and Scottsdale and SCA’s scores were among the best. (I’m sure there are some that were better.. we didn’t need the BEST for pre-k education wise but wanted something very good) We also liked that SCA offers pre-school through high school. Even at four, we noticed that Connor makes friends quickly and gets attached easily. That said, we liked the idea that he would stay with the same friends throughout much of his early education. We also LOVE what the school stands for and were so thankful that Connor was being taught about the Lord daily. (And, as an aside, He learned the pledge of allegiance the first day of class.. I thought that was very COOL!) Anyhow, we were incredibly sad to take him out and will definitely put him back in when/if we return to AZ. Hope this helps.. Katie

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      Thanks Katie! Much appreciated! 🙂

  10. becca holt January 27, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    We live in Cave Creek so we needed someplace that was fairly close but I really wanted a faith based curriculum. We weren’t able to afford a private school (Paradise Valley Christian Prep was our first choice) so I was so thankful when I came across Desert Foothills Lutheran Preschool at Scottsdale Rd, north of Dynamite, just a few miles from our house. We had a wonderful experience with our teachers for 2 years and they have several options for how often your child attends. They don’t have afternoon programs but that worked fine for us. The kids can stay for lunch for a few extra dollars and the best part is you can decide that morning if you want them to stay. Tuition was reasonable and was the same as the rest of the preschools around us. They did a really cute Christmas performance and on several occasions, the parents were able to come to class for a portion and do a fun event with the kids like Mother’s Day tea, Donuts with Dad, Easter egg hunt, ice cream social, etc. My second just turned 1 and if we put him in preschool, it will definitely be back at Desert Foothills Lutheran Preschool!
    Becca

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      Thanks, Becca! I bet there are some North Valley moms in your area who will appreciate your perspective. 🙂

  11. jill January 27, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    You are reading my mind! This is the perfect post. I have already been feeling the anxiety. Super excited to hear all the great advice!

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      Happy to help, Jill! 🙂

  12. abbi williams January 27, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Most people who know me know that I’m a research junkie and this was no exception when it came to schools for my kids 🙂 I’m not in Scottsdale, but since I know that this blog has a broad readership, I’ll share where my kids have gone.

    North Valley Christian Academy in Anthem. We liked this school but it was on the pricer side. It’s definitely a private Christian school. This school focuses mainly on play and a small amount of academics and a lot of bible for preschool. Only my oldest went here because we moved to Glendale. To be honest, if you’re looking for a more academic school, this is not it.

    Atonement Lutheran School – 101 and 35th Ave. This is our current preschool and it will be the school that the rest of my kids will go to. Love the small atmosphere, the Preschool director is wonderful, and the class focuses on education, learn through play, and the bible. I love the activities they have throughout the year such as Noah’s Arc days, Trunk or treat, Jesus’s Birthday party, Mom’s Day tea, etc. They have a great balanced program. Also, its one of the most inexpensive schools that I found. yay!

    Some of the other moms have mentioned it, but I thought I would share some of the things I have looked for when visiting and choosing a school – preschool or higher grade – for my kids. I think its safe to say that everyone loves the school their kids go to so there’s a lot to choose from – but not all schools will be what YOU are looking for for your child.

    (these are in no particular order)
    1. Price – what is our budget?

    2. Education/Curriculum – learn by play? educational milestones? developmental milestones? work with kids where they are at? one on one time with teacher?

    3. Feel for the classroom and class schedule – what centers are done? Is it too much play?

    4. Class size – there are state limits (1 adult to 12 kids in preschool) but how many do they allow? A larger class (20+ kids) even with two or three teachers, can be chaotic.

    5. Location (mentioned a lot above) – I just imagine my child getting hurt or being sick and having to drive 30 min to get to them. Also, you may think, it’s ok, I’ll just stay on that side of town, it’s only 2 days a week. Remember, 2 days at age 3 usually turns into 3 days at age 4 and that’s a lot of days/time to be out of the house waiting around for your preschooler. Especially if you have other (younger) siblings to entertain. I drove my daughter to Anthem from Glendale and it got old FAST. Thankfully it was only for the last 3 months of her preK year.

    6. Parent involvement – some have a lot, some have a little. How much do you want to be in the classroom with your child?

    There are probably others that I could add to that list but I thought I would throw these out there. Sorry if this is overkill – I’m definitely more of a structured thinker! I never know if more information is better than less!! Most importantly, I think if you know what kind of school you want your child to go to, it makes picking the one that fits your family best really easy.

    • Sarah January 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

      GREAT suggestions, Abbi. Thank you! You could have written this post! 🙂 I would emphasize that VISITING a few schools will help bring some of these “on paper” qualities/qualifications to life. A school might look great online/on paper and be less impressive in person – OR, a school you might have written off because it didn’t fit one of your criteria actually has the best overall “feel” when you visit.

      Thank you for your wise words! 🙂

      • Ali August 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

        We are going on our 4th year with our kids at Chapparal Chritian preschool. They are located at 64th st and Shea in Scottsdale. I could go on forever about what an incredible school it is. I am amazed at how much the teachers love the kids. When we go to pick up my little ones from preschool my older daughter that previously went there for preschool still can’t wait to see Ms. barbara, Ms. stephanie and Ms. Siri. They still embraced her with big hugs and so much love. I have been on the parent council every year and I am always impressed with how much time and thought they put into improving the school and contiinuing education for the teachers.

  13. Angela January 27, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    All my kids went to pre-school at Scottsdale Learning Center (the greenway and 64th street location). I have really loved the flexibility on times and days. It works well with my schedule. The staff has been wonderful. It is a great fit for us.

    Now the twins are at Rancho Solano for kindergarten. The academic program is outstanding and I love the diversity of activities for the children.

  14. Tracy January 27, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Our oldest has been at Valley Day School (McDonald and Scottsdale Rds) for the last year and a half. I cannot find a bad thing about this school. We love it so so much. Our youngest will most definitely start there next year (he will be 3) in the 2 day program. They have 2 year old programs but we didn’t do that for either of my boys…just wasn’t a necessity for us. VDS has been around forever and the Day School Director, Louanne Jewett is one of the most phenomenal women you will ever meet. Seriously, the first time I met her when I was previewing the school I thought to myself, “this is the kind of woman you want to become and you want your mother to already be,” She is so wise and wonderful and caring and smart and her leadership trickles down to all of the teachers at the school. Each classroom has 2 teachers in it so the ratio is never more than 9 or 10 kids: teacher. Love that. We couldn’t be any happier!!!

