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Preschool Guide 2018





Rose Blossom Nursery School

Lic #444403616

6401 Freedom Blvd, Aptos



Preschool, TK, & Kindergarten for boys and girls. Rose Blossom is outstanding in teaching social and academic skills in a safe, peaceful, and enriching environment. Phonics/reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and creative drama integrated with music, art and games, organized into a daily schedule with monthly themes. Circle time, group and individualized instruction, free play, and conflict resolution. Rose Blossom is an NVC-based school. See https://www.cnvc.orgBeautiful country setting, large play yard. See websitewww.roseblossom.org for introductory video. Call Sharon Rose, Director for tour and registration info.


Santa Cruz Montessori, Ages 18 months - 15 years

Main Campus (Primary and Elementary)

6230 Soquel Drive, Aptos

831.476.1646, Enrollment: ext. 12



Winston Campus (Young Children's Community and Jr. High)

244 Cabrillo College Drive, Soquel

831.476.1646, Enrollment: ext. 12


Santa Cruz Montessori is a non-profit, independent school founded in 1964 serving children ages 18 months to 15 years. Our programs include the arts, sciences, mathematics, literature, language, social studies, and music. Our beautiful Montessori classrooms are designed to engage all of the child's senses and create a life-long love of learning. Our mission: as a Montessori learning community, we inspire life-long learning and a more peaceful world by nurturing the natural development of the whole child.


Simcha Preschool

Lic #440710119

3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos



Voted "Best Preschool," Simcha has been nationally accredited by NAEYC for over 20 years. Simcha is known for its outstanding professional staff, fostering self-esteem and learning through play in a nurturing environment, and our beautiful outdoor and indoor facility. We offer flexible full and half day schedules, and low child/teacher ratios for children ages 2-5 in our Toddler, Pre-School, and Pre-K groups. Welcoming to all, we are proud of our over 40-year tradition of sharing Jewish values. Come join our Simcha Family! Open 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., year-round.





Campus Kids Connection, Inc.

Lic #444414596

Infant & Toddler Center

305 Alturas Way, Soquel



In this program, you can expect your child to have a great time in a fun, nurturing infant/toddler environment. As a parent, you can expect the safety that comes from a fully licensed program. We offer childcare to children ages 3 months through 30 months.


Campus Kids Connection – Opal Cliffs Children’s Center

Lic #444412727

4510 Jade Street, Capitola



We offer a child-centered learning environment that fosters early literacy, a sense of community, and diversity for children ages 2 - 5 years.


Rocking Horse Ranch Preschool

Lic #444400117

4134 Fairway Dr, Soquel


Rocking Horse Ranch is a play-based preschool located on 3 beautiful acres in sunny Soquel. We are open from 9-5:30 and offer morning, afternoon, and full day sessions. Our outdoor space offers lots of room to explore, including our gardens and many different kinds of animals. Come visit us!


Tara Redwood School

5810 Prescott Road, Soquel



Tara Redwood School provides a preschool curriculum that nurtures the innate positive qualities within each child. It is a model school for the international program, Creating Compassionate Cultures (CCC) and incorporates the Montessori pedagogy. Our theme-oriented, interdisciplinary program includes play, art, science, nature exploration, and social studies while cultivating empathy, mindfulness and social-emotional skills. We offer mixed-ages, small size, and open classroom settings for children 24 months to 5 years old. Situated in 108 acres of forest and sunny open spaces, the Redwood Campus is located just 5 minutes from Soquel Village.


Santa Cruz


Campus Kids Connection – Bostwick Children’s Center

Lic #444412389

987 Bostwick Lane, Santa Cruz



We offer a child-centered learning environment that fosters early literacy, a sense of community, and diversity for children ages 2 – 5 years.


Campus Kids Connection – Santa Cruz Gardens Children’s Center

Lic #444408785

8005 Winkle Ave., Santa Cruz



We offer a child-centered learning environment that fosters early literacy, a sense of community, and diversity for children ages 2 – 5 years.


