Where young children feel respected, trusted, and empowered.

Our early childhood education programs draw on children’s inherent curiosity and sense of wonder.

We believe children are naturally competent, capable learners with a built-in ability to devise their own ideas and persist in tackling them. Our approach to learning also emphasizes socialization. Here, children begin to build relationships with peers and with adults other than parents and caregivers, acquiring a set of skills they will carry through life.

14th Street Y Reopening Plans for Preschool

Our First Day of School was Monday, September 14

At the 14th Street Y, safety is a paramount concern. That is why we implemented new policies and procedures to keep our children and families safe while being a warm and nurturing environment. We’re thrilled to have successfully reopened while also sustaining the soul of our school–safely, and with love, joy, and a zeal for learning.

To make a safer environment, we have made changes, including smaller class sizes, staggered drop-off times, health screenings, PPE requirements, and new HVAC filters.

Learn more about the safety protocols and what in-person school is like for your little one, check out our Q&A with Preschool Director Nili Shriber on our blog.

For more details on our reopening plan, please contact Nili Shriber at

Book A Virtual Tour

We’re currently offering virtual tours for potential Preschool families.

Tours meet with Catherine Wenglowski, Admissions Coordinator, who will take you through a virtual tour of the 14Y while highlighting Preschool. Topics of the tour will include:

  • Our educational philosophy
  • Our exciting programming and facilities including swimming, art, theater, movement, open air classrooms, and rooftop classroom and play area
  • Our extensive health and safety measures to keep your child safe
  • An opportunity to have all your questions answered
Book A Tour

If you have any questions, please email Catherine Wenglowski at

*Note: If you are a current Prelude family or have had a previous child attend Prelude or Preschool and have toured the school previously, you do not need to do another tour unless you’d like to.

How To Apply

We’re currently accepting applications. Please note that a $75 application fee is payable by credit card.

Preschool Application

The 14th Street Y’s renowned Preschool offers unique environments in which kids can question, problem-solve, create and grow. Kids two to five are in class 12 to 30 hours per week. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia and Bank Street approaches, our downtown Preschool creates learning opportunities that provoke thinking. Kids explore, touch, sense and solve in many ways, in classroom environments where young children feel respected, trusted and empowered.

The 14th Street Y’s expert, professional and nurturing staff welcome your child’s curiosity and wonder, and provide an abundance of opportunities for kids to represent their ideas and thinking through art and other media. We celebrate diversity, and weave Jewish values and traditions into age-appropriate and inclusive settings. Kids in all our early childhood education programs enjoy sun-filled classrooms and an exciting roof-top play area with beautifully constructed equipment including our Imagination Playground.

As part of Educational Alliance, a network of community centers operating in downtown Manhattan, including the Educational Alliance Preschool at Manny Cantor Center, the 14th Street Y Preschool cultivates a connection to the downtown Manhattan and Educational Alliance community, as well as to Jewish and universally relevant values and traditions.

Art Studio

Our children visit the art studio with their classmates in ½ groups allowing for close individualized attention and interaction with our studio teacher. A vast array of materials and mediums are deeply explored while focusing on students’ personal interests and the curricular interests of the group. Recyclable materials and found objects are used in new and imaginative ways!

Music & Movement

Our Music & Movement classes develop the language of expression that children employ to express their thoughts through music physically in space while gaining large motor skills and body awareness. Each class will have the opportunity to experience small group instruction, which will add another creative layer to the classroom curriculum.


(4’s only for the 9-1pm program & 3s & 4s for the 1-3pm extended day program)
Children visit the 14th Street Y pool for an instructional swim class with certified Water Safety Instructors. Children work in small groups with instructors, and use flotation devices such as noodles and backpacks to help them learn. Gradually children will learn to swim independently in a fun and safe environment.

Roof Top Playground, Gym Time

Children spend time every day exploring our outdoor private rooftop Imagination Playground, garden, and gymnasium. Providing children with an opportunity to participate in full body movement activities through social play with their peers and utilizing their senses.

Theater at the 14Y

Through the joy of artistic self-expression, children gain fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and explore a variety of materials and mediums

Visiting artists from our vibrant East Village Community and LABA Kids program bring theater, music and the performing arts into the classrooms to explore Judaism through a universal lens.


We are distinguished from other New York City preschools by providing continuity and depth of care from birth through early childhood within the 14th Street Y’s Early Childhood and Family Programs.

We would love to have you join us for the 2020–2021 school year!

Your child must turn 2 by September 1 to attend the 14th Street Y Preschool.

For more information about the 14th Street Y Preschool, please contact us here or contact Nili Shriber, Director of Preschool, at 646-395-4328 or


14 Street Y Preschool Rates for 2020-21 School Year
2’s only: 3 days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) 9:00 am – 1:00 pm $18,750 $21,500
2’s, 3’s and 4’s: 5 days (Monday – Friday) 9:00 am – 1:00 pm $23,000 $25,700
2’s, 3’s and 4’s: 5 days (Monday – Friday) 9:00 am – 3:00 pm $25,750 $28,500
Financial Aid

Financial aid is available according to demonstrated need. Applications will be available by request.
If you have any questions, call Julia Massey, Operations Manager, at 646-395-4338 or

Ongoing School Placement

The 14th Street Y Preschool feels strongly committed to nurturing parents through the ongoing schools process, while remaining a non-competitive community, and keeping the emphasis on the here and now for the children. We are a member of The Parent’s League of New York City and have a dedicated Ongoing Schools specialist on staff. Our children go to esteemed Private and public schools throughout the city.

We spend a great deal of time one-on-one with parents helping them through the process of applying to kindergarten. In the beginning of the school year, we meet with all the families to give them an overview of public, private and special schools and to share their respective admission processes. We meet with each family individually and work closely with them throughout the entire admissions process.

Our Children Have Most Recently Been Accepted To:
  • District and Citywide G&T programs
  • District 1 and 2 Department of Education Schools
  • Special Music School
  • The Allen-Stevenson School
  • Blue School
  • British International School New York
  • Corlears School
  • The Ephipany School
  • Ethical Culture Fieldston School
  • Friends Seminary
  • Grace Church School
  • Leman Manhattan Preparatory School
  • Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School
  • Trevor Day School
  • United Nations International School
  • Village Community School
  • The Buckley School


Our dedicated Preschool staff is always available to answer your questions.

Contact Us Now

Prelude to Preschool

If you and your child aren’t quite ready for Preschool, our beloved Prelude to Preschool program is a gentle introduction for kids aged 12 – 34 months.

Learn More