Choosing a Preschool?

Choosing the right preschool can be overwhelming and confusing. Montessori, Reggio, Co-op… there are certainly many wonderful choices in Sammamish.

We have put together a little list of to help you navigate it. We have chosen preschools that we know and recommend; but there are many others.


Montessori Preschool

A Montessori classroom is carefully designed environment that allows the child to work independently and enjoy self-discovery. There is a strong focus on academics, but the main idea is that children learn at their own pace. Montessori teachers believe that independence and self-directed learning are important concepts and goals to work towards.

Why would I choose it?

Many parents choose Montessori because they value academic and want their children to acquire leadership skills and independence.

Aster Montessori

TLC Montessori

Cooperative Preschool

A cooperative preschool is one in which parents have the unique opportunity to work directly with preschool children alongside early childhood professionals. Parents take turns volunteering in the classroom, bring snack, and help as much as possible. It creates a wonderful sense of community but requires a time commitment.

Why would I choose it?

Parents interested in a cooperative preschool want to be an active participant in their child’s first experience with school. They are a really good choice for first-time parents or kids with separation anxieties.

Pine Lake Co-op

Child Development Center

High-quality care that typically follows the Washington State Early Learning Guidelines. They offer their unique curriculum that exposes each child to pre-reading & writing skills, pre-science concepts & experiments, pre-math concepts, creative art, dramatic play, movement, and social studies. It is usually combined with daycare so it is a very good choice for parents that need full time childcare.

Why would I choose it?

Parents may choose a center if they need longer hours of care and want their child to be in a safe environment with academic focus.

Sammamish Children’s School

Bright Horizons

Religious Preschool

The curriculum typically ties religious values or character development with play based, age appropriate academics.

Why would I choose it?

Parents may choose a faith-based preschool because it closely matches their family’s values and their child’s needs and personality.

Joyful Discovery

In the Beginnings

Outdoor Preschool

Outdoor programs believe that children learn best through nature and play. They provide hands-on experiences for building social skills and self-esteem.

Why would I choose it?

Parents may choose the outdoor preschool to infuse the kids with the love of outdoors and to nurture their natural curiosity.

Tiny Treks

Red Gate (play based program at a farm)

Waldorf Preschool

Play-based program with a dependable routine. There is a strong emphasis on liberal arts, creative learning, reading, singing and acting. Children spend a lot of time outdoors and are shielded from electronics and technology.

Why would I choose it?

Parents may choose Waldorf because they want their child to develop individualism in a cooperative, creative, routine-based setting.

Eastside Community School

Reggio Preschool

Reggio preschool uses child-led, project-based curriculum with units based on students’ interests. Children are encouraged to explore and play through inquiries and provocations; there is a strong focus on expressive arts and community. Reggio Emilia schools document what kids do by way of video, photos, and written observations that they share with the kids and families.

Why would I choose it?

Parents may choose Reggio school to see their kids become independent, creative thinkers. Through the many projects, children learn about cooperation, problem-solving, and how to resolve conflicts with others.

The Farmhouse

The Children’s Garden School (not strictly Reggio)



Artree Preschool

We combine a lot of aspects of these great philosophies. We follow the child-led project-based learning and documentation from Reggio. We follow the kids’ interests and build on them while challenging them to dig deep and work together. We assist, guide and document their journey.

We fill the classroom with natural elements and imaginative play like Waldorf. We offer a wide variety of wooden, open-ended toys. We make our own puppets and tell stories. We dance, sing and make our own books.

We grow the kids’ independence like Montessori. We teach kids to do things themselves and be proud of their accomplishments. We offer variety of Montessori-inspired materials for kids to engage with and make sure they are ready for their transition to kindergarten, academically and socially.

We love exploring the outdoors and do our best to create a family-like atmosphere of a co-op. We go outside every day. We grow fruits and vegetables in our garden and cook our lunch. We share field trips and special events with our families and every evening, we send out a lot of pictures from our day. You will feel like you were at preschool with your child.

Why would I choose it?

Parents may choose Artree because they do want their kids exposed to various aspects of the early learning philosophies. They want to grow their child’s creative thinking, curiosity and problem solving. They want their kids to learn how to work together, learn from each other and build a community they want to be a part of.

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