Preschool and Curriculum

Our Early Childhood, Preschool program is designed for children ages two to five. Montclare Children’s School is a teacher-guided program. We believe that providing engaging, interactive, planned lessons and learning through play and self-guided exploration are not mutually exclusive concepts. Teacher demonstration and explanation provides a high-quality play and increased learning inspired by the teacher’s guidance. On the other hand, children also have time during each day for open-ended play and our Art Studio activities are all process-oriented allowing for optimal creativity and self-expression. Montclare’s curricular focus is on cognitive, social-emotional, physical and cultural development incorporating whole, small group, and individual activities to actively engage all learners.


Our thoughtfully enriched preschool program and curriculum reflect the cultural abundance and diversity of New York City. Our curriculum offers a great deal of enrichment including Art, Yoga, Movement, Music, Library, and Field Trips. With two indoor gyms and our rooftop play-space, our two, three and four-year-olds have access to diverse gross motor experiences and our second-floor gym is well-stocked with Imagination Playground over-sized, blue blocks providing boundless options for active, creative building and play.  Our 3rd-floor gym features a climbing wall.


Our curriculum offers thought-provoking, developmentally-appropriate activities based on thematic units. These units focus on children’s interests and open pathways to learning more about the world and the surrounding community. Some of our themes include Seasons, New York City, Cultures, The Solar System, and Families.

At Montclare Children’s School, technology is integrated into the curriculum of our three-year-old and four-year-old classrooms in a purposeful and developmentally appropriate manner.  “Use of technology in early childhood must not be a goal unto itself.” Technology in the form of SmartBoards, Interactive Whiteboards, iPads, and Cameras, is implemented to enrich the preschool classroom experience, complementing rather than replacing existing modalities. Read More about Education Technology at Montclare.


Our dynamic curriculum provides openings for reflective learning, free-play and “choice time” with a degree of structure and routine built into the day. Montclare’s teachers allow time for sensory exploration through sand and water play and finger painting while dramatic play and block building augment our enriched curriculum.


Two’s Program and Curriculum


8:45 am – 11:45 am

1:00 pm – 3:30 pm


Our earliest learners, the two-year-olds, begin by acclimating slowly to their new environment, developing a sense of security and comfort in their classroom with their new teachers and friends. Montclare’s 2s teachers are experienced with our gentle separation process, allowing children to form a bond with their teachers and friends, feeling secure in their new environment. Preschool becomes a familiar and exciting place where our 2s feel safe and supported. In scaffolding children’s experiences, our teachers are able to create a joyful foundation, while promoting confidence and learning.


As our 2s become settled, they are able and ready to venture out into the larger Montclare Community by exploring our expansive school facility, while retaining the comforts of their classroom as a familiar, secure home base. The school year culminates with a class trip to the Central Park Zoo.


Typical 2s are only beginning to grasp the concept of playing with others and will mostly enjoy parallel play. Nevertheless, being with a group of peers is an exciting time for 2s who take a growing interest in the world and the people around them!


Enrichment includes:

  • gross motor play in our two gyms, one with a climbing wall
  • rooftop, outdoor play-space
  • art studio
  • music
  • movement
  • library




January Two’s Program 2020


8:35 am – 10:35 am 

1:20 pm – 3:20 pm 


Montclare offers a January Two’s Program for children who are just two or almost two-years-old by January (for children turning 2 between November 1, 2019, and April 30, 2020). For children not yet two, we provide a waiting area for parents and/or caregivers who must remain on the premises until their child turns two. The January Two’s Program is a gentle way to acclimate your child to our preschool setting. January Two’s may come Tuesdays and Thursdays either from 8:35 am – 10:35 am or 1:20 pm – 3:20 pm.


January 2s 2020 Apply Now!









Three’s Program and Curriculum


8:30 am – 12:15 pm

8:30 am – 2:30 pm  – full day

1:15 pm – 4:15 pm  – afternoon program


Three-year-olds enjoy a slightly longer day, for some a half day and for others a full day, five days a week. At this age, socialization begins to blossom, and cooperative play becomes central to their school experience. Many avenues of our curriculum are interwoven. Together, the children engage in table-top activities handling various manipulatives, creating patterns, completing puzzles and engaging in other fine-motor activities. While the children delve into a multi-sensory, hands-on pre-writing program, they also begin to investigate the basic elements of pre-math through block building, sorting activities, sand and water play, and games. Our 3s begin to tackle the basics of writing through Handwriting Without Tears using Mat Man and other developmentally appropriate tools.


Our oldest 3s classroom practices Kindergarten readiness skills as a number of these students are eligible to apply to public school programs in the city (Public Kindergarten is open to all children turning 4 in the calendar year – Jan 1- Dec 31).


All of our 3s enjoy exciting classroom curriculum throughout the year, including an autumn leaf hunt in Central Park, our Cultures Festival celebrating different cultures around the world and our school, and Theater Week, where each classroom produces a play or a musical.


Enrichment includes:

  • gross-motor-play in our two gyms, one with a climbing wall
  • yoga
  • rooftop, outdoor play-space
  • art studio
  • music
  • movement
  • library





Afternoon 2s & 3s Programs


1:00 pm – 3:30 pm – 2s

1:15 am – 4:15 pm – 3s 



There are families who prefer an afternoon schedule, a shorter day, and a more affordable program. Here at Montclare we are committed to making preschool accessible and viable for all families. Our afternoon programs are modeled on our morning programs and curriculum, however, there are fewer activities during the shorter day. For more information, please contact Angie Henriquez.




Four’s Program


8:30 am – 2:30 pm


Montclare’s program for Four-year-olds is a full-day class. Developmentally, the four-year-olds are, typically, adept at engaging in more complex social, learning and play experiences.


Montclare’s “big kids” begin the year with a unit of study, “All About Me,” exploring how they are each similar and different from their peers. As the semester progresses, the 4s expand their studies outward to the world beyond our school. Community becomes a focal point when learning about and visiting our local fire department, public library and post office. Our 4s also experience exciting field trips around New York City including a trip to the Botanical Gardens, an ABT Ballet for the New Audience Workshop and a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!  The 4s always enjoy their Author Study, when they learn about the unique styles of some of their favorite authors and illustrators.  This unit of study connects creative arts, dramatic play, literacy and math-based activities. 4s are naturally curious to know more about their world and our teachers use technology and books to engage them in deeper discussions. Montclare uses the Handwriting Without Tears program, which develops fine-motor skills and fosters Kindergarten readiness.


4s are highly social and excited to try new things and share their knowledge with their friends and grown-ups. With this in mind, our 4s participate in a year-long, film-making workshop led by staff from the award-winning Writopia Lab .  Writopia’s teachers work with small groups of students throughout the year on writing and creating films, culminating in the spectacular Montclare Film Festival (see example below) in May which features films made by each classroom. Some 4s are very excited to be filmed, others are more comfortable behind the camera.  Everyone plays a part and shares in the joy of presenting the completed films.  Parents and caregivers are invited!


Our students graduate from Montclare ready to engage emotionally, socially, and academically in the next level of learning. The majority of our 4s move on to Kindergarten, therefore, teachers encourage them to work more independently, inspiring a sense of confidence and competence.


For families applying to ongoing schools, public and/or private, our Exmissions Director, Mimi Dupuis will be meeting with 4s families to help guide them through the process.


Enrichment includes: