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Vote for the Best Preschool in Birmingham

The nominations are in, and now we need you to cast your vote for the best preschool in town.

Picking a preschool for your little one is a tough decision. You ask fellow parents. You make site visits. You read countless reviews online. But when it comes to picking the best place for your kids in Birmingham, where do you go?

Earlier this summer, we asked Birmingham Patch readers to nominate their favorite preschools in Birmingham, and it's official: the nominations are in.

Cast your vote by Aug. 17 and help us decide who's best. Whichever business gets the most votes will be named the 2012 Readers' Choice winner. The winners will be announced Aug. 24.

To vote, you must log in to Patch and you may vote once in each category, so make sure to tell your friends. Also, if you're having trouble seeing the polls, know you have to be logged into the desktop version to view them.

Want to see who else is up for a Readers' Choice award? Check out all the polls at .

Sara L July 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Hmmmm.... 2 choices for best preschool??? That's the best you could come up with? I think Birmingham has many other options. My vote is Midvale!
Christine Gannon July 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I must have missed the nominations earlier this summer as well. My vote is St. James Preschool!
Laura Houser (Editor) July 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Hi Sara and Christine! We had a month-long nomination period earlier this summer and these two preschools were the only two that received nominations, hence they made the poll. However, write-in votes via comments will count!
holly hung July 30, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I vote for Happy Dino. This new state licensed facility offers all year long Preschool program for children age 30 months to 5 years, and enrichment programs for student ages 5-10 years. Prior to Happy Dino, the company opened and still operates a national franchised tutoring center – Huntington Learning Center in Rochester Hills. With seven years of tutoring experience, the company recognizes the need to build the love for learning at an early age. Happy Dino adopts High Scope evaluation in the preschool program with the focus in school readiness. Happy Dino Preschool, which is divided into separate Toddler and Pre-kindergarten classrooms, has a morning session from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and an afternoon session from 12:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m. Before and after care are available per parent request. Every day at Happy Dino, students learn to love, trust, share, use good manners and observe all the great things in life to build who they are. Happy Dino’s theater program will build students public speaking and presentation skills and allow their creativity to flourish through story making and character acting. Happy Dino is located at 375 Hamilton Row in downtown Birmingham. Hours are 8 a.m.- 7p.m. Monday through Friday, with weekends available for private parties. For more information, call Happy Dino at (248) 203-2288 Facebook: Happy Dino Play Care or visit www.happydinoplaycare.com.
Catherine Grace July 30, 2012 at 03:59 PM
@Holly Hung--Holly, it looks to me like you have a great facility. Contact me to discuss advertising options available within Patch! catherine.grace@patch.com
Erin Hartley July 30, 2012 at 05:47 PM
St. James Preschool is the best! Great staff, wonderful curriculum and awesome families!
Courteney Gettel July 30, 2012 at 06:00 PM
My vote is for the Early Childhood Center at Midvale (nicknamed Midvale). The reason I say this is that when it was time for my son to enter kindergarten, I took him over to Brookside to see if Midvale had actually done its job. I have to say of all the kids there, he was the most mature, most well-rounded, educated child there. Even the teachers interviewing him were surprised that he attended Midvale. They thought he had gone to Brookside's program. Needless to say, the day my daughter was born, she was put on the waiting list for Midvale.
Anastasia July 31, 2012 at 03:49 PM
St. James Preschool - great staff, great families, great program. Very focused on how to deliver quality education and childcare needs to children.
Tina T July 31, 2012 at 05:39 PM
We vote St James preschool. My oldest started there when he was 2 and 3 kids later we are still loyal students. The class sizes are low, teachers outstanding and education top notch. Drop off and pick up is curbside (you don't even need to get out of the car) yet there are plenty of family functions to get to know eachother.
Melissa Wojciechowski July 31, 2012 at 08:08 PM
My vote is for St. James Preschool! My oldest is going into 1st grade, and had a remarkable year in kindergarten, thanks to his St. James education. My youngest will attend their kindergarten readiness program this fall, and is already above average for her age. They have a caring staff, stimulating program, and they always have the best interest of the children at heart.
Laura Hutchison August 01, 2012 at 12:16 AM
St. James Preschool! it is a truly amazing school ... caring staff, flexible program, and filled with play based learning! My son (entering 1st grade this year) attended St. James for the tot program and 2 years of preschool ... he was very well prepared for kindergarten both socially and academically. My daughter has attended the tot program for the past 2 years and LOVES it. She can't wait to start preschool there this fall!
