RESULTS: Your Favorite Pre-Schools

Congratulations, Holmdel Pre-School and Little Chiefs of the Good Shepherd School

Congratulations, Holmdel Pre-School and Little Chiefs of the Good Shepherd School for emerging as favorites in this week's Readers' Choice survey of pre-schools in Holmdel.

Voting closed at 9 a.m. Friday, but comments continue to be welcome.

Pre-schools included: , , , , and .

Gannon Forrester March 08, 2012 at 07:42 PM
The staff at Holmdel Preschool is incredible. The teaching style and programs are unique and a cut above the rest. They just make learning fun for the kids. All of the preschoolers lives are enriched from going to a school like this and the parents are just as happy going to all the special events they have throughout the year.
Sara Campbell March 08, 2012 at 09:09 PM
The Growing Tree Children's Academy goes above and beyond on so many levels. Making the decision to leave your child with anyone is certainly one of the hardest a parent has to make. At GTCA, the openess of all the staff is immediately recognizable. All the teachers seem to know every child. The thoughtfulness put in every lesson and activity is endless. All staff is easy to approach and willing to discuss every and any concern. Community service and social awareness is also incorporated into the children's schools lives, helping they grow not only as students but as members of a global community.
Richelle Schuetz March 08, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Little Chiefs Pre-school is the best preschool. My daughter has gone there for 2 yrs. the teachers are the warmest caring women. You are just so amazed at how they care for your children. They do wonderful field trips all year long,they do so many crafts and experiments in the class. They make the education component so much fun for the kids. My daughter went to other preschools to start but cried when I left, from day one she has always felt so loved here she just loves it. It amazes me the warm caring relationships these women have with all the children. It gives the children such a positive first experience to school. Richelle.
Dima Mousselli March 09, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Holmdel Preschool is the best. Great value for your money, clean, organized, curriculum is top notch (my 5 year old is doing the same work as my 1st grader in public school), loving and very competent teachers. Also, as it is privately owned and the owners are on site and involved, you get personal individualized attention, not the "corporate, institutionalized" feel of other schools. My kids have been going almost five years and we love it. A jewel in Holmdel, especially considering the affordable price.
Tiffany Slattery March 09, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Little chief has a wonderful staff. They are extremely dedicated to the students. They are a pleasure to deal with and they make school enjoyable for the students and the parents.
Lisa Henschel March 09, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Little Chief is amazing! The staff loves what they do and you can see it in the face of the children. The education the children receive is fun and hands on!
Rena Worobel March 09, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Both of my children, now in 2nd grade, attended the Growing Tree Children's Academy from the time they were about 18 months old until it was time to move on to public school. I was beyond happy with the staff and personal attention I felt my children received. The staff was flexible, and addressed any concerns. My kids were excited to go to school each day and were sad when the day ended! From baby room to pre-k I was completely satisfied. Not only did my children receive great care, the education was amazing. I felt my children were 100% prepared for Kindergarten. The curriculum they were given in pre-school was grade school level and they were able to learn at their own pace. I can't speak about price comparisons because I do not know the cost of the other schools but I definitely feel that I got my money's worth in care and education.
Christina Johnson (Editor) March 09, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Thanks to all who are commenting. You are doing a service to all the new parents in the area who may be faced with the daunting decision on which to choose. A great pre-school feels like an extension of the family. Keep the reviews/comments coming.
Marley Sue March 09, 2012 at 01:35 AM
The Holmdel Preschool offers a program that is quite unique in the community. The teachers are all certified and provide a wonderful and loving environment. The administration is caring and has created a program that is innovative and individualized so that each child from infants thrrough the kindergarten get what they really need. They are a bit pricey but you pay fro what you get and the director works with you. The school is warm, loving and caring. The place is clean and the most important they really care about what they do. I have all my children there and could not be happier.
Lisa Fiorentino March 09, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Holmdel prescho is the ONLY recommendation I have in monmouth county. Both of my children ages 3 and 4 have been attending this preschool since before the age of 2. We live 25 minutes south in Ocean township and the school is completely out the way for us however it is worth the drive. Holmdel preschool has the strongest academic program of any othe preschool that I researched. My 4 year old daughter is doing the work of a 1st grader and my 3 year old that of a kindergarten class. There is a certified teacher in every classroom and the school is spotless. The outside grounds offer a large backyard area with 2 playgrounds and a pool for the summer camp. I cant say enough about the academic program and How much both of my children have excelled here. I Am very happy as are my girls and I highly recommend it to anyone.
