Noe Valley Voice March 1997


Get a Jump on Preschool

By Allison Bartlett

If you're one of those parents in the parade of strollers on 24th Street, now may be the time to line up a pre-school for next fall. To help you sort through your choices, the Voice made a survey of Noe Valley daycare centers and preschools.

In addition to basics such as program hours and the number of children enrolled, we asked the school directors to give us a statement, in their own words, of the school's philosophy.

Here are the results. (If we've missed a school, please let us know, and we'll include it in a future issue.)

Children's Day School
333 Dolores St.
Director: Sandra Luna
Children's Ages: 2 to 7
Total Enrollment: 150
Ratio of children to providers: Toddlers, 6 to 1. Preschool, 6 - 8 to 1. Pre-kindergarten, 8 - 12 to 1. Kindergarten, 12 to 1. First and second grade, 12 to 1.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Extended care 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 6 p.m.
Philosophy: Development of the whole child. We will be adding third, fourth, and fifth grades consecutively, beginning September 1997.

Debra King School
3857 26th St.
Director: Debra King
Children's Ages: 20 months to 5 years
Total Enrollment: 32
Ratio of children to providers: 6 to 1, plus the director
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Philosophy: Developmentally based curriculum that encourages socialization, self-esteem, and, most importantly, learning through play.

Eureka Learning Center
Two sites: 464 Diamond St., 551 Eureka St.
Director: Leslie Banta
Children's Ages: 2.5 to 6
Total Enrollment: 15 per class (two preschool classes; one transitional kindergarten)
Ratio of children to providers: 5 to 1
Hours: Preschool, 9 a.m. to noon, 3, or 6 p.m. Kindergarten, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Philosophy: Child-centered, play-oriented, developmentally appropriate preschool and kindergarten.

Katherine Michiels School
1335 Guerrero St.
Director: Katherine Michiels
Children's Ages: Infant/toddler group: 3 months to 2 years. Preschool: 2 to 5 years. Elementary: kindergarten-age through second grade
Total Enrollment: 110
Ratio of children to providers: Infants, 4 to 1; preschool, 12 to 1; elementary, 15 to 1
Hours: Day care, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; evening care until midnight
Philosophy: Programs are a well-balanced mix of academic education, creative shared play, and structured activities -- an active school experience for growing children. All programs reflect the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education and emphasize the arts, parent involvement, and a curriculum that is project-based.

Moonwhistle School
1149 Diamond St.
Director: Lee Marcus
Children's Ages: 1 to 6
Total Enrollment: 6
Ratio of children to providers: 5 or 6 to 1
Hours: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Philosophy: It's about brain development, and we spell that P.L.A.Y. Unique approach to gender teaching, music, and art. Looking for families that want their kids to have a low-tech, worms 'n' dirt childhood. No TV or media until age 6 or 7. We can help families find another way, and they'll be so glad they did.

Noe Valley Nursery School
1021 Sanchez St.
Director: Nina Youkelson
Children's Ages: 2.5 to 5
Total Enrollment: 30
Ratio of children to providers: 4 to 1
Hours: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily; 1 to 5 p.m. Monday and Friday
Philosophy: Open, warm, accepting, nonjudgmental parent co-op where everyone can have a good time. We have been here in Noe Valley since January 1969, and now have children of children who attended then!

Peppertree Daycare
4333 23rd St.
Director: Ann Scalf
Children's Ages: 2.5 to 5.5
Total Enrollment: 19 (12 at any one time -- not all kids attend every day)
Ratio of children to providers: 6 to 1
Hours: Arrival 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.; pickup 5 to 5:30 p.m.
Philosophy: A curious child will never want to stop learning. How to get honey from a honeysuckle -- that's what real learning is all about. A well-balanced program with learning and fun. Two levels of home devoted just to daycare. Opened in 1983. Feel free to drop by any Tuesday morning, 8 to 9 a.m., for open house.

The Preschool
San Jose Avenue
Director: Lynn Hazen
Children's Ages: 2 to 6
Total Enrollment: 15 at any one time
Ratio of children to providers: 5 to 1
Hours: 8:45 to 11:45 a.m. (with optional lunch extending to 12:15 p.m.); 12:15 to 3:15 p.m., three or more days per week; optional extended care Monday and Wednesday until 5 p.m.
Philosophy: Learning through play! A nurturing environment where each child can successfully socialize, play, create, learn, and grow. We have great teachers, developmentally appropriate curricu-lum, lots of creative activities, Spanish enrichment, dance, wonderful kids, and a whole lot of fun!

Theresa S. Mahler Children's Center
990 Church St.
Director: Aurora Maramay
Children's Ages: 3 to 5
Total Enrollment: 74
Ratio of children to providers: 8 to 1
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Philosophy: To provide each child with equal opportunity to succeed by pro-moting intellectual growth, creativity, self-discipline, cultural and linguistic sensitivity, physical and mental health.

Timothy Mouse House
601 Diamond St.
Director: Valerie J. Valdez
Children's Ages: 2 to 10
Total Enrollment: 12 preschool, 14 afterschool
Ratio of children to providers: Preschool, 4 to 1. Afterschool, 6 to 1.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 1, 3, or 6 p.m. (8 a.m. start available)
Philosophy: Positive social interaction. Transportation available for school-age children (Clarendon, McKinley, Live Oak, Alvarado), swimming lessons, gymnastics, creative movement, Spanish, and piano classes available.

Treehouse Preschool
75 Fountain St.
Director: Suzy Williams
Children's Ages: 2 to 4
Total Enrollment: 18
Ratio of children to providers: 4 to 1
Hours: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., or 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Philosophy: Safe, nurturing, and stimulating learning environment, developmental program, thematic curriculum, child-centered, balance of play and structure. Nutritional organic meals provided. Gymnastics, music, storytelling, dance, and swimming offered.

Wind in the Willows
1444 - 48 Church St.
285-5510 or 285-3356
Director: Pat O'Connor
Children's Ages: 2.5 to 5
Total Enrollment: 18 per session
Ratio of children to providers: 6 to 1
Hours: 8:30 to 11:50 a.m. or 12:30 to 3:50 p.m.
Philosophy: Developmentally based program with emphasis on socialization skills, creativity, language in a warm, nurturing, small setting. The school has been in existence since 1973. While we are not a parent participation program, we do encourage parent involvement in many different ways. We protect the "magic" of the young child's early development and offer a group experience in a nurturing environment.

With Care
Fair Oaks Street
Director: Kathleen Albert
Children's Ages: 2 weeks to 4.5 years
Total Enrollment: 6
Ratio of children to providers: 6 to 1
Hours: Prearranged drop-in, part-time, full-time (very flexible)
Philosophy: Children need to be loved and stimulated in a safe, caring environment.