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Rochester MN Guide to Early Education

This guide is sponsored by the businesses listed below.

early education

Preschool, Nursery School, Childcare Center, In-Home Daycare? What’s best for your family?

We’re pleased to offer the Rochester MN Guide to Early Education to help you in making your decision.  Picking a preschool, nursery school or childcare center that fits your child’s and your family’s needs can be an overwhelming task.  As parents, we are clearly aware of the importance of our decision.  The businesses below are eager to chat with you about how their program just might be the best fit for your child.  This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the options for early childhood care in Rochester MN.

So what is the difference between the four options? It is important to note that all options are focused on the educational and social development of your children, just in subtly different ways.

  • Preschool will most often provide care for shorter hours and are closed for holidays, breaks, and summer, though some may offer full-time programs, extended care, and summer options. Additionally, preschools tend to be for children age 3 – 5.
  • Childcare Centers may be a more convenient choice for working parents because they usually provide full-time care, even during school breaks. And they generally accept a wider age range: infants through pre-kindergarteners and even school-aged children.
  • Nursery School can offer both shorter hours and extended care options for children 2 -5 years old (in some cases younger!)  Nursery schools also tend to place emphasis and focus on experiential and social learning.
  • In-Home Daycare are private homes licensed by the state of Minnesota to care for a certain amount of children.  Often in smaller setting, this option provides care in a smaller setting.

Additionally, we’ve listed out helpful resources to you as you begin your search. Please be sure to visit the drop down menus below our featured listing for information on in-home daycare, sitters, county resources and more!

YMCA - Early Childhood Learning Center

Rochester YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center offers full-day care and education for infants, toddlers, preschool, and pre-kindergarten with full and part-week options for toddlers and preschool. On-site amenities include bright, colorful classrooms, interactive whiteboards, a library, an outdoor garden, separate playgrounds for toddlers and preschoolers, and more. To learn more, get pricing information or to request a tour please visit our website

Rochester Public Schools - Preschool

early education

Preschool is all about wonderful new learning experiences that build skills for a lifetime. It is about turning everyday experiences and interactions into powerful opportunities for learning. At Rochester Public Schools Preschool we understand that each child has unique educational needs and we emphasize learning through age-appropriate practice in a play-based environment. We use purposeful play because we know that our young students learn best in a playful, hands-on setting. We also believe that effective learning takes place when we build and sustain strong partnerships and relationships with our students and their families. To best meet the varied needs of the children and families we serve, we offer a variety of locations, times, and programming options.

Casa de Corazón

early education

Casa de Corazón provides quality Spanish immersion child care that families turn to for their children’s first educational experiences. We provide safe, encouraging, and educational child care services that parents trust to engage their children while they are at work. Through Spanish immersion curriculum, sustainable practices, and an emphasis on social responsibility, we prepare children for their future endeavors both inside and outside scholastic settings.

New Horizon Academy

early education

New Horizon Academy provides exceptional early childhood education and care for children ages 6 weeks through 4th grade. Through research-based curriculum and high-quality teachers, New Horizon Academy supports the development of social and emotional skills while encouraging a healthy sense of self in every child. Visit our website to learn more about our early learning programs, fully equipped classrooms, commitment to safety, and more. Schedule a tour at one of our two convenient Rochester locations today!

Rochester, MN – Cascade Creek
625 4th St NW
Rochester, MN

Rochester, MN
3785 40th Ave NW
Rochester, MN

RASA - Rochester Arts & Sciences Academy

rochester mn guide to early education and preschool

Rochester Arts and Sciences Academy is an International Baccalaureate school focused on individualized rigorous academics and a diverse supportive community. We offer preschool – middle school programs that strive to develop students who will build a better world through intercultural understanding and respect — encouraging their critical thinking skills, while nurturing their curiosity and their ability to solve complex problems.

RASA is focused on our culturally diverse International Baccalaureate (IB) Education, which strives to develop students who will build a better world through intercultural understanding and respect — encouraging their critical thinking skills, while nurturing their curiosity and their ability to solve complex problems. RASA seeks to provide a healthy and stable community focused on exceptional academics for the preschool through middle school years.

RASA offers: small class sizes, licensed teachers, enhanced and tailored academics, extended school day and school year, globally minded curriculum, after-school care and clubs, secular education, and daily French and Spanish instruction for all students.