France Dulow March 09, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I researched/visited six different pre-schools in the Holmdel area for my daughter. Holmdel Preschool was number six via a recommendation I found on a local mom's website. I'm so grateful I found the post... and the school. The teachers are fantastic, giving the children a unique teaching environment combined with arts and special events. The school is very clean, provides a large playing area for the kids outside, and offers a swimming pool for fun in the summertime. The admin staff is wonderful as well, giving the parents the personal attention they need concerning their child. My daughter will be attending kindergarten in the Fall. I'm so glad she will still have the opportunity to attend Holmdel Preschool in the morning and Village in the afternoon (with busing provided between the schools); the best of both worlds. My son will be attending Holmdel Preschool in the Fall, too. I'm so excited for him to experience the wonderful things his older sister has been through for the past two years!
Loretta Agosta March 09, 2012 at 03:23 AM
My grand daughgter started Holmdel Preschool in January. The administration has been incredibly supportive and caring, and helped me to get her adjusted to full day preschool. The teachers in her class are outstanding! She now looks forward to going to school everyday. I have peace of mind that she is safe, learning, and having fun all at the same time! I highly recommend Holmdel Preschool.
Shotsman March 09, 2012 at 03:55 AM
St. Catherine's has an amazing administration and staff that cares so well from the littles ones. They come come enightened and excited each day. They enjoy it so much that they wake up on weekends hoping to go to school then too. How about a 7-day program St. Catherines ??? !!!! Only kidding.... Let me that this opportunity to thank you all for all you do for our children. You give us peace of mind that our children are getting the finest care and education available.
Perri Donovan-Howlett March 09, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Little Chiefs is an AMAZING preschool! They have wonderful, attentitive, dedicated teachers and staff! They are so warm, and caring and their cirriculum plays to the strengths of every child, no matter how different. My daughter excelled so well from attending Little Chief, that she was ahead of a lot of the other children in her kindergarten class! I would totally reccommend this preschool to ANYONE and EVERYONE! The staff there is so personal and kind, they make you feel like a real part of their family! I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this school and can't say enough great things about it! :) Thank you Little Chief family for the wonderful preschool experience you gave us!
Michele Glynn March 09, 2012 at 07:04 AM
I have three children, ages 14, 12 and 9. Each of them attended Little Chief's and have such fond memories of the time they spent there. When I first visited Little Chief 11 yrs. ago, it was love at first sight. The administrators and teachers are exceptional in their field. Each child is greeted in the morning with a cheerful smile and cry not when they are being dropped off, but when they are picked up because they do not want to leave. My children were taught respect, patience, kindness to others, independence - all wonderful qualities that they took with them in their elementary and middle school years. I will always hold Little Chief and their staff in the highest regard and have deep respect and gratitude for all of them in helping me raise three incredible children.
Mary March 09, 2012 at 01:31 PM
How can you sit there and lie like that? HIDDEN FEES in everything - this woman does not care about the kids, she cares about her wallet! It wasn't until we switched schools that I relaized apple picking doesnt cost 35 dollars per child! And you forgot to mention that you need to supply your own paper towels, snack, TIOLET PAPER - the works!! What a bogus comment! Get real!
Kelly Jackapino March 09, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I have three children ages 13, 10, and 7. When my oldest was ready to enter pre-school I did a lot of research and visitations to find just the right school for my child. Hands down, St. Catharine's, was the ONLY choice for my daughter. For 9 consecutive years each of my children walked in those doors with a smile on their face and a skip in their step eager to start their day. When my youngest walked out of those doors for the last time, I was very saddened. I started subbing and have since been hired to work at this wonderful pre-school. They truly care about each and every student in the school and are always updating to meet the needs of the latest research on academic success in the pre-school. I wake up every day thankful for being apart of such a loving and caring atmosphere. In my opinion, as a mother and employee, St. Catharines is the best pre-school around.
Amy Lenling Pohl March 09, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Little Chief is the best preschool in Holmdel. They have top notch teachers, spacious and clean classrooms and playgrounds and an impressive curriculum. The school focuses on the whole child, which not only prepares children for their future education, but for life.
Carleen Lara Rowens March 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM
My child has been going to Holmdel preschool for a year and a half and yes, there are fees that are much higher than they should be and they do make you bring in supplies that they should already have on hand, but the school and staff are amazing! If you just factor in about an extra $50 per month onto your tuition, it averages out. If you look at it that way when you are comparing to other schools, you really will get your apples to apples ratio and will find that Holmdel Preschool is the best. Their program is second to NONE! The activities, the academics, the atmosphere, the teachers, all are top notch. My 4 year old is reading and doing similar work to my 2nd grader. Both of my children have been in other schools and I travel to different schools providing enrichment programs to preschools and daycares for my job and none of them compare. The respectfulness and behavior of the students all comes from what they are taught and how the teachers run their classrooms. I've never seen any other school that demonstrates this as well as Holmdel Preschool. If you are looking for a school that prepares your child academically for the challenges they will face in grammar school and provides them with lots of hands-on experiences and activities, then this is the school for your child!
Dima Mousselli March 09, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Mary, thank you for your kind and gracious comment. So neighborly of you to call me a liar when you do not even know me. If you had any math skills, you would have realized that adding the "hidden fees" into your tuition every month would give you a total that is less than other comparable schools, and by comparable I mean schools that have the level of academics and personal attention of Holmdel Preschool: Ranney, Oak Hill, etc.
Mary March 09, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Ok Dima, you obviously did not shop around and are currently at HPS. It was not until I actually found a school that does not charge you for every little thing that I realized how badly I had been taken advantage of. Maybe you need to look around a bit before declaring somewhere "affordable" and accusing someone else of not being able to add numbers =) I agree the staff is wonderful - but again maybe you should "chat" with them and see how warm & fuzzy you would feel if you found out how they are treated. The queen is again - concerned with her pocket. Not our kids, not her staff - her wallet.
Carol Vullo March 09, 2012 at 11:16 PM
I agree with Kelly! :)
Jo Ann Hickman March 09, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Love to all of our Little Chief families. Thank you for your beautiful comments
Growing Tree Family March 14, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I'd like to guess the voting was rigged, which is unfortunate for families trying to do legit research. I don't see how if even you and your spouse voted, that some of these schools have that high of enrollment. I have had my kids in two of the schools on this list. We are now at Growing Tree, and I'm almost sad that I spent a year at the first school. We have been extremely happy with Growing Tree and all of the teachers. It's truly a second family, and they are well managed. Day care is a really important element to your sanity of going back to work. Good luck with the decision, but my opinion is to visit as many schools as you can to find the one that is right for you.
Donna Minervini March 19, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Wow, Dima! I had no idea your opinion, however valid, would have prompted such inappropriate comments from this very angry "Mary". Someone else in this thread stated that she feels the poll has been rigged because of such a high number of votes. Bottom line..Holmdel Preschool gets the job done. Maybe, just MAYBE, if SOME people would look at the progress their children have made while enrolled in HPS..well, you catch my drift. Do not worry, Dima....I got your back ;) lolololololol C'mon, we can all giggle a little, right?
j norman March 19, 2012 at 03:00 AM
My children are enrolled at Holmdel Preschool and I cannot begin to explain how wonderful they are in their academics and in the warm and enthusiastic environment they create. I find the comment made about the administration by Mary K both untrue and out of place in a forum such as this as I have first hand knowledge of how the director, who she called "queen" has helped many families in need such as myself when she did not have to , during times of lay offs she was there and when there was a family who needed to make a holiday she did that for them, as well as when a staff member needed assistance she was immediately there for her too--The constant replacement of new items in the school, the new equipment and furnishings speaks to how her wallet is open for the children and families. I am proud to be a member of this Holmdel community and of this preschool and when we got the facebook message and the email, we were all happy to participate in the voting and many of the alumni were happy to participate as well -- as many of us keep in touch on facebook so I can certainly understand the loyalty and the votes I think there are about 200 families at the school now so no false voting here. Sad to see so many petty and spiteful people, when this just should have been about parents sharing about the pride they had in their child's school experience. Dima we know the truth, this place offers something special! Holmdel Preschool gives parents and children a great foundation.
Jwest March 19, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Well said J Norman. I am so thankful for everything that the "queen" and the staff at holmdel preschool have done and continue to do for my children.
Dima Mousselli March 20, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Thanks for your support Donna! Appreciate it. Yes, I am all for not taking things too seriously. We have to respect each other's opinions. That's the whole point of this poll after all! :)


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