McHenry Area Preschools
Kids Learning

Centegra Childtime
Children’s Gate Montessori
Creative Playtime Preschool
Joyful Noise Christian Preschool
Little Angels Preschool- Montini Catholic School
Little Cherubs Preschool
Little Wonders Learning Center
The Mission Community Center for Sacramental Growth, Inc.
Noah’s Ark Preschool
Safari Childcare
St. John the Baptist School
St. Paul's Christian PreShool and Kindergarten

Water’s Edge

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StarParents' Guides to Choosing the Right PreSchool/ Daycare

childtime logoCentegra Childtime


Address:  4201 Medical Center Dr. McHenry, Il 60051

Phone: 815-363-2356                                               FAX: 815-363-4790


Director:   Lisa Neuman

Assistant Director: Maureen Geary

Ages: Infant thru Kindergarten

Days and Hours of Operation:  6:30am to 6:30pm
Registration Begins:  Before time of enrollment

Registration Fee:  $95

Tuition: Tuition depends on how many days you would attend and also age.

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: At Childtime, we believe that children are talented, capable people who construct their knowledge through investigation and exploration, story and play.  They are born with a sense of wonder and natural curiosity about the world around them.  They also need to express their feelings ideas and experiences in many different ways. Childtime’s curriculum was designed by early education specialists and is based on the work of respected child development/early education theorists Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson and Lev Vygotsky.  Curricular principles follow the guidelines of developmentally appropriate practice set forth by the National Association for the Education of young Children (NAEYC).

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  N

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.):  Yes

Teacher / Student Ratio:   Infant 1:4; Toddler 1:5; Toddler II 1:8; Preschool I 1:10; Preschool II 1:10; Pre-K 1:20; Kindergarten 1:20.

Accreditation:  Yes -- NAEYC

Additional Information/Notes: Each of our classrooms environments is carefully organized with a selection of toys, books, and materials, accessible to children.  Each week caregivers plan a daily schedule around a theme or project with a focus on specific skills to meet the developmental needs of the children in the classroom.  All meals will be provided by the center with the exception of baby food.  Parents are responsible for providing baby food until their children are able to eat table food. There is a minimum enrollment of two half days for children over two years of age and a minimum of two full days for children under two years of age.


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Children’s Gate Montessori children's gate logo

Address:  3419 Walkup Road, Crystal Lake, Il 60012                                                             
Phone: 815-459-2646                                                                       



Director:   Lorrie Hiatt, M.Ed

Ages: 0-18 months, 18 months-3yrs, 3-6yrs.

Days and Hours of Operation:  Monday thru Friday 9:00am to 3pm
Registration Begins:  March 1st

Registration Fee:  $50 Annually

Tuition: Varies based on age and program enrolled in

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: Traditional Montessori based curriculum and philosophy

Toilet Trained: We will assist those families in the process of potty training for children 18 months +. The children need to be potty trained for the 3-6 year old class.

Facilities: Beautiful country setting with outside garden and play area.  Newer building with security in place.

Teacher / Student Ratio:  Young Child (18 months-3) 1:5; Primary (3-6yrs.) 1:12 students

Approximate Class Size: Young Child: 8-10 children to 2 teachers. Primary 24-25 students to 2 teachers.

Accreditation:  American Montessori Society; Illinois Board of Education, DCFS Licensed

Additional Information/Notes: We are a Montessori school based on a Christian foundation. Everything we do reflects our belief that children are created in the image of God and are precious to him.

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Creative Playtime Preschool
Creative Playtime Crayon Logo

Address: 3720 Greenleaf Avenue, Island Lake, Illinois 60042
Phone:  847.526.8795             FAX:  847.526.1534



Director:   Sharon Hyde

Ages: 2-5 years old

Days and Hours of Operation:  Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 
Registration Begins: Ongoing..

Registration Fee:  $40.00 annually

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum:  Our primary goal is to make your child’s first experience away from parents and home a positive one.  We want to provide the kind of environment and experiences which enable your child to grow emotionally, physically, intellectually and socially.  The activities presented are designed to expand your child’s understanding, increase manipulative skills and promote creative potential. 

Curriculum is specific to each age level.  The PreK Program highly promotes academic readiness and goals.  The Threes Program presents learning readiness with age appropriate curriculum.  The Twos Program includes similar structure to our older children but in a shorter setting.  