    • Tiffany March 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      I found this thread because I am putting my daughter hopefully into VDS next year into the 2’s program. Thank you! I really hope it is a good experience for her.

  15. Heather January 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    My daughter goes to La Casa de Cristo Christian Preschool on 64th Street and Bell and we absolutely love it. Since I have a teaching background over the years I was always asking and hearing about preschools and La Casa was one that I heard about over and over again. The director, assistant director and many of the teachers have been there for over 15-20 years. Everyone is so nice.
    I love the activities they do with the kids…Country Fair, Thanksgiving feast, pajama day, school t shirt days, they had an adorable Christmas program and have dads day this Saturday.
    You can choose between 2-4 days, morning or afternoon, and they even have mini 3’s and 4’s classes for those tricky fall birthdays. They also have lunch bunch which my daughter loves (something about eating lunch at school from a lunch box with her friends just thrills her:)
    I love that it’s more play learning at this point (she’s only three, the more disciplined academic learning will come later), she’s learning about Jesus everyday, the teachers truly love the kids and making sure the kids have a good experience is important to them.
    They have a parent helper every day (moms, dads, and even grandparents can sign up) and families are always invited to the special ctivities I listed above.
    I can’t say enough about this school, Allie will go again next year and I will be sending my youngest when the time comes 🙂

  16. Misti Garcia January 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    My son went to La Casa De Cristo as well. He is now in 3rd grade but I loved the program and the families. It was great practice for school since they went to PE and music. We run in to staff members all the time and they remember us. I now have a 10 month old that when the time comes there is no question in my mind where I will send her.

  17. Tina January 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    My oldest went to CASY (1st grader now), and my youngest is there now. CASY is at 92nd St and Cactus. Teachers are wonderful, and are, for the most part, what has kept us there. A lot of great families are there as well – we’ve made great friends. In the younger ages, a mostly learning through play, and art projects galore, which my kids love. It is pretty academic in the Pre-K program. It used to be really hard to get into (people camped out overnight), but enrollment is down signficantly with the economy, and there are plenty of openings. For us, the location is perfect, and having already had a child go to 2’s, 3’s and 4’s there, we have a certain comfort level. On the downside, the facilities are dated, and we don’t get the “warm fuzzy feelings” from the owners; however, I can’t say enough good things about the teachers. CASY has T/Th, MWF, and M-F classes, and regular hours (depending on age) are 9-11:30. 2’s don’t have to be potty trained. Lunch bunch ($6/day) is from 11:30 to 12:30. There are extended hours until 2:45 for those that choose. Overall, we’ve been happy there.

  18. Jessie January 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Great post, Sarah! We are looking into preschools right now for the fall. So far, we have visited Creative Bridges (northern & 10th st), paradise valley co-op (bell & 62nd st), and the JCC (cactus & scottsdale).

    I absolutely loved Creative Bridges but worry about it being too far from us. I don’t mind the drive but I figure my daughter might have more of a chance to meet friends that will continue on into the same kindergarten and elementary schools if we have her at a preschool in our area. Things we liked though were that the director told us that she really focuses on helping the kids to socialize and that she will place each child in classrooms depending on what will work best for them–so nice! It also seemed like a very loving school and the director was responsive and also very informed about current methods of education. They also seem to focus on cultivating imagination.

    And the JCC is also wonderful and has so many different opportunities. The kids have gardens they can work in and they then donate all the vegetables to food shelters. They also have weekly music and swim lessons incorporated into their program. It’s a really lovely space. However, it is quite a bit more expensive than the other schools we have visited.

    My husband and I were hoping we could find a combo of these two schools–a place with many different activities (both indoor and outdoor) that is close to the PV mall area and is reasonably priced. Too much to ask? Hope not!

    Could anyone explain the difference between Montessori schools and non-Montessori preschools?

    Also, does anyone have children at Benchmark preschool?

    Thanks for all the tips, ladies!

    • Jen March 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

      Didn’t see an age range in your post. If your child is potty-trained and in the three year old range, I recommend the YMCA off Shea and Scottsdale Road. Ms. Nati in the threes class is absolutely wonderful! She is caring, boosts their self-esteem and is an amazing teacher. In warm months, swimming is included in the price. They have half day and full day options. We went to the twos class as well, but that teacher is no longer there. The present teacher is known to be a bit more strict– if you like that, it may be a good fit. The fours has more of a pre-K feel. Anywhere you go, I recommend asking to meet the teacher, not just the director as they are all very different. A fit may not even be right from one year to the next, depending on parenting and teaching styles.

  19. Sarah January 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Jessie! So nice meeting you in person today! (right? I’m not crazy…that was you?) 🙂

    Here’s a link to Wikipedia’s page on Montessori method: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montessori_education. I personally love it, but it’s not for everyone. It has kind of a funny balance between freedom (because their philosophy is that children learn best when they choose what areas to work in) and also quite structured. It’s a misconception that Montessori is all “free time all the time hippies running in the woods”. It’s actually very big on ritual, responsibility, routine, structure, and they are quite academic – just in a child-directed, individualized way. One of the biggest differences is the classroom itself – more kids, mixed ages, with each little one working independently for large blocks of time with teachers coming around to support/guide/teach them individually. There is group/circle time, too, but the learning emphasis happens individually.

    Have you looked into that “all-natural” preschool on Tatum? They just opened this year. I know almost nothing about them but it’s in the right part of town for you probably.

    Good info on the JCC – no one has brought that up yet. I have friends who are really thrilled with a couple other Jewish preschools, but don’t know anybody at the JCC.

    Good luck! Email me if you want to chat more! 🙂

  20. Kelli B. January 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    My son (he is almost 3) attends pre-school at Scottsdale learning center on greenway and 64th. We absolutely love it there! In the morning we are always greeted by a hello and a smile, my son is recognized by name. Sign in and out is done by fingerprint for security reasons. They have routine, structure and wonder curriculum which is age appropriate. I work part time and my schedule changes day to day and they are ways very flexiable for me. The staff in courages drop bys and call ins whenever the parent would like. If I have ever have a bad morning with my son and drop doesn’t go smooth and I call later to check on him they never make me feel like I am a bother. When I pick him up I recieve a review of his day….from what he has ate, how long he slept at nap time,if he went potty and his mood.

