Best Preschools in Ottawa

The 5 Best Preschools in Ottawa

A child’s brain is like a sponge, it can absorb a huge chunk of information and store it for a long time. This is especially true during the early age of 3 – 5 years old. 

That’s why it’s important for children to be enrolled in preschool. Preschool gives them the jumpstart they need before going to actual school. 

In this article, we will discuss the best preschools available in the Ottawa area. 

How much do preschools cost in Ottawa?

Preschools in Ottawa generally charge between $500 to $1500 a month. We’ve compiled basic information you’d need regarding the best preschools in Ottawa into a table so you can peruse for yourself. 

NAME OF SCHOOLGRADE LEVELS COVEREDEXCLUSIVITYESTIMATED YEARLY TUITION FEE
DermisPreschool - High SchoolCO-ED$12,500 to 18,500/year
Lycée ClaudelPreschool - Grade 12CO-ED$11,008 to 15,121/year
Bishop Hamilton Montessori SchoolNursery/Toddler - Grade 8CO-ED$12,705 to 20,620/year
OMS MontessoriPreschool – Grade 12CO-ED$13,275 to 27,201/year
Elmwood SchoolPreschool - Grade 12All-Girls$15,540 to 29,700/year

The Best Preschools in Ottawa

We want what’s best for our children. We have to make sure that the school offers everything our children need during their preschool age. 

We chose the best schools in Ottawa based on the following criteria:

Curriculum – Is their curriculum enough for a child aged 3 – 5? Are they tackling the fundamentals? This is something we made sure to check. 
Reasonable rate – When it comes to finding the best options for a preschool, a reasonable price is equally important. 
Location & Facilities –  Where is this school located? Can it be easily reached? Its location and facilities are important to determining if it’s a good school for your child. 
Portfolio – We also looked at the portfolios of their instructors to make sure the teachers in these preschools know what they’re doing. 

1. Académie St-Laurent Academy

Académie St-Laurent Academy's homepage
TestInfo
PROGRAMSMath, Language, Science, Physical Education, Art
GRADE LEVELS COVEREDDaycare, Toddler, Preschool, Elementary, Highschool
WEBSITEhttps://www.st-laurentacademy.com/
ADDRESS641 Sladen Ave, Ottawa, ON K1K 2S8, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS613-842-8047

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSOpen 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Closed on Weekends

CriteriaRatings
Curriculum★★★★★ (5/5)
Rates★★★★☆ (4/5)
Location & Facilities★★★★★ (5/5)
Portfolio★★★★★ (5/5)

Académie St-Laurent Academy provides essential education to numerous age groups, including preschool. Located in Central Ottawa, Académie St-Laurent Academy is one of the most accessible preschools in this list. 

The school was founded in 2005 and ever since, has been a reputable school in the city, gaining praise from parents for their courses and curriculum. 

Lessons are conducted in both French and English at their preschool. Students as young as ten months old are accepted, which is a good thing for parents who want to start their kids early. 

They also offer smaller classes for introverted kids who learn more easily in smaller settings. We especially loved this idea because it shows that Académie St-Laurent Academy is open to all kinds of children. 

Their preschool also offers physical activities that will also nourish and train their muscles. They offer dance classes, swimming classes, skating classes, and more. 

Académie St-Laurent Academy believes that a healthy body is equal to a healthy mind that is why they offer multiple classes that require physical activity. They even offer yoga to children which is definitely a unique experience for their students. 

Overall, Académie St-Laurent Academy is definitely a good choice for a preschool. Their curriculum is extensive and their location are both positives that can’t be ignored.

Pros

  • Bilingual classes
  • Open for all kinds of kids
  • Centrally-located in Ottawa

Cons

  • More accessible if you have your own vehicle
  • Pricey

2.  Lycée Claudel

Lycée Claudel's homepage
TestInfo
PROGRAMSMath, English, French, Art, Physical Education, Science, Spring Break Camps,
GRADE LEVELS COVEREDPreschool - Grade 12
WEBSITEhttps://www.claudel.org/
ADDRESS1635 Place du Lycée Pl., Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 0E5
CONTACT DETAILS613-733-8522

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSOpen 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Closed on Weekends

CriteriaRatings
Curriculum★★★★★ (5/5)
Rates★★★★☆ (4/5)
Location & Facilities★★★★★ (5/5)
Portfolio★★★★★ (5/5)

Lycée Claudel specializes in teaching their students individuality so they can grow up in the employment world with independence and stability. They start this type of teaching method from the ground up with their preschool students. 

