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[UPDATE] Readers' Choice: Wrapping Up Cheshire Preschool Poll

Tight, three-way challenge. Voting ends 9 a.m. Friday morning, March 23.

It's one of the first choices that parents make that involves education and separation for an extended period of time: Preschool.

We understand that practical considerations of availability, money and location figure largely into decisions about which preschool parents choose for their children.

Since so much careful research—in person, online and through word of mouth—goes into the preschool decision, we want to poll our Cheshire parents, not just on what they feel is the best preschool for their child, but also why.

Below is a list of preschools we have registered in our continuously updated Cheshire Patch Places directory. Click on any of them to get to a page dedicated to that preschool and to rate and review it.

Please also tell us in the comment thread which preschools are missing from the list and why they're the best—we'll add them to the poll and create a new Patch Places listing for them. If you're a preschool operator who doesn't see your listing on Cheshire Patch, email me at leslie.hutchison@patch.com  or if you want to.

Here's our starter list:

Cheshire Nursery School

Voting in the poll below is open until 9 a.m. Friday. We will announce the winner at 12 p.m. Friday. The poll part isn't scientific so it's not the sole determinant of a Readers' Choice winner. We will determine winner based on a point system in which poll results and ratings are considered equally. Only the top 3 finishers will receive points. In the event of a tie, we will determine the winner based on which business has the highest combined number of positive comments and positive reviews on its directory listings.

