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Philadelphia Schools

When planning to come to Wharton with children, preschool is often a popular/relevant topic.  There are several great day care centers, preschools and grade schools in the Philadelphia area. 

The following schools/day care programs are those which have been recommended by other Wharton moms:

Preschools Outside Philadelphia
Private Grade Schools
Public Grade Schools


2125 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
Tel: (215) 963-0748

Beacon Center, a unique program that has been in operation for over twenty-five years, provides educational, emotional, creative and social guidance for children in a home-like and loving environment.  Beacon Center believes in sensory learning through play, games, manipulatives, and exploration making a child's first "school" experience a relaxed, friendly and joyous one. A day at Beacon Center will include language arts, reading readiness, science, music, movement, math, and art activities that are stimulating and will encourage children's growth and development.  The ultimate goal is to form a union with parents to help children develop confidence, a strong self image and a thirst for learning.  Beacon Center is conveniently located to public transportation, restaurants, museums, parks and the University of Pennsylvania.  Temporary parking is available for drop-off/pick-up.  The Beacon Center offers flexible schedules and enrollment throughout the year as space permits. 
Age:  2-5 years old
Tuition:  $372 - $1399 per month
Wait List Time:  4-6 months


125 N 8th St # 2
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 931-0190
To provide high quality early childhood education to young children and educational enrichment to schoolage children in a safe, nurturing setting while their parents work, 

To partner with families of diverse backgrounds to prepare their children for productive futures while supporting and strengthening families in this pursuit, and 

To strive to make high quality child care accessible to families at all economic levels.

Tuition:  Depends on income; if you can qualify, for the
Best Start/Pre K Counts, program is free!
Wait List: 

Greene Towne (Montessori) School
2121 Arch Street, Philadelphia
Tel: (215) 563-6368
Greene Towne School, located in Center City, Philadelphia, is dedicated to providing a stimulating learning environment for children ages 18 months to 6 years, consistent with the values and principles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. Greene Towne's curriculum is designed to develop each child's full human potential -- emotionally, physically, intellectually, and socially -- and to foster a life-long love of learning. Greene Towne's programs aim to meet the diverse needs of the children and families we serve.
Toddler Class (18 months - 3 years)
Primary Class (3 years - Kindergarten)
Tuition:  $655 - $13,290 annually)
Waiting List:  12-18 months

KinderCare Learning Center
1700 Market Street, Lower Level, Philadelphia
Tel: (215) 789-9476
The KinderCare Difference is our commitment to your child's future. With our experienced staff and innovative programs unlike any other, we provide your child with an unsurpassed learning experience. Your child will discover that learning is fun, while making new friends and building strong relationships with teachers who partner with you in your child's education.
Age: 6 weeks 6 years
Tuition: Call for specific pricing; for two days, $160 per week
Waiting List:  1 month

East Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
Tel:  (215) 765-4325

For more than 100 years, Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse has provided an extraordinary play space for over 10 million visitors.  Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse provides safe, creative and fun recreational facilities free of charge to children in the Philadelphia area.  For over 40 years, Smith has been home to a unique co-operative pre-school program. The pre-School meets Tuesdays and Thursdays and is open to children ages 3-4. 
Age:  3-4 years old
Tuition:  $300 per year
Waiting List:  12-18 months

3916 Locust Walk, Philadelphia
Tel:  (215) 386-0321
The Saint Mary's Nursery School offers children an early educational experience embracing family, continuity and development as a basis for learning. Children are nurtured and educated in a community classroom that includes children from 18 months to five year of age, skilled teachers, parents and other involved family members. The educational curriculum is carefully planned to be developmentally appropriate, based in play, creativity and the arts with an emphasis on the social-emotional health and development of each child. We are committed to the family environment and the stability and community that generations of children enjoyed before they were placed into age groups and graduated classrooms. Our children also enjoy a single and stable classroom that does not change from year to year . It is our experience that all of these elements create a homelike environment that allow children to relax and open up to all aspects of learning.
Age:  18 months to 5 years
Tuition:  $417 - $1144 per month
Wait List Time:  1 month

St Francis Xavier School
24th and Wallace St, Philadelphia 19130
St Francis Xavier is a Catholic school which offers pre-K to 8th Grade.  You do not have to be Catholic to go to the school (about 55% of students are Catholic).  The school operates through the academic year (September to June).  Pre-K is 1/2 day or full day.  K is full day and there is an after school care service in the school.  Enrollment at St. Francis School is limited as there is only one class per grade and there may be a waiting list.
Age: 3-4
$2850/half day, 5 days a week, $3500/full day, 5 days a week
Members of St. Francis Xavier Parish:
$3050/one child, $4700/two children, $5350/three children
Non Parish-Members:
$3750/one child, $7200/two children, $10,700/three children 
All fees are paid in 10 month installments.
Wait List Time:  Minimal

