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Preschool Guide 2017




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. Tumbling Tutor™ for preschoolers is optional. Beautiful, country setting, large play yard. Call Sharon Rose, Director for tour and registration info. See website for introductory video.


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 2-5. Welcoming to all, we are proud of our over 40-year tradition of sharing Jewish values. Come join our Simcha Family! Open 7:30-5:30.


Sun for Seedlings Preschool and Nature Program

Lic #444411146

6411 Freedom Boulevard, Aptos



Sun for Seedlings Preschool and Nature Program in Aptos offers a unique program in a beautiful setting. Our curriculum is play based, and we put a strong emphasis on creating a connection to the natural world. Our open sunny classroom creates a warm environment, and we encourage freedom of choice and relationship building. Our program is designed to inspire each child to explore and discover their world. Set on several acres, every day is filled with the beauty of nature, the joys of friendship, and fun activities geared toward artistic expression, physical movement, and the development of a lifelong love of learning.




Campus Kids Connection, Inc.

Lic #444414596

Infant & Toddler Center

305 Alturas Way, Soquel



Our Infant & Toddler Center, opened in January 2016. 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.


Mrs. Bus Stop Preschool

Lic #444411906

3215 Axford Road, Santa Cruz (near Capitola Mall)



Come join us at Mrs. Bus Stop Preschool! Your child will experience the joy of making new friends as they explore, learn, and grow together. Our relaxed setting naturally promotes a sense of community and the well being of every child. Ages 2-5 years. Hours: 7:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. Flexible schedules.


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. The program is theme-oriented and features play, art, science and natural discovery. The school’s approach is an integration of the Creating Compassionate Cultures Institute and the Montessori Methods. It cultivates empathy, mindfulness and social skills by providing creative tools for self-regulation and healthy expression. The Preschool classrooms accommodate children ages 20 months to 5-1/2 years old. We offer mixed-ages, small size, and open classroom settings. 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.


Common Threads Montessori

Lic #444414646100

208 Rankin Street, Santa Cruz



Common Threads Montessori offers a unique blend of Montessori and open-ended classroom materials to support the whole child’s social, emotional, and academic development. Our curriculum also includes classes in French, music, cooking and yoga. We provide an environment where a child’s innate love of learning is allowed to flourish with small class size and a low student/teacher ratio. Our goal is to help children unfold into self confident, responsible, compassionate and creative individuals with the utmost respect for themselves and others. Our program is open to children 2.5 to 6 years old, preschool to kindergarten.


Holy Cross Preschool

170A High Street, Santa Cruz



At Holy Cross Preschool we offer an engaging curriculum that supports your child’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive and spiritual development. We stretch your child’s imagination through culturally rich and developmentally appropriate learning and play. Flexible schedules are available between 7:30am-5:00pm 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

984-5 Bostwick Lane, Santa Cruz


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

Del Mar Lic # 444400352

Green Acres Lic # 444403585

Live Oak Lic # 440710379

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. Summer preschool is also offered to those students who will be entering transitional kindergarten/ kindergarten in the fall. Enrollment for fall starts in July; please contact us any time for more information. If space is still available we enroll year round.


Midtown Montessori

Lic #444408886

818 North Branciforte Ave, Santa Cruz

Between Water Street and Soquel Avenue



Midtown Montessori, advancing a culture of collaboration, sustainability, kindness, respect, and peace. Midtown Montessori is a certified green business Montessori preschool kindergarten centrally located in midtown Santa Cruz. We provide a foundationally based Montessori educational experience for families and their children ages 2 1/2 to 6 years old. We are open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM. Our tuition includes ORGANIC snacks and a cooked lunch. Daily school life consists of lessons in communal social graces and courtesies, daily living activities and all academic areas. Each lesson is presented with warmth, humor and love; further demonstrating that all learning is intentional and FUN!


