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Readers' Choice: Fairfield Preschools

Tell us why the preschool you choose is the best -- through a poll vote, rating and review -- and help Fairfield 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 Fairfield 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 Fairfield 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 Fairfield Patch, email me at caitlin.mazzola@patch.com or if you want to (or even !)

Here's our starter list:

  • Congregation B'nai Israel Early Childhood Center

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

bridget steinfeld March 05, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Small to tall is amazing
Kate Cacciatore March 05, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I have had my children at many different preschools in Fairfield County. I can honestly say hands down that the staff at Small to Tall Preschool are the most loving, dedicated, warm, caring, responsible, professional that I have come across. They have been a god send to me and my family and have given us such flexibility and security knowing that our daughter is in a nurturing environment where she is being enriched on a daily basis. We saw this first hand when Luciana came home singing ABC's and Ring Around the Rosy at 16 months old!!! And then was counting to 10 by about 20 months old....thanks Small to Tall!!! She cannot wait to go in there every day and never wants to leave. I couldn't say enough wonderful things about them. Thank you Miss Kristen, Miss Bridget, Mr, Jared and everyone else at Small to Tall!!!
Fairfield native March 05, 2012 at 04:45 PM
What I love about Trinity Preschool is that there is a strong focus on social skills. Also, that they meet with our Kindergarten teachers and ask what skill they need to focus on to prepare children for Kindergarten- they are consistently told to focus on social skills!
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) March 05, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I just received the following email from a grandmother in Fairfield: "I'd nominate Child's Garden as the best pre-school/day care in Fairfield. The children have so many opportunities - they take computer class, learn some French and Spanish, tennis lessons and so much more. The teachers are so kind and really know their students and take time to give each child individual attention. They spend time outdoors in better weather as well. I would highly recommend A Child's Garden."
Mary Dean March 05, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Our three grandchildren love Trinity Parish Nursery School. It is always a pleasure when we pick them up from school, the staff always has a smile & greets us warmly. Our grandchildren have learned a lot at Trinity.
ali keller March 05, 2012 at 09:58 PM
The learning garden preschool!!! Brand new preschool with daycare hours! Focus' on social skills, kindergarten preparation and Playbased. Great facility and philosophy.
Bridget Hyde March 05, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Congregation B'nai Israel Early Childhood Center Both my children attend this wonderful preschool. They have such a caring and attentive staff. The director, Alexa Cohen, is very approachable and is always in touch with what is going on with the children. There are always new and fun activities that the kids are involved in as well as learning the Jewish traditions.
Mindy Morgan March 05, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Congregation B'nai Israel Early Childhood Center, Bridgeport CT All 3 of my children have attended this preschool and we can't say enough good things about the program at B'nai. My children have all looked forward to each day at school where they are challenged, loved and nurtured. I started at B'nai in the toddler/mommy class and met lifelong friends there. I encourage anyone looking for a 2's program through Pre-K to consider a visit to this school.
Debbie O March 05, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Small to tall provides a warm loving environment. The staff and facility are wonderful. The children truly have fun while learning . The after school enrichment programs are great!
Charlotte Bartol March 06, 2012 at 02:05 AM
We are big fans of Trinity Parish Nursery School. The teachers are amazing. The class size is great. The environment is so loving and supportive to all children. We sent our 2 children there and they both loved it. They were so well prepared for kindergarten too.
Jessica March 06, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Congregation Bnai Israel Early Childhood Center is a wonderful nurturing environment - creative and fun, loving and empowering. It has been a joy to watch my child grow here and the new director, Alexa Cohen, is phenomenal! She's amazing to work with, and she cultivates strong bonds with each of the children.
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) March 06, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Congregation B'nai Israel Early Childhood Center has been added to the poll. Thanks for pointing out that it was missing!
Jennifer Rosenberg March 07, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I vote for congregation bnai isreal. My son has been there since the 2's and the staff is warm and nurturing. He learns so many exciting things on a daily basis. They provide the perfect mix of structure and free play. I feel that they have prepared my son for kindergarten extremely well. It is a wonderful place to be, if you are or are not Jewish.
occupy sesame street March 07, 2012 at 03:04 AM