300 South 18th Street, Philadelphia
Tel:  (215) 735-5148
The Abigail R. Cohen Preschool and the Laurie Wagman Playschool offer a play-based developmental program designed to meet the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs of each child. Children explore, discover, and learn through their play; therefore, we offer an enriched environment for this exploration. The environment includes experiences and materials that are stimulating, challenging, and satisfying.
Age: 18 months - 5 years

Playschool (18 months -36 months)
T/TH: member: $2900, non-member: $3250
M,W,F: member: $3975, non-member: $4500
Preschool (3 - PreK)
M, W, F: member: $5850, non-member: $6575
M-F: member: $8200, non-member: $9150
Wait List Time:  12-18 months

2212 Spruce Street, Philadelphia
Tel: (215) 732-2519
Trinity Playgroup is a State licensed, private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, play-based preschool that serves all children equally. We offer a continuous educational experience that is based in play to meet the social, academic, and emotional needs of children of each developmental level from 18 months until they are prepared to enter Kindergarten. We believe that as children play, they develop social and interpersonal skills, fine and gross motor abilities, self- help skills, language, and cognitive abilities. We strive to provide each child with a secure and enriching group experience while building curiosity, self-confidence, trust, and self-expression. A close relationship is maintained and encouraged with each family so that parents can share in their child's early education and development.  Located in a beautiful church, this playschool is very popular with the Wharton kids. It consists of 3 cheerful well-equipped classrooms and the program is flexible and the fee is fair. The staff is very caring and warm.
Age: 18 months - 5 years
Toddler Class:  18 months - 2.5 years
Intermediate: 3-4 years old
Pre-K Class: 4 - 5 years old
Tuition: $1952 - $6436 per semester depending on how many days and how many hours per day the child attends
Wait List Time: Take applications 14 months in advance (July for the following fall); usually the wait time is 12-18 months otherwise

University of Pennsylvania Children's Center
Left Bank Commons, Suite 100 (3160 Chestnut Street), Philadelphia
Tel: (215) 898-5268
This school has a preschool program for children 3-Kindergarden and an infant/toddler program beginning at 12 weeks.  Open 7:00am to 7:00pm.  There is an indoor gym room, art room, computer room and a fully equipped outdoor play area.  There is a special rate for employees/students of UPENN.  NAEYC certified. 
Age:  3 months to 5 years
Tuition:  $129-$323 per week
Wait List Time:  9 - 12 months

The following schools/day care programs are those which we know about, but do not have Whiz Kids currently attending:

401 N. 21st Street, Philadelphia
Tel: 215-563-6447

4205 Spruce Street, Philadelphia
Tel: (215) 898-4180

1901 JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia
Tel: (610) 272-4902

1925 Lombard Street, Philadelphia
Tel: (215) 735-3558

Director: Antonette Berger    
1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia
Tel: (215) 241-7011

The Caring Center    
Director: Sherilynn Kimble                                                                   
3101 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Infant Friendship Center
Program Director: Rebecca Turner                 
S. 45th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Families First Center                                           
Director:  Kim Umphrey                                                                 
3939 Warren St.
Philadelphia PA 19104

Preschools Outside Philadelphia


Narberth Presbyterian Christian Nursery School

Windsor and Grayling Avenue, Narberth PA
Tel: (610) 664-4880

Private Schools (Kindergarten and Up)

If your child is five years old or older, Philadelphia has great private schools.  The following is a small list to get you started:

Friends Select School
1651 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 561-5900

Germantown Friends School
31 West Coulter Street
Philadelphia, PA 19144

The Philadelphia School
2501 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 545-5323

St. Peter's School
319 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

The Waldorf School of Philadelphia
7500 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19119
(215) 248-1662

Public Schools (Kindergarten and Up)

The public school in Center City is called Greenfield Elementary.  It is one of the best public schools in Philadelphia.  They have Kindergarten through 8th grade.  Boundaries to attend Greenfield are Ben Franklin Parkway to the north, the Schuylkill River to the west, Bainbridge Street to the south, and Broad street to the east. 

Greenfield Elementary
22nd and Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215)299-4666 

The following is a website for more information about local public schools: <>.

School districts in the Main Line area which are consistently ranked in the top 10 in Pennsylvania:

Lower Marion
Haverford Township
Radnor Township

There are several sites which let you search schools and their ratings.    The following are a few of them to help you start your search!

As children respond differently to situations, it's best to check out schools on your own.  Remember schools and daycares accredited by the National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC) meet stricter guidelines than most.  NAEYC (  can provide you with a list of accredited schools in the area: write 1313 L Street NW, Suite 500, Washington DC, 20005; or call (202) 232-8777.