Coastal Community Preschool

Lic #444408854

900 High Street, Santa Cruz



CCP serves children ages 2 1⁄2 through 5 years with a safe, stimulating, and caring learning atmosphere. We have a curriculum that encourages development at each child’s own pace. Among our program highlights, we offer flexible year-round schedules, a highly experienced teaching staff, and a bright, secure West side location overlooking the Monterey Bay. Join us as we continue working with parents and caregivers to raise a community of strong, confident and happy children.


Good Shepherd Catholic School


2727 Mattison Ln, Santa Cruz



Good Shepherd Catholic School, located in Santa Cruz, offers two child-centered preschool programs; a preschool program for children two and three years of age and a pre-kindergarten program for children four and five years of age. Full-time and part-time enrollment opportunities are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in both programs. Spanish, art, science, and religion are taught as part of the school’s integrated curriculum. Both programs offer developmentally appropriate language arts and math instruction, including hands-on lessons in the school’s Life Lab. Students in the pre-kindergarten program are given priority registration for the school’s outstanding kindergarten program. For more information, ask for Good Shepherd’s Preschool Director, Mrs. Sue Matteucci. 


Holy Cross Preschool

170A High Street, Santa Cruz



At Holy Cross Preschool we offer engaging preschool and pre-kindergarten programs that support your child’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive and spiritual development. The curriculum stretches your child’s imagination through culturally-rich and developmentally-appropriate learning, and we offer a healthy balance of play and academics. Our curriculum includes "Handwriting Without Tears", which fosters learning within a fun and positive environment. Spanish, Life Lab, movement classes including Yoga and Zumba and themed project days also enrich the learning environment. Flexible schedules are available between 7:30am-5:30pm Monday through Friday. Please call for more information and to schedule a personal tour.


Little Acorns Montessori

Lic #444413867

1215 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz



Little Acorns Montessori provides a warm and caring environment, encouraging children to develop self-confidence and social and academic skills. Our beautiful Live Oak location has been completely remodeled and updated. Our Montessori trained teachers provide a unique, individualized learning program for children 6 months through 6 years old.


Live Oak School District- Child Development

Del Mar Lic #444400352

Green Acres Lic #444403585

Live Oak Lic #440710379

984-5 Bostwick Lane, Santa Cruz


www.losd.ca (click on departments and then child development)

The Live Oak School District-Child Development Program offers families a Free Quality State-Funded Preschool program for 3-5 year olds at the Del Mar, Green Acres and Live Oak Elementary School sites. We provide morning (8:30-11:30) and afternoon (12:30-3:30) preschool classes to approximately 145 children district-wide, 186 days per year. New higher income guidelines were just approved, so many more families may qualify. Enrollment has started so please contact us to schedule your appointment for registration. If space is still available we enroll year-round.


Natural Bridges Children’s Center

255 Swift St, Santa Cruz



NBCC is a play & inquiry-based learning preschool for children ages 3 to 5 years. We believe in the value of play and in lengthy exploration. We honor individual learning styles recognizing children’s unique ways of interpreting the world, and provide a loving & caring space for children to grow and thrive. We cultivate growth mindsets encouraging persistence, resilience, flexibility, empathy, & optimism, while also fostering a ‘mindful’ environment that deepens children’s sense of compassion towards self and others. We incorporate a STEAM & literacy thread throughout our curriculum and practice ‘intentional teaching’ to deepen children’s vocabulary and understanding. Our program is informed by current brain research, the ‘Preschool Learning Foundations’, & the NAEYC’s early childhood best practices. Our professional staff look forward to being a part of your child’s early childhood education and to building a strong community of friends. To schedule an appointment please call 831.429.6222


The Playgarden




The Playgarden is set in an inviting space on the West side of Santa Cruz. We serve children ages 15mos to five years old. Using the Waldorf philosophy and current research, we encourage outdoor exploration, practical chores, and crafts. Children can participate in meal preparation and animal care.


