KATY MAGAZINE l FEBRUARY 2019
By Natalie Cook Clark and Katrina Katsarelis
The Katy area is home to some amazing and innovative preschools, with more centers opening all the time. We asked the community for the top preschools in Katy, and here are some of the best, according to Katy parents. (Centers are listed in no particular order).
1. Katy's Early Childhood Enrichment Center
Offers two to five day programs for ages 2-5. Also has infant and toddler programs.
21407 W. Grand Parkway S. (map it)
One of the only preschool programs accredited by the NAEYC, Katy's ECEC is known for their excellent staff and nurturing programs with a focus on providing a quality preschool education in a loving environment. They provide year ‘round programs and extended hours for the convenience of working parents, and also have programs for infants and toddlers. The preschool is known for being very hands-on and innovative, with some of Katy's top childcare experts, including owner, Nicole Istre, who has been in the early education industry for over 25 years.
Katy's ECEC has all five star reviews from delighted parents praising the center’s staff, programs, and overall care. "We absolutely love Katy ECEC. I don't worry after dropping off my daughter. I know that she has a full day of educational activities and the best staff watching out for her. We have been with Katy's ECEC for almost 18 years. One of our older daughters graduated this year from high school and started at ECEC and they have not forgotten her," said one mom.
"My my son has experienced quality instruction in an environment filled with faith and love," said a review by Kandace Holden. "As an educator and a mom, Katy's ECEC has exceeded all expectations, and I cannot say enough great things about this program. My 3 year old loves going to school and on a couple of occasions, has cried when it was time to leave.
2. Faith West Academy Christian Preschool
Part-time and full-time programs for ages 2 to 5 from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (extended care available)
2225 Porter Rd. (Map It)
Faith West Academy's preschool teaches children by giving them opportunities to explore, experience, and make good choices. The program was established to give children a strong Biblical foundation while preparing them for school and life. Their unique curriculum integrates play, art, math, phonics, Spanish,chapel time, bible lessons, library visits, and more.
Children can transition from preschool to bridge to kindergarten all at the same campus, offering continuity and comfort for children and convenience for parents with older children.
Jeanna Bickerstaff has a child at Faith West preschool, one that has graduated preschool and is now in Kindergarten, and one about to enter the program. "I have been so impressed by what my children have learned in preschool at Faith West, and my oldest is now flourishing in kindergarten thanks to his preschool years," says Bickerstaff. Bickerstaff says the early reading concepts her son learned in preschool helped him thrive in Kindergarten.
Faith West has a rolling admissions policy and there is no deadline for admission applications.
Jeanna Bickerstaff, like many parents, speaks very highly of the teaching staff. "They are in constant communication with me as a parent, always giving ideas for how to help my children at home so that they can in turn be successful in the classroom."
3. Grace Preschool
Two to four day programs for ages 18 months to 5 years, depending on age of child.
2655 S. Mason Rd. (Map It)
Grace Fellowship UCM preschool has a popular academic and Christ-centered program that has established quite a following. Their curriculum covers a well-rounded choice of unit/weekly themes, covering science, math, arts, language, pre-reading, music and motor experiences.
"I love how they incorporate science and simple cooking," says Meredith Sealy, who currently has a daughter in the program and a son who graduated from the preschool and now attends a school in Katy ISD. "I can see how the preschool contributed to his success both from learning and a social standpoint."
"I've had a child at Grace Preschool for 5 years now," says Meredith Sealy. " You can easily see how much care and planning the staff and board put into the preschool, and the school is so warm and loving and down-to-earth. I've developed some wonderful friendships with other moms at the preschool as we've watched our kids grow up together over the years. It's a special place."
Grace begins registration for Fall the first part of February.
4. British Private Prep Schools
Full-time and Part time programs for ages 18 months to 5 years of age.
Three locations in Katy
With three locations in Katy, British Private Prep has grown leaps and bounds in popularity over its 18 year history. The schools offer both a full day and part day preschool program. Their curriculum focuses on kindergarten preparedness while also teaching learning manners, respect, and structure.
Owner Cheryl Sage is a graduate of Middlesex University in London, England and holds a Bachelor of Education Degree. She opened her first center in Katy in 2001, followed by two other campuses, to meet the growing needs of Katy families wanting a British education for their children. Children from all nationalities are welcome to attend, and benefit from the program offered.
"We love British Prep," says Katy mom Kimberly Fondren. "They have been amazing with our high functioning, autistic daughter."
British Private Prep provides a year-round, open-enrollment preschool program with extended hours to accommodate working parents.
5. Holy Covenant Child Development Center
Part-time programs for ages 3 to 4. Mother's Day Out for 6 months to 35 months.
22111 Morton Ranch Rd. (Map It)
Holy Covenant focuses on the principle that children learn best when they are actively involved in their world. They are known for having an excellent staff wh provide consistent learning in a happy Christian environment. Activities are planned to stimulate growth in their developmental areas and the children attend chapel once a month. They offer a part-time Mother's Day Out program for children 6-35 months. A part-time preschool program is for students 3 and 4 years of age.