kreedo August 01, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Hello, Thank you for the information. You may take a look at http://www.kreedology.com for Preschool setup, Preschool material, Preschool solution, Preschool curriculum, Preschool franchise. It is such a nice website for playschool setup
Nicole Mahoney August 02, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Only 2 choices for best preschool? Impossible! I vote for FUMC Birmingham! 3yr, 4yr, and young 5's. 3 kids, 3 years each, very happy!!!! Check it out!
julie wells August 02, 2012 at 03:28 PM
FUMC all the way.. First United Methodist Preschool.. offers, extended days for 3, 4 and 5 year olds. Spanish, Stretch and Grow, Computers, Phonics , science and math (age appropriate) Play Based, loving environment! Best place!
Jill Wilkinson August 02, 2012 at 04:30 PM
My little neighbors love FUMC Preschool!!! They love their teachers and can't wait to get there each morning.
Lisa Wells August 02, 2012 at 09:05 PM
The best BY FAR is First United Methodist Preschool (FUMC)!!! The best teachers!!!!! My 3 kids went there and loved it! So much love and attention. Lots of programs and all are age appropriate!
Tracy Tripp August 02, 2012 at 09:06 PM
FUMC in Birmingham all the way!!!! Three children went through three years each. The teachers are fabulous!!!!!
Miho Mierzwa August 03, 2012 at 01:16 AM
St. James Preschool is great! My daughter just graduated from this school. I moved here with my husband and daughter from another state three years ago and made lots of friends here. Very welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Teachers are very loving, caring and provide a high level of education. I highly recommend this school!! http://www.stjamespreschl.com/
Kristie Grochowski August 03, 2012 at 02:44 PM
St. James Preschool! The staff bends over backwards for the families! Very loving and accommodating to today's busy schedules.
Pamela Harris August 06, 2012 at 11:35 PM
First United Methodist Church Preschool is the best in Birmingham! They have nurturing and loving teachers and a warm and welcoming environment to teach and care for each of the children. It's a wonderful place for "the little ones"! I give it my vote, Pamela Harris
Kathleen Olson August 14, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Our family enjoys Gateway Montessori in downtown Birmingham. Gateway has helped encourage self-esteem, creativity, and a general enthusiasm for learning in our children. We believe in Dr. Montessori’s theory of educating children. Both my husband and I attended Montessori schools as kids and we are delighting to share this enriching learning experience with our children.
Angela Povilaitis George August 14, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Gateway Montessori is a wonderful preschool with caring, committed & knowledgeable teachers & staff. Our sons have thrived there, developing a sense of independence, curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. We highly recommend the school to any parent.
Jacqueline Kennedy August 14, 2012 at 01:44 PM
My daughter's child attends Gateway Montessori. Her child is bright, engaged, confident and curious, which makes this child-directed program ideal for him. I've enjoyed seeing him thrive in its environment and am really impressed with how friendly and interested the staff is, not to mention the children! Fun fact: Google's founder, Larry Page, is a Montessori graduate, and there's a Google office located right next to this school. Congratulations to all the fine schools mentioned here!
hjuneau August 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Hand In Hand Early Learning Center at the First Presbyterian Church has been a wonderful school for my children. FBC has a very loving, friendly environment with a caring and knowledgeable group of teachers. The director of the program is also so kind and amazing with the children. My sons have enjoyed attending preschool at FBC and we are looking forward to another great school year.
Katie Bologna August 15, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Hand in Hand Early Learning Center more than earns this nomination. The teachers, the facilities, and the curriculum are unsurpassed. My son can't wait to go to school and comes home full of knowledge and excitement.
Angela Grondz August 16, 2012 at 03:09 AM
First Presbyterian Hand-In-Hand Early Learning Center gets my vote. My daughter LOVED going there and can't wait for this school year to start. The school was recommended to us by our pediatrician (office of 5 women) The staff is amazing. Director, Heidi Wilkinson, is the best!
Kim McGlynn August 16, 2012 at 02:02 PM
All 3 of my children attended First Presbyterian church preschool 1st child stariting in 1999 and my last child just finished last year. Excellent programs and LOVE the Enrichment Class! This REALLY helped all 3 kids be Kindergarten ready. What's also great is their Mother's morning out program that allows parents of babies & toddlers to have a morning out - but the kids love it so much & are comfortable in FPC's environment it's just a no brainer to keep them in this loving & educational/structured environment for Preschool!
Linda Ajluni August 20, 2012 at 03:35 PM
First Presbyterian Hand-In-Hand Early Learning center gets my vote. FPC has such a loving and nurturing environment. The teachers are wonderful, and the director is always on top of everything. We have seen such a committed hard working staff since my son has been there. We would recommend this school to everyone. Couldn't say enough great things about it!!!!

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