McHenry Area Preschools

A young boy and girl learning time with teacher.To add your Preschool to the Parent-Teacher Corner click here for the form.

Creative Playtime Preschool
Joyful Noise Christian Preschool
Little Angels Preschool- Montini Catholic School
McHenry Community College Children's Learning Center
McHenry Head Start
Noah’s Ark Preschool
Northwestern Medical McHenry Hospital Child Care Center
Shepherd of the Hills
Joyful Noise Christian Preschool
Little Angels Preschool- Montini Catholic School
St. John the Baptist School
St. Paul's Christian PreShool and Kindergarten
Water’s Edge
Parents' Guides to Choosing the Right PreSchool/ Daycare

Creative Playtime Preschool

creative playtime logo

Address: 3720 Greenleaf Avenue, Island Lake, Illinois 60042

Phone: 847.526.8795    FAX: 847.526.1534


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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: Registration is ongoing and still being accepted for 2011-2012. Open Registration for 2012-2013 begins February 8, 2012.

Registration Fee: $40.00 annually
Tuition: PreK 3 days/week $165/4 week session (2.5 hour class)
PreK 2 days/week $110/4 week session (2.5 hour class)
Threes 2 days/week $110/4 week session (2.5 hour class)
Twos 1 day/week $47/4 week session (1.5 hour class)

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


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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: 2-days / $150 3-days /$180 4-days/ $215

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 logo

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

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


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Director: Karen Grabow

Assistant Director: Tangela Newsome

Ages: 2-12

Days and Hours of Operation: 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. 

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 on of 18

Accreditation: NAC Accredited and have the Gold Circle of Quality


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Little Angels Preschool Montini Catholic School

Address: 3504 Washington St. McHenry, Il. 60050

Phone: 815.385.5380

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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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McHenry County College Children's Learning Center

Address: 8900 US Highway 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012

Phone: 815-455-8555

Fax: 815-479-7715


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Director: Lisha Linder

Ages: 5 months to 6 years

Days and hours: Monday through Thursday 7:50 am to 4:50 pm, Friday 7:50 am to 12:50 pm

Registration Begins: February 1, 2014

Registration Fee: $55 for preschool/year $25 for child care/semester

Tuition: Preschool 3's $130/month

Philosophy: We use Creative Curriculum in our center. Our teachers plan and prepare a program that is developmentally appropriate and follows the criteria set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Our childcare philosophy is based on flexibility and choice for children. The center respects and accommodates the individual development levels of the child; we do not expect children to mold themselves to fit a prescribed plan of development. Discipline is approached in a positive manner with the goal of helping children learn self-control and problem solving strategies.

Toilet Trained: No

Facilities: We have 3 classrooms and an outdoor area. We are located on a college campus, so we also have access to the gym, and other areas.

Approximate Class Size: 10-12 for toddlers; 14-16 for preschool ages

Additional Info:  We are located on a college campus, and we are open to the community, as well as MCC students and employees.

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McHenry Head Start


Address: 404 N. Green Street

Phone: 815-388-8790  FAX: 815-388-5790

Director: Michelle Baker

Assistant Director: n/a

Ages: 3- to 5-year-olds

Days and Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 8:00am-11:30am, Monday-Thursday 11:30am-3:00pm

Registration Begins: Before time of enrollment-We are always accepting child applications!

Registration Fee: None

Tuition: None

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum:Head Start is a free preschool program that promotes the school readiness of children ages 3 to 5 from low-income families. We provide learning opportunities that support children's development in all areas, including social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, math, science, social studies, and the arts as well as English language acquisition. Our program staff create warm, inviting, interesting learning environments that keep children excited to come to school and learn!

Toilet Trained (Y or N): N

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.): We have two classrooms, an outdoor playground, an indoor large motor area, and a full kitchen. Transportation and meals are provided.

Teacher / Student Ratio:n/a

Approximate Class Size: 16 children

Accreditation: n/a

Additional Information/Notes:All of our teachers are highly trained with a minimum of an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. 
We emphasize family partnerships and provide support to enrolled children and families in need of social services. 
We are always accepting child applications!

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Noah’s Ark Preschool

noahs ark logo

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

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


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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: 15 Children/2 teachers

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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Northwestern Medical McHenry Hospital Child Care Center

bright horizons




Address: 4201 Medical Center Dr. McHenry, Il 60051

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

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Director: Linda Flynn

Ages: Infant thru Kindergarten

Days and Hours of Operation: 6:30am til 6:30pm

Registration Begins: Before time of enrollment

Tuition: Based on which program your child is enrolled in and for which age group. Please call for details.

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum: At Bright Horizons, we meet children where they are developmentally.We believe that children learn best when we build on their individual strengths. Early education is an opportunity to nurture children’s curiosity and inquisitiveness, develop problem solvers and decision-makers, and prepare children with the academic foundation to achieve success in school and in life. Our teachers actively engage children through intentional teaching practices that guide each child’s social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development, creating a joyful classroom environment that fosters cooperation and a sense of community.

Toilet Trained (Y or N): N

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.): Yes

Teacher / Student Ratio: We follow DCFS licensing requirements for all age groups.

Approximate Class Size: Varies

Accreditation: In progress

Additional Information/Notes: For the 2019/2020 school year, we will not be providing busing unless the elementary school provides it themselves. Currently that includes Riverwood and Landmark schools.


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Shepherd of the Hills


Address: 404 N. Greet St., McHenry IL

Phone: 815-385-4030   FAX: None


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Director: Cheryl Clarke

Assistant Director

Ages: 3-5

Days and Hours of Operation:  
M-F: PreK
M-W-F: 4's
T & Th:3's
All Classes 9:00 am - 11:30 am

Registration Begins

Registration Fee: $60.00

Tuition: Varies

Philosophy/General Purpose/ Curriculum

Toilet Trained (Y or N): Yes

Facilities (classrooms, gymnasiums, etc.)

Teacher / Student Ratio

Approximate Class Size: 16 students

Accreditation:Licensed by DCFS

Additional Information/Notes


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St. John The Baptist Preschool

st john the baptist catholic school logo

Address: 2304 W. Church St. Johnsburg, Il 60051 

Phone: 815-385-3959   FAX: 815-363-3337


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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 & Kindergarten

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

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

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


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Director: Sheila Halasz

Ages: 2-7

Days and Hours of Operation: 9:00-2:45

Registration Begins: January

Registration Fee: $55

2 year olds: $139 per month
3 year olds: 2 days a week $160 per month, 3 days per week $195 per month,
4 year olds: 3 mornings a week, $205 per month,
4 year olds:  afternoons $199 per month
4/5 year old:  five day, $260 per month

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 4 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: Not available

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.

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Water’s Edge Waldorf School

Waters Edge Logo

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

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

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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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