Building a foundation for life-long learning, appreciation of the arts, care for the community and environment.


Building a foundation for life-long learning, appreciation of the arts, care for the community and environment.


At Barrow Street Nursery School, our mission is to help students build the foundation for life-long learning, appreciation of the arts, care for the community and environment. Our progressive approach is centered on collaboratively designed learning experiences.


Children play an active role in co-constructing organically designed curricula that nurture their growing sense of identity, agency, and belonging.


Teachers engage in continual observation, reflection, and critical thinking, bringing breadth and depth to every learning experience.


Families partner with educators through meaningful dialogue, authentic interaction, and mutual support.


We believe that children do their best learning when given the opportunity to explore the world around them. Every day is a chance to gain new knowledge and build on prior experiences. Early childhood teachers at Barrow Street understand that play is the work of children. This understanding forms the basis for the meaningful social interactions, problem solving opportunities, and physical activities that constitute a Barrow Street education.


Our community draws strength from the diverse perspectives and backgrounds of our joyful children, dedicated teachers and engaged families.

School Approach

Inspired by two educational philosophies, Bank Street and Reggio Emilia, we take a progressive and constructivist approach to teaching young children. Barrow Street creates learning opportunities that are active and experiential. Our students build connections between prior experiences and new discoveries. Learning experiences are rooted in the principles of respect, responsibility, and community.


This developmental-interaction approach recognizes that young learners have the desire to better understand the world around them and how it works.

Our teachers cultivate development by working with each child to identify and pursue growth opportunities within the classroom. Learning is driven by interaction. This interaction refers to both the nurturing of social relationships and to individual exploration at the point where each student’s intellectual, emotional, and physical needs intersect.

Named for the small town in northern Italy where this framework originates, the Reggio approach recognizes that children are fundamentally competent.

We validate this competence by using the ideas and questions posed by our students in the classroom as the basis for curriculum design. The school and classroom environments also play an important role in shaping the learning experience. Children learn directly from the people and places around them. Observation, documentation, and reflection are central to the Barrow Street experience. The Reggio Emilia philosophy is also rooted in the principles of respect, responsibility, and community. Barrow Street fosters a supportive and enriching environment where these principles are incorporated directly into classroom learning and community engagement.


Barrow Street Nursery School is committed to serving a community that is racially, ethnically, religiously, and economically diverse. Barrow Street admits families of all races, colors, religions, sexual orientations, nationalities, and ethnic backgrounds. Barrow Street does not unfairly discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, or any other school-administered programs on the basis of any protected category under applicable law.

Located in the historic settlement house at 27 Barrow Street



Barrow Street was founded more than 30 years ago to provide a private nursery school for the families of Greenwich Village. The school has been housed at 27 Barrow Street since first opening its doors in 1987.

Greenwich House has a long and rich history in early childhood education, one that predates the opening of Barrow Street Nursery School by more than half-a-century. Thanks to a gift from Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Greenwich House constructed the Federal-style building at 27 Barrow Street in 1917. The new building—complete with gym running track, theater and rooftop playground—provided Greenwich House the space to establish new programs like a nursery school (1921), a children’s theater, and an after school program (1942). These programs were firsts in settlement history and novel ideas at the time.

Today, Barrow Street Nursery School is one of several art, education, and social service programs contained under the Greenwich House umbrella.