Child Care and Preschool Guide

. March 3, 2014.

Early Learning Center

3070 Redwood Ave., Ann Arbor

Ages accepted: 30 months- 5 years old

Student/teacher ratio: Caterpillar Room (30 months- 48 months) 7:1,

Butterfly Room (4 years): 9:1

Number of students: At any one time, 32 children are in the building

Average class size: 3’s: 14, 4’s: 18

Transportation available? No

Potty training available? No

Special programs: Early Bird Drop off from 8:15am-8:45am, Lunch Bunch where children bring their lunch and get an extra 45 minutes. We also offer music, cooking, and reader’s theater extension classes.

Best children’s book: My Name is not Alexander or My Name is not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry

Temper tantrum remedy: Acknowledge what the child is angry or frustrated about, then calmly reinforce the limits. For example if you have a child upset because they want to go outside without cleaning up and they have thrown themselves on the ground, you would calmly walk over to them and say, “Outside, outside. You want to play outside.” Wait for the child to look at you, then say, “We will go outside but first we are going to clean up. Would you like to clean up the blocks or the animals first?” Repeat as needed

Brainy breakfast? Egg, or ham or nuts, with a fruit, and glass of milk

Favorite way to teach the ABC’s: Through lots of songs, fingerplays, and hands on activities, such as shaving cream writing, puzzles, matching games, letter hunts

Recipe for success: Children truly succeed both cognitively and socially when you combine highly trained and degreed staff, low child-teacher ratios, family involvement and play with a purpose all placed in a preschool setting

Little People’s University

2946 St. Aubin Ave., Ann Arbor

Ages accepted: 2 months-5yrs.

Student/teacher ratio: Infants/Toddlers 4:1 – Preschool 8:1 – Pre-Kindergarten 10:1

Number of students: 30

Average class size: Infants- 4; Toddlers- 8; Preschool- 8;Pre-Kinder- 10

Transportation available? No

Potty training available? Yes

Brainy breakfast: Morning Snack includes pancakes, waffles, toast etc.

Best children’s book: Polar Express

Favorite way to teach ABCs: Through song, sight & tracing the letters

Temper tantrum remedy: Calming, talking softly, hugging, smiling

Recipe for success: We are a learning program and believe that children’s minds are like sponges, they absorb anything we teach them. We are pleased when our children learn so much and can remember what they have learned.

Leslie Science & Nature Center

1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor

Ages accepted: PreK-12

Student/teacher ratio:  Program specific

Number of students: Program specific

Transportation available? No

Potty training available? No

Special programs: That’s what we do! We offer field trips to our site and outreach programs for classrooms. Programs that we teach include “Beaks, Feathers, and Talons”, “Where Animals Winter”, “Hunters of the Sky”, “Walking up the Food Chain” and many more! Many of our programs include our resident raptors and critters.

Lamaze Family Center

2855 Boardwalk Dr., Ann Arbor

Mission: Established in 1967 our mission is to empower, educate and support families from pregnancy to preschool

Special programs: Our childbirth classes do not focus on the hee hee ho ho breathing but focus on education and informed decision making. Parent Toddler Groups get your little one used to the routine and rhythm of a preschool while maintaining the security of being with a parent. For just $5, you can attend Drop In Playtime or Drop In Arts and Crafts.  Leave the mess to us and just come play! Our New Mothers Groups won the Ann Arbor Family Press’s Best Mother’s Support Group the last four years in a row! We offer many free services to the community including our Miscarriage and Newborn Loss Support Group, family scholarships and community education. Partnership classes with Kindermusik and Signing Smart  are also held in our center. We have seasonal family events including Mother’s Day Tea, Halloween Costume Party, Cookies with Santa and more!

Recipe for success: Getting kids outside!

Best children’s book: We have a lot! They include “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss, “Hoot” by Carl Hiaasen, and “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George

Saline Cooperative Preschool

6299 Ann Arbor Saline Rd., Saline

Ages accepted: 3, 4, 5

Student/teacher ratio: 5:1 if full class

Number of students: Max. 16/class; school-wide max. 48

Average class size: 12

Transportation available? No

Potty training available? No

Special programs: Kindergarten Readiness for young 5s & 4s

Best children’s book: Winter Tale by Robert Sabuda and Stranger In the Woods by Carl K. Sams II & Jean Stoick

Favorite way to teach ABCs: Using music like Hap Palmer’s Marching Around the Alphabet and Harry, the letter-eating Bear. Both activities engage the child physically as well as intellectually without making the child feel like he/she failed if he/she doesn’t know.

Temper tantrum remedy: 1. Get down at child’s level  2. Encourage child to take deep breaths (do this together) 3. LISTEN to child’s complaint when able to voice it  4.Offer two acceptable, alternative choices to child  5. Honor child’s choice

Brainy breakfast: A mix of protein (eggs, yogurt), complex carbs (oatmeal) and fruit (not juice)

Recipe for success: 1. Respecting individual child 2. Acknowledge positive choices that child makes 3. Encourage child to take acceptable risks and offer support when he/she does 4. Listen to what child tells you and more importantly to what he/she leaves out

Hand in Hand Music

10276 Normonie Ct., Saline

Ages accepted: Infants through 5 years

Number of students: 12 per class, children attend with an adult caregiver

Average class size: 7

Special programs: Music Together®, an award winning curriculum that offers family music making in mixed age classes

Recipe for success:  Registered families receive a beautifully illustrated songbook and CDs so that the musical fun and learning can continue at home.  Each 45 minute class includes a variety of musical activities such as singing, movement, and instrument play. Register now for the spring session of classes.