Santa Cruz Waldorf School, PreK-8

2190 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz



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We offer both a Preschool and Parent-Child program. Our Parent-Child program is a wonderful way to introduce the young child to the classroom experience and for parents to learn more about the rich developmental approach of Waldorf education. Classes are offered Fall, Winter and Spring. Children may begin Preschool at age 2 1/2 and are nurtured in a warm, beautiful and loving home-like environment. Children engage in meaningful life activities like baking, cooking, gardening, cleaning and of course, playing. Amidst stories, puppet shows and singing daily, the children spend a wealth of time outdoors, playing imaginatively under the big trees.


Spring Hill Preschool/Junior Kindergarten

Lic #444414394

250 California Street, Santa Cruz



Our Spring Hill Preschool/Jr-K is an inquiry based, child centered, Reggio Emilia inspired program. We respect all children’s ideas and learning styles. We believe “through play, all learning transpires.” We offer a safe, nurturing community environment. Our exceptional teachers are guides who take time to scaffold each child’s learning, deepen understanding, and build creative thinking. Our small student/teacher ratio (7:1) allows for individualized attention and thoughtful interactions. We offer a solid beginning in academics and the arts in three schedules, 8:30-12, 8:30-3:00 or 8:30 -5:00. In addition to our highly qualified teachers, we provide specialists in Spanish, dance, and music. Our children’s confident voices are the foundations which create strong bonds and a close, kind community of friends.


Westside Parent Education Nursery School

1231 Bay St. Santa Cruz



Westside PENS celebrating 47 years … WPENS is located on the Westside on the Bay View Elementary campus. Preschoolers and their parents play, learn and grow together. This comprehensive preschool program brings out children’s ideas and creativity. Adults develop their parenting skills and build friendships with other families. Thrive in a supportive environment at this much-loved parent co-op, a part of the Santa Cruz community since 1970. Its award-winning teachers inspire a passion for learning. Westside Parent Education Nursery School was the 2016 Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Readers’ Choice for Best Preschool! WPENS is a part of Watsonville/Aptos/Santa Cruz/Adult School under the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. 


Scotts Valley & Mountain Communities


Scotts Valley Children’s Center

Lic #444403546

255B Mt. Hermon Rd., Scotts Valley



Scotts Valley Children's Center provides infant, toddler and preschool learning environments utilizing Montessori principles of education. Our curriculum includes language, math, science, culture, geography, courtesy, practical life, art and music. Our convenient location includes a 7000 square foot yard with a park quality climbing structure and garden. We offer programs for children 6 months through 6 years old.


Quail Hollow Montessori

Lic #444408893

187 Laurel Dr., Felton



Quail Hollow Montessori offers an excellent, individualized learning experience for your child with a solid foundation in both academic and social skills in a beautiful, neighborhood setting. Our goal is to help children blossom into self-confident, compassionate, inquisitive, and respectful individuals with a life-long love of learning.


North County


Pacific Preschool at Pacific Elementary School

Lic #440702049

50 Ocean St, Davenport



Pacific Preschool in Davenport offers a rich, hands-on learning environment, music, movement, reading buddies, gardening, and more for ages 3-5. 8:30-12:30 daily; extended care until 2:40. Flexible 3, 4, or 5-day schedules. FREE tuition for income-qualified families. Award-winning lunch program! Preschoolers have priority for enrollment in Pacific Elementary School kindergarten.


South County


Mount Madonna School

Lic #440709549

491 Summit Rd, Mount Madonna



Our Montessori-based program provides a loving, safe and stimulating learning environment where children, three to six years old, can develop at their own pace. We strive to nurture a child's innate sense of trust, goodness, and wonder. At MMS, we focus on developing kindness and respect towards ourselves and others. We offer a developmentally appropriate academic environment fostering curiosity, confidence, and creativity in all aspects of the learning process. This, combined with our 355-acre outdoor classroom, empowers children to fully engage in their education. By including time for imaginative free play, children are inspired in all areas of their development.


