The Marin Preschool Guide

Marin Preschool Guide

The Marin Preschool Guide

Choosing a preschool for your child is an important decision. The Marin County Preschool Guide is the best and most comprehensive directory of preschools in Marin, and features reviews and ratings from fellow parents to help you make the best choice possible.

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Featured preschool:
Corte Madera
St. Francis Preschool Novato
Featured preschool:
Novato

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What You Can Do to Help Prepare Your Preschooler for Kindergarten

August 6, 2012

Marin Mommies presents a guest article by dad, parenting coach, author, and co-creator of Studio Grow Tom Limbert. Learn more about him and how he helps parents and families at parentcoachtom.com.

Somewhere in a big room with a long table and a bunch of chairs, some guys decided the way to fix our failing education system in America was to cram all the curriculum down to younger children quicker and sooner. These visionaries went on to conclude that it would be a good idea to test all those children and, based on those results, reward some schools and penalize some teachers. Teachers felt the pressure so they taught more children faster. They needed those more children to be more ready when they started kindergarten in the first place. So parents felt the pressure and decided to hold most of their children back until they were “ready” for kindergarten. If you have a preschooler right now you know all too well about this pressure. Bet you’re stressed about whether your child will be ready. Hoping your school will bring him up to speed? Me too. But there’s plenty parents can be doing at home to help prepare their children for kindergarten.

Most parents immediately think of numbers, letters and colors when they think of early childhood education and kindergarten preparedness. But any preschool or kindergarten teacher will tell you, there’s much more to it. There are social and emotional elements that are much-less quantifiable than the cognitive aspects of development, but just as integral to a child’s performance in school. The good news is there are many ways you can help prepare your child for kindergarten in your home on a daily basis. You don’t even have to go out of your way really. Just be a bit more alert to learning opportunities. Keep in mind that in order for the machine that we prefer to call our schooling system to operate effectively, children will mostly have to be able to focus, follow directions and respect others.

Marin Preschool Fair at the Osher Marin JCC

April 17, 2012

Marin Preschool Fair 2012If you're thinking about a preschool for your child, come to the Marin Preschool Fair 2012 on Wednesday, April 25 from 6–8 pm at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in San Rafael. Presented by the Marin Child Care Council, the Osher Marin JCC, Parents Place Marin, and the Marin Association for the Education of Young Children (MAEYC), the Marin Preschool Fair gives parents a chance to meet directors from a number of Marin County preschool programs and learn about enrollment procedures, tuition, program philosophies, and more.

The fair begins at 6 pm with a welcome and reception in the JCC's Kurland Lounge, followed from 6:10–6:30 pm by a "Choosing Quality Childcare," a presentation by Aideen Gaidmore, executive director of the Marin Childcare Council. The fair's open house takes place in the Hoytt Theater from 6:30–8 pm.

Preschool Profile: Magical Garden Preschool in Corte Madera

January 30, 2012

Magical Garden Preschool in Corte MaderaCorte Madera's Magical Garden Preschool is a small preschool that offers a Waldorf-inspired curriculum in the warmth of a home setting. We asked Magical Garden's owner and teacher, Lori Callies, to tell us more about her school, its programs, and what makes it special.

You can learn about Magical Garden Preschool online at www.magicalgardenpreschool.com or by calling (415) 945-9409,

Please describe your school's educational philosophy. What's it all about?

Magical Garden’s philosophy takes root in the Waldorf movement and expands into best practices of early childhood education with a university-trained, credentialed teacher. We believe that the foundations of childhood are Imaginations, Friendships and Early Skills. We address age-appropriate skills through the relentless joy that Pretending can bring. Eco-education is embedded in our curriculum. We are proud to be certified as the first Eco-Healthy Preschool & Child Care in Marin by the Children’s Environmental Health Network.

What does a typical day at your school entail?

The Novato Mothers Club 2012 Preschool Fair

January 9, 2012

Kids Place of NovatoAre you planning on sending your child to preschool within the next two years? If so, you'll want to attend the Novato Mothers Club 2012 Preschool Fair this Thursday, January 12, from 6:30–8:30 pm in the Key Room at Homeward Bound at 1385 North Hamilton Parkway in Novato.

Meet local preschool representatives and learn about the programs their schools have to offer. The Novato Mothers Club (NMC) only hosts a preschool fair every two years, so try not to miss this one!

This year, 21 preschools, primarily from Novato and San Rafael, will be represented at the NMC Preschool Fair. Schools attending the fair include:

  • Montessori for Toddlers
  • T.L.C. Preschool
  • Kid's Place of Novato
  • San Marin Montessori
  • San Domenico School
  • Bright Horizons at Marin Commons
  • St. Francis Preschool

Preschool Profile: The Kids Place of Novato

September 14, 2011

The Kid’s Place of Novato is a Reggio-inspired school with sister campuses in Corte Madera and San Anselmo. It's located at 84 Martin Drive in Novato's Hamilton neighborhood. Their annual Fall Carnival and Open House takes place on Friday, October 28, from 4 to 7 pm.

We asked the staff at the Kid's Place of Novato to tell us about the programs offered at their campus. For more information on the Kid's Place, visit www.kidsplaceofmarin.com or call (415) 884-0594.

Please describe your school’s educational philosophy. What’s it all about?

Kid’s Place schools are Reggio inspired preschools, where we create an environment that fosters curiosity, wonder, discovery and the potential to grow through stimulating age-appropriate programs, learning materials and healthy social interactions. The curriculum focuses on activities that are success-oriented and instill a positive sense of self-esteem. This environment is essential in promoting awareness and responsibility for self, family, friends, and community.

Half-Day Ballet and Arts Immersion Program at Joy of Dance

August 31, 2011

Ballet Immersion program at Joy of DanceIf your pre-k or kindergarten-age child is obsessed with all things ballet, then you might want to check out Mill Valley's Joy of Dance Ballet School and their popular Ballet and Arts Half-Day Immersion Program. This program offers a fun-filled half-day for little ones centered around the "ballet du jour" drawn from popular ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Firebird. Ballets are explored though expressive arts, story books, segments from videos of the ballet and, of course, a magical ballet class.

Joy of Dance directress and teacher Jacqueline Low is well known throughout Marin for her imagination, boundless creativity, and exuberant energy. This program was so popular during last spring that Joy of Dance Ballet School is now offering it twice a week—on Mondays and Thursday from 1–4:45 pm, providing nearly four hours of fun for little dancers (and giving moms and dads a well-deserved respite).