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Finding the right preschool for your child is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a parent. The early education environment lays the foundation for future learning and development. If you’re a parent in Oahu looking for the best preschools, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here are some top recommendations for Oahu preschools: Kamehameha Schools, Punahou School, and St. Mark’s School.

What to Look for in a Preschool

Choosing the right preschool for your child is an important decision that can have a lasting impact on their educational journey. To ensure you make the best choice, there are several key factors to consider. Here are three important things to look for when selecting a preschool in Oahu.

Qualified Teachers

One of the most crucial aspects of a good preschool is the quality of its teachers. Qualified and experienced educators play a vital role in shaping your child’s early learning experiences. Look for preschools that employ teachers with relevant degrees in early childhood education or a related field. Additionally, certifications such as a Child Development Associate (CDA) or a teaching license can be indicators of a teacher’s expertise and commitment to providing a nurturing and stimulating learning environment.

Play-Based Curriculum

Preschool years are a time for children to explore, discover, and learn through play. A play-based curriculum is an effective approach that encourages children to engage in hands-on activities and imaginative play. This approach fosters cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Look for preschools that prioritize play as a fundamental part of their curriculum. This may include activities such as sensory play, outdoor exploration, art projects, and dramatic play. A play-based curriculum not only makes learning enjoyable but also helps children develop essential skills and a love for learning.

Low Student-Teacher Ratio

The student-teacher ratio in a preschool setting can greatly impact the quality of education your child receives. A low student-teacher ratio allows teachers to give individual attention to each child, understand their unique needs, and tailor instruction accordingly. This personalized approach ensures that your child receives the support and guidance they need to thrive academically and emotionally. Look for preschools that maintain a low student-teacher ratio, ideally with no more than 10-15 students per teacher. This will help ensure that your child receives the attention they deserve in a nurturing and engaging environment.

When considering preschool options in Oahu, keeping these factors in mind will help you make an informed decision. Remember to visit the preschools, talk to the teachers and staff, and observe the learning environment firsthand. It’s important to find a preschool that aligns with your child’s needs and values, and provides a safe, enriching, and fun educational experience.

The Best Preschools in Oahu

Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha Schools is widely recognized as one of the best preschools in Oahu. With a strong focus on Hawaiian culture and values, Kamehameha Schools provides a nurturing and inclusive environment for children to learn and grow. Their curriculum is designed to promote the development of the whole child, encompassing academic, social, emotional, and physical growth. Additionally, Kamehameha Schools offers a range of extracurricular activities and resources to enhance the learning experience. To learn more about Kamehameha Schools, visit their official website here.

Punahou School

Punahou School is another top-rated preschool in Oahu. With a rich history dating back to 1841, Punahou School has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence and innovative teaching methods. Their preschool program focuses on fostering a love for learning and providing a strong foundation for future education. Punahou School prides itself on its diverse and inclusive community, where children from different backgrounds come together to learn and grow. To explore more about Punahou School, visit their official website here.

St. Mark’s School

St. Mark’s School is renowned for its exceptional preschool program in Oahu. With a commitment to academic rigor and character development, St. Mark’s School aims to instill a lifelong love for learning in its students. Their curriculum is designed to nurture the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of each child. The school also emphasizes the importance of community engagement and offers various opportunities for students to connect with their local community. To learn more about St. Mark’s School, visit their official website here.

Montessori Schools

Montessori schools in Oahu offer a unique and highly regarded approach to early childhood education. These schools follow the Montessori method, which emphasizes hands-on learning, individualized instruction, and respect for each child’s unique developmental journey. Montessori schools provide a prepared environment where children can explore, discover, and learn at their own pace. Some well-known Montessori schools in Oahu include Montessori Community School and Honolulu Waldorf School.

Waldorf Schools

Waldorf schools in Oahu also provide an alternative educational approach that focuses on nurturing the whole child – intellectually, socially, and emotionally. Waldorf preschools prioritize imaginative play, artistic expression, and a connection to nature. These schools believe in fostering a love for learning through a curriculum that integrates academic subjects with arts, music, and movement. Some popular Waldorf schools in Oahu include Honolulu Waldorf School and Windward Waldorf School.

Choosing the right preschool for your child is an important decision. It is essential to consider factors such as curriculum, teaching philosophy, and the overall learning environment. Visiting the websites of these top preschools in Oahu can provide you with more detailed information about their programs, admission process, and campus facilities. Remember to take into account your child’s unique needs and interests to find the best fit for their early education journey!

Preschool Costs and Admissions

Tuition Costs

When choosing the best preschool for your child, it’s essential to consider the tuition costs. Tuition fees can vary significantly depending on the preschool’s location, reputation, facilities, and curriculum. On average, preschool tuition in Oahu ranges from $500 to $1,500 per month. However, it’s important to note that some prestigious preschools may have higher fees. It’s advisable to research and compare the tuition costs of different preschools to find the best fit for your budget and your child’s needs.

Financial Aid Options

For families who may require financial assistance, there are various financial aid options available for preschool education in Oahu. Many preschools offer scholarships or grants based on financial need. Additionally, there are government-funded programs and nonprofit organizations that provide financial aid for early childhood education. It’s recommended to reach out to individual preschools or consult with local education authorities to explore the financial aid options that may be available to you.

Admissions Process and Deadlines

The admissions process for preschools in Oahu typically begins well in advance, and it’s important to be aware of the deadlines. Each preschool may have its own admissions criteria and requirements, including age eligibility, immunization records, and application forms. Some preschools may also require an in-person interview or assessment of the child’s readiness for the preschool program. It’s crucial to carefully review the admissions process and ensure all necessary documents and forms are submitted before the deadline to secure a spot for your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of preschool in Hawaii?

The average cost of preschool in Hawaii can vary depending on several factors such as location, curriculum, and additional services provided. On average, parents can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1500 per month for preschool tuition in Hawaii. It is important to note that this is an estimate and prices may vary from one preschool to another. To get a more accurate idea of the cost, it is recommended to contact the specific preschools you are interested in and inquire about their tuition fees.

When should I start researching preschools?

It is never too early to start researching preschools for your child. Ideally, you should start your research at least a year in advance, especially if you have specific requirements or preferences. This will give you ample time to visit different preschools, ask questions, and make an informed decision. Starting early also allows you to secure a spot at your preferred preschool as some popular ones may have waiting lists.

What documents are required for preschool enrollment?

The documents required for preschool enrollment can vary from one preschool to another. However, some common documents that are often requested include:

  • Proof of your child’s age (birth certificate or passport)
  • Immunization records
  • Emergency contact information
  • Proof of residency

It is important to check with the specific preschool you are interested in to get a complete list of the required documents. They may also have additional forms or paperwork that need to be filled out.


Choosing the right preschool is an important decision that will influence your child’s future education. Be sure to consider the school’s curriculum, teaching staff, class size, and learning environment when researching options. The best preschools in Oahu offer strong foundations in early education to set your child up for success.

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