Guide to Preschools, Daycares, and Mother’s Morning Out Around Columbia

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Making decisions about where to start your child’s education and where to seek childcare are some of the most important decisions we face as parents, but they don’t have to be intimidating ones. Columbia SC Moms Blog has put together a list of the many wonderful options in and around The Midlands, giving you a one-stop-shop for all of your preschool and childcare needs.

A special thanks goes out to all of the sponsors who helped make this guide possible. If you would like your program included in this guide, let’s chat.

Hammond School

At Hammond, we see the infinite possibility in each child.

We’re here to draw out their genius. One day, each one of them will be ready to take on the world. But first, we nurture their innate curiosity and insatiable inquisitiveness in our Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten programs. We do that by exploring, well, everything—from Spanish to writing computer code. We have our own naturalist-in-residence to help us go on brilliant field adventures on our 110-acre campus. Our goal: give even our youngest students a headstart by learning to love learning. There’s no better preparation for whatever the future may hold.

At Hammond, every learning moment counts.

 

Testimonials:

“Hammond has brought so much more than an education to my daughter. Peyton has found a confidence that I only could have imagined for her. Hammond gives each student a custom plan to help them succeed in all areas of life, and I couldn’t be more grateful for what this amazing school has done for my child.”  

– Lauren Truslow

“When we sought a new school choice for our two daughters, the bottom line for us was trust. We needed to trust that the school would provide an exceptional college-preparatory curriculum while sharing our family values. We looked for a school that put students first and, from an academic perspective, did what it promised it would do. We chose Hammond because it met our criteria but ultimately the Hammond experience has exceeded our expectations. We have a happy Hammond alumna who is thriving at college and a current Hammond student who loves being part of the school community. Hammond has been the best choice for our family!”

– Laurie Addy

854 Galway Lane
Columbia SC, 29209

(803) 776-0295

Saint Joseph Catholic School

Guide to Preschools Daycares

Saint Joseph Catholic School’s 4K and kindergarten provide an ideal balance of learning, development and play for our youngest students. Our preschool classes combine traditional educational values with current best practices in early childhood education, ensuring your child is growing their social, cognitive, spiritual, emotional, gross and fine motor skills. Each child receives individualized attention, with the majority of classroom activities taking place in small groups and learning centers. This focused approach allows our exceptional educators to best assess the individual needs of your child. While the highest-quality of education is delivered, it’s done so with an emphasis on learning through play, be it singing, dancing, painting, hands-on games and show-and-tell. While a strong curriculum is vital to a thriving educational experience, it’s only half of the story at Saint Joseph. Our goal is to help your child build a strong character and sense of self, even at the earliest age. Our preschoolers have the opportunity to practice their faith on a daily basis. We stress the importance of giving back, being kind, having a servant’s heart and being a positive example to others.

 

Testimonials:

“When seeking out a school for our oldest daughter Saint Joseph Catholic School was on the list mainly because it’s where we attend church. It was one of several schools we planned to visit, but as soon as we did – we knew it was a family that we wanted to be a part of. Saint Joseph has created a warm, loving, and safe environment where kids really get excited about learning. This year, my daughter has learned and retained so many new things thanks to the creative, hands-on activities that her teachers prepare each week. The decision to entrust Saint Joseph Catholic School with our children’s education is one we do not regret!” 

Current 5K Parent

“I am beyond thrilled with the experience my son is having at Saint Joseph. He gets all the benefits of “big school” – technology, enrichment through extras like PE, music, and Spanish classes, and older students who lead by example – while learning in a small, nurturing environment with his friends. I love the focus on raising kids who are just good people. We have been impressed by the way our family has been embraced by the faculty and staff at the school You can feel the community from the moment you step on campus.”

Current 4K Parent

3700 Devine Street
Columbia SC, 29205

(803) 254-6736

Montessori School of Columbia

MSofC Preschool Guide

At the Montessori School of Columbia, we strive to develop the unique capabilities of each child. Guided by the work of Dr. Maria Montessori and informed by current research, our committed staff honors the natural curiosity of children. Our academically rigorous, self-paced curriculum allows children to work according to their own development levels. In multi-age classes, children discover the dignity of work as well as the importance of caring for themselves and others. Since we attract families from a rich array of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, MSC students learn to be citizens of the world. Our mission is to foster a love of learning that will guide and sustain children throughout their lives.