Although mostly known for teaching their courses in French, Lycée Claudel also gives lessons in other languages. They also encourage cultural curiosity and acknowledge that people come from different national backgrounds. 

For secondary and intermediate students, they offer courses such as film, audiovisuals, and latin. They also give high importance to technology and robotics which is a unique aspect that isn’t present in most other schools. 

Lycée Claudel’s preschool curriculum may seem difficult but this gives their students a running start for when they level up to the next stage of education. They also encourage art by offering artistic classes as early as preschool. 

If you’re looking for a more care-based education that isn’t an actual preschool, they also offer daycare services for $1,550 a year. This payment covers 5 days each week.

Overall, Lycée Claudel is another good choice for your preschool needs. They offer education until Grade 12 so once done with preschool, you can enroll your child immediately to the next stage and not worry about finding a new school. 

Their emphasis on language is impressive and is also one of the factors we considered when we chose this school. Readers should note that the school’s standards are pretty high, and they have an entrance exam that may be difficult for some kids. 

Pros

  • Multilingual teaching
  • Art and culture emphasis

Cons

  • High standards
  • Pricey

Customer Reviews

Language focus is great

On the academic side, the school is about the best in the town. Kids graduate with the bonus of being fully fluent in both official languages, a few credits can be brought to the university, and exposure to European and Canadian history. The kids are taught how to study and well prepared for university study. After school activity, the school still has a lot of space to improve.” – L. Lu

Great pace

Excellent School, well organized, great teachers. I’ve been to the French system and the Canadian system and definitely the French educational system prepares you better for University…no doubt.

– T. P. 

3. Bishop Hamilton Montessori School

Bishop Hamilton Montessori School's homepage
TestInfo
PROGRAMSMath, Communication, Self Care, Culture, Art, Physical Education
GRADE LEVELS COVEREDNursery/Toddler to Gr. 8
WEBSITEhttps://bhsmontessori.ca/
ADDRESS2199 Regency Terrace, Ottawa, ON K2C 1H2, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS613-596-4013

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSOpen 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Closed on Weekends

CriteriaRatings
Curriculum★★★★☆ (4/5)
Rates★★★★☆ (4/5)
Location & Portfolio★★★★★ (5/5)
Portfolio★★★★★ (5/5)

Being a Christian school, Bishop Hamilton Montessori School is focused mainly on faith-based education. 

The people behind Bishop Hamilton Montessori School believe that religion, specifically, Christianity, is important in a young mind’s growth. Bishop Hamilton Montessori School is definitely a good choice if you want faith as the foundation of your child’s upbringing.

If you’re looking for a school with good accreditation, then the Bishop Hamilton Montessori School should be one of your top choices. The school has been accredited by the CCMA or the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators. 

Even though the Bishop Hamilton Montessori School is more faith-based, that does not mean that they ignore other fundamentals in education. Their teachers are all professionals with notable portfolios that show just how experienced they are at teaching. 

Their campus and facilities are also worth noting, as it is beautiful and architecturally pleasing to the eyes. It’s safe to say that studying in Bishop Hamilton Montessori School should be a pleasant experience for your child. 

Their preschool curriculum covers all the basics including Math, Science, English, and of course, faith-based subjects as well. They also provide play areas to let the kids have fun which is also very important.

Overall, the Bishop Hamilton Montessori School is definitely one of our top choices for their impressive campus and their facilities. Their experience of over 30 years is also a plus worth noting so give them a call if you think their services are perfect for your child.  

Pros

  • Faith-based education
  • Over 30 years experience

Cons

  • Mainly focused on Christianity in faith-based subjects
  • Pricey

Customer Reviews

The kindest teachers

Caring teachers that go above and beyond to help children and care to their specific personalities. The teachers are really an extension of our family and the Montessori program and skills development have really helped our child to build well rounded skills. We have formed close relationships with the schools and parents, and hope Bishop Hamilton continues to connect parents and families throughout the pandemic in a safe way.” – Christina M.

Learned so much

“Amazing experience for myself and four siblings. Now my daughter has just started in the Infant program and has really benefited from the professional staff and programs. I highly recommend this program and school for parents looking for a personable, quality and enjoyable Montessori experience for themselves and children.” – Kate P.M.

4. OMS Montessori

OMS Montessori's homepage
TestInfo
PROGRAMSMath, Language, Art, Science, Physical Education
GRADE LEVELS COVEREDPreschool, Elementary School
WEBSITEhttps://www.omsmontessori.com/
ADDRESS335 Lindsay St, Ottawa, ON K1G 0L6, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS613-521-5185
OPERATING HOURSOpen 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Closed on Weekends

CriteriaRatings
Curriculum★★★★☆ (4/5)
Rates★★★★★ (5/5)
Location & Portfolio★★★★☆ (4/5)
Portfolio★★★★☆ (4/5)

OMS Montessori is another good school located in Ottawa. OMS Montessori is actually one of the older schools in the area, established in 1966 and still going strong until now. 

With the experience they offer, the educators behind OMS Montessori are proud to offer a high-tier level of education. Their educational system is offered in both French and English and they cater to students from 18 months old to the 12th grade. 

OMS Montessori used to offer education until highschool level but has since then separated that for another branch in their educational system, The Element. The people behind OMS Montessori are the same people behind The Element but they opted to separate the grading level to make it more organized. 

Their specialty now is toddlers to elementary. This gives their teachers the ability to focus more on children on the younger side. 

Because they used to tend to highschool kids as well, their campus is much larger than other elementary schools. This is definitely a positive as they are able to cater to many students and give them a spacious area not only to learn but also to play and meet kids their age. 

All in all, OMS Montessori is definitely one of Ottawa’s best preschools. Their accredited and curated curriculum, their traditional yet flexible style, and their campus is testament to that. 

Pros

  • Large Campus
  • Decades of experience

Cons

  • Montessori style may not be for everyone
  • No highschool

Customer Reviews

What a gem

“We discovered this gem of a school in the year before we moved overseas. In the few months our daughter attended OMS, I witnessed my shy little girl become a confident, curious little person with so much spunk! I have no doubt the loving, supportive environment of the Canary classroom helped her come out of her shell. !!!” – Marika Boyko

Good for my daughter

“My daughter has been with the school since she was 21 months old (a little Chickadee) and over the years, I’ve seen her flourish intellectually, socially and emotionally. My daughter loves going to school and views it as her second home. OMS is a lovely community of caring people and we’re very fortunate that we’re part of this community.” – A.J.

5. Elmwood School

Elmwood School's homepage
TestInfo
PROGRAMSMath, French, Story Time, Literacy, Art, Science
GRADE LEVELS COVEREDPreschool - 12th Grade
WEBSITEhttps://www.elmwood.ca/
ADDRESS261 Buena Vista Rd, Rockcliffe Park, ON K1M 0V9, Canada
CONTACT DETAILS613-749-6761

[email protected]

OPERATING HOURSOpen 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Closed on Weekends

CriteriaRatings
Curriculum★★★★★ (5/5)
Rates★★★★★ (5/5)
Location & Portfolio★★★★☆ (4/5)
Portfolio★★★★★ (5/5)

Elmwood is another notable school if you’re looking for the best schools in the Ottawa area. They cater to preschool to 12th grade and have been around since 1915, making it one of the oldest schools in Ottawa.

It was founded by a woman named Theodora Philpot who thought that the educational system back then was lacking and she wanted to change it. This was a huge deal especially with how the world was more closed on women learning back then. 

Elmwood is a private school exclusively for girls. They have numerous locations around Canada and North America but we will be specifically discussing their Ottawa campus. 

The school started with only 4 students but eventually grew to thousands. This is a huge achievement and proves that Elmwood is focused not only in their students’ growth but also their own. 

Elmwood’s preschool focuses on subjects that they think students will love to learn. To do this, they include art, literature, and poetry in their curriculum. 

Of course, Elmwood’s curriculum is still about learning so they still challenge the children they teach. 

For any parent who has daughters and wants them to grow up in a healthy environment with other girls, Elmwood is a good choice for a school. Unfortunately, they don’t accept boys but there are other options for boys around Ottawa. 

Pros

  • Experienced school with an extensive history
  • Founded by a woman who wanted to change traditional education

Cons

  • Exclusive for girls
  • Pricey

Customer Reviews

Perfect for an all-girl environment

“Elmwood, where I attended in middle school, is a fantastic example of how an all-girl environment benefits female students academically. .” – Lang Zou

The best

“Elmwood school is the best school I have ever gone to. It taught me to be self – confident, a risk – taker and open – minded.  You make friends fast, and the teachers are passionate for what they are doing!” – Victoria Puchko

FAQs about Preschools  in Ottawa


Learning can be difficult so having the right school to teach your kids the fundamentals is important. Ottawa has many preschools but we went ahead and listed down the best options for you. 

Do you think we selected the best options in the city? Do you have any suggestions? We’d be glad to hear your thoughts!Need a comprehensive guide about highschools in Ottawa? Drop by and check out our list of best highschools in Ottawa to learn more.