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2015 Best Preschools and Daycares

by Edited by Erica Bauwens

Choosing a preschool or daycare for your child is no easy task.

We know just how difficult the decision can be; finding a program that fits your busy schedule and is close to home or work, but is also designed with your little one’s interests in mind.

That’s why we compiled our annual list of the best preschools and daycares in the area. These programs are constantly improving, and we’ve got the numbers to prove it. We asked the experts to find out everything you’d want to know—from student to teacher ratios to tuition and everything in between— to help you find the right fit for your family. We can’t make that first goodbye any easier, but you can rest assured that your child is in the best and most-capable hands in South Jersey.

The Bancroft Early Education Program
452 Kings Hwy E. | Haddonfield
(856) 428-2697 | Bancroft.org
Hours: 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Programs: Full-day and extended school year programs are available
Fees: n/a
Ages: 3 to 9 years
Waitlist: Currently accepting applications
Student to teacher ratio: 2:1
Fun fact: Bancroft’s program provides a foundation for children with autism and other intellectual or development disabilities, through intensive, evidence-based educational therapies. Educators use Discrete Trial instruction and technologies like iPads and Smart Boards to enhance communication.

Beginnings at MFS—The Moorestown Friends School Early Childhood Program
110 E. Main Street | Moorestown
(856) 235-2900 | BeginningsatMFS.org
Hours: 8:05 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. Extended day hours are 7:15 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Full- and half-day programs are offered for five, three or two days
Fees: $8,500 to $16,350
Ages: 3 (as of Sept. 30) through grade 12
Waitlist: Yes, the program fills in the spring for the following school year
Student to teacher ratio: No more than 7:1
Fun fact: All Beginnings teachers have previous teaching experience and undergraduate degrees in education, while most hold master’s degrees.

Bright Beginnings Academy
315 Fries Mill Road | Sewell | (856) 582-1144
1600 Chapel Ave. W. | Cherry Hill
(856) 438-5321 | BBANJ.net
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Full- and half-day options
Fees: Costs vary depending on school/program
Ages: 2 1/2 through kindergarten; Cherry Hill location offers infant program
Waitlist: No
Student to teacher ratio: 6:1, 2 1/2 year olds; 7-10:1 for older children
What’s new? Both the Sewell and Cherry Hill locations welcomed a new director for this school year in Camille Banks.

Chesterbrook Academy
279 Egg Harbor Road | Sewell | (856) 589-5800
Sewell.ChesterbrookAcademy.com
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Infant, toddler, beginner, intermediate, pre-K and kindergarten programs with part-time, full-time and half-day (mornings only) options
Fees: $141-$158 for half days per week, $240-$277 for full days, and $201 for kindergarten academic day
Ages: 6 weeks to 6 years
Waitlist: No
Student to teacher ratio: 4:1, infants and toddlers; 6:1, 18 months to 2 1/2 year olds; 10:1, 2 1/2 to 4; 12:1, pre-K; 15:1, kindergarten
What’s New? Chesterbrook Academy recently introduced Parent Share, which gives parents a look at their kids’ activities through emails and photos sent out throughout the day. They have also introduced iPads into their curriculum.

Congregation Beth El’s Early Childhood Center
8000 Main St. | Voorhees | (856) 675-1166
BethelSNJ.org
Hours: 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Full- and half-day options
Fees: $2,256 for partial days to $16,900 for full days per year
Ages: Infant through kindergarten
Waitlist: Yes, for certain classes
Student to teacher ratio: 3:1, infants; 4:1, 1 year olds; 6:1, 2 years; 8:1, 3 years; 9:1, 4 years and kindergarten.
Fun fact: All of Beth El’s educators hold bachelor’s degrees, giving the school the ability to focus on language and motor skills alongside their spiritual education.

Creation Academy
360 Garwin Road | Woolwich | (856) 467-0988
CreationAcademy.com
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Programs: Half-day programs
Fees: Fees vary but include $65 Monday, Wednesday and Friday; $47 Tuesday and Thursday
Ages: 2 to 5 years
Waitlist: Yes, for certain classes
Student to teacher ratio: 6:1, 2 year olds; 10:1, 3 years; 12:1, 4 years
Fun fact: All of Creation Academy’s teachers are state certified and have teaching degrees, giving children the opportunity to learn motor skills and letter and number recognition from trained professionals.

