Preschool Profile: Gan Israel Preschool in San Rafael

January 27, 2014

Gan Israel PreschoolEstablished in 1989, Gan Israel is a licensed preschool facility that has been directed by Gittel Rice Goodman since 1990. During these many years the preschool has changed and evolved into a Jewish community preschool serving all children and families regardless of their faith or religious affiliation, focusing on school readiness skills, Jewish holidays, and the important human values of kindness, caring and respect for one another and for the world we live in. Learn more about the school and its programs at

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

Gan Israel is an independent, inclusive, Jewish community preschool that focuses on respecting and valuing each individual child and their family. Our student to teacher ratio and our group size is low to ensure each child receives personalized and caring attention.  In addition to school-readiness skills, we focus on teaching and modeling human values such as: kindness, caring and respect. We focus on teaching children how to respect the world they live in. Nature and Tikkun Olam (“repairing the world”) are underlying themes in all we teach.  At Gan Israel we celebrate Jewish holidays in a very joyous and hands-on way; geared to young children and with consideration of the many different ways that people celebrate Judaism. Our teachers are a warm and dedicated group of early childhood educators. The teacher’s role is to encourage each child to explore and discover new ideas and to help the child strive to reach his or her full potential.

Preschool Profile: Oak View Nursery School in San Rafael

October 21, 2013

Oak View Nursery SchoolFor over three decades, Oak View Nursery School has been educating little ones in San Rafael. Located on Skyview Terrace, off Las Gallinas Avenue, Oak View offers programs for children ages 2 years and 3 months through transitional kindergarten. Learn more about the school and its programs at

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

“To touch a child’s life is to reach the future!”

Oak View Nursery School was founded for the purpose of providing the community with the best in early childhood education for children from the ages of 2 years and 3 months to kindergarten age.

Our philosophy is that each child is totally, and wholly a real person and our approach is recognition and respect for that fact. They are individuals with individual needs and desires.

Recognizing that fact, we try to assist them to grow physically and emotionally at their own rate of development, while stimulating them in a way that opens up with awareness of themselves, of others, and the world around them.

Oakview is a family oriented school that considers parents our partners in caring for their children so that their educational process enhances their self-image and takes into account the social world of which we are all a part.

Preschool Profile: Hamilton Preschool Programs in Novato

August 14, 2013

Novato State Preschool ProgramThe Hamilton preschool programs are run by Novato Parks and Recreation and include Pre-K (ages 4–5), Tiny Tots (ages 3–4), and Teeny Tots (ages 2–3). Programs take place at the Hamilton Community Center. They offer a healthy balance of play and academics to stimulate social, emotional, and educational growth.

There will be an open house this weekend, August 17 from 10-11:30 am.

The Hamilton programs are taught by two California credentialed teachers who have preschool and elementary school experience, and are knowledgeable in Novato Unified School District curriculum and standards and will offer necessary preparation for Kindergarten as well as important social skill building. We asked the staff to tell us more about the school and its programs and why it might be a great choice for your child.

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

We are a quality program that focuses on social, emotional, and academic development. We provide a safe, loving, warm environment for children to play, learn, laugh, and grow. We believe children learn through their play as well as a small amount of direct instruction. We are credentialed teachers and moms that have worked in and have/had children in the Novato preschool and elementary school system and have taken that knowledge into our program so that they are well-rounded and

Preschool Profile: Ross Valley Nursery School in Kentfield

February 19, 2013

Ross Valley Nursery SchoolFor over 60 years, Ross Valley Nursery School has been educating little ones in central Marin. Located on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Kentfield, the school offers programs for children ages 2 years 9 months to 5 years of age. We asked Ross Valley Nursery School board member Eliza DeNitto to tell us a bit more about her school. Learn more about the school and its programs at

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

Ross Valley Nursery School (RVNS) is a traditional play-based nursery school where children have the freedom to gleefully enjoy childhood. We foster an environment where children develop positive self-esteem, grow in independence and confidence, learn to give and take turns, learn to get along with others, experience success, and develop self-control.The school emphasizes building confidence, dramatic play, creative expression, intellectual development, group relationships, growth of physical abilities, and most importantly social and emotional development. Children learn, grow, and explore at their own pace, while profiting from the group experience in an environment created expressly for young children.

What does a typical day at your school look like?

The children come into school at 8:45 in the morning (or 1 pm for our Pre-K) and are presented with a variety of teacher run activities of their choice the moment they arrive. Some children want to be busy the second they walk through the doors and some may need more time to adjust and choose a quiet activity to transition into the

Noah's Ark Preschool Open House in Novato Tonight, February 5

February 5, 2013

Noah's Ark Preschool in NovatoLooking for a preschool and daycare for your child in Novato? Noah's Ark Preschool and Daycare is holding an open house tonight, Tuesday, February 5, at 5:30 pm. Teacher introductions and a general information session will be followed by an interactive tour of the school's classrooms.

The Marin Christian Academy's Kindergarten teacher will also be on hand to answer questions about Kindergarten readiness and give a tour of her classroom. The Marin Christian Academy offers a fully accredited K–8 program at its campus in Novato.

Noah's Ark Preschool is for children ages 2 to 5, and also offers a transitional Kindergarten program. They're located in Novato at 1370 South Novato Boulevard. For more information, call (415) 892-5713 or visit

Photo courtesy Noah's Ark Preschool.

Marin Preschool Profile: University of Play

September 4, 2012

University of PlayLocated in the Terra Linda area of San Rafael, University of Play is a preschool program for children ages 2–kindergarten that encourages each child to develop through play and active expression. We asked University of Play's director, Sylvia Stowell, to tell us a bit more about what makes her school unique.

For more information on University of Play and its programs, visit or call (415) 499-0309

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

University of Play (UOP) is an inclusive childcare program where each child's individual development is respected and valued. Children use all their senses to learn; children thrive when they feel loved, safe,and respected by the people who care for them.

The culture of UOP embraces the idea that children learn experientially, by doing rather then being instructed. UOP's enriching environment is stimulating, and encourages each child to develop through active play and free expression. Playing with their peers helps children build skills for seeing things through another point of view. The peer interaction encourages tolerance, respect, helping, sharing, and problem solving.

Openings this Fall at Marinwood Preschool

August 24, 2012

Marinwood preschoolStill looking for a fantastic preschool experience for your child? Marinwood Preschool, a highly regarded local school offering classes for children ages 2 to 4, still has a few openings for this fall.

In Marinwood's Parent-Toddler Class for 2- and 3-year-olds, parents and toddlers will meet new friends, create art, and enjoy music, storytime, and outdoor adventures. Marinwood Morning School is for 4-year-olds, and prepares children for kindergarten in a play-based, half-day program.

Marinwood classes are lower in tuition costs than most other early childhood programs in Marin County. Classes are held at Marinwood Community Center, 775 Miller Creek Road in San Rafael.

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 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?

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