 

Testimonials:

My child is thriving in the Montessori environment! The Montessori classroom is one that allows children to feel safe enough to step up to their own learning, challenging themselves to explore new concepts in a very natural and motivating way. This has been ideal for my spunky little 4-year old. She loves to figure things out on her own and feels proud of her efforts to challenge herself. She has been extremely into the world these past few weeks telling us all about the continents and which animals inhabit different the different areas. She has proudly displayed the maps she has created in class in our home and loves to refer to them often. She is excelling in math! Spouting math facts with confidence, and even being able to explain the process of how she added two numbers together concretely. As a parent, I couldn’t be happier when I pick my daughter up and she is chattering on and on about the great things she accomplished that day at school. 

As a four-year old, she is so proud of herself on the days she gets to ‘do work with the 5-year olds.’ I love that the students are grouped ages 3, 4, 5 so that she can feel this motivation and challenge from the older students. Next year, as a five-year old, she will be able to build her confidence as she grows her leadership skills. Next year, my son will join the school as a three-year old. He is a very different child than my daughter, but I am confident that he will feel just as challenged and excited at the school. Montessori is truly a method that follows the individual child’s lead. What more could a parent want, than to have their child respected and taught as who they are as an individual? Overall, I feel extremely lucky that our family is a part of this educational community which respects and challenges little minds to seize the learning in every aspect of their life. 

Jennifer Rushing 4K Parent

“All four of my children have attended or are currently attending Montessori School of Columbia. When moving to South Carolina, we did not know where to enroll our kids but I did know about Dr. Maria Montessori’s methods and I took a leap and enrolled all three kids (4th wasn’t born yet!) into to Primary and Lower Elementary levels. To this day I am so delighted that we made that choice. MSC has encouraged our kids to love learning and to have a sense of curiosity about the world. It’s unique system has helped guide our kids to expand their knowledge of geography, math, literature as well as providing a safe environment where they can explore subjects as far as they’d like to go. My older kids have moved on after Upper El and are thriving in their new magnet program. They attribute their work ethic and solid grasp of core subjects to their education at MSC. 
Last but not least, it is the teachers more than anything as to why my kids have gone to MSC year after year and why my youngest two are continuing next year. They are masters at teaching in a loving, nurturing way and tailor their instruction to each individual child’s needs. I am truly grateful to the staff of MSC for enriching our children in so many ways.”
– Lani S. 

411 S Maple Street
Columbia SC, 29205

(803) 783-8838

Heathwood Hall

Preschool Guide

Heathwood Hall knows young children learn best through experimentation and participation in their environment.  Our two-year-old to pre-kindergarten students experience these hands-on, active learning opportunities in the classroom, through our Tinker Lab, Art Studio, Life Science Lab, library, outdoor classrooms, music, Spanish, and PE classes that are all taught by experts in their fields. And as part of a larger school community with older students, our youngest children gain the benefit of countless other resources right on campus — from an exceptional dining hall and botanical greenhouse to sophisticated auditoriums and advanced technology resources — that are not typically available in a preschool environment.  When a strong classroom experience is matched with expert teachers who truly love their students, the result is a safe, nurturing environment that becomes the solid foundation for lifelong learning.

Testimonial:

“We chose Heathwood because of its reputation for outstanding academics and character development. Having the confidence that the school is behind us, helping to mold our child into a good person, means a lot to us. And her academic experience has been amazing. Music, art, Tinker Lab, language—the fact that she was coming home and speaking Spanish at two-and-a-half—those are such important building blocks for the rest of her education. Above all, we’ve seen her imagination grow so much in ways that help her appreciate everything she’s learning. And she loves Heathwood—sometimes at the end of the day, she doesn’t want to leave!”

Virginia and Julian Adams

3000 S Beltline Boulevard
Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 765-2309

Chesterbrook Academy

Chesterbrook Guides

Chesterbrook Academy Preschool in Columbia provides a safe, nurturing environment where children learn, grow and thrive. Our Links to Learning curriculum prepares children for elementary school and beyond by developing important academic, social and emotional skills. Enroll today!

(877) 959-4181

Spring Valley Baptist Preschool

SVBP Guide

Spring Valley Baptist Church Preschool offers a morning only preschool which provides exceptional care and educational experiences to children ages 1 through K4. Instilling a love for learning in each child by nurturing his or her intellectual, spiritual, social, emotional, and physical development in a safe, loving Christian environment.