Santa Cruz Parent Education Nursery School

411 Roxas Street, Santa Cruz



A Community Treasure Since 1975. Santa Cruz Parent Education Nursery School (SCPENS), is a parent participation preschool which serves children from 1 to 5 years of age. Santa Cruz PENS celebrating 42 years. SCPENS provides affordable, high-quality toddler and preschool programs. A parent education co-op preschool, SCPENS offers an opportunity for parents to develop their parenting skills and meet other families in a supportive environment. Children and their parents participate in a developmental toddler or preschool program emphasizing children’s expression, ideas and creativity. The instructors provide training in child development and effective parenting techniques via seminars, observation and discussion. Positive guidance and problem-solving strategies are emphasized. SCPENS is a part of Watsonville/Aptos/Santa Cruz Adult Schools and the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.


Santa Cruz Waldorf School, PreK-8

2190 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz



In the Santa Cruz Waldorf School's, Rosebud Playgarden, children are nurtured in a warm, beautiful and loving home-like environment. As they are learning at this early age exclusively through imitation and movement, our teachers model reverence and respect in their interactions with the children while engaging them fully in their will; with meaningful life activities like: baking, cooking, gardening, cleaning, and of course playing. The rhythm of the day is consistent and predictable, which creates an environment that the children unfold naturally within. 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 a play 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. Children and parents love to learn at WPENS! We teach both children and their parents. Our comprehensive preschool program brings out children’s ideas and creativity with an emphasis on emergent literacy. Award-winning instructors teach effective parenting techniques through seminars, participation and discussion. Adults develop their parenting skills, learn how to support their child’s school success, and build friendships with other families in a supportive environment at this much-loved parent preschool co-op for ages 2-5. WPENS – celebrating 47 years of building strong families and preparing children for a bright future. WPENS is a part of Watsonville/Aptos/Santa Cruz Adult School and the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.


Scotts Valley & Mountain Communities


Baymonte Christian Preschools

Lic #440700053, 444404910, 444412437, 444414376

Granite Creek Campus - 5000 B Granite Creek Road

Preschool Too - 4901 Scotts Valley Drive

Early Childhood Learning Center - 570 Bethany Drive



Baymonte Christian School is an independent, interdenominational Christian school serving infants through eighth grade. We offer three campus locations in Scotts Valley. Our preschools provide a rich academic program to nurture and grow your child’s individual potential. We are pleased to accommodate a variety of schedules to meet the needs of each family. Our infant, toddler, and preschool programs are accepting applications. Please contact our admissions office at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to schedule a campus tour.


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 Elementary School

P.O. Box H, Davenport



Pacific Preschool in Davenport offers a rich, hands-on learning environment, Orff music, and Life Lab gardening, for ages 3-5. 8:30-12:30 daily. Extended care until 2:30. 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.


Pajaro Valley Child Development



With over 50 year of service, PVUSD offers quality early care and education through a variety of programs. Half day state preschools classes can be found across the district with focus on school readiness and social emotional development. 99.7% of parents state they are satisfied with the program. Child Development also provides full day state preschool services and family childcare home network services for infants and toddlers for income eligible families working or school. Visit our website to find out more about children’s learning success, and how to enroll.


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 33 years ASU has taught over 23,000 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 ability grows. Our objective in the ASU swim program is to maintain 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 14 years and over 100 musicals in Santa Cruz County. We offer training in the performing arts for Tiny Tots (3-5), Tots (5-9), Youth (9-14), Teens (13-19) and adults. Don't miss our Spring Season - upcoming classes and musicals include; "Beauty & the Beast Jr.", for our Tiny Tots and Tots age group and "Into the Woods" for our Youth group. 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 summer classes and productions for Tiny Tots, Tots, Youth & Teens.


Family Service Agency of the Central Coast

Santa Cruz - 831.423.9504

Soquel – 831.346.6767

Watsonville – 831.728.9975

You child may need help. Children having problems at home or in school may be depressed or anxious. Our specialized therapists will work with your child as well as the entire family, your child’s school, your physician, and other relevant people in your child’s life. To make it easy for children to get the care they need, we offer extended sessions, guidance for parents and three convenient locations. Special support is available for families with and without Medi-Cal. Every child deserves to be happy. Every family deserves peace of mind. Call now.


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 www.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/MusicalMe, Inc.

