Best Tip Ever for Choosing a Preschool? Listen to your gut!

by Sandra Foyt on May 8, 2011

in Uncategorized

parker-school-preschoolFinding the right preschool for your child can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when it’s for your first child.

Long, long ago when I was new to the Capital District, I had the good fortune to stumble onto an absolutely fabulous preschool, The Children’s School at Emma Willard. It was everything that you could hope for in a preschool: engaging programs, nurturing caregivers, flexible hours, reasonable price, and so much more.

Sadly, my eldest was a member of the last class to go through the school before it was closed permanently. When it was my younger child’s turn to go to preschool, we looked at two schools that emerged from the ashes of the Emma Willard school: Robert C. Parker School and The Taylor School. That was a difficult choice between two great preschools.

Both passed the “gut test.” We toured both schools, seeing classes in action, and would have been comfortable sending our son to either.  In the end, I chose the one that was closest to my home. 

Preschool Open House

There is no substitute for touring a school to get a sense if it’s the right preschool for your child; luckily, you can visit both of these schools this week.

Robert C. Parker School ( will host the last visit day of the year on Tuesday, May 10, 2011  10 – 11:30. Note that private visits can be arranged by contacting Laura Mandelson, Director of Admissions, at 518-286-3449 or by email at

In Pre-K at Parker, children feel honored and respected, enabling them to show respect and kindness to others. We nurture the natural creativity, playfulness, and joy in discovery that is present in every three and four-year-old. We support the children in their development as individuals whose skills and talents emerge at their own pace. And, most important of all, we laugh and have fun.

Preschoolers at play at The Taylor School.

The Taylor School ( has scheduled two open houses: Saturday, May 14th from 10-12 noon and Thursday, May 12th 8:45-9:45 am – this one is during regular school hours so visitors can see the class in action.

The Taylor School offers a premium preschool experience for children who will be turning three by December 1 of the school year.   The daily schedule includes exploration, group meeting, activity centers, snack, show and tell, read aloud, outdoor play, rest time, and lunch.  In addition, preschoolers go to physical education and music classes.  The preschool is a joyful place where children are nurtured as they grow and learn about themselves and their world.

Both schools offer half and full day options, as well as Extended Day Care and Vacation Camp Programs.

Looking for more preschools in the Capital Region? Check the Nursery Schools listings on The Childrens Guide ( and/or visit our school open house round up.

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| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Beth @ TheAngelForever May 9, 2011 at 7:04 am

Going with your gut is HUGE when it comes to finding the right school for a preschooler. When I was looking at programs for my youngest, I found it odd that places did not welcome children for tours. As a parent, I felt I needed to see my son’s response to an environment and people before making a big decision. Another great resource is the Capital District Child Care Council. They have lists of providers throughout the region.

Sandra Foyt May 9, 2011 at 9:26 am

Thanks for the tip about the Capital District Child Care Council, I’ve turned to them for summer camp advice but forgot that they are the go-to people for all kinds of kid-related advice. And thanks for giving the teacher’s seal of approval to the advice to listen to your gut!

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