With three children, we are in our sixth consecutive year at Presbyterian and are so sad that it is our last at this wonderful nursery school! The staff here is amazing---it is evident that they love what they do and are invested in each child. It is like a second family and I can't imagine having left my children in anyone else's hands!
Mary Cody March 07, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Trinity Nursery School has been the most beneficial to my daughter who went there for 3 wonderful years. The staff is being constantly upgraded with the newest learning concepts for the early years. We loved our Trinity experience.
dani curtis March 07, 2012 at 03:42 PM
First Presbyterian "Presby" is where my daughter attends Pre-k4 program. The school offers many schedules to fit your needs and their focus is on learning. Academics as well as social interaction. This school is an enrichment of education and fun that will prepare your child for the school years to come and delivers the love and care in a "true" preschool fashion. Thanks, Dani C.
Crissy March 07, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I currently have 4 children enrolled in SMALL TO TALL scholars and I can NOT say enough wonderful things about it. The staff is AMAZING and my children love all of their teachers. It would be very difficult to find another director that was as loving and as flexible as Miss Kristen! It is more than just a preschool - I genuinely consider them an extension of my family.
sciencegirl71 March 08, 2012 at 01:19 AM
St. Paul's Nursery School of Fairfield has been been the best preschool experience we could have asked for for our children. The Directors, Margee Ready and Jeanne Bartko (and previously Tove Van der Blue) are qualified, loving and committed individuals. The teachers at this school are nothing less than amazing! This preschool has been around for over 40 years and their play-based philosophy is the best introduction to school a child can get.
Jim Coghlan March 08, 2012 at 12:46 PM
What an inane poll. Of course everyone is going to vote for the school that their child attends. What is the point?
maria March 08, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I so thought that too! The children are in safe environemnts and taught basic obvious skills...We would take them out if we felt the place was not a good one!
Melioro March 08, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I agree with you Jim. All this succeeds in doing is illustrating which schools are bigger. Every child has their own needs and what school may be good for one, may not be good for another; a teacher one person loved for the child, another may not. And I feel bad for the smaller schools that get few or no votes, because people that are new to town or to preschools in general are going to look at this poll and assume the smaller schools aren't any good because they didn't get many votes. These kinds of polls works great for pizza; not preschools.
Newtotown March 08, 2012 at 07:07 PM
It would be nice to see more objective criteria that would effectively compare the schools, rather than a popularity contest.
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Thank you everyone for your comments. A reminder that the poll closes at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. Don't forget to leave reviews and ratings on the Patch Places listing of the school you'd recommend!
Bridget Hyde March 08, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Of course we all love our nursery schools or we wouldn't keep our children there, I think that goes without saying. On the contrary to what some have stated in previous posts I think this poll can serve a few purposes. For one, who knew there were so many nursery schools in Fairfield? I didn't. It's good publicitiy for all the schools. And for families starting the search for a nursery school this lets them know what their options are. Additionally, it allows us grateful mothers express our thanks to all the wonderful people that care for our children during the day. I think that most parents will take the time to research and visit any school before sending their children, and not base their entire decision on a small poll such as this one. Please...lighten up!
Jim Coghlan March 09, 2012 at 01:15 AM
There's actually many more than listed here. If you Google "nursery schools fairfield, ct" you get a more expansive list here: http://www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org/day.htm My point was there is no need for a poll. A nice blog to share comments seems to serve a purpose.
Katie Rippey March 09, 2012 at 12:28 PM
It's more like a school spirit contest. Which is fine, but doesn't make much sense as a reader poll as no one posting is an authority on the topic. Unless one has experienced each school?? I vote gor GHCNS by the way :)
Marianne Sabo March 12, 2012 at 11:31 PM
As a teacher of the five year old program at Trinity Parish Nursery school, I would like to express support and appreciation to all pre-school teachers especially to my colleagues in the Fairfield area. Pre-school teachers are a special breed! We come to work each day leaving our problems at the door to nurture, empower, encourage and teach the children who enter our classrooms. Our job is to set the stage for learning, to look at each child as a unique individual and to encourage them to leave with a love for learning and a sense of curiosity for the world around them. No matter where we teach, we all possess patience, empathy, compassion and a love for children. Not every job has these prerequisites. Each school and teacher is unique with their own special strengths. Congratulations to everyone for your dedication and a job well done. Marianne Sabo
Fairfield native March 13, 2012 at 12:45 AM
This is why I voted for Trinity...top notch teachers! So well said.

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