The Early School

2510 Bingham Street, Honolulu, HI 96826


We are currently accepting applications.

YCP 18 months-3.5 year olds

Sky 3-4 year olds

Lokahi 4-6 year olds

Emergent Curriculum

Instead of teaching the same set curriculum every year, The Early School has an “emergent curriculum,” in which each classroom team develops its own learning activities based on their knowledge of early childhood development and a careful observation of their small group’s personalities, play, actions, and curiosities. One classroom group might study the butterfly life cycle, through caterpillar races, poems, new vocabulary, scientific observation, and their own caterpillars to raise. Other groups might have a treasure hunt around the playground, complete with a child-created map, or a build a spaceship and model planets to learn about our solar system, color, and relative size. Topics tend to take on a life of their own, guided and shaped by teachers to reach learning goals. Emergent curricula allow the teachers’ and students’ individual strengths and interests to shine. They have been shown to engage children’s own intrinsic motivation and readiness, enhance social development, and to produce self-directed, self-confident learners who feel that their voice matters.

Learning Through Play

When a child builds with blocks, she is exploring balance and geometry. When a child collects rocks, shells, leaves, or bugs, he learns to observe, count, compare and contrast. A child who masters the monkeybars after weeks of practice has just learned about persistence, endurance, and self-direction. And when a child disagrees with a friend and learns to fix it, he has acquired a level of emotional intelligence that even some adults find hard to reach. Whether they become doctors, scientists, parents, artists or entrepreneurs, these are habits of mind that will serve our students anywhere, and early childhood is the time to build them. The creation of ample opportunities to reach educational goals through exploration and play is a widely recognized best practice for early childhood education. At TES, children learn through play naturally, with teachers on hand to observe, encourage, and facilitate.

A Hands-On, Symbol-Rich Environment

At TES, you will find no worksheets. Children experience pre-academic and academic subjects through the world of their classrooms and outdoor spaces, a purposefully symbol-rich and sensory environment that includes blocks, fine motor manipulatives, dramatic play, books, art, music, creative movement, cooking, gardening, science and outdoor play. TES children build a foundation of literacy through daily conversations and activities with teachers and peers; sharing books; singing songs and learning poems aloud; and writing and reading grocery lists, stories, and notes to friends or family. They build a foundation of numeracy, geometry and measurement by counting their own steps, cooking, drawing and painting shapes, gardening, and keeping track of the calendar days at circle time or the number of mornings a butterfly has been inside its chrysalis.

Hear From Our Parents

"I honestly can’t think of a single choice that is more important than who we entrust our children with when we are not with them…. Thank you for opening the world to our kids and making it a magical place that they charge into instead of fear.”


The Early School’s faculty and staff are among the leaders in Hawaii’s early childhood community—training teachers, serving as consultants and providing leadership in professional organizations. Many have advanced degrees, and all fulfill the academic and experience requirements of the Department of Human Services (DHS), which licenses TES programs. Every teacher at The Early School demonstrates warmth, openness, a passion for early childhood education and a genuine respect for the children in their care. Teachers and administrators participate annually in the national (NAEYC) and local (HAEYC) conferences to stay current with new research and evolving best practices.


Situated at the mouth of Manoa Valley near the University of Hawaii at Manoa, The Early School shares spacious grounds with the historic Church of the Crossroads. The campus comprises two classroom and administrative buildings, several outdoor garden and play areas, and one of the largest and most varied preschool playgrounds on Oahu. Large events are held in the adjacent community hall, and ample parking is available on school grounds.