Top Hawaii Preschools & Elementary Schools | The 2022 Guide

If you are planning a move to the paradisiacal state of Hawaii, the list of upsides is endless. However, parents with children in the preschool – elementary age gap are more than anything else, concerned by the schooling system and the quality of education on offer for their children. Financial aid plays a big role in most parents’ decision-making process since the annual school fees at most top institutions are very steep.


Even though Hawaii is among 12 states in the U.S. not providing state-subsidized preschool for all of its children, it does offer funding for:


  • Special-education preschool to assist children aged between three to five years with disabilities
  • Early intervention services for children under the age of three years with special health needs.

For children that do not meet the requirements for the above-mentioned services but come from low-income families, you can access other numerous financial assistance programs available to those who meet the criteria as stated:


  1. Child Care Connection Hawaii (CCCH) – provides financial assistance through Hawaii’s Department of Human Services. For eligibility, your gross monthly income cannot surpass the set amount.


Check out the Child Care Gross Income Eligibility Limits and Sliding Fee Scale


  • A family of two needs to earn a maximum amount of $3,179 to qualify.
  • A family of three needs to earn a maximum amount of $3,927 to qualify.
  • A family of four needs to earn a maximum amount of $4,675 to qualify.
  • A family of five needs to earn a maximum amount of $5,423 to qualify.
  1. Preschool Open Doors (POD) – POD offers Subsidized preschool for children aged four years (and three-year-olds with special needs). It features the same income requirements as the Child Care Connection Hawaii program. Open enrollment happens during a limited window in spring. For more information, call 808-791-2130 (Oahu) or 1-800-746-5620 (neighbor islands).


  1. Early Head Start & Head Start – Is funded by the federal government and serves preschoolers aged between zero to three years(Early Head Start) and three to five years (Head Start):


  • Oahu: Parents And Children Together (PACT), Honolulu Community Action Program (HCAP) (Head Start only)
  • Big Island: Family Support Services West Hawaii (FSSWH) (Early Head Start and infant/toddler center), Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) (Head Start only)
  • Kauai: Child & Family Service (Head Start only)
  • Maui, Molokai & Lanai: Maui Family Support Services (MFSS) (Early Head Start only), Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) (Head Start program and infant/toddler center)

Student to teacher ratio is an important consideration in every learning environment. It determines the attention and care that each child will get within any institution. The best pre-schools & elementary schools in Hawaii have prioritized this and other factors that provide the ideal teaching and learning conditions to ensure your child gets the best possible education.


The top Hawaii preschools & elementary schools include:


Punahou School

Punahou School has over the years held its place among the best schools in Hawaii. Even the most recent national rankings have placed it on the list of top private learning institutions in the United States. It is also among the largest single campus private institutions but boasts an impressively low student-teacher ratio of 13:1. The school is centrally located in the lower Manoa neighborhood.

Name of School: Punahou School

Grades taught: K-12

Student to teacher ratio: 13:1

Address:1601 Punahou Street Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

Tel: (808) 9445711


Mary, Star of the Sea School

Mary, Star of the Sea School was founded in 1946 and is affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. It is among the best preschools in Hawaii providing students with high-quality education and core Christian values. The school has a summer program that costs $350, with one or two session courses to choose from.

It ranks among the best schools in Hawaii in nurturing students’ talents and leadership skills. Mary, Star of the Sea School also supports co-curricular activities.

Despite its Roman Catholic affiliation, the institution admits both Catholic and non-Catholic students.

Name of School: Mary, Star of the Sea School

Grades taught: K-8

Student to teacher ratio:8:1

Address: 4469 Malia St, Honolulu, HI 96821

Tel: (808) 734-0208


Iolani School

Apart from Punahou, Iolani School is the longest-standing private K-12 school in Hawaii. It also boasts a low 10:1 student-teacher ratio. The school’s long-standing record of academic excellence has placed it among the best top schools in Hawaii.

