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Our Private Preschool

Montecito Preschool has been part of the local community since 1960. We provide a developmentally appropriate preschool experience for children 2 years of age through Kindergarten, and drop-in and camp programs for elementary children (K-5th), with flexible scheduling for the families of Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and the surrounding communities. Our Director and staff believe that the primary purpose of early childhood education is to develop each child’s innate love of learning and discovery.

teacher talking to class of toddlers

Our Curriculum

Montecito Preschool’s curriculum follows the principles and practices of top academic research. We believe a well-balanced blend between academic, emergent, developmental and play-based learning will allow children to develop their imaginative minds and critical thinking abilities. Children direct their own learning, as our curriculum planning and activities are based on their interests, skills and age. Montecito Preschool activities are adapted to meet the needs of all children including those with disabilities and special needs.

As part of the “Montecito School Family,” caring relationships are formed that help each child develop effective social and emotional life skills. Our students learn about honesty, friendship, thankfulness, joy, and cooperation, all while they are engaged in a fun, hands-on learning process. To learn more, check out our Montecito Preschool daily routine page.

group of kids on play mat with bunny

School and Life Readiness

Social and Emotional Development

At Montecito Preschool, children will strengthen their social and emotional development. Children learn how to compromise, active listen, be respectful and problem solve. Preschool provides an environment for children to explore, gain a sense of self, play with peers and build self-confidence. Children learn they can accomplish tasks and make decisions without the help of their parents.

teacher and two children doing arts and crafts

Learning Environments

Our teachers at Montecito Preschool arrange their classrooms and outdoor environments so they are exciting and engaging. These environments are designed so each child feels safe and comfortable to explore, invent, think, imagine and try their best. We believe with stimulating classroom environments and enthusiastic teachers, children will leave Montecito having confidence and additional knowledge about themselves and the world around them.

Learning Opportunities

  • Exploring feelings that leads to social/emotional development
  • Building life skills including active listening, taking turns and conflict resolution
  • Promoting language development (receptive and speaking)
  • Literacy
  • Role playing and expressing feelings to others
  • Creative expression
  • Learning shapes, sizes and colors
  • Pre-math skills, including seriation, classifying, counting and sorting
  • Visual discrimination
  • Developing impulse control
  • Developing natural empathy
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Gross motor/large muscle development
  • Pre-writing and fine motor skills
  • Expanding attention span
  • Pre-reading opportunities
  • Scientific exploration, including measuring and pouring, cause and effect
  • Exploration and discovery through engaging with nature and animals
  • Developing concrete thinking, which leads to abstract and analytical thinking
  • Telling and retelling stories
  • Rhythm and movement, musical expression
  • Cooperative play
  • Spatial awareness

What Do Kids Learn in Preschool?

School Readiness

Behavior management is an important part of preschool learning. In preschool, children learn how to follow instructions, be patient, how to raise their hands and take turns. Children also learn how to share the teacher’s attention. Montecito Preschool students are taught to learn their daily routine, to listen to their teachers and others and wait their turn. Our engaging activities and experiences help children find answers through exploration, experimentation and conversation. Going to preschool also helps children learn independence as they separate from their parent or caregiver. All of this contributes to a child’s readiness for and success in Kindergarten and elementary school.

Life Skills & Readiness

At Montecito Preschool, children will learn to strengthen their social and emotional bonds with their teachers and peers, which helps prepare them for a successful life. Children learn how to compromise, listen to others, be respectful and problem solve. Preschool provides an environment for children to explore, gain a sense of self, play with peers and build self-confidence. Children learn they can accomplish tasks and make decisions without the help of their parents. These important life skills empower children to be successful citizens and they in turn impact others as leaders.

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