Welcome to University Houses Preschool 

Spaces open!

Read our academic year flyers for rates and schedules, then enroll:

24-25 Academic Year

Questions? See our FAQ page!

We're a Play-Based, Part-Day Preschool and 4K 

Our preschool specializes in  play- and nature-based learning driven by a social, emotional and kindness curriculum. We offer a part-day academic program for ages 2-6 on Madison’s west side, near University Research Park, Exact Sciences, TruStage and Oakwood Village. 


Children are wired to learn through play, and our teachers are experts at helping them do just that. Research shows that through play, children develop complex problem-solving skills alongside math and language. Play is also crucial in learning to navigate complicated social and emotional situations.


Our teachers consider all areas of a child’s development – social, intellectual, emotional and physical – when designing the curriculum. By choosing activities that are meaningful to young children, our teachers encourage self-discovery, hands-on manipulation of materials, early literacy skills and more. They also cultivate a dynamic yet gentle community that fosters friendships and curiosity.

We Love Our Small Class Sizes and Indoor-Outdoor Classroom 

Each UHP class is a mixed-age group with no more than 14 students, plus two certified teachers and a parent helper. We want it to feel encouraging and family-like so the kids build a strong self-concept and receive a positive introduction to lifelong learning.

Our teachers set up 4-5 interest areas in the indoor classroom for the kids to engage in art, sensory play, scientific investigation and imaginative play each week. The children choose how they use these spaces and the tools they contain, and the teachers provide continual engagement. 

The outdoor classroom is a place where the kids are encouraged to build, dig, climb, splash, ride tricycles and get muddy. We’ve grown pumpkins, raised monarch butterflies and engaged in hours of pretend play in this special space, which our students visit nearly every day, as long as the weather is safe. 

We’re a Nonprofit Parent Cooperative That Values Community  

We are a parent co-op with a long history of cultural exchange. Families who become co-op members receive discounted tuition in exchange for volunteering. This can include helping teachers in the classroom or serving on the parent board of directors.

Our board supports UHP’s director and teaching staff, shapes school policy and planning, and more. It helps give all UHP parents a voice, especially in decision-making about curriculum, health and safety policies, and new procedures.

UHP families also care about each other and our larger community. We organize events to get to know one another and community playgroups to help others in the community feel welcome at our school. In the spring and fall, we help host a preschool science booth at the Westside Community Market. Sometimes we invite students’ grandparents to read to the class or have the kids make music with seniors at a retirement community. It’s fun! 

We’re Interested in the Whole World  

Stories, songs and food are some of the ways we explore other cultures and parts of the world at UHP. Parents have been known to fill our snack cupboard with a global selection of crunchy delights, from veggie straws to Japanese rice crackers, and we partner with Scholastic Book Clubs to offer a rotating selection of Celebrating Diversity titles to parents. 

We also ask each student and their family to share some of their special memories, talents or traditions during a celebration called Child of the Week. During one of our daily class traditions, circle time, we often sing songs that incorporate American Sign Language.

We Talk About Differences

At UHP, we try to have healthy, developmentally appropriate discussions about differences. It’s okay to notice when someone is different, and it can be a valuable moment to introduce the concept of empathy. It’s also a chance to ask if the person who’s different is being marginalized and what kinds of support they might need. Having these conversations at an early age helps build culturally competent adults who are compassionate toward others and themselves.

Learning through play since 1968.