Setting the Path for a Successful Future in Our Diversified World

“The Red Balloon, Setting the Path for Your Child to Succeed”

“Great News”

we are expanding the number of 3-year-old spots we have open for
September in our 3/4 class. 4’s also being accepted.

Welcome to The Red Balloon

Where Your Child Will Grow, Play and Learn to Prepare for The Future

The Hidden Pre-School Treasure on The Upper West Side, Best, and Safest for your Child

Welcome to the Red Balloon preschool. Founded in 1972, the Red Balloon is a private, 12-month, full-day program for a diverse population of children 2-5 years old. Our doors open at 8:00 AM and close at 6:00 PM. We are located in West Harlem in a Columbia University residential building. Each day the children get breakfast, a hot fresh lunch, and afternoon snack.

Imagine it is your child’s birthday. In front of them are these beautifully wrapped boxes with gifts inside them. With absolute glee, they rip off the paper and open the box. Inside is the gift they asked for. They pull it out, smile and play. After a few minutes, the box becomes much more interesting. Why because of its’ limitless possibilities. The box is a spaceship, a castle, a robot, wherever their imagination takes them. The Red Balloon is “THE BOX”.

Our families travel from across New York City knowing they have found the perfect place for their children.

We are available at your convenience for a tour, just give us a call.

A Play Based Nurturing Environment Where Children Learn by Doing

Developing into responsible, empathetic and socially respecting individuals.

Yellow Room

Some of the things children learn in the Yellow Room

> Develop a strong sense of self
> Develop the ability to express emotions to others
> Begin to develop small motor control of manipulatives and drawing tools
> Problem-solving in experiences encountered during play
Use language with peers in actions and play
> Express needs with words

2.0 to 2.6 Year Olds

Blue Room

Some of the things children learn in the Blue Room

> Increase the ability to handle frustration and disappointment
> Play cooperatively with more than one other person in a small group
> Acquire fine motor skills for using tools such as pencil, crayon, brush, scissors
> Understand that stories have a structure: beginning, middle, and end
> Encourage storytelling, interest in literature
> Empathy
> Encourage Exploration of all areas
> Independence
> Challenge physical skills

2.9 to 3.6 Year Olds

Orange Room

Some of the things children learn in the Orange Room

> Exhibit empathy
> Increase impulse control in areas of classroom voice level, taking turns, asking permission
> Increasingly accept responsibility for their own actions
> Practice problem-solving techniques
> Expand Critical thinking
> Encourage flexibility, persistence
> An early introduction to computer coding
> Write one’s first name

3 to 5 Year Olds

Our Outside large Play Deck

We have a large on site play deck with challenging equipment, as well as a planter garden.
We are also walking distance from parks.

Scholarships Awarded Since 1972
Yearly Scholarships Awarded
Meals Served
School Days

We have a Large PreSchool Play Gym

Snow, rain, bitter cold, or extreme heat our children get to exercise their bodies in
our newly remodeled gym – including a climbing wall.

Healthy Meals, Healthy Children


Breakfast and Lunch

The Red Balloon serves breakfast, a fresh hot lunch, and healthy snack to all of our children. We use a certified catering company that fits the meals for our needs. Each month the director creates a healthy menu that is as diverse as it is delicious. One day maybe tacos, the next chicken fingers, a little lo-mein, freshly roasted chicken, spaghetti, meatloaf, with sides of broccoli, string beans, mixed vegetables, spinach, maybe some potatoes, a variety of kinds of rice, or corn Fresh fruit will also be served every day. Each day brings a delicious surprise, and no one goes home hungry. It is all prepared in a nut-free environment, and allergies and food restrictions will be carefully followed. I am hungry thinking about it.


Designed for Social And Diversity Growth

Studies have shown that all children educated in a diverse program have higher levels of achievement in their educational career.

Entering Private Schools

The Path to Better Schools

Our Graduates

The majority of students that apply get into private schools of choice with most getting significant scholarships.

