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.

How To Apply

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


Movement classes develop the language of expression that children employ to express their thoughts physically in space and gain 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 9-1 program & 3s & 4s for the 1-3 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.

Art with Eve

The 14th Street Y has been lucky to have Eve Chwast teaching preschool art. Our Atelier (Art Room) is a studio for exploring and expressing ideas in various media and languages. The children gain fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination skills and two and three dimensional expression. Eve helps children to express themselves creatively through child centered art projects such as self portraits and group painting projects, using a number of different mediums and techniques. Year after year preschoolers amaze us with the work Eve encourages them to create.

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.

Art with Eve

Our Atelier (Art Room) is a studio for exploring and expressing ideas in various media and languages. The children gain fine motor, eye-hand coordination skills and self expression. Our Studio Artist, Eve helps children to express themselves creatively through child centered art projects using a number of different mediums and techniques.  Eve also collaborates with teaching teams and the children to co-create projects that reflect classroom curricular investigations that are meaningful and engaging.



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 2019–20 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


A tour of the 14th St. Y Preschool is required to complete the application process. The tour can take place before or after your application is submitted. To reserve a spot for a tour, call (646) 395-4327 or email Tours take place on Mondays and Fridays and begin on Friday September 28, 2018.

Tours are for parents only and last approximately one hour.


Children applying for our preschool program will be invited to a playdate with a caregiver.

Children who are already enrolled in a 14th Street Y Parenting or 2×2 program will be observed in their natural play environment.


Letters will be sent out to all families by late February/early March according to the ISAAGNY calendar.

Financial Aid

Some financial aid is available according to demonstrated need. Applications will be available by request at the beginning of October.
Applications for financial aid and all supporting data are due no later than January 4, 2019.

If you have any questions, call Michael Luft, Senior Director of Early Childhood Programs at (646) 395-4325 or email

Preschool Checklist

Please review our Preschool Checklist to learn what to bring and not to bring.

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 work closely with Early Steps and the Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York to place children into appropriate programs. Our children go to both local public schools and independent 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 with them throughout the admissions to K season.

Most recently our children have moved on to the following schools:

The British International School of New York

Brooklyn Friends School

The Buckley School

The Calhoun School


Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School

Corlears School

East Village Community School

École Internationale de New York

The Epiphany School

Ethical Culture Fieldston School

Friends Seminary

Grace Church School

Hunter College Elementary School

Léman Manhattan

Little Red School House

Lycée Français de New York

Manhattan Day School

The Neighborhood School Nord Anglia International

School New York (formerly World Class Learning Academy)

P.S. 3

P.S. 11 (Gifted and Talented)

P.S. 20

P.S. 33 (Gifted and Talented)

P.S. 40

P.S. 41

P.S. 110 (Gifted and Talented)

P.S. 340

Rodeph Sholom School

Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan

Special Music School at Kaufman Music Center

St. Luke’s School

St. Stephen of Hungary

Trevor Day School

United Nations International School

Village Community 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 18-42 months.

Learn More