Kirsten Grier March 21, 2012 at 01:44 PM
We love The Scooter School. It was my son's first experience away from home and we looked at several schools before choosing for him to go there. We have always felt great about our decision. The activities they do with the kids are fun and educational and my son always comes home with a smile on his face. The teachers are warm and welcoming and I know he is in the best hands. We are looking forward to when our daughter can attend next year.
Leslie Hutchison March 21, 2012 at 01:57 PM
1st Church Daycare and Nursery is still leading the poll with 32 percent of the votes. It's turning into a three-way challenge with Cheshire Nursery School and the Scooter School showing strong results! Vote today!
L. Lancor March 21, 2012 at 02:05 PM
CHESHIRE NURSERY SCHOOL!! Our daughter started at CNS this past September and went from a shy, nail-biting, hold-onto-Mommy's-leg 4 year old to an independent, engaged and excited learner. She wakes up every morning and excitedly asks if it is a "School Day"!! She (and we) LOVE the teachers! They do a phenomenal job. Our only regret is that our daughter didn't start school there as a 3 year old!! This year is going by way too fast!!
linda sparks March 21, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Both my children (who are now 13 and 15) went to Scooter School. They loved it and still look back on it fondly! I really believe the positive experiences they had at Scooter gave them the start they needed to succeed in the public school system - academically and socially! Mrs. Jac and her teachers are the best!!
Leslie Hutchison March 21, 2012 at 09:31 PM
The Scooter School has pulled ahead. What an outpouring of votes! One day to go before the poll closes on Friday morning at 9 a.m.
Suzanne M. Miller March 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Cheshire Nursery School has only 16 (well-loved) children per session, so we may just have to be content with a strong showing in this poll :-)
Suzanne M. Miller March 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM
It's great to see how many people cared enough to vote--no matter where their loyalties lie!
Leslie Hutchison March 21, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Suzanne, I'm also glad to see the trust and support parents have in their preschool. It shows that Cheshire has a number of caring and well-received preschools.
Dawn DeFeo March 22, 2012 at 02:27 AM
1st Church Preschool has a well balanced curriculum with great hands-on opportunities for learning both inside and out. Teachers hold degrees and have been there for many years. The parental involvement creates a true school community. The flexible hours and schedule is really helpful for working parents.
Leah Ramirez Superchi March 22, 2012 at 02:49 AM
We love Scooter School! My son is in his second year there and we are really happy with the school and the teachers. It is going to be sad to see him move on to kindergarten next year! He loves going to school there, especially Mondays when he stays for an extended day and gets to have lunch with his friends. Our daughter is signed up to start there in September and she can't wait! I would recommend Scooter School to anyone!
Kimberly Cavallaro March 22, 2012 at 02:55 AM
I love First Church Preschool, I worked there as an afternoon teacher/helper for 4 years and children are always smiling when they come there. They really enjoy it. It's a great preschool, I would recommend First Church Preschool for your kids.
Jean gillotti March 22, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Love love cheshire nursery school! It's a very small school as compared to others. Only 37 families. Love that.
Cindy Cavallaro March 22, 2012 at 03:11 AM
1st Church Preschool is a great place to work. I have worked at 1st Church for 13 years. We have a caring, dedicated staff, a community of involved supportive families, and a great bunch of fun loving children eager to learn!
S. Downing March 22, 2012 at 03:41 AM
hands down, Cheshire nursery school. I had children at 2 of the other schools. They were great at the time. Then, when I realized my child needed a more academic preK, I was steered here. Yes, the cost is much higher than other local schools, but you do not get teachers with masters degrees everywhere. They learn math, spanish, reading and writing...These teachers are amazing, like no other in town. I drive a bit to get there, but I'd drive double if I had to.
Sheryl McNamee March 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Scooter School! It's been many years since my youngest was there and yet I still get warm and fuzzies every time I drive by it. What a wonderful place. A true gem.
Louise Gardner March 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM
WE spent a year researching when our son was 3, the only clear choice was Cheshire nursery. We went for 3 years and my son learned more there than a year at darcey kindergarten. Its amazing with a very low student teacher ratio. Couldn't go anywhere else
Leslie Hutchison March 22, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Cheshsire Nursery School is the new front runner in the "Readers' Choice" poll. Thank you for your votes and comments. Keep them coming! Less than 24 hours before poll closes.
Sarah R March 22, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Our vote is CNS! My husband and I brought our kids to Little Scholars when they were little, and then looked into Little Scholars again for preschool. We also looked at Scooter School and Cheshire Nursery when our son was turning 3. Although Little Scholars was good for daycare and has a great staff, it didn't seem to compare for schooling. It was a difficult choice between CNS and Scooter School, but we ultimately went with CNS despite the price difference (though we liked that Scooter School still did things like Halloween and Christmas celebrations, where as other schools avoided it). We liked the small classes and the knowledgeable teachers at CNS. It turns out it is a great choice; it not only has a warm family feel, but the curriculum is made to challenge its 'students' not just babysit them. My son loves CNS, and has developed cognitively and socially. The teachers know our son well and care about his growth. Even though we had originally considered doing something cheaper for his second year, we changed our mind and will now send both of our kids to CNS again in the fall. Thanks for making our son love school!
Sarah R March 22, 2012 at 02:06 PM
agree!
M. Pagiet March 22, 2012 at 02:32 PM
No comparison. CNS!! Liked scooter a lot too, but CNS just csnt be beat.
Melissa convertito March 22, 2012 at 04:27 PM
We LOVE Scooter School! All three of our children attended Scooter and I cannot say enough how wonderful our experience has been. I am going to be very sad when our youngest graduates this year. We feel like family there and I will treasure our Scooter memories forever!!
Cheryl Nadzam March 22, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Scooter School was an amazing place for our children! We love the staff and love the programs! We miss Scooter School!
Susan Metcalf March 22, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Scooter School is the best! I had 3 children go through - and it really was a great foundation for their academic careers. A loving, fun environment where children still learn through play. I highly recommend Scooter.
Colleen Iacono March 23, 2012 at 12:43 AM
We love Scooter School! The teachers are warm and loving. Our son is on the younger-side so the shorter program was best for him. He loves going there and learns a lot. We loved that it was play-based and not an academically rigorous program (3 year olds don't need that yet!!).
L danahtrl March 23, 2012 at 02:24 AM
If you cheat, this poll doesn't mean a thing
Mama Kin March 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM
We love Scooter School. We looked at a variety of preschools in town. For us, we knew instantly that Scooter School was the right choice for our son. The staff are warm and loving and the curriculum is age appropriate. Also knowing that Cheshire residents who attended Scooter School themselves now send their Children there says a lot.
Natalya Frenkel March 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM
1st Church Preschool hands down!!! Families there are always happy! I have worked there for only three years, and have been to a few others since, and nothing beats 1st Church! If I lived a little bit closer to Cheshire I would definitely send my child to 1st Church Preschool, because it is #1!!!!!!!!
Mona March 23, 2012 at 01:01 PM
It is evident that there are some parents who are quite passionate about their preschools and have placed MANY votes in favor of their school. I hope the excitement about education continues throughout their children's life.
Alan Houle March 23, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Let's face it folks. Cheshire is blessed with a pack of great preschools. This poll is really designed to attract people to this web domain so they can sell advertising. That said, any repectable parent is going to personally visit all of these places to choose the one that best meets their family's needs. For my family, 1st Church preschool has no equal. It has an unparalleled staff, close-knit family feel and incredibly flexible schedule. Despite the name, it also has no religious affiliation, so no worries about that. Bottom line: you can't beat 1st church preschool in Cheshire, or anywhere. Do your self a favor and see all the schools but you'll be thrilled if you end up at 1st church!
Jada March 23, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Nothing better than CNS. You pay for it though, 7300 a year is high, but worth every cent. Comparatively, you cant do better

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