Preschool Enrichment


Adventure Sports Swim

303 Potrero Street #15, Santa Cruz



Learning to swim is a new and exciting experience for children. For the past 34 years Adventure Sports has taught over 24,000 children to swim in a positive, warm environment. Our instructors strive to develop a trusting special relationship with each child, encouraging them in a gentle, but firm manner to stretch their limits as their abilities grow. The Adventure Sports swim program seeks to provides a high quality and individual accomplishment through small group lessons. We want your potential swimmers to have confidence in the water. In the end, this means technique, safety, and happy smiles for everyone.


All About Theatre

325 Washington St, Santa Cruz



Celebrating 15 years and over 115 musicals in Santa Cruz County. We offer training in the performing arts for Tiny Tots (3-5), Tots (5-10), Youth (10-16), and adults. Don't miss our Spring Season - upcoming classes and musicals include; “Footloose” performing February 2-10, "Madagascar Jr.”, performing April 20-22 and Auditions for our upcoming show “13 the Musical” for our Youth group at the end of February. There's a role for everyone and everyone will leave with skills that they didn't have when they arrived. Come be a part of the magic... and give the gift of performing arts to your child. We are located in downtown Santa Cruz and at our mid-town location in Soquel Village. Check out our website for additional classes and productions for Tiny Tots, Tots, Youth & our incredible summer opportunities.


The Bookakery


Looking for activities to do with your kids at home? Have a kid that always wants to help you in the kitchen or curl up on your lap to hear a good book? Love getting packages? The Bookakery has just the thing: Bookakery Boxes, a monthly subscription box for kids aimed towards fostering a love of reading and baking. Each Bookakery Box comes with a hardback picture book, kid-friendly recipe card, baking item and other fun item based around a theme of the month. Order yours today!


First 5 Santa Cruz County



First 5 Santa Cruz County promotes the healthy development of children from birth to age 5. Parents and caregivers of newborns can contact First 5 to receive a free “Kit for New Parents” with parenting videos, children’s books, information on caring for babies and local resources. First 5 also offers parenting support through the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, a world-renowned program that strengthens families by building positive relationships. To find Triple P classes or quick tips, visit http://triplep.first5scc.org 


Jim Booth Swim School

Fitness Evolution in Watsonville

Harvey West Pool 

In Shape Capitola

Ducan Holbert, indoor pool


"The Best in Baby and Children's swimming". Jim Booth Swim School has offered the most successful and fun swim class for 40 years to kids of all ages and abilities. Our 94-degree pools make classes comfortable and exciting for babies from 4 months to adult beginners in "aquaphobics" class. Classes are conveniently offered year around 8:00 am to 8:00 pm in both indoor and outdoor pools. Call now to enroll.


Junebug's Gym

3910 Portola Drive, Suite 2, Santa Cruz

831.464.BUGS (2847)


June Bug’s Gym is a place where your child can experience a fun-filled adventure in movement. We have a caring, respectful, and supportive staff that encourages every child in their growth of large motor skills and gymnastics along with social, emotional and cognitive development. Our goals for our students are to help them feel control and empowerment in their bodies, to build self-esteem through success, to open up imaginations, and to feel confidence and joy in their exploration of movement.


Music Together & Canta y Baila Conmigo w/MusicalMe, Inc.

Locations throughout Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County



Now offering two excellent Early Childhood Music Programs: the award-winning Music Together® Early Childhood Music & Movement program and Canta y Baila Conmigo®, the new and exciting music, movement and Spanish immersion program. We’re doing our part to make the world a better place by making it more musical for everyone, especially infants, toddlers, preschoolers and all children with disabilities. Our curriculum fosters the integration of music into everyday life – regardless of adults’ music ability. Our programs enhance children’s learning in multiple domains, increases family engagement and adds richly to each family’s “toolbox”. Siblings are welcome, especially infants who may attend free if they are 8 months or under. Call now to attend one of our classes for free. 