St. Francis of Assisi Preschool

2250 E. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor

Ages accepted: We have one preschool classroom. Must be 4 by October 1. We also have optional after-school care.

Student/teacher ratio: 7.3 to 1

Number of students: Room is licensed for 22

Average class size: Classroom has typically been full most days every year we have run the program.

Transportation available? No

Potty training available? No, children must be potty trained to attend

Special programs: Optional after-school care. Care available on most no-school days

Best children’s book: Anything Pete the Cat

Favorite way to teach ABCs: Just a part of the day…. always using the teachable moment

Temper tantrum remedy:  We have so few… but consistent expectations and consistent responses.

Recipe for success: Give good messages and shine your light!


Ann Arbor YMCA

400 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor

Ages accepted: All Stars- 2½ -3½; Aviators- 3½ -5; Half Day Pre-K- 3½ -5; SACC- K-4th grade

Student/teacher ratio:  All Stars- 5:1; Aviators- 8:1; Half Day Pre-K- 8:1; SACC- 12:1

Number of students: All Stars- 16; Aviators- 23; Half Day Pre-K- 11; SACC- 60

Average class size: All Stars- (per day) 14; Aviators- (per day) 20; Half Day Pre-K- (per day) 11; SACC- (per day) 45

Transportation available? All Stars- No; Aviators- No; Half Day Pre-K- No; SACC- Yes from some downtown schools

Potty training available? All Stars- Yes; Aviators- No; Half Day Pre-K- No; SACC- No

Special programs: All Stars- Storytime at the Downtown library on Wednesdays; Aviators- Swimming on Tuesdays & Thursdays; Half Day Pre-K- Swimming on Wednesdays; SACC- Swimming on Fridays & Pokemon Club

Brainy breakfast: All Stars- AM & PM Snack Served; Aviators- AM & PM snack served; Half Day Pre-K- AM snack served; SACC- PM snack served

Best children’s book: All Stars- “The Big Red Barn”; Aviators- “Clifford”; Half Day Pre-K- Anything about Science!; SACC- Whatever they like to read

Favorite way to teach ABCs: All Stars- Letter of the Week; Aviators- Alphabet Line; Half Day Pre-K- Songs; SACC- Reading

Temper tantrum remedy: All Stars- Sensory; Aviators- A quiet place; Half Day Pre-K- A quiet place; SACC- A quiet place


Daycroft Montessori

100 Oakbrook Dr., Ann Arbor

Ages accepted: 33 months-K

Student/teacher ratio: Preschool- 10:1 and Kindergarten- 12:1

Number of students: 124

Average class size: 20

Transportation available? No

Potty training available? Must be toilet trained

Special programs: Afterschool specials available- karate/science/art class

Best children’s book: Oh, the Places you’ll go!!!

Favorite way to teach ABCs: Sandpaper letters


The Discovery Center

775 S. Maple Rd., Ann Arbor

Ages accepted: 2 ½-5 years of age

Student/teacher ratio: 8:1 and lower; each classroom has 3 “key” teachers whom all have four year degrees in Child Development, Early Childhood Education, Early Elementary Ed., or a related field. Teachers are with us an average of 10+ years

Number of students: We are licensed for 180 and we have 6 classrooms- 4 full day/one half day (AM/PM) and a developmental kindergarten program

Average class size: between 18-24 each day M-F
Transportation available? No

Potty training available? We don’t require potty training, so yes, we help with the process

Special programs: Weekly Spanish, monthly music and storytelling experiences. We have been nationally accredited through NAEYC since 1991 and we are currently celebrating our 40th birthday as a program in Ann Arbor!

Brainy breakfast: Oatmeal, brown sugar, raisins and milk

Best children’s book: Too many great ones to pick from but a favorite right now is Mo Willems series of books “Elephant and Piggie”

Favorite way to teach ABCs: Interactive all the way

Temper tantrum remedy: Sometimes you just have to stand back and let it happen–patience and support are key

Recipe for success: Make it child centered, fun and above all, love what you do!


Ann Arbor Preschools

2775 Boardwalk,  Ann Arbor

Ages accepted: 4 year olds

Student/teacher ratio:  8:1

Number of students: 16

Average class size: Maximum of 16

Transportation available? No

Potty training available? No

Special programs: STEAM Fridays  Before and After School Childcare

Recipe for success: Learning is a lifelong process. The Ann Arbor Public Schools Preschool is designed for the year preceding Kindergarten. All classrooms are led by certified teachers with early childhood endorsements. The Ann Arbor Preschool curriculum aligns with the AAPS elementary curriculum, following the Creative Curriculum and Everday Mathematics.