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Reader's Choice Poll: Ridgefield's Favorite Preschools

Tell us why the preschool you choose is your favorite—through a poll vote, rating and review—and help Ridgefield 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.

And Ridgefielders want to make sure they make the right choice.

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 Ridgefield 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 Ridgefield 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 tell us in the comment thread 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 Ridgefield Patch, email me at michael.gibney@patch.com or if you want to "claim" your free business listing, reaping a bunch of rewards for doing so (or even becoming a small business blogger on Ridgefield Patch!)

Here's our starter list:

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

Michael Gibney March 05, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Well, it was inevitable that I missed at least one on the list here -- Ridgefield Public School's Pre-K program at Barlow Mountain missed the list because it doesn't have an entry in the directory. If that one's your favorite, vote for it here in the comments and it'll be counted in the final tally. Thanks. -MG
Sarah A March 05, 2012 at 06:22 PM
The results of a Landmark/RA education are measurable and worth every cent. My son began reading at age three and his vocabulary and reading skills grew significantly every year. At Landmark, he started learning French, which he continues today (in 8th grade). He also developed a curiosity about many things outside the classroom such as animals, space, and building. One day, we were at the post office where a box of toys were available for kids to play with while waiting in line. My three-year-old picked up a several dinosaurs (including a quetzalcoatlus) and proceeded to give their binomial names. The women in front of us asked me, "Is it normal for a child that young to know those things?" If they go to RA, I guess the answer is, "yes."
Tracy Castagna March 05, 2012 at 07:49 PM
The Growing Tree is the best preschool in Ridgefield. The teachers are absolutely fabulous! The school provides a creative,stimulating and nurturing environment for young learners. My daughter has loved going to school each day. The Growing Tree provides many opportunities for parents to get involved such as field trips, class parties, and special event day. This has been a wonderful way for me to feel truly connected to my child's education. Tracy C.
Rebecca March 05, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Landmark of Ridgefield Academy is an amazing place for your preschooler to start their education. The teachers are nurturing and accomodating. Their daily progress report home is extremely helpful and the amount of knowledge they acquire during the year is impressive. They learn spanish from age 3 and have a separate gym, music and computer class. It is a challenging but nurturing environment. I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone!!
Mrs. Carmichael March 05, 2012 at 09:28 PM
St. Stephen's Nursery School provides a nurturing evironment for learning and playing! The teachers are FANTASTIC, the director cares about every single child and the atmosphere is warm and loving. Of course my child learned all the stuff she needed to know to enter elementary school, but it didn't feel like she was there to pressure cook as much as to grow in an appropriate way and pace for a pre schooler. I would recommend this school absolutely. It's everything a nursery school should be.
Christine Bucciero March 05, 2012 at 10:24 PM
I have to agree that The Growing Tree is a wonderful preschool. Inside it is inviting, warm and stimulating. Amazing works of art created by precious little hands always adorned the already well appointed room and add to the sweetness of the environment. The love and care of the directors and teachers at the growing tree is evident within seconds of entering its doors. Learning is multi-sensory and fun. Your child is seen as an individual with his/her own individual strengths. Each day my kids came home with exciting news on what they learned, played and talked about at school. Dropping them off to school was a breeze. I was confident that i left my little treasures in the best possible hands(other than my own). I have a little one who will be going to preschool in a year and a half so I have a big decision to make soon.... Should i sign him up for the Morning or afternoon class???
kim carone March 06, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Ridgefield Community Kindergarten is just fantastic! When we began looking for preschools we wanted more than just a school. We were new to the area and were looking for a school that would be more like a family. We found just that and so much more at RCK. The class size for the 3’s program is small and intimate (2 to 10 ratio) and teachers are caring and compassionate. They listen to my daughter and invoke creative play. They have improved my daughters listening skills, social skills and overall wellbeing. She can’t wait to get to school in the morning and she’s the last one to leave at the end of the day. This was just the school “attitude” I was hoping she’d begin her education with. She has made many new friends at this school (as have I) and I can’t wait for my son to start RCK in the fall. I know that Ridgefield Community Kindergarten will instill the same love for learning for my son that it has for my daughter. There is no other preschool I would send my children to. RCK is so much more than just a preschool- it’s a loving, nurturing environment that cares and loves my kids just as much as I do. In my eyes it’s the best preschool in town. ☺