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  Twos do not have to be toilet trained.  Threes and PreK must be toilet trained.

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.):  Two air conditioned classrooms - light and bright.  Playground and gymnasium on premises. 

Teacher / Student Ratio:  PreK and Threes classes 1:10 ratio. Twos classes 1:6 ratio

Approximate Class Size:  PreK and Threes Classes-maximum of 20 per class
Twos Classes-maximum of 12 per class.

Accreditation:  DCFS Letter of Exemption

Additional Information/Notes:  A typical day includes structured playtime, art, music, story time, group games and more.  There is also an introduction to basic math and reading skills.  Children will engage in hands-on, open-ended, multi-sensory activities.  Our curriculum follows a thematic approach.

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Joyful Noise Christian Preschool

Address:  2107 Lincoln Rd. McHenry, Il 60051

Phone: 815-344-5888                                                  FAX: N/A



Director:   Dori Hauser

Assistant Director: Sandy Emmerson

Ages: 2-5

Days and Hours of Operation:  M-F 9am-11:30am / 12:30pm-3:00pm
Registration Begins:  February

Registration Fee:  $60

Tuition:   2days / $105        3days /$130            4days/ $165

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: Ultimately, we seek to help children grow in many ways: in compassion with understanding of others, in the development of an active and inquisitive mind, and in the successful achievement of appropriate developmental tasks all combined with a large dose of happiness in the company of children their own age.  We believe that the expression of the Christian faith best takes place in an environment of love and support.

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  Yes

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.): 

Teacher / Student Ratio:   1-6/7

Approximate Class Size: 17-20

Accreditation:  Licensed by DCFS

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KinderCare School Bell Logo

Address:  4717 W. Crystal Lake Road McHenry, IL 60050                                       

Phone:  815-385-2499            FAX:815-385-2561 



Director:   Karen Grabow

Assistant Director: Cindy Chesler

Ages: 2-12

Days and Hours of Operation: 6:15-6:00
Registration Begins:  Any time

Registration Fee:  $85

Tuition:  Attached

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: A passion for teaching and caring for children that leads us to develop the whole child-socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually- equally.  In doing so, we make learning fun.  We are both a partner and a guide to prepare children for the future.  To help them become confident and self-aware.

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  not necessary

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.):  5 Classrooms, Lunch room, Playground, 4.5 acres to roam

Teacher / Student Ratio: 2’s 1:8, 3’s 1:6, 4’s 1:10

Approximate Class Size: 2’s  16, 3’s 12, 4’s 1 class of 15 and one of 18

Accreditation:  2 stars from QRS

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Little Angels Preschool Montini Catholic School 

Address: 3504 Washington St.  McHenry, Il. 60050                                                  

Phone:  815.385.5380 


Director: Maureen Montressor  

Teachers: Krisitnie Noor, Debbie Schultz

Ages:  3yrs. old by Sept. 1st and 4 yr. olds by Sept. 1st

Days and Hours of Operation: MWF session 8:45-11:15 am Pre-K
T-Th  Session 8:45-11:15 am 3 yr.old
Afternoon sessions available upon interest and enrollment
Registration Begins:  February 2011

Registration Fee: $50.00

Tuition:  $1,050.00 per year for two days a week
$1,575.00 per year for three days per week

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum:  Little Angels began in 1985 as an entity of Montini Catholic School offering a faith-based environment where children and families feel welcomed.  Our curriculum is filled with areas that engage the young learning in all modalities if instruction.   

Toilet Trained (Y or N): Yes 

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.): Classroom, librar, outdoor fenced playground 

Teacher / Student Ratio:  1 Teacher per 12 students

Approximate Class Size:  20-22 students

Accreditation:  Illinois State Recognition and Rockford Diocese

Additional Information/Notes: Please plan to visit our school for more information and  view a class in progress. 

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Little Cherubs Preschool              

Address:  3706 W. St. Paul Avenue
McHenry, Il 60050                                                                         

Phone:  (815)385-3383                                           FAX:  (815)385-3936



Director:   Barbara Bridgman

Assistant Director:

Ages: 2 ½  - 5 years

Days and Hours of Operation:  M-F 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Registration Begins:  February for the upcoming school year

Registration Fee:  contact us for current rates

Tuition:  contact us for current rates

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: Little Cherubs Preschool is a faith-based program designed to develop the whole child in all areas of development. We offer a three year old program, a kindergarten enrichment program, as well as “Watch and Learn” – a parent/child class to help students get used to a school environment.