(803)-736-7710

Comprehensive List of Programs

5 Star Academy
Asbury Memorial UMC Preschool
Aspire Early Learning Academy
Ben Lippen School
Bethel United Methodist
Bethesda Christian School
Beulah United Methodist
Big Blue Marble Academy
Bright Horizons Preschool
Brookland Academy Child Development Center
Cadence Academy Preschool Harbison
Cadence Academy Preschool Northeast
Center for Learning
Chesterbrook Academy
College Of Early Learning
Covenant Christian Academy
Creative Beginnings Christian Child Development Center
Cutler Jewish Day School
Eastminster Presbyterian Day School
Gateway Academy Child Development Center
GLEAMNS Head Start
Grace Academy
Grace Christian School
Hammond School
Harmony School
Heathwood Hall
Heyward Street Methodist Preschool
Holland Avenue Baptist Church
Incarnation Lutheran Child Development Center
Kathwood Baptist
Lake Carolina Early Learning Center
Lake Murray Baptist
Lake Murray Montessori School
Lake Murray Presbyterian
Lexington Baptist
Living Springs Lutheran Church
Main Street United Methodist Church
McGregor Presbyterian Preschool
MEGA CDC
Midlands Montessori School
Midlands Primary Learning Center
Montessori Early Learning Center and School of The Arts
Montessori School of Columbia
Montessori School of Lexington
Mt Hebron Dayschool
Mt Olive Lutheran Church
North Trenholm Baptist Church
Northside Christian Academy
Pisgah Child Development Ministries
Redeemer Lutheran Preschool
Riverland Hills Baptist Church
Saxa Gotha Presbyterian CDC
Shandon Baptist
Shandon Presbyterian Child Development Center
Shandon United Methodist Church
Spring Valley Baptist Church Preschool
Spring Valley Presbyterian Church Preschool
St Joseph Catholic School
St Peter’s Catholic School
St. John Neumann Catholic School
St. John Neumann Catholic School
St. Martin de Porres Catholic School
St. Michael’s Episcopal
Timmerman School
Trenholm Road United Methodist Preschool
Trinity Learning Center
Union United Methodist Church
Westminster Child Development

Bethesda Christian School
Big Blue Marble Academy
Cadence Academy Preschool
Children’s World 
Children’s World
Creative Beginnings Christian Child Development Center
Eastminster Drop In Nursery
Eastminster Presbyterian Day School
Gateway Academy Child Development Center
Grace Academy
Grace Christian School
Harmony School
Incarnation Lutheran Child Development Center
Irmo Academy
Kinder Academy & Kinder Academy Too
La Petite Academy
Little Angel’s Daycare Center of Columbia
MEGA CDC
Midlands Primary Learning Center
Pisgah Child Development Ministries
Providence Presbyterican CDC
Riverland Hills Baptist Church
Saxa Gotha Presbyterian CDC
Shandon Presbyterian Child Development Center
St. Martin’s In the Fields Drop-in Nursery
St. Michael’s Episcopal
The Sunshine House
Trinity Learning Center
Westminster Child Development
Wonderful Beginnings
YMCA of Columbia Childcare

Beulah United Methodist
Dutch Fork Baptist Church
First Baptist Church of Batesburg
North Trenholm Baptist Church
Northeast Presbyterian Church

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Glad I stumbled it n this article. Have a four year old son and new to the area. Desperately need to find a school suitable for him.

    • Glad it helped! We publish resources like this one for parents throughout the year and love to know when they’re helpful to our readers!

    • Good luck in your search Erin, and thank you for letting us know it was helpful to you. (Also, welcome to Columbia!)

  2. Hi!
    Thank you for this amazingly helpful post! Would you happen to know if any of the listed schools offer scholarships or tuition assistance?

    • Hi Ashley! We’re glad you found it helpful! I’ve checked with our three featured preschools, and have some answers to your question. Hammond offers financial aid based on income, and St. Joseph offers a tuition assistance program. Montessori School of Columbia offers discounts for multiple children enrolled, and they also offer three different payment plan options (monthly, semester, or annual.) Hope this helps and thanks for your comment and question!

  3. Dear Hannah,

    thanks for your information, it is really help. i am wondering since there are so many school in Columbia , could you hold a meeting to share from different family how they feel their choices ? like private or public ? how to find the suitable one for kids ?

    • What a great suggestion! With so many great options around Columbia, it can be hard to choose. I’ll look into the idea and let you know if something like this is available. Thanks!

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