Peaceful Sleeping Baby

Mckenzie Graham

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I am a certified Gentle Sleep Coach and I love what I do! The method I use is gentle, gradual and effective. I create a sleep plan customized to your family’s unique needs and goals and I work closely with you on the journey as your little one learns how to become a phenomenal sleeper. I specialize in working with children aged 4.5 months to 5 years. I offer a free 20-minute call where you can tell me briefly about your sleep story, hear about the approach I use, and ask me questions about the process.


Santa Cruz Gymnastics Center

2750 B Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz



We at Santa Cruz Gymnastics Center understand how important physical movement is to developing a healthy brain in children. Healthy brain development leads to proficiency in learning and overall confidence to lead a successful life. Our fun and friendly gymnastics instructors take pride in offering meaningful movement experiences packed with a lot of fun to your children in every class. Each lesson offers a wide range of sensory integration activities through the usage of our gymnastics equipment and props such as trampolines, balance beams, parallel bars, ladders, slides, a huge foam pit, tunnels, balls, hoops and much more! Music and movement is incorporated to ensure a well-rounded movement experience. We offer a wide range of classes and special activities to the new walking toddlers through kindergarten age girls and boys. Check out our website to see what is available for your children today.


Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

1305 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz



The Museum of Natural History is the perfect destination for little explorers! Preschoolers love to learn from our interactive exhibits. Climb on a life-sized grey whale, get your hands wet with sea stars in our intertidal touch pool, listen to the buzz of live honeybees, grind up acorns in a real mortar and pestle, examine nature specimens in a microscope and get up close with the native animals of Santa Cruz County.


The Sensory Toolbox


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This is the place for education and resources about autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder. Preschool is the age where sensory issues start impacting your child's life, so it's important to have the right resources on hand. As a community, we tackle your child's everyday sensory challenges, from creating sensory strategies to finding treatment services. Diana is a licensed and registered occupational therapist who specializes in pediatric sensory issues. You can read her sensory tips, find products, and get a free Sensory Toolbox guide at http://www.thesensorytoolbox.com/


Health Care Providers for Preschoolers


Nannette Benedict DDS and Associates

Devin Bernhardt DDS

Tina DerTorossian DDS

5015 Scotts Valley Dr. A, Scotts Valley



We love kids and start seeing them their first year, so we can address: pacifiers, thumb sucking, teething, nursing, tooth brushing and other questions. We want to establish a fun, friendly environment to get children off on a positive start with the dentist. I believe in prevention and need to start young.


Dientes Community Dental Care

1830 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz, (near Toys R Us)


1430 Freedom Blvd., Suite C, Watsonville



Dientes Community Dental Care is a full-service dental clinic with two locations: Santa Cruz and Watsonville. We practice whole family dentistry including kids, adults and seniors; but children hold a special place in our heart – half of our patients are kids seen by our experienced pediatric dentist in our main Santa Cruz Clinic. As a non-profit dental clinic, our focus is on high-quality, low-cost dental services, including exams, x-rays, fillings, sealants and root canals. We accept Medi-Cal and have sliding scale fees for uninsured patients. We offer bi-lingual services – Se habla Español!


Dignity Health Medical Group—Dominican

1820 41st Avenue, Suite D, Capitola



Dignity Health Medical Group—Dominican is dedicated to serving the continuing healthcare needs of the Santa Cruz community. Our board-certified pediatricians, OB/GYNs and midwives focus on delivering comprehensive care for infants, children and adolescents, offering a range of services from preventative health care to the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. Our Urgent Care Center is open seven days a week (365 days per year, including holidays) from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Conveniently located on 41st Avenue in Santa Cruz (right next door to our Pediatrics Care Center), we offer same-day treatment for non-emergency medical conditions such as flu, colds, cuts, and fractures.



This is by no means a complete list of all the Child Care and Preschool Programs in Santa Cruz County. GUiSC is not responsible for any errors or omissions, nor does inclusion in this listing constitute our endorsement of a program. Listings were written by each organization and GUiSC has not confirmed the accuracy of the information provided.




Last Updated on Friday, 23 February 2018 02:42
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