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  Required for all programs except Watch and Learn

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.): Classroom is on site. Church and MPR available.

Teacher / Student Ratio:  1:8 with aid

Approximate Class Size:  8-12 students

Accreditation:  Episcopal Diocese of Chicago

Additional Information/Notes:

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Little Wonders Learning Center

Address:  7407 Hancock Dr. Wonder Lake, Il 60097                                                                      
Phone: 815-728-8400                                      FAX: 815-728-8414



Director:   Dina Lampl

Assistant Director: Audra Peterson

Ages: 3-6yrs.

Days and Hours of Operation:  M/W/F 8:30am-3:00pm   T/Th 8:30am-12:00pm
Registration Begins:  February 2011

Registration Fee:  $60 Annually

Tuition: (Check website or call for most current rates) 2010 Rates: 2day program $125/ mo   3day program $150/mo 5day program $235/mo

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: Little Wonders is a non-denominational Christian based center.  Our belief is that children learn best in an environment where they are happy, healthy, safe, guided with love and patience and involved in active play. Our hands on approach combined with our large motor program promotes knowledge, inspires creativity and fosters academic readiness and life skills while establishing the foundation for successful life long learners.

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  Yes

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.):  2 classrooms & indoor gym

Teacher / Student Ratio:   1:6

Approximate Class Size: Pre-K 14, Young 4s 14, Three Yr. Olds 12

Accreditation:  DCFS Licensed

Additional Information/Notes: We encourage families to visit with their child during the regular school year before signing up for preschool.  Appointments are required for tours.  Contact our office or website for more information.  Registration remains open until classes are filled.

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The Mission Community Center for Sacramental Growth, Inc.

Name of Preschool/ Daycare: MCCSG-The Mission Community Center for Sacramental Growth, Inc.

Address: 620 S. Route 31 Suite #6                                                                       

Phone: 815-403-8027                                


Director:   Susie Frank

Assistant Director: Anna Anderson

Ages: PreK-High School

Days and Hours of Operation:  Monday and Tuesday for PreK
Registration Begins:  Open Registration

Registration Fee:  No registration fee currently

Tuition: $5.00 per session

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: We are an education, charitable and religious outreach. We support the Sacramental Marriage Vocation and offer our services to families who are either currently home-educating, have large families and or seeking a Sacrament Friendly environment for their children. We are a Part Day Program 501C3 with Exempt Status. We are a tax deductible organization. We offer Art, Crafts, Gym, Music, Prayer, Reading, Writing and Math Manipulatives.

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  Pull-ups

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.):  classroom and gymnasium offered

Teacher / Student Ratio:  1:10

Approximate Class Size:  15 children split between the two days for PreK.

Accreditation:  Exempture – 10 Hours a week

Additional Information/Notes: Families will be required to interview prior to enrolling. Members of the McHenry Chamber of Commerce.

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Noah’s Ark Preschool

Address: 5211 W. Bull Valley Road, McHenry (At The Church of Holy Apostles)            

Phone:  815-385-5673                                       FAX:  815-385-6045



Director:   Terri Vrasich

Assistant Director:

Ages: 3-5 years old

Days and Hours of Operation:  Mon – Fri, 8:30-4:00
Four y/o Classes – MWFAM  9:00-11:30         Three y/o classes – T/Th AM 9:00 – 11:30
MWFPM  12:30 – 3:00                              T/Th PM  12:30 – 3:00
Mom & My School – Thursdays 12:30 – 1:30
Noah’s Ark Plus (for enrolled four year olds)  12:30 – 3:00
Registration Begins:  February 7, 2011 for Parish Members, Feb. 16, 2011 Registration opens to the Public

Registration Fee:  $50.00

Tuition:  Call for current tuition rates

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: We believe children learn through play.  We set up our rooms to invite discovery, curiosity and to engage your child’s natural love of learning.  Our literacy rich curriculum helps your child become aware of letters all around them. Our three year old program centers on socialization, fine motor activities, and learning to be part of a group of friends.  Our four year old program introduces the alphabet and beginning phonics.  We offer a Mom and My School program as an introduction to preschool as well as a wonderful way to encourage play between mother and child. Our “Noah’s Ark Plus” program is an extra day of Alphabet, Science, Art and Phonics for our four year old students.  Our program is faith based and includes daily prayer, age appropriate monthly devotions, and bible stories.

