18 September
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When to Enroll Your Child in Preschool: A South End Parent’s Guide | By Maya Michalewicz

Choosing the right time to apply and enroll your child in a South End Boston preschool is a significant decision. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, one of the primary considerations when deciding when to enroll your child in a Boston preschool is their age along with your interest in how your child will learn and grow at the earliest of life stages. Based on your child’s age and aptitude consider all your options before enrollment: 

  • Nanny: A nanny offers the most personalized experience. One on one care with a trusted provider is exceptional and can be extremely convenient for busy families. Think: no pick ups and drop offs. Plus, a proficient nanny is capable of handling some chores, errands, and ensuring that a mother feels supported while helping with the kids. However, this can also be the most costly option.. Not to mention, the one that can put you in a bind if circumstances change quickly – which they can and do!
  • Daycare: Some daycares open to children at ages as young as 6 weeks… They generally cater to children between 6 months to just before 3 years old. This care is typically offered year-round, Monday through Friday to accommodate parents’ work schedules. They typically don’t tie in with the academic calendar like pre-schools.
  • Preschool: Intended for children between the ages of 2 years, 9 months and 5 years old, preschool is designed for socialization and slightly more structured learning… with plenty of activities focusing on play as well.
  • Pre-K: This year is based on school readiness, with the goal of preparing children for Kindergarten, the first mandatory year of schooling. This is typically for children between 4 – 5 years old. 

The Boston Public Schools preschool program is one of the strongest in the nation, and there are more than 2,400 Universal Public Pre-K seats available for children who are four years old on or before September 1 of the school year they are registering for. If attempting to secure one of these public spots we encourage families to register in the first round for this grade, starting in January of the year they would be eligible to enroll.

If you’re interested in a private approach to early education there are no shortage of options in that realm as well. Most private preschools in South End Boston admit children between the ages of 2.9 and 5 years old. This moment marks the beginning of your child’s educational journey and lays the foundation for their future learning experiences. Children develop at different rates, so it’s essential to assess your child’s readiness for a structured learning environment. When you are ready to enroll, here is a list of the private schools in South End you may want to check out: 

Bright Horizons 

Located on Dartmouth Street, Bright Horizons child care centers are nationally known and serve children ages six weeks to six years. This preschool might be geographically located in Back Bay, but still serves many children of the South End, and also has backup care with extended hours.

Ellis Early Learning

Located on Berkeley street, right off of Tremont, Ellis Early Learning has infant, toddler, and preschool programs. Ellis stands out for being one of the most socio-economically, racially, and culturally diverse organizations to serve Boston’s children.

Little Sprouts Early Education in Boston South End

With infant and toddler childcare, to their preschool program, Little Sprouts offers full-time and part-time options to offer families the options that best suit their needs. Located on Berkeley Street and Harrison Avenue, this is within walking distance of several sub neighborhoods in the South End.

IBA’s Preschool Program

Located in Eight Streets in the South End, IBA’s Preschool Program offers education and care for infants, toddlers, and children ages 4 months to 5 years and 6 months. They have the first bilingual Program in the State, and offer year-round programs, Monday through Friday.

Romper Room Childcare

Located on Columbus Avenue, Romper Room Childcare is easily accessible to Back Bay as well. Having programs for infants through preschool, there are different programs for children as they grow. 

Ms. Jenny’s NeighborSchool (Marjeli Family Daycare)

Some families may prefer sending their children to home-based programs so that their children have more individualized attention, being a part of a smaller group. Ms. Jenny’s is located near Franklin and Blackstone Square, and she is licensed through NeighborSchools to create more small-scale, safe childcare options. 

Pine Village Preschool

Located near Franklin and Blackstone Square, Pine Village Preschool is a Spanish immersion program for 15 month olds, through Kindergarten. They have both school-year programs and summer programs. 

United South End Settlements (USES) 

USES is located near Franklin and Blackstone Square and has the mission to use their diversity to disrupt the cycle of poverty. They prepare your children ages 3 months through 5 years of age to become confident, successful learners.

The Croft School: South End

Located beside Franklin and Blackstone Square, this small, innovative, high-quality private school, opened in September 2022. Serving children in preschool (age 3) through 6th grade, this school was recently renovated and has plans to expand by 2025.

TARTTs Day Care Centers South End Boston

Located near SoWa, TARTTs offers infant (2-14 months), toddler (15 month – 2 year 8 month), and preschool (2 year 9 month – 4 years old) programs. Their programs are flexible in days per week and hours per day to best meet the needs of parents. 

After exploring some of South End’s highly rated preschools, if you haven’t found the right place for your child, explore more options in Seaport or Charlestown

Schooling is a major aspect in the home buying experience from pre-K through high school, and definitely should be discussed with your real estate agent when setting criteria for your home purchase. Whether you’re moving to Boston for the first time, or looking for advice, Jeff Hamilton can provide you with expert knowledge. Having navigated the Boston pre-school scene with three kids of his own, Jeff knows the area’s school scene first-hand.