    Putting my son in daycare/preschool was not an easy decsion for me but putting my son in Scottsdale Learning Center was the best choice. I have seen my son grow in so many areas since attending there. It feels good to know when I drop him off he is safe and happy. i would recommend this preschool to anyone! :))

    If you have any questions call Ricole she is wonderful and will answer any of your questions. I encourge you to check it out! 480-368-1711

  21. Kelley D February 5, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Thank you for this great blog post Sarah! You are right, this is super helpful information for parents looking for the right school. I know when my husband and I started talking about the idea of our boys attending school it was a little overwhelming.

    From the moment we walked in the door at Scottsdale Learning Center on 64th St and Greenway – we felt like we were home. We were greeted by Ricole; who was friendly, helpful and ready to show us around the school. After that day, we enrolled both of our boys (3.5yrs and almost a 1yr) at SLC and haven’t looked back. The teachers in every class are friendly and always happy to see us; and more importantly to me they have all been there since we started and know and love my boys very much! The school also offers numerous extra-curricular activities including Spanish, computers, dance and more.

    I couldn’t agree more with the post above by Kelli B – SLC is flexible regarding schedule, which is helpful for everyone. Plus, my boys are constantly learning, growing and happy. We would (and do) recommend this school to everyone! =)

  22. Jenny February 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Any recommendations for south scottsdale for a 4 year old?

  23. Laurel February 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    We LOVE Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool at Pima & Happy Valley. An environment like no other, one of only two schools in the state that are accredited by NAEYC, stand-alone art building, music and art each week, warm loving teachers and staff, many after school programs like Spanish, karate, literacy, etc. Can’t say enough about it, you really should take a tour.

    Few other random thoughts…

    Trust your gut and do what is right for YOUR family. What feels and fits best for you might not resonate with your friends, but that’s okay. Be confident in your choice.

    ALL my friends would recommend their preschool, which leads me to feel that once you find the right fit, or even if it’s not your first choice, you find something to love about the school and it all works out.

    Remember, it’s PRESCHOOL! 🙂 As a former teacher I can tell you, it’s a bell curve out there and while some will struggle and others will surpass expectations, most kids will do just fine and be where they need to be, when they need to be.

    Recommended documentary: The Road to Nowhere. Must see.

  24. Laurel February 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Oops – documentary is Race to Nowhere. Here is link…

    http://www.racetonowhere.com/trailers-clips

    • Tracy February 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      We moved to Scottsdale two years ago and I was overwhelmed with the many decisions we needed to make. I am so thankful that God was guiding us on this journey and all has worked out for the best. We knew from previous experience that a small, Christian school was a priority for us. We feel strongly, that young children need to be encouraged and praised. Academics are important, but more importantly are establishing good social skills and work habits. I began asking other moms in the community for their recommendations. I heard several times New Covenant Lutheran Preschool had a great program. I visited the school at Frank Lloyd Wright and Thompson Peak. It was a friendly staff and clean environment. I loved seeing classrooms decorated with student work. I also saw lots of happy kids.

      This is our second year at NC. Our daughter’s teachers are loving and compassionate. They encourage independence, but provided support whenever it is needed. We feel confident that our daughter is ready for kindergarten socially and academically.

      I was so happy with our choice, that I joined their staff this year.

  25. Riley March 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    When we moved to the area, we researched many of the local preschools. Lots to choose from, but we found St. Joan of Arc Preschool and fell in love! It is right off the 51 and Greenway…beautiful campus and amazing teachers! They teach Creative Curriculum and the director is a strong believer in a quality, faith-based education for her students. The tuition is reasonable. We are very impressed…we did not experience anything like this in Seattle. The parents at SJA are also a supportive group with most from Scottsdale and North Phoenix. The teachers are passionate about teaching and it shows. We are so thrilled and our daughter can’t wait to go to school each day.
    We definitely recommend St. Joan of Arc Preschool!

    • Amy July 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

      We also go to St. Joan of Arc Preschool. All of the teachers are truly gifted and the director is totally dedicated to the community of the school. They are rich in academics and Catholic tradition, even offering a Cat. Of the Good shepherd program to enable children to understand many wonderful aspects of the Catholic faith. This will be our second year there and my son is so happy to be in the school. It is a safe, warm and nurturing environment that will bring out the best in your child. I love the school, the families and the parish!

  26. Amara March 16, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I just wanted to say thank you to all moms that have posted information above. It has given me so much options to check into! I am relocating to North Scottsdale in the late fall and have started to look into Preschool and Daycare options for my 2yr son (he will be 3yr in December). As a single mom (or any mom for that matter), it is an overwhelming task to make sure my son is well taken care of while I’m at work. Do any of these preschools have daycare options as well? Thank you so much!

    • Sarah March 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

      Hi Amara, I know for sure that Scottsdale Child Care & Learning Centers takes babies and has full-time daycare. Many preschools have before- and after- school care to accommodate full-time working parents too. Good luck!

  27. Michelle March 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Any advice on preschools that don’t require 3 yos to be potty trained? My son is currently in the 2s room at CASY and loves it, but he won’t be able to move up to the 3s unles he is fully trained by August. He is currently not making any progress in that department ( and tends to meet most milestones on the later end of the spectrum) so I would like to have a back-up plan. We are in N Scottsdale and are looking for a school that is not religiously affiliated. Thanks!

  28. Tuuli March 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Our daughter (now three) goes to Best Pals on Via Linda and we have been very happy with the school. It is not religious (might be a good plan B for you Michelle) and the kids in the smallest class (2s/3s) do not need to be potty trained. We chose the school based on recommendations from another bilingual family (Finnish/English like us) and will continue there next autumn. In a way our choice was quite random, I did not know much about the local preschools a year ago when we moved here. But I’m glad it turned out excellent!