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  Yes

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.):  Two Classrooms, Playground, Indoor Play Opportunities, Tricycle area outdoors

Teacher / Student Ratio:  2:15

Approximate Class Size: 15 Children / Class

Accreditation:  Our teacher’s qualifications meet DCFS standards

Additional Information/Notes: We are celebrating our tenth year of operation and have an excellent reputation as a quality preschool for your child.

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Safari Childcare
Safari Childcare Logo

Address:  2214 W. IL Route 120, McHenry, Il 60051

Phone: 815-322-5421                                               FAX: 815-322-5424



Director:   Tangela Newsome

Ages: 6 weeks -12 years

Days and Hours of Operation: 7 Days a Week, 6:30 am- Midnight
Registration Begins:  Rolling, year round

Registration Fee: One time fee of $200 but look for frequent promotions on our website

Tuition: competitive hourly, weekly, and drop in rates

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: Safari Childcare follows a developmentally appropriate thematic curriculum based upon the philosophies of world renowned child development theorists Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson.  These theorists focus on building positive and supportive environments to encourage the achievement of developmental milestones.
Safari Childcare uses a guided approach to help your child reach and achieve these milestones.  We do our best to ensure the environment is safe and secure as well as intellectually stimulating.
We are a licensed preschool and our curriculum is designed to promote character education and kindergarten readiness.  Each classroom consists of permanent and flexible learning centers.  Learning centers are clearly defined and arranged to promote independence, decision making, and encourage social involvement.  Children will have options for active and quiet play.  All of our classrooms have age appropriate materials, which stimulate a child’s natural curiosity to learn.

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  We will help your child work through the toilet training process.

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.):  We have 6 classrooms, a large outdoor play area, and a fully functional kitchen.

Teacher / Student Ratio:   Minimally- Infants:1:4 / Toddlers 1:5/ 2years: 1:8 /3-4years:1:10 / 5 and up 1:20

Approximate Class Size: 12-18, depending on age group

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St. John The Baptist Preschool
St John Baptist Logo

Address:  2304 W. Church St. Johnsburg, Il 60051                                                             
Phone: 815-385-3959                                     FAX: 815-363-3337



Director:   Mrs. Alice Hoffmann

Assistant Director: Mrs. Angela Landon

Ages: 3-5

Days and Hours of Operation:  M/W/F 8:45am-11:15am   T/Th 8:45am-3:00pm
Registration Begins:  February

Registration Fee:  $50 Annually

Tuition:  2010 Rates: 2day program $1085/yr.   3day program $1500/yr.

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: Christian based preschool, providing hands on environment where children learn and grow with confidence.

Toilet Trained (Y or N):  Yes

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.):  Large classroom with attached bathroom, fenced play area, gymnasium with large motor equipment.

Teacher / Student Ratio:   Maximum 20 children /2 adults

Approximate Class Size: Maximum 20 children

Accreditation:  Diocese of Rockford / State of Illinois

Additional Information/Notes: Special parent/child events include Birthday party for Jesus, Winter Sledding, Daddy Dino Night, and Mother’s Day Tea

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St. Paul's Christian PreSchool &

Name of Preschool/ Daycare: St. Paul’s Christian Preschool and Kindergarten

Address: 485 W. Woodstock Street, Crystal Lake, Il. 60014

Phone: 815-479-9770 Fax: 815-459-5735



Director: Sheila Halasz

Ages: 2-7
Days and Hours of Operation: 9:00-2:45 M-F. Classes vary from one and a half hours to 4 hours a day. Call with questions.    

Registration Begins: January
Registration Fee: $55

Tuition: 2 year olds: $135 per month
3 year olds, 2 days a week: $155 per month
3 year olds, 3 days a week: $190 per month
4 year olds mornings: $199 per month
4 year olds afternoons: 190 per month
PreK 4/5 year olds 5 mornings a week: $260 per month
Kindergarten 9:00-1:00 M-F: $315 per month
Enrichment programs for children are offered throughout the year for kindergarten and preschool children. Please inquire.