Discovery Corner Child Care & Enrichment Center
53 Haddonfield Road, Suite 322 | Cherry Hill (856) 667-6333
DiscoveryCornerKids.com
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Infant, toddler, pre-school and pre-K programs with half- and full-day options
Fees: $225 full day; $170 half day
Ages: 6 weeks to 12 years
Waitlist: No
Student to teacher ratio: 4:1, infants; 6:1, toddlers; 10:1, juniors and preschool; 12:1, pre-K What’s new: “Our kindergarten program now has a class called ‘Puter Bugs.’ It’s a computer class and and it encourages school readiness for the kids.”—Nina Turner, owner

Friends Academy of Westampton
315 Bridge St. | Westampton | (609) 267-8198
FriendsAcademy.net
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with before-school care from 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and after-school care from 3:10 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Preschool (with half- or full-day options) and pre-K and kindergarten (full day)
Fees: $5,725 for half day; $9,477 for full-day pre-K; $9,855 for kindergarten per school year
Ages: Pre-K through eighth grade
Waitlist: No
Student to teacher ratio: 10:1, preschool; 12:1, pre-K; 15:1, kindergarten
Fun fact: The school is offering an open house on March 24 at 7 p.m. for parents interested in the pre-k and kindergarten programs.

Friends School Mullica Hill
15 High St. | Mullica Hill | (856) 478-2908
FriendsMH.org
Hours: 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Programs: Pre-K (three half days, three full days, five half days or five full days) and kindergarten (full day)
Fees: $7,025 pre-K, three half days per year; $10,625 pre-K, three full days or five half days; $14,725 pre-K; $16,925 kindergarten
Ages: Pre-K through eighth grade
Waitlist: Yes, for some classes
Student to teacher ratio: 10:1 max for preschool
What’s new? The school has installed a separate, fenced-in area for their pre-k playground and has purchased five iPads for the classroom, featuring dedicated learning applications.

The Goddard School
250 Springdale Road | Cherry Hill
(856) 751-7234;
10 Jennings Road | Medford | (609) 714-8686;
235 Strawbridge Drive | Moorestown
(856) 235-7006;
2026D Briggs Road | Mount Laurel
(856) 727-4222;
233 N. Main St. | Mullica Hill | (856) 478-4045;
3 Plaza Drive | Sewell | (856) 256-8200;
553 Beckett Road | Swedesboro
(856) 467-8477;
1121 Haddonfield-Berlin Road | Voorhees (856) 346-1234
GoddardSchool.com
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Morning, afternoon, full-day, two to five days per week
Fees: Costs vary. Contact the individual school for information.
Ages: Infants through kindergarten
Waitlist: Yes, in some classrooms
Student to teacher ratio: Maximum of 4:1, infants; 6:1, toddlers; 10:1, preschool and pre-K
Fun fact: Goddard is one of the only programs in South Jersey with a quality assurance team that makes random visits to schools across the area to check in, which in turn provides continuous improvements to the program.

Haddonfield Friends School
47 N. Haddon Ave. | Haddonfield
(856) 429-6786 | HaddonfieldFriends.org
Hours: 8:10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with early and late care available from 7:15 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Full- and half-day programs are offered for two, three or five days
Fees: Costs range from $5,945 to $15,600 per year
Ages: 2 1/2 through eighth grade
Waitlist: Occasionally
Student to teacher ratio: 6:1, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 year olds; 7:1, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2; 8:1, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2
What’s new: contact admissions@haddonfiledfriends.org

Holding Hands Learning Center
138 Tomlin Station Road | Mullica Hill|
(856) 467-6811
HoldingHandsFamily.com
Hours: 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Programs: Full- and half-day programs offered on a full- or part-time schedule
Fees: Costs vary by age and number of days attending.
Ages: 8 weeks through 12 years
Waitlist: Occasionally
Student to teacher ratio: Vary depending on age
Fun fact: While the student to teacher ratios vary by age, all ratios for all age levels are lower than state requirements which means a closer relationship for students with the staff.

Just Children
130 Medford-Mount Holly Road | Medford (609) 714-2244;
2042 Briggs Road | Mount Laurel
(856) 642-7676;
1001 Briggs Road | Mount Laurel
(856) 840-0880;
14000 J. Commerce Parkway | Mount Laurel (856) 234-8687
JustChildren.net
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Half- and full-day options
Fees: Costs vary by age and number of days attending.
Ages: 8 weeks to kindergarten
Waitlist: Occasionally
Student to teacher ratio: 4:1, infants and toddlers; 6:1, 2 year olds and young 3s; 10:1, preschool/pre-K; 12:1, kindergarten
What’s new: Just Children implements an app called Tadpoles for parents, which is a unique communication program that allows parents to receive photos and notes throughout the day via email or through the app, and also provides parents with an end-of-day report.

