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Readers' Choice: Greenwich Preschools

Tell us why the preschool you choose is the best—through a poll vote, rating and review—and help Greenwich Patch crown a winner in this week's "Readers' Choice" installment.

It's one of the early formal choices that parents make that involves education and separation from a child for regular, extended periods of time: Preschool.

This is our second week of the Readers' Choice contest, and it's a wholly different category from last week's We understand that practical considerations of availability, money and location figure largely into decisions about which preschool parents choose for their children.

Since so much careful research—in person, online and through word of mouth—goes into the preschool decision, we want to poll our Norwalk Patch parents not just on what they feel is the best preschool for their child, but also why.

Below is a list of preschools we have registered in our continuously updated Greenwich Patch Places directory. Click on any of them to get to a page dedicated to that preschool and to rate and review it.

Please also which preschools are missing from the list and why they're the best—we'll add them to the poll and create a new Patch Places listing for them. If you're a preschool operator who doesn't see your listing on Greenwich Patch, email michaeld@patch.com or if you want to .

Here's our starter list:

Voting in the poll below is open until 9 a.m. Friday. We will announce the winner at 12 p.m. Friday.

[Editor's Note: This article has been updated with information on Christ Church Nursery School.]

Alison March 08, 2012 at 12:57 PM
First Presbyterian Church Nursery School has amazing, dedicated teachers who my son loves. Their playground is fantastic and the kids spend time outside every class. The activities are so varied and include cooking and music. I love that they base their activities on learning units that run for a few weeks each because my son learns so much with the hands-on activities and loves the novelty when they change and bring out new toys and activities.
Karen March 08, 2012 at 01:22 PM
My daughter went to Round Hill Nursery School and it was one of the most amazing, warm and welcoming schools we have attended. The teachers are fabulous and the children are nurtured and loved from the moment they walk through the doors to the moment they graduate and beyond. It was a wonderful experience for both my daughter and for us!!! She also went to Christ Church Nursery School's beyond 4's program and it was incredible. Having spent time at CCNS, I would also recommend the program there. The teachers and staff were fantastic and caring. The kids all loved being there and I know my daughter still asks to go back and visit!
blue March 08, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Agreed. I had 2 children there and they both loved it, and were challenged by the program. Teachers were experienced, playground was wonderful, and the whole staff was dedicated to making sure "their" kids were ready for Kindergarten.
Ilyssa Van Oss March 08, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Little Friends Child Care is the best early education program is all of Greenwich. After visiting several in the area we determined Little Friends was far superior in care, play, education, extra curricular activities, access to the teachers and administrative staff. The owner/director, Verna Esposito, is an incredible ally and resource for all things related to child development. She is always available and has been infinitely helpful to our family.
Karina March 08, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I agree with Little Friends. My two boys go there and we are pleased that they are receiving wonderful care and even better education from such early age. Their curriculum is great and the planned weekly lessons are fantastic.
Steven Murphy MD March 08, 2012 at 05:45 PM
As a physician who had trained in pediatrics and adult medicine, I am confident in my choice of day care/preschools. My wife also is a physician. We had thoroughly investigated and are very pleased with Little Friends on Valley Drive. Verna and her staff are excellent!
Yvonne March 08, 2012 at 05:54 PM
I knew Little Friends was the right place for my son as soon as I walked through the door. The teachers and staff are all incredibly helpful and warm, and make a great ally and support system for parents. Their curriculum is fantastic; they have so many activities and truly keep the children engaged.
Geraldeane Lambert March 08, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I became aware of Little Friends seven years ago when there was an advertisment in the Greenwich Time for childcare teachers. I told my daughter and she was hired by Verna immediately and has been there ever since. She has been in several classrooms with the latest being the infant room. Five years ago her twins were born and they went through the whole program having a great time. There was always a good cirriculum and extra activities for her boys to enjoy. My favorite time was when they graduated from preschool with a very special ceremony. Verna has always been there as a help to my daughter and her boys.
Kim Carriere March 08, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Little Friends is amazing!!! my husband and i went to a number of schools for our daughter and none of them came close to what Little Friends offers! Teachers are absolutley wonderful! I receive their curriculum/lesson plans each week, so I know exactly what my daughter will be learning-Verna and the staff are wonderful and truly care about the children!!!!