"We've been going to Holy Covenant for six years and I'm enrolling my third child this year," says Jamie Matthew. "They have amazing teachers and even more amazing curriculum to give your child the tools to be kinder ready."
Holy Covenant also offers a transition class for 5 year old. This class is created to help give students extra time and tools to better prepare them for kindergarten wherever they choose to attend. They are also NAC accredited.
Holy Covenant begins registration for Fall in early to mid-January each year.
6. Primrose Schools
Early preschool, preschool, pre-K, Kindergarten and after school programs.
Multiple locations in Katy (Click to find nearest)
The love and care Katy Primrose Schools are known for trickles down from their highly respected owners, Lou Ann and Michael McLaughlin. The McLaughlins started with one campus in the Kelliwood area of Katy and quickly expanded to more, to meet the growing demand in Katy. Lou Ann is known as a loving and dedicated early years educator who holds a Masters degree in Educational Administration from the University of Houston and is a Texas certified preschool director and trainer.
The schools promote a balanced learning approach to make sure children receive nurturing, and social and emotional skills, as well as the academics needed to prepare them for Katy ISD schools.
One Katy mom wrote: "As a teacher at Katy ISD, I have high expectations and want my child ready and prepared for Kindergarten. Thanks to the fantastic teachers in the pre-K class, my daughter is now reading, writing, learning numeracy, and exploring science. I have no doubt that my child will excel in Kindergarten. The teachers and staff are friendly, helpful and greet every child by name each morning. This is the best in the area!" -Joanna Reyna.
Primrose enrolls students year-round and offers flexible options including after school care and summer camps to assist working parents.
7. St. Peter's UMC Early Childhood Development Center
Two to five day programs for 15 months to 5 years depending on age.
20775 Kingsland Blvd. (Map It)
St. Peter's ECDC is a popular preschool that offers a part-time preschool and kindergarten curriculum that is play-based for ages 15 months-5 years. The ECDC is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which is a voluntary accreditation system that sets professional standards for high quality programs for young children.
"I find that the staff and teachers work together to communicate and provide each child exactly what they need," says Taylor Koehne. "Both my kids have thrived there and are completely opposite in their personalities, learning styles, and strength/needs. The staff does a great job of rising to the child's learning styles and not expecting them to adapt to the teachers."
In addition to great classes that include music, chapel, and motor skills; 4 and 5 year olds also take a Spanish class. St. Peter' registration for Fall begins in early January.
8. The Goddard School
Preschool, pre-K, junior K, and kindergarten
One of the highest ranked franchised preschools in the U.S., Goddard Schools are a hit with Katy parents of preschoolers that need more flexible options than part-time or 2 or 3 day programs can offer. Goddard has three locations in Katy and also offers after school programs for older children that includes homework assistance. The school believes that experience is the best teacher so they provide hands-on ways for kids to explore, touch, and try new things.
"We love the diversity in the classroom," says Catie Procuniar. "The Goddard School offers international night and my son gets to learn about other cultures. That have a fantastic STEM program. Teachers engage with the students, give them the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them."
9. Crosspoint Christian School
Part-time programs for age 2 to 4 with various day options.
700 S. Westgreen Blvd. (Map It)
Crosspoint offers a part-time preschool program for 2-4 year olds, as well as an additional afternoon curriculum that brings your child's day to 2:30 pm. Their programs prepare students for their kindergarten and transition (Year 2 Grow) program. The students regularly attend Chapel where children may worship and receive an encouraging message.
"My grandson attended Crosspoint from age three through kindergarten," says Valorie Adams. "We loved the gardening he participated in, as well as Spanish and theater classes. Now my granddaughter is attending as a kindergartner. She moved down from a small school in Oklahoma. My husband was diagnosed with brain cancer this past year and she is very close to him. We wanted her in a very loving community during these difficult transitions. The staff is very loving and supportive."
Students who stay for the afternoon sessions get a selection of fun and unique classes not always available in a typical preschool curriculum. Gardening, drama, tumbling, yoga, and more.
The school has limited space and lots of parents who want a spot, so register early. Registration for Fall opens mid to late January each year.
10. British International School of Houston (BISH) Early Years Programme
Two to five days a week for ages 2 to 5.
2203 N. Westgreen Blvd. (Map it)
BISH is a hit with parents and students of all nationalities because the center incorporates the best elements of Reggio Emilia, Anji Play, and Montessori in their Early Years Programme. The center is very spacious with open, with free-flowing areas for children to explore and learn in groups or individually. The school’s focus is to nurture children emotionally while developing their cognitive, academic, and social skills. Their Early Years Programme also offers an education component for parents and brings in experts to discuss typical preschool-aged issues such as picky eating, tantrums, and brain development, to name a few. BISH educates children ages 2 through grade 12.
"BISH is not just a school; it's a family. I simply can't praise the staff and teachers enough for the overwhelming support and caring afforded to my daughter," says one BISH mom. "Frankly, I have never met a better bunch of people from Admissions to Head Master. I feel humbled and honored to know each and every one of them, and I used to be an educator myself. BISH Early Years Programme accepts admission applications throughout the school year.
Did we miss your favorite? Tell us! Email Editor@KatyMagazine.com
BACK TO KATY MAGAZINE STORIES