The school was organized in 1955 by a small group of CUMC-affiliated parents with young children, supported by The Presbyterian Hospital’s Auxiliary. It was planned as a half day parent cooperative program with an advisory board made up of Auxiliary members and prominent physicians. The first students were enrolled in October 1957 when the school opened in a small, ground-floor apartment on West 165th Street, between Broadway and Fort Washington Avenue. Seventeen children attended during the first year. In 1971, when the Bard-Haven Towers were completed by Columbia University, the school moved to its present facility, a space designed for young children in Tower 1.
During the first fourteen years of the school’s existence, it remained a parent-cooperative, with several teacher-directors guiding the program. Since 1972 there have been three full-time directors. The current head of the school, Howard Johnson, has served since 1978. Linda Soleyn is the current Assistant Director.During the 1970's and early 1980's the school evolved from a parent cooperative into a program with an independent Board of Trustees in charge of the school's financial stability and long-range planning, the Director and staff responsible for the school's operational program, and parents responsible for fund-raising and social events.
In 1988 the first Educational Consultant was added to the school staff to be responsible for staff development and supervision and to ensure an appropriate early childhood curriculum throughout the school. The current Educational Consultant is Liege Motta.