  29. PALLAVI LAL March 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Iris just started at Hearts Print Montessori. Its a small school and WE LOVE IT!!! They rent a room out of a church, so the cost is love. Plus the playground is fully shaded by lots of trees so it makes for wonderful summer time weather. The teachers are so sweet and really down to earth. After searching and calling 10+ schools, I am really glad, I chose this one. They use positive discipline, help with potty training PLUS all of the curriculum of a Montessori school w/o the large price tag. Here is the website. http://www.heartprintsmontessori.com/

    Oh and they let Iris try a trial day to see if it would be a good fit, none of the other preschools I called would allow of that. 🙂

    Happy Hunting.

  30. Debbie March 23, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    I had one child graduate from the JCC. We LOVED it there! It is a Family environment and takes newborns up to pre-k and pre and post care for those working parents. My son currently goes there and we will be leaving to join his older sister at Rancho Solano next year for pre-k. I was almost in tears telling the staff at the JCC that we would not be there for my sons pre-k year. I love it so much, but since he will be at Rancho anyway for kindergarten, I wanted to give him a head start on the academics that Rancho has to offer. Thumbs up for the JCC. You must be a member at the JCC to join the Early Childhood Center, and that gives you so many opportunities. The gym, pool, and activities offered year round. They also have great summer camps for all age groups. As for Rancho Solano. Love it too. My daughter is in kindergarten there and she is reading like a champ. There is daily homework, but it is such a part of our routine, that she doesn’t know any different. Rancho Solano starts with a 3’s program and goes all the way through high school.

  31. Lindsay April 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    I am so glad I found this blog! I am relocated to Scottsdale in the fall…just bought a house near granite reef and chaparral in Scottsdale. I am looking for a preschool that is in Spanish (my older daughter will be in Pueblo Elementary in the Spanish Foreign Language Program). I want my younger daughter exposed to the language as soon as possible. Any leads would be greatly appreciated and make our transition that much smoother. Looking forward to being a a Scottsdale Mom!

    • Maria Flansbaum June 7, 2013 at 10:49 am #

      How do you like Pueblo? Have you had any luck finding another preschool that is bilingual? I have toured International School of Arizona – absolutely love it but it is a bit pricey so trying to keep my options open.
      Our middle child went to SUMC which we also really liked but just trying to see what else is out there. Our third child is 2 and I really want to put her in pre-school at least a few days in the fall. I would really love to have it be a spanish oriented but it is so hard to find one. Any suggestions of other really good programs in the old town/PV or gainey ranch area would be so appreciated.
      Thanks.

  32. A teacher April 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    I am not from Scottsdale but am actually thinking of starting my OWN preschool in the future and have enjoyed reading different moms’ preferences. I would appreciate any advice that anyone would have to offer. Right now, there are various directions in which I could go. What would set me apart is that I could offer a bilingual (Spanish) component. I am wondering if this is something that would be appealing to parents or would most parents prefer an English preschool with an option of a separate Spanish class?
    I am whether or not would be appealing to have a preschool in the teacher’s home. I am a certified teacher with 7 years experience in the public schools and would have a large room (or more) dedicated to the school, but I wonder if it would seem less academic. I would also be the only teacher, so I know that would cut down on flexibility for parents. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
    I would like to offer two and a half hour morning or afternoon sessions for 4-year-olds, possibly 3’s. How many days a week is the best option for moms? Does anyone do 4 or 5 days a week, or is 2 or 3 typically better if daycare is not included? If anyone has any comments on prices, that would be helpful as well.
    I realize that this was a little less conventional post, but would appreciate any comments that anyone might have.

    • Lindsay May 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      Hi,

      I hope this comment reaches you. I would be very interested in talking to you regarding a preschool. I am hoping a Spanish Bilingual Preschool would start in Scottsdale. How do we connect with one another on this blog…I am blog and computer illiterate!

      • Sarah May 25, 2012 at 10:21 am #

        Hi Lindsey! We’re here – we’re here! I’m sorry no one replied to your comment right away. Unfortunately we (we being Scottsdale Moms Blog) are not a comprehensive resource for things like this – we are moms just like you looking for answers. I might recommend checking out the Schools, Etc. publication mentioned in the post, or trying the Google Maps search method that one reader suggested. Offhand I don’t know of any bilingual preschools in Scottsdale but again, I’m just one local mama! We hope these types of posts get discussion going, but unfortunately we don’t have all the answers. 🙁 Good luck!!

      • Maria Flansbaum June 7, 2013 at 10:35 am #

        Have you had any luck finding a spanish bilingual preschool in scottsdale? I have visited International School of Arizona which I love but it is a bit pricey so am keeping my options open.
        We had our middle child go to SUMC in old town and we really liked it. I am just looking around for other options for my 2 year old who I would like to have start pre-school in the fall. I live in old town and work in the gainey ranch area and need suggestions for excellent programs in this area. Any help would be appreciated. thanks.

    • Spanish mom June 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

      Hi, I am very interest on a bilingual preschool, as a Latin mom living in Scottsdale not only would be great to have my kid in a preschool like this but also, would like to be part of that. If you don’t mind to contact me to chat may be I can help.

  33. Jamie August 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    THANK YOU very much for this blog, this is exactly what I was looking for!!

    We just moved to South Scottsdale and I am in need of advice and suggestions on a preschool. My son will be 4 on 8/19 and has not attended school yet. We are very excited and eager for him to start preschool. As some of you have written, Google is helpful if you know the names of schools but not so helpful in simply typing in “best preschool in South Scottsdale.” I have come across a pre-k program offered through the Scottsdale School District. Has anyone heard of this? Have suggestions? Recommendations? I would love to hear all good and bad thoughts on this? We are currently on a waiting list. The cost of the program is $575 (I believe a month) for 5 days a week, 8:30-2:30pm. This seems a little pricey to me simply because it is through public school. Thoughts? Is this a reasonable price for preschool? We are open to private preschool as well if anyone has suggestions? We live off Scottsdale Rd. & Thomas and strongly prefer to be close to the school as I work from home. I would REALLY appreciate any advice and suggestions; sorry for having so many questions but we are new to Arizona and I really value other mothers’ input and opinions. Thank you for taking the time to help me find the best education for our son.

    • Sarah August 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Jamie, welcome to Scottsdale! 🙂 Wish I could help you personally, but we’re up at the north end of town and I don’t know any schools down there. I’m in the Kindergarten search now and have used Google maps as one of these commenters mentioned. If you map your house and search “preschool” nearby, you should get a bunch of hits. It’s at least a start – even if you don’t know the names. I’d try that since location is important to you. Another resource is GreatSchools.org. It’s a little more useful for older kids (aka elementary school and up), but it does list preschools and you can add location info to your search parameters. I don’t know much about the public Pre-K programs through Scottsdale schools, but I do know that lots of families choose that route and that it’s a good way to get used to your neighborhood elementary school. Good luck!