Katie Marrone March 06, 2012 at 04:38 AM
RCK's staff and programming make it the best preschool for your child! The teachers are warm, knowledgeable and experienced. The curriculum is developmentally appropriate, creative and integrative! If you are looking for a preschool that provides a variety of stimulating experiences for your child and also becomes part of your extended family, then you will agree that there is no better place than RCK
Melanie Lumelleau March 06, 2012 at 10:46 AM
This is my son's second year at Landmark and I could not be more happy. His teachers are incredibly nurturing and caring. They have perfected how to make learning fun! At 3 years and 3 months old, my son writes his name (and others!) all by himself and is so proud. I highly recommend this school!
Fairfield County Mom March 06, 2012 at 12:33 PM
It's really nice to see so many positive comments. We are lucky to have so many great choices in this town.
Ridgefield Mom March 06, 2012 at 08:21 PM
We moved to Ridgefield last school year. There were so many choices to choose from for preschools which was a bit overwhelming at first. At the time I was looking for my soon to be 5 year old, and we chose Jesse Lee and could not have been happier. I was so happy with the offerings I enrolled my soon to be 2 year old as well. My 5 year old is thriving in kindergarten this year. He loved the extra classes that were part of the curriculum including, Spanish, movement, and music. He had fun while learning at JLDS and was very well prepared for kindergarten both academically & socially. My 2 now 3 year old is still thriving at JLDS. I am amazed at all that she is learning while there. It is a nurturing yet academic environment which is exactly what I was looking for. As a new resident to the town it was so nice to find a school that has a community. Our whole family felt like we were part of the community right away.
Liz P. March 07, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Ridgefield Community Kindergarten (RCK) is a wonderful preschool. I have two older children that attended the school and a four year old currently attending. The teachers are very nurturing, experienced and knowledgable. My older two children were well prepared for kindergarten.
Dayna Sierakowski March 07, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Dayna S. The Growing Tree is an amazing, loving, nurturing, nursery school. The staff love what they do and it is really a family oriented place. I always knew my children were well cared for, learning what they "needed" to know, and the activities and field trips were so much fun! My son graduated from there almost 5 years ago and has been back to read to his sister's class and even teach a class as well. I highly recommend it!
Medge M March 07, 2012 at 01:15 PM
The Growing Tree is amazing. My daughter Zoe who has already graduated from there still tells to me fond memories she had there and asks now that she's reading when she can go there next year to read to her brother who will attend. The teachers are amazing. The setting inside is warm and comforting. The level of dedication and learning they provided has set my daughter for an amazing 1st year for full day K. I can't wait to send my younger son there next year.
Amy March 07, 2012 at 01:25 PM
We are really lucky to live in a town with so many wonderful programs to choose from. My three children attended Saint Mary's Preschool, and it was a wonderful place for us! The program starts with helping your child adjust to time away from home, socializing with peers, and building self confidence and moves on to kindergarten preparadness. Each of my children was very well prepared for Kindergarten, made wonderful friends, and blossomed under the care and guidance of teachers who became an extension of our family. They each have "portfolios" of photos and samples of their work from each year of preschool, and often pull them out and look through them. I highly recommend Saint Mary's!
Tiffany March 07, 2012 at 01:29 PM
The growing tree nursery school is simply the best preschool. The teachers are warm and loving and my daughter has simply bloosmed at this school. They are like family to us. The curriculum is creative, fun, and stimulating. You simlply wouldnt believe the art projects that come home. I especially love how they involve the parents so that we can be a part of the experience of our little ones. My child asks me every morning if it's a growing tree day. Every parent new to the preschool experience should make a visit to the school and see this treasure of a school. Thank you to all the growing tree teachers.
Tiffany March 07, 2012 at 01:30 PM
The growing tree nursery school is simply the best preschool. The teachers are warm and loving and my daughter has simply bloosmed at this school. They are like family to us. The curriculum is creative, fun, and stimulating. You simlply wouldnt believe the art projects that come home. I especially love how they involve the parents so that we can be a part of the experience of our little ones. My child asks me every morning if it's a growing tree day. Every parent new to the preschool experience should make a visit to the school and see this treasure of a school. Thank you to all the growing tree teachers.
JLDS mom March 07, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Jesse Lee Day School is a wonderful preschool. My daughter started there in the 3/4's and then the TK program(which is wonderful!). She has loved everything about Jesse Lee, as she says, Jesse Lee is one of her favorite places in Ridgefield.
