small child playing

Small Wonder & Next Steps Programs

preschool child during play time
"Small Wonder gave all three of my children confidence in beginning preschool ― they separated easily and acclimated to their new environments, playing with new classmates and exploring activities independently. Small Wonder made my kids excited to continue on to ‘big kid’ school, and I feel fortunate they had this positive pre-preschool experience."
-Jill, Mom of Oren, Eliana, and Aviva

-More Testimonials

The Small Wonder Program provides a wonderful opportunity for young children (ages one to two-and-a-half) to participate in a rich classroom environment and establish a positive first school experience with the participation of a parent or caregiver.

Small Wonder Next Steps is a gentle separation program designed for children, 18 months of age and older, who are not yet age-eligible for Dwight's fully separated preschool 2s program but who are ready for something more! Students must turn 2 prior to March 1 of the upcoming academic year in order to enroll.

Toddlers are growing and changing in ways that will impact their learning potential for the rest of their lives. Our Small Wonder & Next Steps Programs are designed to encourage active learning and meaningful engagement with others, which strengthen language development, ignite curiosity, forge the development of problem-solving skills, and build confidence ― all in a nurturing, lively, and creative environment.

Applicants to Dwight Preschool who are currently enrolled Small Wonder or Small Wonder Next Steps students are offered an abbreviated admissions process and an Early Notification Option.

Small Wonder

Sessions run daily from 9-11 am or on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30-4 pm. Families may select one or more sessions per week. Enrollment is offered for the full academic year or individual semesters (September-January or February-June). Click here to register online.

Small Wonder Next Steps

Students attend Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2:30 - 4 pm. Enrollment is for the full academic year (September-June). Click here to register online.

Explore the Curriculum

Academic learning and hands-on exploration are integrated into our Small Wonder Program, which also addresses each child’s social and emotional development. The curriculum focuses on every area of growth, taking into consideration a child’s development of skills, creative expression, language, and social relations. Using a whole child and sensory approach, we encourage children to use every aspect of their senses and bodies to gain knowledge of the world around them.

The familiar classroom environment provides structure and guidance, while allowing children to explore. In each Small Wonder class, they will meet new friends, learn to share, and build language and listening skills. Our program helps young students acquire an understanding of preschool life and develop a life-long love of learning.

Children are exposed to new materials and possibilities in every class. Daily group activities include art, music, circle time, story time, and gym play. This integrated curriculum explores concepts and themes appropriate to both the seasons and children’s developmental growth.

Role of the Teacher

The Small Wonder teacher is a facilitator in the classroom, encouraging child-initiated activities and play. With backgrounds in music, theater, and early childhood development, our teachers provide a musically rich environment, stimulate creative discovery, and bring stories to life in a way that will captivate young listeners’ imaginations. Grown-ups are sure to have fun, too!

In a Small Wonder classroom, you will find moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, and caregivers playing and dancing along with our young students. Adult participation is a vital part of Small Wonder, allowing children the freedom to take risks, while knowing they are fully supported by a beloved grown-up. Please note that Small Wonder adheres to a 1:1 adult/child ratio. 

In the Next Steps program, children attend with their parent or caregiver for at least the first month of the program. As the children demonstrate their readiness, 3 teachers assist a maximum of 10 students with the gentle separation process. Next Steps provides a developmentally-appropriate introduction to the fully separated Preschool 2s program.




Registration, Tuition, and Parent Downloads

To register for the 2019-20 academic year Small Wonder (non-separated) program, click here.

To register for the 2019-20 Next Steps (gentle separation) program, click here.

Small Wonder tuition information may be found here

Community Health Policy 

Child & Adolescent Health Examination Form (CH-205)

What's Next?

Dwight’s Preschool 2s Program


Chris Allen
Director of Preschool
(212) 362-2350 Ext 703

Lori Taylor 
Riverside Campus Programs Coordinator
(212) 362-2350 Ext 768

Nora Thomson
Director Preschool Admissions
(212) 362-2350 Ext 748