  34. Dani September 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Hello – We are Canadians that will be coming to Scottsdale for the winter while I am on maternity leave (we luckily get 1 yr off). I am looking to enroll my 3 yr old in Pre-school so she can get the interaction, school experience with teachers, friends and structure – and give me some alone time with little bambino ;). I am having a hard time finding a Pre-school that is close to us and I can feel comfortable leaving her there. I don’t want a Daycare environment – I really want her to have fun, do crafts, learn and “Mama I want to go back,” experience for her. We live off of Shea and Mountainview – when I do a google search CASY comes up and Hand & Hand Scottsdale. We did a tour of CASY and I kind of felt like being sold something from a dealership. Our friends go to Scottsdale Learning Center but they are full and only take kids 3 days a week whereas I want her to go for only 2 days. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated – I have never had to look for a school before and have no idea what I am suppose to be looking for. Thank you Scottsdale Mommies 🙂

  35. Amy B. September 14, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Good morning, so I have a 3 yr old and she will be 4 in November… Are there any good preschools around Scottsdale and the 101 that are open till 7pm.? She goes to paradise for tots right now but they are only open till 6pm, love love the school and great curriculum but need something that’s open till 7pm with same as paradise for tots, thank you!

  36. Rebecca September 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    I cannot recommend Preschool at Camelback Cottage enough! My daughter is 3 and this is her first experience in “school” and away from home/family. Miss Lindsey is AMAZING! She has so many wonderful qualities, a tremendous amount of experience and credentials. Her personality is so wonderful and she really, really is great with every kids and every personality. She is reasonably priced and does so many fun activities with the kids. Again, I cannot say enough good things about her! Go meet her or call her. You won’t be disappointed!

    http://www.camelbackcottage.com/

  37. Shannon October 24, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    What about recommendations for an infant – 8 weeks old (daycare)? In the Scottsdale/desert ridge/cave creek areas?

  38. Noelle October 31, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    Hi Sarah- thank you so much for this post. I have to go back to work and am not ready to put my 2 year old in daycare. It is so overwhelming to pick strangers to care for your child. Thanks for all the information here! We are already scheduled to look at Rainbow Montessori and I was wondering if you are still happy with them?

  39. Dipa December 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Hi, Thanks – Sarah, Finally I found a preschool for my 2yr old.We are from different religious background,but prefer to send my children to a Church School,because of their care , love and nurturing attitude towards each and every children.As a Scottsdale mom.I’m looking for an after school (3yr+) play-learn institution,where children can share their own thought, interact /talk with other children through build a pretend house or rocket or truck or solar system ..or just spelling contest or memories tables/numbers or just for fun ..drawing,singing ..dancing or may be learning a different language.
    If anyone knows any home-tutor or any atmosphere like this ..please let me know.
    Take care to all of you..
    Have a great day everyday!

  40. Stacie February 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Hi! We are moving to Paradise Valley this spring and would be looking for a private preschool that would extend into elementary and middle school. My daughter will be 3 in the summer and my son (4) will be attending pre-k. Phoenix Country Day came highly recommended, but $18,000 a year for preschool?! Not possible! Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    • Jessie February 12, 2013 at 5:41 am #

      Stacie-you could look at Tesseract or Rancho Solano-though think tuition there is also on the pricey side. Another option is the charter schools. I know Benchmark has a preschool. The rate is very reasonable but you have to camp out to get a spot.

    • Melissa April 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Stacie,

      Not many posts here recently, so not sure if you will check this or not, but just in case I will provide some input that may help. We moved to Scottsdale last August and my daughter is turning 3 in Oct. I recently visited three Preschools in the PV area and really liked all three. The drive is 20+ minutes from our house, and my husband is really hoping we select one that is closer, so I’m not certain if we will enroll at any of them. My favorite was Christ Church on Lincoln west of Tatum. I believe another Mom commented about it previously. It will go thru 3rd grade this coming school year, I believe. The others are Preschool only, but just in case you are interested they are Camelback Christian Preschool (across the street from Phoenix Day School) and Paradise Valley United Methodist Preschool also on Lincoln west of Tatum. I believe each one is far less expensive than what you indicated the cost is at Phoenix Day School. Christ Church has a carnival this Friday 4/20 if you have moved into town already. My next door neighbor, Kim, is head of the parent organization, and she told me all about it. It sounds like a great time and we plan to attend.

  41. Nicole March 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    We’ve moved to 85524 up from South Scottsdale. Our home near Rainbow and Desert Sky Montssori, and the JCC. We LOVE Rainbow Montessori. The owner, property, the philosophy, other parents make it an incredible environment. We are going to sign at JCC even though they are incredible they do not match Rainbow Montessori in some regards. My son is 14months, I’m a SAHM, and we are signing him on solely for additional interaction and so I can also have time without him. Im a wreck and still not sure how I’m supposed to leave him in the hands of strangers. With that said the JCC security and safety seemed to beat all other schools we looked at. Staff there 20+ years, many with their masters in early childhood development, and no one has access to area except teachers and parents via key cards. JCC highly recommended by many friends. I’d love a large barbwire fence with armed guards there too ;).

  42. Nicole March 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Oops. Just moved. Zip code is 85254

  43. Kelley March 19, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    Hi, I’m due with our first child in mid June. Does anyone have any recommendations for infant care in the South Scottsdale, Paradise Valley or Central Phoenix area? I plan to return to work mid-September. I was exploring Villa Montessori, but we can’t submit an application until the baby is born and there are currently 20 infants on the waiting list for a class of 7. My husband works from home, a nanny is not ideal. Any leads/suggestions that can help this first time mom out would be appreciated. 🙂

    • Melissa April 2, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

      Kelley,
      Congrats. We are new to Scottsdale and I can’t offer any advice on daycares in the area. However, I can tell you that we put our 4-month old daughter in a great daycare in the Twin Cities and discovered it didn’t work well for her because she did not nap consistently in the group setting even with an isolated and quiet crib room. After a few months we realized we had to hire a Nanny and have her cared for in our home. I was extremely reluctant since I also home office, but it was the best thing we ever did for our daughter and family. She is now 2.5 and we have been blessed with absolutely amazing Nannies in both MN and AZ. She completely understands and respects my work time and knows not to interrupt me while working. I have the wonderful joy of spending time with her if I take a break or choose to sit down and have lunch together. It is possible for a child, caregiver, and working parent to coexist in our home, and I know others who have made it work also. Additionally, skipping the hassle of packing up your infant and dragging him/her to and from daycare is a mega bonus for any family. I’m not anti-daycare by any means, just sharing our experience since the outcome was different than we had planned for initially. Best of luck in your search.