They get into schools like: Hunter, Dalton Trevor, Dwight, Columbia Grammar & Prep, Cathedral, Calhoun, Allen Stevenson, Ethical Culture, Fieldston, Saint Hilda and Saint Hughes, and Alexander Robertson.

Our School, Our Kids

Browse Through our Photo Gallery to View our Class Rooms and Facility

In and out Door Events

We have a variety of events and activities through the year for the children and parents.

We Depend on Donations and Appreciate them

A Diversified and Colorful Learning Environment

Our diverse classroom environment is designed to teach and encourage acceptance of all people, regardless of race, culture, or religion.

Preparing children for a successful future in our ever-expanding diverse world.

Key Benefits in Our Program
Open 12 Months a Year
We are open 12 months a year and do not close for a mid-winter or spring vacation. We support your need.Along with a five-day program we also have a very limited two-day and a three-day program, all are full-day.

Large Indoor Gym
Our large newly renovated gym is spacious enough for children to run, play and climb our new climbing wall. Allowing them to exercise their body and mind.
Upper Play Deck Renovation
Currently in planning, the upper playground deck to be totally renovated with a new and child-friendly play area and safety features. For approximately the summer of 2019, the wading pool will be gone replaced by a fabulous sprinkler system.
A Diversified Environment
Middle-and upper-class students benefit from diverse classrooms, they can learn better how to navigate adulthood in an increasingly diverse society—a skill that employers value—if they attend diverse schools.
You Childs Security and Safty
Your child is secured and save in our school. We have video security cameras covering all classrooms and nonclassroom areas. We have also recently installed an emergency panic button in the administrator’s office and all doors are secure as well. Your child and staff are always secured. The administrator is vigilant at all times of all areas of the school because the video monitors are next to her desk.
Shopping for Dinner
When your day is done you can pick up groceries or get a hot dinner at Fairway Market or maybe at Dinosaur BBQ. And, just a few minutes east of the school is the 125th street general shopping district.
Children's Meals
The children are served hot, fresh healthy meals daily.  A balanced healthy “nut free” diet that delights our children.

Great Location and Transportation
Nearby is the #1 Broadway subway station, and the Broadway #104 and #4 bus stops, just one block away, also conveniently nearby is the West Side Highway.

What Former and Current Parents say About The Red Balloon

“We have been a part of the Red Balloon community for two years and have loved it! Our son has thrived with the support and care of so many loving teachers and is so fortunate to also have many close friends in his class. We feel so lucky that this has been his first school experience.”
We feel very blessed to be a Red Balloon scholarship family. The preschool is a treasure in Upper Manhattan and our 3 sons have been nurtured with exceeding love and care. The entire staff is very supportive and always provides routine updates on growth, progress, and development. The team is warm, loving, and patient, providing the kids with a ...
Ros Pereira April, 24 2018
It was a wonderful combination of nurturing, challenging and learning Our daughter, who’s now 13, had an amazing start at the Red Balloon. It was a wonderful combination of nurturing and challenging. I’ll never forget how she, at age 2, was expected to bus her own dishes after breakfast – and she did it! She was given responsibilities and ...
Janet Thaler May 13, 2014
The Red Balloon is more than a school, it’s a family, a second home My Son attended Red Balloon for two meaningful years. Red Balloon’s approach to social emotional development was just what he needed as he began to navigate the world around him. We appreciate the way he was encouraged to be curious, care for others and learn ...
Darleny Cepin, MA May 13, 2014 Columbia University
The Red Balloon was a wonderful place to start Hi Norma, Seems so long ago! Declan attended Anderson from Sept 2002 to June 2011, and now Beacon High School from Sept 2011 to present, expected graduation is June 2015. We’re looking at colleges now and can let you know where he ends up this time next year! The Red ...
Janet Moy May 19, 2014
The Red Balloon is more than a school, it’s a family, a second home Very rarely do you find such a caring environment that not only provides the children with and exceptional learning experience but also a staff with a support system that genuinely cares for each and every single child on a personal level. Our son Chance, now ...
Monica Romero 05/20/2014

Only 15 Minutes Away | How far are you willing to go for your Child's Education?