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Readers' Choice: Best Preschool in Wilton?

There's certainly a lot to choose from, but which do you like the best?

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 Wilton 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 Wilton 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 tell us in the comment thread 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 Norwalk Patch, email me at michaeld@patch.com or if you want to  (or even !)

Here's our starter list:

  • (added 6/3)
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Voting in the poll below is open until 9 a.m. Friday. We will announce the winner at 12 p.m. Friday.

Eustace Tilley March 05, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Won't they all disappear once the state mandates publically funded pre-school programs?
GF March 05, 2012 at 06:01 PM
This doesn't make any sense. People voted for Luca most likely because they tried all or most of the other "candidates" and THEN made an informed decision. Chances are, most people voting in THIS poll will have only had the experience of the one Preschool they chose - so how can they comment on which is best if they've only experienced one? I recommend cancelling this poll and finding another topic.
TT March 05, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I think there is value in this poll. Most families evaluate a number of preschools before deciding on their final choice, so along the line it seems like comparisons are in fact made. If a family doesn't like the school they ended up going with then I would imagine that they wouldn't vote for it here. Either they switched to another school or don't want to bother supporting the school.
GF March 05, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I understand what you are saying, but the poll still doesn't make sense. If there were a table of 10 different pies, and then you tasted just one of them, would it make any sense to ask you the question "which of these 10 pies is the best"? You would only be able to comment on which one you chose, not which one is the best. With that said, the Preschool poll would be more accurate and legitimate if it asked "Which Wilton Preschool did you choose?".
Wilton Mama March 05, 2012 at 09:14 PM
There are quite a few families that I know of who have tried one school, not had a great experience, and then moved their children to another. It's not quite the same as what GF is suggesting re: the pie scenario... It also shows which school has fostered such a close community that their members are proud to show their support.
Deb March 05, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I'm not sure what purpose this poll will serve. It's not like choosing a place to eat dinner is the same thing as choosing a preschool. Choosing a preschool is a process that requires school visits, meetings, tours, and calling references. The results of this poll will ultimately show who reads the Patch, and of those Patch readers, those that vote in polls, and of those that vote in polls, those that have or had children in preschool in Wilton. It says nothing about each of these schools, their tuition, their philosophy, or the many other factors that parents must weigh before making this decision.
Sarah Philippon March 06, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Please add Town and Country Montessori School!! 531 Danbury Road, Wilton
Maura Dyson March 06, 2012 at 06:28 PM
I was a preschool teacher for ten years and I am blown away by the program at On School Road with Ms. Sharon. The teachers, the director, and the children are all wonderful. The curriculum allows the children to grow in knowledge as well as gain a strong sense of creativity. Its an amazing little place!
SV March 06, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I tried both the Wilton Y and Town and Country Montessori School. I just love the education that Town and Country gives to my child. I am a working mom. I believe the teachers (Tina and Karen) are amazing. They are able to transform any situation into a coaching moment and lead by example, which allowed my child to feel safe, enjoy going to school, learn and grasp a lot and grow the way I would have only hoped. The school is small and has a great community of parents who are connected and can rely on each other. I also feel the school is affordable and the entire relationship is based on trust and respect. They do a great job communicating with the parents. I like the fact that the kids in the class have different ages and they can learn from each other. I am so happy with their snack schedule which is very healthy. They have great Yoga, Spanish and Music classes. Based on my experience, I highly recommend the Town and Country Montessori School.
Mary Hoermann March 06, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I highly recommend First Step Preschool (at Hope Church). My daughter has been there for 3 years and loves it. The teachers & staff are all great and it is a very nurturing environment. A lot of the learning in the early years is through play which I think is a great philosophy. I have been very impressed this year with how the teachers in the 4 yr old classroom deal with conflict among the children. They have done a great job teaching the children how unkind words and actions can hurt their friends feelings. They are always using positive reinforcement which is wonderful. The biggest challenge I have is getting my daughter to leave each day as she loves it so much. Everyone is like family. I definitely recommend you visit First Step Preschool when evaluating schools.
JR March 06, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Town and Country Montessori was a wonderful start to world of learning for my 3 children. Their approach for understanding the whole child is amazing. The facility itself it calm and beautiful. You feel so good leaving your precious little one in their care to begin to explore the world without you.
JJ March 06, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Landmark!!!! (why is it missing from this list?) Also think the M-D preschool does an AMAZING job!
Craig Donofrio March 06, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Landmark Academy is located in Redding, so it is not part of this poll. You may vote for it here: http://patch.com/A-rt23
Sarah Philippon March 07, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I have loved Town and Country for the 3 years my eldest daughter has been there. The experience has been amazing for her and for us (her parents). Our youngest daughter will start there this Fall. If you want a 5 day Montessori program at a reasonable price, this is the school.
J Lussier March 07, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Sharon On School Road is the best...my children love going to school there and I couldnt be more please with the professionalism of the staff.
Johanna Salvino March 07, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I highly recommend On School Road. Sharon and the teachers are very caring ladies. My daughter has been there for 3 years and loves it. I also have twins who love attending this past year. The environment is friendly and makes the little ones feel comfortable. They come home with all sorts of creative items that they have made each week.