  44. Melissa April 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    We have been extremely happy with Woodbridge Private School. It is a preschool and kindergarten. Located at Pinnacle Peak and 19th Avenue. Our daughter is getting a great balance of education and play time. They also have a summer program too.

  45. Annie May 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    I stumbled across this website and thought I’d leave my two cents. My son attended Cross Roads Preschool and Kindergarten in North Central Phoenix. Cross streets are Northern and Central, it is close to the 51 and tends to attract families from all over. It is such a fantastic school! Such a warm nurturing yet stimulating environment. They offer programs for 2yrs-Kinder. The teachers are amazing, and the school offers an amazing community of parents. I highly recommend it! Families have been coming back to this school for generations!

  46. Erin May 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    Any south Scottsdale recommendations?

  47. Elise May 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Any in N. Scottsdale? I have looked at the JCC. I want something we do not have to budget too much with, but our daughter still will get a great curriculum from. Thanks

  48. Phoenix preschool June 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    It’s really an awesome blog!! I totally agree with you that children are like flowers. If we don’t care flowers from the initial part than they will destroy, and same here for kids. There initial part for kids is choosing a best school for them. Thanks a lot.

  49. Tracy July 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    All of our kids went to La Casa De Cristo preschool and we loved it! I would highly recommend it!

  50. Corinna July 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Any advise on Shepard of the Dessert school? It’s near Shea and 94th St. I’m thinking of placing my son in the 2’s program part time. It’s within our price range. But I haven’t heard anyone mention it 🙁

  51. Veronica July 3, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    Kelley- we take our 1 yo to Parkway Children’s School near Lincoln/Glendale and 16th street. They also have a preschool. She was in the infant class and just moved to the 1 year old classroom. We have absolutely loved it. All the teachers are really loving and give lots of individual attention. I found that she did have a hard time sleeping for the first couple of weeks but then did really well. We actually tried a nanny first but didn’t feel she was being stimulated enough. My daughter is very social and has thrived in the group setting. It is also a Christian school so they do go to Chapel and have a daily lesson even for infants. It becomes much more like preschool at age 1 and she totally loves it!

  52. Katie July 4, 2013 at 5:57 am #

    My daughter attended Mission Montessori in North Scottsdale from infant to toddler and we loved it. The main campus is located at 132nd st and Shea and she attended a smaller campus at 94th and Cactus also. She had bilingual teaches beginning even in the infant class! We have since moved but I highly recommend the school. In my search, they were the calmest, most peaceful environment and I fell in love with the Montessori approach.

  53. Andrea July 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    Last year my daughter attended Chaparral Christian Preschool just off of Shea Blvd and 64th in Scottsdale. Her experience was so enriching and wonderful that I wanted to share it with the moms out there!

    Her 4-5 year old class was taught by a team of two teachers. They put a lot of attention and effort into planning the lessons and activities for the children. You wouldn’t believe some of my daughter’s experiences! They included everything from mixing and measuring cooking ingredients to watching an incubated chicken egg hatch to planting a garden.The highlight of the year (for my child) was when a person from the zoo came to visit with live animals in tow! The highlight of the year (for me) was watching my child’s individual growth and development.

    You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better preschool!

  54. Stacy July 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Hi Moms,
    I am a past parent and a current teacher at St. Maria Goretti preschool and Kindergarten. It is a wonderful community and education for children ages 2- kindergarten. We are located north of McDonald off Granite Reef in central Scottsdale. We offer low teacher/student ratio, the new common core education, and any time options to fit your needs. Check out our website, http://www.smgazpreschool.org/ Most of our teachers are master teachers who have been teaching there well over 10 years.

  55. Kristin Frankwick July 17, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    We live over by Scottsdale and Cactus and started looking into preschools when we moved to the state two years ago. We wanted a faith based environment that allowed children to learn through play and activity. It was difficult to find the type of information I was looking for, so I started to ask around. After 3 different families suggested Chaparral Christian Kindergarten and Preschool I went on a tour of the school. It was early February and well into the current school year. I had chosen not to put my 4 year old in preschool that year, and had been doing early research for the upcoming school year. After walking through and viewing the school I fell in love with the philosophy (they play, explore, and use their imagination, all while learning) and decided to put my daughter in mid year. She recently completed her second year at Chaparral and my younger daughter (3) finished her first (I was also hesitant to start her so early since I stay at home, but am SO glad I made the decision to do so- she loved it)! The teachers are amazing and really care for the children. Miss Barbara, whom has been a teacher for a number of years, genuinely loves the children. She greets them every morning with smiles, hugs, and a warm heart. Miss Stephanie was also an incredible part of my younger daughters first year of school. She was patient, kind, and caring, and we are so thrilled she will be teaching in the 4 year old room with her next year. My oldest daughter had the pleasure of having Miss Vickie for the year and a half she was in preschool. Miss Vickie was an incredible teacher, and provided an atmosphere that encouraged the children to learn and grow. She did a phenomenal job preparing my daughter for kindergarten this fall. Miss Jessie (who is raising a small baby and will not be returning next year) was another incredible asset in my daughters preparation for kindergarten. She brought a joy to the classroom that will be missed, but much appreciated at home with her family. From what I experienced, I would highly recommended the preschool. The price was great, and the option for extended care before and after school definitely came in handy.

  56. Samantha July 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Hi Moms,

    Finding the right preschool for your children can be a challenge. This blog has been very beneficial. I recently toured a new preschool in north Scottsdale, Pre-k Learning Academy. I liked the fact that the owners and director are school principals. When I first walked in there was a friendly and warm vibe. From my discussion with them their program seems to be academic and structured, which is just what my son needs. They have both am and pm sessions 2-5 days a week. I also liked that they are offering Spanish. I feel this is the school we want to choose, but does anyone else know any schools offering a structured academic program in north Scottsdale? Thanks for your help.