Brooke de Weaver March 08, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Little Friends on Valley Road gets my vote hands down. The smiles are big, the enthusiasm of the teachers is always present, the spirit in the kids well and truly alive. Feels like a breath of fresh air everytime I walk in.
Beckie Pimentel March 08, 2012 at 06:28 PM
As a teacher at Little Friends and a parent of a student at the school, I am happy to come to work everyday. I trust my daughter's teachers and know she is well cared for. I have never worked in such a loving and giving environment. I have become a better teacher and mother for having been here.
Drury March 08, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Little Friends is hands down the best in town. I have sent both my children to Little Friends, starting when they were 3 months right through the preschool program. It’s a family owned day-care and preschool. The hallways and classrooms are bright, rooms are clean, kitchen is spotless, and teachers (part & full time) are great. The children are well taken care of at all times. But most importantly, they treat every child as an individual, with their own needs. This starts in the infant room up to preschool. The preschool program is outstanding. When my daughter started kindergarten, I was told by her kinder teacher that she was very well prepared for kindergarten. I owe it to Little Friends and the entire staff. They treat the children like family from beginning to end.
Ben Bianco March 08, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Little Friends is, in my experience, the best day care I have ever used. I have had children at Little Friends at all age levels (newborn through 5 years old). Top to bottom the staff is beyond superb. Verna, the owner/director, treats all children at the daycare like they are her own. My wife and I also use numerous Little Friend's staff members for babysitting duties at our home. With respect to curriculum, Little Friends prepares kids very well for elementary school. My five-year-old started Kindergarten at North Street this past September and is excelling due to the efforts of Little Friends in preparing her for the transition.
Andrea 'Andi' Matero March 08, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Little Friends Daycare is hands down the best daycare around. I had actually started looking for a daycare for my daughter when I was 6 months pregnant and met with different daycares in the Greenwich area. All I can say is that there was no comparison to the caring, loving, respectful, professional, supportive staff that I met at Little Friends. Their director Verna is just amazing and so caring. They are a blessing to me and my daughter. My daughter actually started Little Friends at 8 weeks old and she will now be turning 2 yrs in May. My daughter has learned so much that it is just amazing! I would recommend anyone that is looking for exceptional care for their child to look into Little Friends! <3
Janine Bevilacqua March 08, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Little Friends is a wonderful daycare. My girls both attended there from the time they were infants. The teachers are all wonderful, caring and patient. The family that owns it makes themselves available night and day and love the children like their own. Little Friends is very clean and organized creating a calming environment for the children. I would and have recommended Little Friends to anyone looking for a safe, loving and educational daycare for their children.
Ry March 08, 2012 at 11:04 PM
The Preschool at Second Cong. has been a tremendously experience for 2 of my children. They are very caring. They are so well versed on helping to prepare our little ones academically, socially and emotionally. They think of everything from manners at the lunch table to excellent field trips. I highly recommend The Preschool at Second Cong.
Greenwich mom of 2 March 09, 2012 at 12:39 AM
North Greenwich Nursery School has been a great place for my 2 kids. The programs for the children are wonderful (they are exposed to art, music, foreign language, etc.), the outdoor facilities are great (there is a very large fenced in playground outside with lots of room to run in grassy areas), and the teachers are exceptional (I have gotten to know all of the teachers in the program and they are warm, have lots of experience; masters degrees; etc). The school is across the street from the Audobon and both of my children have gone to several programs there with their classes. I love that my kids are exposed to so many wonderful outdoor activities. Mary Hannigan is the director and she has done a wonderful job of keeping the school top notch. I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking for a preschool.
GreenwichMamma March 09, 2012 at 12:57 AM
North Greenwich Nursery School has been a supportive and welcoming place for my daughter for the last two years. I was initially very nervous to enroll her anywhere due to the fact that she was withdrawn and shy. Thanks to NGNS' outstanding teachers and lovely Director, she has not only become more extroverted, but has thrived! Her first teacher took great pains to make sure my daughter's language barrier (we speak a foreign language at home) did not prevent her from learning and enjoying school. I was very moved the first time I saw my little one happily engaged with her peers in one of NGNS' play rooms. The school itself is situated on a nice plot of land with two playgrounds and the inside is cheery and well-stocked with all sorts of toys, dress-up, musical instruments, art supplies, etc. The kids enjoy field trips and special visitors, including my daughter's favorite-- Jungle Jim. I am looking forward to my second child starting at NGNS in the fall, and am happy to recommend the school to anyone beginning their preschool search. NGNS has been a loving community for my family and I cannot thank them enough for all of their fine work.