Kelly Gels March 07, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Jesse Lee Day School is a great place! When we moved here I enrolled 2 of our children at another preschool in town, everyday I went to pick one of them up she was waiting at the fence by herself with wet pants so I decided to look elsewhere. We moved to JLDS, what a difference. I ended up sending all 3 of my children there, we did the 3's, 4's, PreK, Kindergarten Enrichment, TK and Summer Camp, they all thrived in the setting and now are doing well in the public schools. Kudos to Kathy Carroll for creating such a wonderful environment with wonderful programs.
Jillian E March 08, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Landmark Academy is an amazing preschool. Everyone at Landmark, teachers, administration, and parents, have all been wonderful. My three year old runs into his classroom with a huge smile on his face, and doesn't want to leave at the end of the day! I'm impressed with all of the activities the kids partake in, and was pleasantly surprised when my child picked up a book and started to read... At three!!! Landmark is an amazing school, and I'm so happy with our decision.
lauren miller March 08, 2012 at 06:22 PM
The growing tree is beyond exceptional. As a mother of twins they had the challenge of helping my sons become independent from one another while helping to build their self esteem. This goal was achieved with ease and both my boys were treated as individuals. It is evident that the teachers are passionate about working there and that it is more then just a job. The growing tree encourages learning through play and both my children come home with a smile on their faces. They do so many great activities with the children, are extremely creative and their is plenty of opportunity for family involvement. The growing tree provides the perfect start for a child to enter into school.
Aida Clarkin March 08, 2012 at 07:31 PM
The Growing Tree is without a doubt the best preschool in town! The teachers provide a warm, nurturing, and enthusiastic environment. You can tell that they just truly love their jobs and the children. The children learn through play, and they graduate as confident, considerate and happy students. My oldest really treasures her Growing Tree experience and all of the fun projects she completed there.
Catherine McDonough March 09, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Ridgefield Community Kindergarten is one special preschool. One with a soul and a heart. When we first moved to Ridgefield, I searched for a preschool for my first born son who was almost 2 1/2 years of age at the time. I fell in love with RCK the moment that I walked in the door. The teachers were warm and welcoming. The classrooms were the colors of a rainbow with all of the wonderful artwork from the children displayed everywhere. I also walked in the smell of fresh baked pretzels that the children in the 3's class had just made. The teacher had my son take a special seat at the kids' table so that he could just participate in the activity of the moment while I was visiting. The beautiful display of books in the bookshelves, the train table in one corner, a mountain of wooden blocks in another, the play kitchen, all of the dress up clothes, puzzles, all the craft materials in it's special place, there was everything that was needed to stimulate a young child's mind, and more. I signed up upon my return home, and my two other children followed my oldest steps at RCK. There has not been a day where one of my three children would have preferred to stay home as to going to school to RCK. The teachers are always welcoming your child with a big smile on their faces and big arms. They are nurturing, warm, experienced. When I ask my older boys what they remember of RCK, they say " we were always happy there". And this is how it should be.
Michael Gibney March 09, 2012 at 09:14 PM
And, drumroll please... the results: http://patch.com/A-r1vk.
Heather Candullo March 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM
The Growing Tree is the best! I could tell just from talking to the director of the school on the phone that this is where I wanted my children to go. And when I got there for our tour of the school it exceeded my already high expectations. The teachers are beyond caring and really give the kids the learning skills they need for school in such a fun way. More importantly they help the kids grow the confidence they need to continue being wonderful little people and friends.
michelle schaffer March 15, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Both of my daughters have thrived at CCK. I looked at most of the preschools in town and concluded that CCK offered the most loving, supportive, and creative environment for my children to grow in. The projects that my kids have produced are so well thought out and completely crafted by my child. Nothing about CCK is cookie cutter. It is truly a treasure!! If you want an environment that will promote curiosity and confidence this is the only place to look! Plus how many schools have their directors actively running the program and classes! Very unique.
Claudia bente March 16, 2012 at 03:08 AM
We just moved to ridgefield less then a month ago, and best move ever our son justin Just love cck nursery school he adores his teachers and loves his school mates a lot thank you to the stuff for takeing such good care of our son.
Connie Pezone March 16, 2012 at 04:55 PM
We are thrilled to have experienced CCK as a family. Learning, play, and craft are beautifully coordinated by CCK's highly expert teachers. The atmosphere is warm and caring and my son loves school.

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