  57. Dianna September 1, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    I love The Goddard School at Cave Creek & Dynamite. The owner of this establishment is super sweet & they are very accommodating. There is an early drop off if you need that & late stay I think until 6pm. My daughter attends 3 half days per week & is thriving. They take kids from 6 months-kindergarten age. The teachers are wonderful, interactive & give daily feedback on your child’s activities & progress on a more global level. I recommend it highly!

  58. Gretchen Parsons November 6, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Hi Moms!
    Does anyone know any preschools that implement the use of ipads in their curriculum? I am a Reporter and working on a story about an increase in toddlers using apps on smart phones and tablets. If anyone has any information for me I would really appreciate it! Thanks!

  59. Tia November 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Hi Mama’s!

    We’re looking to enroll our 2 year old daughter into pre-school, as she is very active and just needs to keep busy in thriving environment. We’ve visited Camelback Desert School (seems very organized, but $$$)…Can anyone justify the costly toddler program?
    Also any info about Best Pals on Via Linda or Sunshine near FLW or other toddler programs near Scottsdale Ranch. Thanks so much!! 🙂

  60. Susan Chicone November 19, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    We are moving from Florida Dec 28th. Trying to get our 2 year old in somewhere. We are living in McCormick Ranch . Suggestions?

  61. Tricia Covert December 11, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Finding a good preschool can be really stressful, especially if you’re a stay-home mom and now it’s time to take your child somewhere else.

    I found that sometimes there is a lot of hype around certain schools, but it comes down to what you are really looking for that fits your child – you just know. I have two boys and between the two we went to La Casa De Cristo, PVUMC and St.Maria Goretti. I put my name on waiting lists, spent the night in line to get my son in a class, etc. Crazy stuff. For me, it was important to give my children spiritual guidance at a preschool level, regardless of where they went to school for elementary. I think that loving approach helped both my boys transition from me.

    By far, my vote out of the 3 schools is St.Maria Goretti. They’re tucked away a little, but actually very central (East of Hayden Rd – Granite Reef and McDonald), so I actually didn’t know about them until a bunch of my friends (fellow moms) kept on talking about how special it is there.

    This school does it right in all ways – it’s a small campus, so I liked that because it felt warm. The staff is so loving and the preschool Director is such a caring person – someone I felt comfortable handing my child off to.

    When my son was attending PVUMC, someone actually recommended St. Maria Goretti when he started Pre-K because of their academic program – I’m so glad I made the switch. My son, was so prepared for elementary school. They really know how to move your child to the next stage without overwhelming them – everything is age appropriate. It is definitely worth a look!

  62. Anxious mom February 21, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    Has anybody heard of Little Big Minds preschool. The program looks great, there is waiting list, but I cant find reviews anywhere!! This preschool is housed at Biltmore Academy Prep. Is bilingual.

  63. Wendy Leax March 7, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    We are moving to Scottsdale from Texas this summer. After much research I am considering Scottsdale Learning Centers, Chaparral Christian Preschool and Blessed Beginnings for my 4 year old. Read lots of good comments on here about the first two schools but not a lot of comments to be found on Blessed Beginnings. I would appreciate feed back if anyone has it.

  64. Rachel March 16, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Hi Mamas! We are trying to make a decision between Desert Sky Montessori and Rainbow Montessori (Voltaire campus) for my 21 month old son. Any info on either place that may be useful in our decision? Also, I noticed that neither of these schools are recognized by the AMI or AMS. Any thoughts on how important this is? Thanks!

  65. MrsA March 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    So I have an odd criteria… I’m looking for a preschool that preferably DOES NOT have before or after care in the PV/Scottsdale area. We’ve been dealing with a ton of illness at our current school and so I’d like to simplify the environment as much as possible. I’d also prefer a smaller school if possible. We are looking at Mission Montessori (5 days, I’d prefer 3 days) and Tesseract. I see a ton of Christian preschools that look great, but my husband would prefer we stay with non-religious or Jewish schools.

    I will note: I know kids get sick, but even our pediatrician has commented what we are dealing with has been a bit much (3 rounds of antibiotics over 2.5 months and we live a very healthy lifestyle).

    Another note, does anyone know if Scottsdale Academy of the Arts closed?

  66. co-op mama May 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Hi,
    I know this post is a few years old but I just came across it from a google search. All the comments have already been helpful, we are moving to the area soon and I am looking for a REAL co-op parent run preschool, and nonsectarian. Google is pulling up nothing useful but I sure there have to be a few in the area…I hope.. any advise would be great.

    • Jessie May 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      Creative Bridges is a co-op and nonsectarian. It’s a co-op in that you must participate in the room for a full day 9 days per year, pr child enrolled. But the school is not run by the parents. Aside from Creative Bridges, there is also Paradise Valley Co-operative Preschool. Good luck!

      • co-op mama May 19, 2014 at 8:51 am #

        Thank You. I found them some time back on a google search but I totally forgot about them with all of the other schools to research. I hope this post stays open for awhile I have found it very useful.

        • Angela May 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

          Also check out Hyhscottsdale.com for tons of local school info.

  67. Kayla Hale June 10, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    We are military and are originally from Arizona.
    My husband leaves for a year and randomly today thought maybe we should move home so our daughters have some family for once around.

    Our oldest (3yrs) turn 4 Aug 29th and will be starting preschool this year in August (already attended a PrePreSchool program where we are at now and is ready to move on.

    We are wanting a Christian Based Preschool, we have high expectations since ours now has music and Spanish class for them.

    Any area, we still haven’t decided -what city- we will move for the year.

    ALL info welcomed!

  68. Tom June 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    Anyone have any experience with Shalom Montessori in McCormick Ranch?

  69. Camelia August 14, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    We just moved to Scottsdale from Washington D.C. and would like to enroll our daughter into a Montessori program. We are deciding between 3 schools. We could really use your help in gathering more insight about the various institutions. Thank you in advance…..