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: Our mission is to develop, in partnership with family, the preschool child’s social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual growth from a biblical point of view through a hand – on developmentally appropriate curriculum.Our curriculum is based on Howard Gardener’s Multiple Intelligence theory. The kindergarten curriculum meets and exceeds all Illinois standards. We also offer service-oriented learning so that the children can get used to giving back to their community.

Toilet Trained (Y or N): No

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.): We have 5 classrooms and one large motor room along with a church sanctuary we can use for stories and family performances. We also have 7 acres of open space and a fenced playground with a large paved bike path.

Teacher / Student Ratio: 1:3 with our two-year-old, 1:6 with our 3 year olds, 1:7 with our 4/5 year olds. 1:8 with our kindergarten students.

Approximate Class Size: Classes range from 6 in class to no more than 14 with two teachers in every classroom.

Accreditation: We are accredited with a Christian School Association.

Additional Information/Notes: We have scholarships that are available for those that have the need for a preschool, but cannot fit it into their current budget.


Water’s Edge Waldorf School
Water's Edge Waldorf School Logo

Address:  150 W. Bonner Road, Wauconda, IL 60084                                     

Phone:  847-526-1372                                           FAX:  815-717-7314



Director:   Susan Love

Assistant Director:

Ages:  Preschool classroom 3-4 yrs;  Preschool-Kindergarten classroom 3 ½ - 6 yrs.

Days and Hours of Operation:  Mon-Fri, 8:30 – 12:30
Registration Begins:  March, but we have rolling registration during the year if space permits

Registration Fee:  $50 application fee

Tuition:  2 days:  $2600/yr    3 days:  $3775/yr    5 days:  $5600/yr

Philosophy/General Purpose:  In Waldorf education, early childhood programs prepare children for elementary school by developing their capacity for creative thinking and problem-solving through a strong emphasis on imaginative play.  Play is the real work of early childhood, and our program provides a healthy rhythm and encourages imagination, socialization, a healthy connection with nature, and exposure to music, art, rich language and practical life skills.

Curriculum:  The teacher engages in domestic, practical, and artistic activities the children can readily imitate (for example, baking, painting, gardening, and handicrafts), adapting the work to the changing seasons and festivals of the year.
The Waldorf preschool-kindergarten teacher nurtures the children’s power of imagination by telling carefully selected stories and by encouraging free play. This free or fantasy play, in which children act out scenarios of their own creation, helps them to experience many aspects of life more deeply. When toys are used, they are made of natural materials. Wood, cotton, wool, silk, shells, stones, pine cones and objects from nature that the children themselves have collected are used in play and to beautify the room.
Sensory integration, eye-hand coordination, appreciating the beauty of language, sequencing, and other basic skills necessary for the foundation of academic learning are fostered in the kindergarten. In this truly loving, natural and creative environment, children are provided with a range of activities to prepare them for later learning and for life itself.

Toilet Trained (Y or N):    Y

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.):  classroom and large outdoor green space, including organic garden and prairie, large sandplay area, etc.

Teacher / Student Ratio:   1:9 max

Approximate Class Size: 12 max  in 3-4 yr.old class;   16-18 max in preschool-kindergarten class

Accreditation:   Assoc. of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA)
Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN)

Additional Information/Notes: 
Water’s Edge also offers parent-child classes for children 18 mos. to 3 years old and their parents, as well as Grades 1 through 8.

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Parents' Guides to Choosing the Right PreSchool/ Daycare Program

An Introduction to Child Care Family: Provided by the Service & Community Mental Health Center of McHenry County

A Parent’s Guide to Quality Child Care: Provided by 4-C: Community Coordinated Child Care

Finding High-Quality Pre-K: ScrollThe Pew Center on the States identifies and advances state policy solutions. Pre-K Now, a campaign of the Pew Center on the States, collaborates with advocates and policymakers to lead a movement toward high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all three and four year olds.

Prekinder or Cómo hallar el mejor pre-kindergarten: Pre-K Now se complace en brindar una nueva campaña - Prekinder: Aprendiendo a aprender - para que los hablantes de español tengan más información sobre los aspectos básicos de la educación prekinder de alta calidad. Esta campaña es un resultado de dos años de planeamiento y de investigación conducida por un comité nacional de expertos en la educación y la cultura de la población Latina.


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