Name of School: Iolani School

Grades taught: K-12

Student to teacher ratio: 10:1

Address: 563 Kamoku Street, Honolulu, HI 96826

Tel: (808)949-5355


Hongwanji Mission School

Hongwanji Mission School was Founded in 1949. It is one of the best preschools in Hawaii. Hongwanji Mission School is relatively easy to enroll your child in since it has a high acceptance rate of 85 percent.

The school includes prekindergarten grades, offers summer classes, and includes co-curricular activities that make it the best for children who wish to take up sports. Most of the teachers also have advanced degrees.

Name of School: Hongwanji Mission School

Ages taught: Pre K-8

Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1

Address: 1728 Pali Highway, Honolulu, HI 96813

Tel: (808) 532-0522


Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha School is one of the best Hawaii preschools and has an admission policy that only allows for students of Hawaiian ancestry. This endeavor is aimed at fulfilling [Princess Bernice] Pauahi’s desire which is to improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian ancestry through education. The school is NAEYC(National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited and was named Hawaii’s best for 2010 by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Kamehameha School is affiliated with the protestant church and has campuses throughout the state. Annual tuition for preschool is between $1, 670 and $2,100, depending on the campus location.

Name of School: Kamehameha School

Grades taught: K-12

Student to teacher ratio: 13:1

Address: 1887 Makuakane St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA

Tel: (808) 842-8211


Sacred Hearts Academy

Sacred Hearts Academy was founded in 1908. The all-girls institution is among the best schools in Hawaii. The school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic church and is built around Christian values. Sacred Hearts Academy has a superb teaching staff and follows an impressive curriculum. It boasts a highly credible visual and performing arts program. The catholic school also offers children the unique opportunity to achieve great social and academic development

Name of School: Sacred Hearts Academy

Grades taught: Pre K-12

Student-Teacher Ratio: 21:1

Address: 3253 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Tel: (808) 734-5058


Ho’ala School

Ho’ala school has an impressive student-teacher ratio of 7:1 and has a summer program. The school also offers an inclusive, welcoming, and naturing environment.

The school’s core values include responsibility, respect, responsiveness, and respectfulness. and offers parent/teacher study groups twice annually.

Name of School: Ho’ala School

Grades taught: K-8

Student-to-teacher ratio: 7:1

Address: 1067 California Avenue A Wahiawa, HI 96786

Tel: (808) 621-1898

Huakailani School of Girls

Huakailani School of girls is one of the top preschools in Hawaii. The school, which was founded in 2008, has a class size average of eight students per class. This ratio ensures that more than adequate attention is paid to every student. The school also encourages co-curricular activities, focusing mainly on basketball. The girls are also assured of excelling in math, reading, and writing curriculum.

Name of School: Huakailani School Of Girls

Ages taught: 5-14

Student-to-teacher ratio: 5:1

Address: 45-035 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Tel: (808) 263-2020


St. Ann School

Ann School is one of the best preschools in Hawaii and also the oldest. The school, which is affiliated with the Roman Catholic, was built in 1841. With an average student-to-teacher ratio, this school is the best for anyone who wants their child to get adequate attention. The school fees at St. Ann School are also fair at $9,800 per annum.

Over the years, the school has developed a great co-curricular system offering volleyball, basketball, and track. Moreover, it was granted a six-year accreditation certificate from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Western Catholic Education Association.

Name of School: St. Ann School

Ages taught: Pre K-8

Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1

Address: 46-129 Haiku Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744. 

Tel: (808) 247-3092


The Early School (Moili’ili)

The Early School institution is NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited and is located in Moili’ili area of Honolulu. 

Name of School: The Early School

Grades taught: Pre K-6

Student-to-teacher ratio for the Young Children’s Program: 5:1

Address: 2510 Bingham St, Honolulu, HI 96826

Tel: (808) 955-5881


Why Pick A top School For Your Kid

In addition to its great preschool system, Hawaii is also culturally inclined to afford your child the best environment to develop and achieve their full potential. The top institutions of preschool learning in Hawaii are not only staffed with highly certified staff but also placed in ideal locations to ensure the best environment for the learning and development of young minds. The community also has numerous programs in place to ensure families in need of financial aid are assisted and every child gets an opportunity to access education.

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