    1.Mission Montessori

    2. Montessori Academy

    3. Rainbow Montessori

  70. Christine S August 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

    My son went to valley Day School 1/2 of last year and did summer camp this year. He really liked it and I really like the teachers. But he finally got into Chapperal Christian this year!! I feel that they have more of a learning agenda vs. the Valley day school. Do you think it would mess up my son by moving him to a new school since he will be going to Kindergarden (Cochise) next year? I am sooo torn and I dont know what to do! Any thoughts??

  71. LB October 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    My 2 year old daughter went to Arcadia Montessori for a few months and I’m excited that we’re switching schools.I see that the common theme on this blog is Montessori schools but my experience with these type of schools has been nothing but a horrific one. When she started Arcadia back in May, everything was great at first but then we noticed aggressive behavior, hitting, not a whole lot of learning, etc. Also the lead teacher, who is Montessori certified, is only there until noon, and then they have 2 young girls who come in the afternoon. I’m not sure what they qualifications are. It’s almost impossible to get a hold of the main teacher. They are trying but are not the best when it comes to constructive learning, etc. We looked into Rainbow Montessori and I was told that my daughter is too young (she’s almost 3 now) for the 3-6 year old group. When I asked them how did they make that decision without even seeing my child first to evaluate her, they simply said she is too young; not to mention the administrator/receptionist lady was so rude, I believe her name is Laura so I would stay away. They never answer emails/return phone messages and the teacher we observed was nice in a very artificial way. Not a very good first impression, so my advice – stay away.

    We’re moving to another area of Scottsdale and looking to check out Children’s Learning Adventure on Scottsdale Rd and Shea. Does anyone have any experience with this school? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! I also want to mention that we are looking for a school that is not faith affiliated. Thank you!

    • Jessie October 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

      Hi LB-
      I had a very similar experience with the staff of the intended preschool not responding to my emails and calls and we switched before even sending our daughter there (it was Benchmark, btw, a secular preschool that feeds to their charter elementary school).
      We ended up sending our kids to Creative Brides and I could not be happier. It’s in North Phoenix but we drive from Scottsdale because I loved it so much. It’s not religiously affiliated and is very, very loving and has an excellent community.

      Good luck!!

    • Camelia October 10, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

      We recently moved from the east coast and found the pace to be a bit different. We enrolled our 18 month old at Mission Montessori and can not be happier with the staff, cleanliness, responsiveness and overall program. I would recommend this program to any parent look for a peaceful and loving atmosphere.

  72. LB October 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi Jessie, thank you so much for your response. I will def check out that school!

  73. Lindsay February 19, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    We live in McDowell Mountain Ranch and our 4 year old son attends Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool. It is located further north at Pima and Happy Valley.

    When you walk in the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. There is music, play stations, and a large courtyard area where the classes take turns playing (It is a large area with a playground, sand area, bikes and scooters, etc…).

    The teachers are fantastic. They truly get to know your child and what they are interested in.

    They are play based, and use the interests of the kids to guide the curriculum.

    They follow the Reggio Emilia approach.

    The staff are also wonderful. Great at keeping open lines of communication.

    Fun events throughout the year.

    Option for “extended days” where you child can choose a specific program to attend once their school day has ended.

    Materials, Toys, Outdoor Activities, etc… are always being changed up in order to keep the kids engaged and interested.

    While the preschool is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church through sharing the campus, the Preschool is not faith based.

    They are very regimented in cleanliness and having the kids keep up with washing hands in order to keep germs at bay (as much as you can in a preschool anyway 🙂 ) Aside from a few cases of the sniffles, we haven’t had to battle any major illness (knock on wood).

    Nothing but great things to say about PPP!

  74. Marissa February 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    I would love to know if anyone has enrolled in the Early Learning Program at Scottsdale Unified School District! I love the thought of my kids growing up and transitioning into Kindergarten at the same school. Also, prices are reasonable and everyone I’ve come into contact with has been incredible! Any experiences will be helpful in my decision!

    I have a 1-year old and am essentially looking for daycare, but would love to find somewhere she can keep going to for years to come. I’ve found that a lot of daycares I tour have very inconsistent communication skills, and I just can’t send my daughter to a place that cannot return an email or call!

    Thank you!

  75. Ashleigh March 6, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

    Anybody have anything to say about Brighter Angels?
    We just moved right behind Rancho Solano at 56th and Greenway, but they are not in the budget for pre-school 🙁 and the Scottsdale Learning Center at 64th and Greenway has a waiting list right now
    🙁

  76. Neha October 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    Hi, we are moving from Chicago to Scottsdale this month. My 18 month old son goes to a daycare here I need advice on good childcare centres in Scottsdale or downtown phoenix. I contacted some like Bright horizons, Scottsdale childcare centre etc. and there is a huge waiting list out there.
    Please help!

  77. Tracy January 29, 2016 at 5:30 am #

    We loved LaCasa De Cristo preschool. The teachers and directors there are really great. We had three kids who went through the preschool there and we loved it. I also made some of my best friends there and so did my kids.

  78. Katie February 3, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    Does anyone have any feedback on El Dorado Private School? I just enrolled my four years old in preschool there. We just moved from California (last week) and the school is literally across the street from our home and seems like a good fit. I didn’t really research any other schools, so I’m hoping we made the right decision!

  79. Julie S February 7, 2016 at 11:53 pm #

    My son attended the 2’s program and is currently attending the 3’s at Camelback Desert (96th and Shea). We are looking to bring him further south, closer to where we live at Scottsdale and McDonald, for pre-k next year. I Looked at the early learning program at Kiva (where he’ll attend kinder) and Temple Solel Jewish preschool. We are not Jewish but felt TS was much more similar to what he’s had at CDS the last 2 years. 1) does anyone know anything about Temple Solel? 2) do you other moms feel like it will be too much on him to change preschools knowing he’ll have to change again a year later when he starts kinder? 3) Valley Day school is also in the neighborhood – is it worth a visit? I heard that it wasn’t as academically focused as some would like.

  80. Nicole May 24, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

    I know this is a long shot since this school is not in Scottsdale but it is a charter school in Chandler. Has anyone heard of or have experience with Bright Beginnings on Dobson and Chandler? My daughter is 4 and was in a dual language preschool in which I was concerned about how much play time they were getting. I have heard Bright Horizons is a little heavier on structure and academics. It is a bit pricey and just would like some feedback before I put down a deposit and first month tuition.