GF March 07, 2012 at 07:17 PM
That's what I've been trying to say. I even contacted the author to change the title from "Best" to "Favorite". no reply.
wilton mommy March 08, 2012 at 01:39 AM
We love Children's Day School! Had a warm fuzzy feeling the day I toured and after much touring and consideration was happy with out choice. The teachers, staff and director are amazing! My 2 year old was super attached and they gave me and her the confidence to love and grow here. She is now in the 3's and loves it. My 2year old can't wait to start in the fall. Overall, a great school.
Renee Morris March 08, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I highly recommend the Wilton YMCA Nursery School! All three of my children have been through the program. They have all had great teachers who helped to prepare them for Kindergarten both socially and academically. A very caring staff! Lots of great aspects to the program including swimming, fitness, music, and field trips! Swimming is a great bonus! My kids really enjoyed it!!
Jennifer March 08, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Zion's Hill has been a great choice for each of my three children. It has been a wonderful experience for them as well as us as parents. It was incredible to watch them grow from little 2 year olds entering the program into now a 1st grader and kindergartener successfully progressing through those grade school curriculums. My youngest is now in the 2s and is loving his first year.
Craig Donofrio March 08, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Voting ends tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., so if you've left a comment on here promoting your favorite preschool, be sure to add it to that school's listing reviews before then. The winner isn't just decided via the poll numbers, it's the reviews, too.
Mom of 3 March 09, 2012 at 12:36 AM
We love the Children's Day School! From the moment I walked in there I knew it was the right choice for us! Pam, the Director, has such a knowledge of a what goes into making a quality early childhood program. My 2 girls have gone through the 3's and 4's programs and are flourishing in kindergarten and first grade! My son is currently in the 3's and having seen his sisters go before him everyone thought he would just float right in....not the case! He would cry on the way to school and wouldn't let me leave....my heart truly broke every morning and many times I wanted to turn the car around and just go back home....but I knew he needed something he could call his own especially with his sisters gone all day. He needed to feel connected and apart of a group and make his own friends. His 2 teachers allowed me to stay in the classroom every day he was there the whole time....it wasn't easy but I knew and they knew if we worked together we could make this work and give him the confidence he needed to feel secure. It truly was one of the best experiences I have gone through as a parent...to see your son go from crying and untrustworthy of an environment to walking right in and playing with his friends!
maria farinas March 09, 2012 at 02:31 AM
We love, love, love, Community Nursery! My son had such a wonderful experience there. The teachers knew him inside and out. He went from a little boy who really had little interest in school to a Kindergartener who is now reading fluently. The small warm, caring environment of both staff and parents was a wonderful experience for our family. We can't wait to send our 18 month old and 7 month old!!! Love them! have I said that already? :)
WiltonParent March 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
I loved having my daughter at the Children's Day School! I only wish that there were more options for a small school for elementary school. Miller-Driscoll is a rude awakening after pre-school. I don't like that they combined into one giant school for every small kid in Wilton. I don't like that they break up the Kindergarten classes so that my child only has one classmate from Kindergarten in First Grade. I wish that my child had the continuity of growing up with her friends instead of being thrust into the equivalent of a new school - all new kids and parents - every year. The "cottages" aren't small enough. At Saugatuck Elementary in Westport (public) 30+ years ago for K - 4th Grade there were only 2 to 4 classes in every grade and we shared a lot of activities together such as lunch, recess, science, school play, etc. so that even if one's best friends was placed in one of the other classes one saw them all of the time. My child has friends from pre-school and Kindergarten that are rarely or never seen in First Grade unless I make a date for them - and when 5/6/7 year olds who still have bedtimes as early as 7:30pm don't get off the schoolbus until 4pm and have at least 1/2 an hour of homework every night there just isn't much time for socializing outside of school. I hope that the pre-schools of the town continue to thrive as they provide at least a few years of feeling like a part of close-knit group.
Local Mom March 09, 2012 at 03:51 AM
We love CDSW!! I am about to send my third child there-- he can't wait to finally get to be a part of it. There is such a sense of community and care for each individual child. I am so happy to be a part of it.
Amy March 09, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I've had 4 kids go through the Wilton Y preschool. Two are out and doing great in the elementary school and 2 are still enjoying the Y. It is a friendly, down-to-earth environment with lots of space and lots to do... swimming, playgrounds, soft-play gym, "nature-walk" trail, fun field trips and the big basketball gym give the program variety and it doesn't feel cramped like some other places. (And it also makes it very easy for mommies to get that workout in!)
Wendy March 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM
We sent both of our kids to Zions Hill Preschool. Our children are now in 4th and 6th grade. They are well rounded, good students, know how to play well with others and remember their preschool experience fondly!! All of these features started with the teachers and leaders at Zion's Hill preschool. What more can we say?? Fabulous!
Holly March 09, 2012 at 02:01 PM
The Wilton Y is a great pre-school!
Nancy Roth March 09, 2012 at 05:08 PM
My niece goes to Zion Hill and is delighted. Her teachers are warm and creative while challenging the children and fostering self confidence. They teach them responsibility and self respect in an incredibly fun environment. She is learning all and more of what she needs to enter kindergarten. My niece and her little friends can't wait to go to school each day. Great job!
Hillary Mandell March 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Town & Country Montessori School in Wilton is absolutely fantastic. It's a true Montessori program where the children are happily engaged in learning. It's a peaceful (yes, peaceful!) and sunny classroom environment and the children and families carry this school in their hearts forever.

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