Mom of four March 09, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I vote for north Greenwich nursery school. I currently have my third child in the school and have loved the enrichment activities offered ( art music Spanish) and all the extra programs that my children have been exposed to (Audubon jungle Jim and visits from local community workers. We have made some wonderful friends and the teachers are very approachable friendly and truly care about the children.
Michelle March 09, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Little Friends is by far the best daycare. Having been an employee there for 7 years, I can say we truly love each and every child there, and take pride in our work every single day. Being a part of this daycare has had such an influence on my life and has allowed me to grow into who I am today. I consider everyone there my family, and Verna has created a wonderful, loving enviornment for all who attend. I highly recommend this school to everyone looking for a child care center, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. You will not only experience amazing child care but you will also gain rewarding new friendships that will last a lifetime.
EMA March 09, 2012 at 01:25 AM
The Preschool at Second Congregational has been a wonderful experience for my two children. The space is new, light and bright (and totally covered in the children's artwork); the teachers are energetic and loving; and the director is compassionate and helpful about every last detail. The children, including 2s, are exposed to a wide range of activities (science, magic dance, cooking, field trips, outdoor classroom, lots of creative art projects, etc...). Every week they send an email letter detailing the week's activities, including lyrics to songs sung and titles of books read, so you really know what's going on in the classroom and can use the information to connect with your child. Additionally, the school was very supportive with the private school application process. Other things I love: the 9-12 day, central location, family events, the large lawn and 2 playgrounds, the other families, moms nights out...we couldn't be happier with The Preschool.
mvp March 09, 2012 at 01:30 AM
North Greenwich Nursery School is a magical learning experience for our daughters! Exceptional teachers, intimacy, diversity, and engaged parents make it a one of a kind edicational start!
Jackie Russo March 09, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Short and sweet, Little Friends is THE best quality preschool in all of Greenwich!
Christina V. March 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Hands down I vote for Little Friends DayCare!!!! Best way to descibe this wonderful school ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY!!! =)
Nancy Nania March 09, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Town of Greenwich Preschool at Bible street is the best. The teachers truly enjoy the children. They have become family. They teach our children so many more things than others schools do. My son went to a preschool in Old Greenwich and my daughter is with Bible Street and I wish I had known about the program for my son because Bible Street is a better school.
Larry Watson March 09, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Little Friends: Professionalism, care, and real attention to all of the details required to ensure child care at its finest are CONSTANTLY on display at Little Friends.
Joanne Cottica March 09, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Little Friends Child Care is our home away from home. 6 years and 2 children later I still love Little Friends. Yoga, Music and Spanish special teachers are included with the standard activities plus there is a wide range of extra-curricular activities to elect. The pre-k education is also superb.
Brynn Hansen March 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Little Friends is a great preschool. Great people and the kids love it! They have wonderful classes with wonderful teachers.
Byram Parent March 09, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Gateway is a wonderful facility led by a dedicated director and staffed with warm, knowledgeable teachers. They provide full-day care and operate with the working parent in mind. The teachers communicate well with the parents so we always know what books the children are reading, what songs they are singing and what activities are going on. We know how our children are doing and we know they are having fun and also being well prepared for their next steps. Gateway also works hard to accommodate families of many means and backgrounds.
Old Greenwich Mom May 28, 2013 at 09:18 PM
My vote goes to First Church Preschool in Old Greenwich. The director Darla Kohler is professional, available, warm, and loving with children and parents alike. The teachers are wonderful and my son has blossomed in this program. I am incredibly thankful for their outstanding preschool program which encompasses so many things - books, books, books, art education, music, Little Gym activities, daily outside play, lots of math and science, writing as well - you name it! Their curriculum is wonderful! And the teachers are very in-tuned to each child and can provide plenty of feedback and information. Daily activities, songs sung, books read, etc are posted daily and the teachers and director always seem to be available for parents to meet with and discuss their child - it is an open, warm, and loving community. Many have found that the cost of this program is reasonable and the diversity among the children is rich. First Church Preschool of Old Greenwich gets my vote hands down!!!

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