Kingdom Kids

early education

IT begins here. We seek to enrich our community by providing a quality education that Initiates a lifelong love for Jesus Christ and Teaches the foundational skills essential for academic success. Located in Rochester, Kingdom Kids Christian Preschool is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), and has a 4/4 star Parent Aware rating. We partner with your family to educate, nurture, and encourage the development of the whole child, because every child is made in God’s image and has incredible intrinsic value. We build a strong foundation in God’s word from which your child will benefit for life as we prepare your student for Kindergarten through our academic, developmentally-appropriate curriculum.

EPIC Endeavors Preschool Academy

early education

EPIC Endeavors Preschool Academy is a STEM learning environment located downtown Rochester geared for our youngest scholars beginning at age 2 3/4 year to age 5. EPIC preschool is where art, music, and a lot of movement and sports are woven into all our “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math” learning. Our niche in town is building early readers! At EPIC children become researchers as they learn to read and write daily and get a whole lot of indoor and outdoor purposeful play! Our goal is for EPIC kids to become readers, writers, and thinkers about our world. We invite you to come visit and see our little learning lab for kids. Text for a tour today 507-319-5709 to see our preschool options. 

Aldrich School

early education

Aldrich School is a local, non-profit, nationally accredited nursery school that holds a special place in the hearts of countless children and families. The Aldrich program provides a play-based learning environment with developmentally appropriate experiences in all areas of growth including cognitive, physical, social/emotional, and language development.

Aldrich has a rich history and quality reputation in the Rochester community. Pediatricians and child psychiatrists, including Dr. Benjamin Spock, were involved in a Mayo Clinic study of child development in the 1940s which eventually led to the inception of Aldrich.

Having served the children of Rochester for almost 80 years, Aldrich has touched tens of thousands of lives in Minnesota and beyond. Even two of our faculty members are Aldrich alumni! We love seeing former Aldrich students succeed and really love when they bring their own children back to enroll.

The Nest - Rochester Catholic Schools

early education

The NEST at RCS Enrolling Ages 2-5 for this Fall, Voted Best Preschool in Rochester Three Years in a Row!

Seeking a top-rated Preschool or Early Childhood Education program for your 2-5-year-old this Fall?

The NEST at Rochester Catholic Schools, voted Best Preschool in Rochester, is currently enrolling in their Early Preschool, Preschool, and Pre-Kindergarten programs for the upcoming school year, and adding names to their waitpool for 2024.‌

At The Nest, students engage in creative play in a faith-based environment, grow through age-appropriate educational opportunities, and develop social/emotional skills, across their three convenient locations.

Additional highlights include: Flexible scheduling options including half-day, school-day, full-day, and summer care programming; high-quality ECE staff; high retention rate for teachers and students at RCS; Four Star Parent Aware Rating and MNSAA-Accredited.

Rainbow School

early education

Rainbow School is a small Christian Preschool located near downtown Rochester. We believe that preschool is an opportunity for children to have a positive first school experience in a safe and fun learning environment.

The goal of Rainbow School’s curriculum is to meet the developmental needs of each child’s spiritual, social, physical, emotional and academic growth through a well rounded, developmentally appropriate program.

Other Area Child Care Centers, Nursery Schools, Preschools, & Resources

Licensed In-Home Day Care

Rochester is fortunate to have many wonderful, loving in-home day care providers to meet your family’s needs. This sort of care is in very high demand in Rochester, so if you’d like to take this route for your child’s care, we suggest you start your search early. There are a few resources that can help you:

Families First of Minnesota

Olmsted County Child Care Association

Minnesota Licensing Information Look-Up

Parent Aware



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Other Resources

Au Pairs


Cultural Care Au Pair

School Readiness

Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Provides one book per month for children ages birth through five in Olmsted County.

Early Childhood Screening

Early Childhood Screening is a free, comprehensive developmental screening for any child 3 years to 5 years living in the Rochester School District.


Rochester Poppins


Special Needs

Olmsted County Child Personal Care Attendants (PCA)

The PCA program provides assistance to families with disabled children and children with special healthcare needs requiring assistance and currently enrolled in Medical Assistance.  The program provides help and assistance with activities of daily living.

Olmsted County Child and Youth Services

Support to help ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth in Olmsted County.

Rochester Public Schools Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

ECSE is early intervention services for children with developmental delays in a variety of areas such as cognition, motor, social, or speech development. ECSE provides children who are diagnosed under the ECSE criteria with appropriate educational programs that are designed to meet their particular needs, enabling them to more fully participate in their home, school, and community.


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