Locations throughout Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County



Give your child the very best Early Childhood Music & Movement Program available – Music Together! Expose them to every possible opportunity to learn and grow. Create a bond with them through music. Learn how to share the joys of music-making and the powerful benefits of having music in your young child’s life. From babyhood through the preschool years, our Music Together program nurtures each child’s natural musicality. In our classes, grownups learn together with their children. Our award-winning curriculum supports grownups to use our music and home materials to further engage children – and experience the fun too! Music learning supports all learning, and in our classes you will learn why, and how! We offer 3 types of classes: Our gold standard “Mixed Age” class for ages Birth to 5 (Siblings are welcome, especially infants who may attend free if they are 8 months or under); our very special “Babies Class” for infants 8 months & under; and our “Masters Class” for experienced children ages 3 to 6 years. Classes throughout Santa Clara & Santa Cruz Counties. Call now to attend one class for free!


Parent, Child, and Family Therapy

Santa Cruz

Bethany Kientzel, MFTI #83018


Supervised by Dayna Lea, LMFT 32103

Center For Humanistic Development

Providing support for parenting young children. Understanding child developmental stages, strategies for making the best of the toddler and preschool years, adoption, special needs, foster/kinship care, self-care.


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 Public Libraries 

10 branches in Santa Cruz County; check website for the branch in your neighborhood!



The Santa Cruz Public Libraries deliver information, education, enrichment and inspiration through a network of 10 neighborhood library branches, a web-based digital library, a Bookmobile and community-based programs. Preschool programs include Storytime, Family Crafts, Toddler Time, Cuéntame un Cuento (Spanish Storytime), Discover & Go passes, and Read to Me packs.


Seahorse Swim School, Inc.



Preschool age children are eager to learn how to swim. Start your child out early in lessons for the best success (lessons are available to 6 months+). Our teachers are patient, skilled & encouraging to your children while they learn this lifesaving skill. Come learn with the best!



820 Bay Ave, Ste. 210, Capitola



A pediatric learning clinic serving children with developmental, cognitive and motor planning based speech-language and communication difficulties including receptive and expressive language, articulation, auditory processing, autism, verbal apraxia and delayed language development.


Tutu School Scotts Valley

16 Victor Square, Suite E, Scotts Valley



At Tutu School we believe that exposing children at the earliest possible age to creativity, movement, and classical music will only serve them well in whatever they choose to do with their lives, that dancing like swans and Sugar Plum Fairies not only exercises little bodies but also nurtures big imaginations, and that twirling should be a fundamental part of any childhood. Tutu School offers ballet-based creative movement classes for children aged 18 months to 8 years old, as well as ballet birthday parties, and a summer day camp program. Come discover for yourself what makes Tutu School such a magical place to be!


Health Care Providers for Preschoolers


Capitola Kids Dentistry

2001 40th Ave, Suite G, Capitola



Capitola Kids Dentistry is a fun-loving and enthusiastic dental home focused on oral health for all children. We have extensive experience working with infants, children, teens, and adolescents, including those with special needs. We recognize the significant role dental care plays in a child’s development. We understand the importance of taking the time to provide parents with the personal attention and guidance needed to stay fully informed about their child’s dental health. We will continue to grow and evolve to best serve and embrace our patients, their families, and our community.


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



To help our patients live healthy lives, Dignity Health Medical Group—Dominican is dedicated to serving the continuing healthcare needs of the Santa Cruz community. Our board-certified pediatricians, nurses 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.


Brent J. Porter, D.D.S.

550 Water Street, Suite D-1, Santa Cruz


email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

website: brentjporterdds.com

It is so important that your child's first dental visit be a positive one. With Dr. Porter and his Team, your child will experience a new age in pediatric dentistry... one filled with prevention, education and chair-side parental support. Dr. Porter and his Team are dedicated to a gentle, fun-filled approach… no TVs in the ceiling here! Instead, we individually educate your child to become their best at brushing and flossing! At Dr. Porter's office, prevention is primary with semi-annual check-ups beginning at age 12 months of age. As a team, we pride ourselves in the experience we offer our patients! Please join us in keeping your children Cavity Free while Growing Up In S.C!



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 Wednesday, 01 February 2017 01:39
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