How to Find Great Preschools in the Upper Valley

Posted by Sherry Noyes on Jan 9, 2018 Sherry Noyes

All parents want what’s best for their children, especially when it comes to education. We want to send our kids into the world with a strong foundation of quality education!

A young child painting on a piece of paper with lots of bright colors


That’s one reason why parents in the Upper Valley count their blessings. Public schools in the area provide safe, welcoming environments where children thrive in both academic and extracurricular endeavors. Those who seek alternatives to public education find many worthy institutions to choose from as well.

The Upper Valley’s commitment to education starts young. In 2016, Vermont became the first state in the country to make 10 hours of free preschool mandatory for all children ages 3 to 4. With financial barriers to a pre-kindergarten education removed, every child in Vermont can now benefit from early childhood education.

This link brings you to an interactive map that shows where Vermont preschools are located.

New Hampshire has yet to follow Vermont’s lead. Parents wanting to send their children to preschool on the east side of the Connecticut River still have to come up with the tuition money. On the plus side, however, some tuition assistance—including free Head Start programs—is available to qualifying families through the Department of Health and Human Services.

Here is a sample of just a few of the preschools open for business on the New Hampshire side of the Upper Valley.

  • Indian River Nursery School. This nonprofit cooperative preschool located in Canaan has been educating 3 to 5 year olds for 40 years. Open from September through June, they follow the vacation schedule of the Mascoma Valley Regional School District. They are a Licensed Plus school.
  • Montessori Discovery School. All teachers at this school in downtown Lebanon are certified Montessori instructors. All students receive an academic assessment before they begin a program of combined self-directed and structured learning. The founder of MDS has been teaching the Montessori Method for more than 20 years.
  • Kids World Academy. Located on the outskirts of downtown Newport, Kids World prepares children for a lifetime of learning through a play-based language arts, science, math, and art curriculum. The school hosts annual spelling bees and science fairs. Teachers are certified by the state and the school accepts state aid for tuition.
  • Hampshire Cooperative Nursery School. Licensed by the state and also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, this school, situated a short distance from downtown Hanover, has been educating young children for more than 50 years. HCNS has the Connecticut River for a background, and Dartmouth College organic farm for a next door neighbor.

Looking for some extracurricular activities to do with your preschooler? Try one of these great Upper Valley museums! 

Topics: Upper Valley, Community