Q&A: Preschools in Western MA

Question and Answer

Ashfield Community Preschool in Ashfield, MA.

Anyone have a recommendation for a local preschool? Is there a preschool your kids went to that you would recommend to other parents?

  • Emily Gonzalez writes: Rise & Shine Academy in South Hadley. Director: Sharon Vogel. Incredible, nurturing place offering math and reading literacy programming for 3.9 years and up – it’s an amazing learning environment. Also houses the Heritage Criterion Early Intervention Program. (…and no, just a mom whose child attended R&S for 4 years and received EI services, I don’t work at either place).
  • Kelley Mitchell Boyko writes: Little Red Schoolhouse Amherst College ~ they are wonderful!
  • Marianne Bullock writes: The Giving Tree in Gill!
  • Gayle White writes: Smith College Campus School at Fort Hill.
  • Kelly Jabour Pramberger writes: Pioneer Valley Montessori School in Springfield. We are so happy with our choice to send our 3 and a half year old there.
  • Sara Cahillane writes: Love, love, love Mountain Brook Childrens Center in Deerfield. Can’t say enough.
  • Robin Sidel writes: Full Circle, Bernardston ♥
  • Sara Karz Reid writes: Full Circle School has been great for us, too!
  • Heather Richardson writes: Little Friends Morning Preschool in Belchertown
  • Susan Rees writes: Northampton Montessori- 3 amazing years!
  • Zevey Steinitz writes: The Common School in Amherst has one of the best programs around. Full disclosure- I teach in the 1st/2nd grade classroom. The nursery school has amazing teachers, curriculum, environment, and philosophy. Check it out.
  • Sarah Swersey writes: Nonotuck Community School – 5 wonderful years!
  • Kelly O’Neill Zieba writes: Greenwood Children’s Center in Longmeadow.
  • Stephanie Billings writes: Can’t say enough good things about Nonotuck Community School.
  • Sarah Buttenwieser writes: Had a fourth child to extend our Sunnyside (Northampton) years (okay, not exactly, but a benefit to be sure).
  • Stephanie Gale writes: Meadowlark was great for my daughter!
  • Rae Griffiths writes: Spring Street Preschool in Amherst. Great staff and program. Our son loved it.
  • Myanna Carbin-O’Brien writes: We are so happy at St. Paul’s Nursery School on Appleton Street in Holyoke.
  • Valle Dwight writes: I second the Nonotuck Community School recommendation… was there five or six years. ‎@Myanna — *I* went to St Paul’s Nursery School and I am 53 years old! I still remember naps on the ‘magic carpets’.
  • Maxine Oland writes: The Amherst Montessori School in South Amherst is a wonderful nurturing place for my children, and a fabulous community for all of us. They believe that children can do amazing things, and that we just have to provide the right environment to let them bloom. Toddler room starts at 18 months, Children’s House at 2.9 years.

13 Comments on “Q&A: Preschools in Western MA

  1. Davenport Childcare in Chesterfield. The teachers are wonderful and our son loves it. He has blossomed so much there. And we love how local it is for us.

  2. Wondering about the Conway preschool. Anyone have positive or negative reports?

  3. We love the Renaissance School in Amherst. My son went there for two years. I wish we could send my daughter there, but we moved out of state.

  4. Ashfield Community Preschool is an exceptional place. They have a tremendous staff and have provided a great experience for both of our boys.

    Disclosure — I’m on the Board of the school

  5. We love LOVE Mountain Road School. Just on the outskirts of the Berkshires in New Leabanon NY- if you live in the Berkshires- it is worth the communte.

  6. Hadley Preschool which is located within the Hadley Elementary School. My son went for 2 years and daughter is currently in 1st year. We love it! Small classes and caring teachers! Wouldn’t go anywhere else!

  7. We have loved the Ashfield Community Preschool, the Giving Tree in Gill, the Girls Club in Greenfield, and the Amherst Montessori School. The staff at all four of them displayed a great deal of tenderness and respect for our children. The Giving Tree stands out for its exceptional outdoor play area (and surrounding nature- or agriculture-focused walkable field trip options) and true commitment to getting the kids outside in all but the most challenging weather, as well as the empowering problem-solving approach they teach both children and their parents and a well-developed parent/family community. The Ashfield Preschool has a series of peaceful, charming play/work spaces, both inside and outdoors, and an imaginative and sociable environment. It also boasts a well-developed community of parents and great family events. The Girls Club is flexible and supportive, like the Giving Tree gets its kids outside whenever possible, and (we agree, Beth) Peter’s, Erin’s and Nichole’s classroom really rocks with an astonishing variety of activities that interest the kids. Amherst Montessori offers a peaceful, child-centered environment that fosters independence, self-respect and genuine accomplishment. The classroom materials are gorgeous, the teachers are deeply nurturing and the parent programming is helpful and inspiring.

  8. In the Berkshires check out KidZone Child Care/Educational Center. We are going on our 12th year and have been voted “BEST IN THE BERKSHIRES”. We are licensed for 177 children per day with a staff of over 40 qualified teachers. Enrollment starts at 6 weeks and end at the age of 13 yrs old. We are open from 6:30-5:30 M-F. The center is closed 9 days for holidays and runs through the summer. KidZone also offers transportation to and from schools in Pittsfield and Dalton area. Questions regarding child care, please call 413-448-2366. Check us out on facebook and also KidZoneInc.org.

  9. We were really happy with the Girls Club in Greenfield, especially Peter who sparks the kids’ interest in all things nature and bugs. They have a great playground, stress outdoor play, and were a great support system for our family

  10. Giving Tree Preschool in Gill is a lovely school with a lot of attention to nature. They plant seeds and gardens, build fairy houses, and spend a lot of time outdoors. The teachers are so loving that they’re almost part of our family. My son has really blossomed there!

  11. I want to second the recommendation for Spring Street Preschool in Amherst. My daughter is in her second year there and has learned so much and has so much fun there. They’re flexible, affordable, and the location can’t be beat (I work at Amherst College, which is across the street), and the parent community there is strong.

  12. We have loved Gan Keshet Preschool in Northampton. Emergent, play-based curriculum is an amazing, dynamic thing to watch in action. The staff are warm and loving and they help the children to form their own caring community of independent learners. Next year they are offering part & full-day, flexible options.

  13. Davenport Daycare offers a preschool program. Located on the lower level of the Hilltown CDC building on Route 143 in Chesterfield, it offers services for infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children. The center is open from 7 in the morning until 5 or 5:30 in the afternoon five days per week – does not take many holidays. The teachers and staff are caring and attentive, and I cannot say enough good things about Therese Brigley, the director. Convenient for folks living in the hilltowns – working parent hours make this a great choice.

    Disclosure – I am on the board of directors for this facility.

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