The Learning Experience
421 Third Ave. | Cherry Hil | (856) 662-6002;
401 S. Burnt Mill Road | Voorhees
(856) 346-4140
Voorhees.TLEChildcare.com
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Programs: Full- and half-day programs offered on a full- or part-time schedule
Fees: Fees vary depending on age
Ages: 6 weeks to 5 years
Waitlist: Yes, depending on age
Student to teacher ratio: 4:1, infants; 5:1, toddlers; 6:1, twaddlers; 8:1, preppers; 10:1, preschool; 12:1, preschool 2
Fun fact: This early education program offers the Fun with Phonics early reading program to all students, so that children can begin an organized and dedicated reading program at an early age.

The Malvern School
290 Erial Road | Erial | (856) 784-4100;
515 Centennial Blvd. | Voorhees
(856) 489-4440;
329 Greentree Road | Sewell
(856) 218-2300;
5 Eayrestown Road | Medford | (609) 654-4500
MalvernSchool.com
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Programs: Full/partial weeks, full and half days
Fees: Costs vary by age and schedule and are discussed during parent visit
Ages: Infant through pre-K
Waitlist: No
Student to teacher ratio: 4:1, infants; 6:1, toddlers; 10:1, preschool; 10:1, pre-K
Fun fact: Every member of The Malvern School’s staff is trained in First Aid, CPR, emergency evacuation and fire safety programs, to provide the safest setting possible for every child.

Moorestown Children’s School
760 Garwood Road | Moorestown
(856) 235-9040
MoorestownChildrensSchool.com
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Programs: Full and half days, with before- and after-school options
Fees: $3,000 for a half-day school year and $6,000 for a full-day school year
Ages: Infants through fourth grade
Waitlist: Yes, for certain classes
Student to teacher ratio: 4:1, infants; 6:1, toddlers and 2s; 9:1, 2 1/2 to 4; 12:1, 4 and up
Fun fact: The school sits on more than 11 acres of land, with plenty of green space for children to explore and learn about. They also offer Mandarin lessons for all ages.

Naudain Academy
6 School Lane | Voorhees | (856) 751-1510
NaudainAcademy.com
Hours: 9 a.m. to noon half day; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. full day; 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. all day
Programs: Half and full day, before and after care, full-day kindergarten and summer programs
Fees: Costs range from $7,300 to $11,300 per year
Ages: 18 months to 6 years
Waitlist: Occasionally
Student to teacher ratio: 5:1, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 year olds; 9:1, 2 1/2 to 4 years; 11:1, 4 years; 7:1, kindergarten
Fun fact: Naudain implements a Montessori education for their children, which teaches students developmental and social skills through their scheduled learning program.

Rancocas Friends School
201 Main St. | Rancocas (609) 267-1265
RancocasFriendsSchool.org
Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with before care available at 8 a.m. and after care until 6 p.m.
Programs: Full or half day
Fees: $4,000 for a half day, $5,000 for a full day, per year
Ages: 3 1/2 to 6
Waitlist: No
Student to teacher ratio: 5:1
What’s new? Rancocas Friends is welcoming in 2015 with a series of field trips and events. Included in the year’s activities is a musical production by Symphony in C, a trip to the Children’s Museum, and their annual science trip to Long Beach Island.

Sari Isdaner Early Childhood Center at the Katz JCC
1301 Springdale Road | Cherry Hill
(856) 424-4444 ext. 1242
KatzJCC.org/EarlyChildhood
Hours: 6:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays
Programs: Half, partial and full day
Fees: Costs vary per age and program
Ages: 6 weeks to 6 years
Waitlist: Yes, for some age groups
Student to teacher ratio: 4:1, under 2 years; 6:1, 2 years to under 3 years old; 10:1, 2 1/2 to 4; 12:1, 4 years; 15:1, 5 and up
What’s new? The program is celebrating their third National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation in Feb. 2015, an organization that sets strict quality standards for learning centers.

Temple Emanuel
1101 Springdale Road | Cherry Hill
(856) 489-0034 | TempleEmanuel.com
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., early care; 9 a.m. to noon, morning program; noon to 3 p.m., lunch and enrichment program; 3 to 6:15 p.m., late care
Programs: Half and full day
Fees: Costs vary by age and schedule
Ages: 2 to 6 years
Waitlist: Occasionally
Student to teacher ratio: 4:1, 2 year olds; 6:1, 3 years; 7:1, 4 years
What’s new? The Pre-School at Temple Emanuel has extended early care an extra half hour to 7 a.m., and now offers package pricing, which provides discounts for children attending long days.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 12 (February, 2015).
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