|My kids on their first day at preschool|
When we started looking at preschools I did what just about every mother in Los Angeles does, I bought a copy of "Coping With Preschool Panic" and began to read about schools in my area. Although there is much that is helpful in this book, to my disappointment, it is very heavily weighted towards the West Side (we live a bit East of most of the discussed schools) and, more importantly, over time I have met parents who have sent their children to many wonderful schools that aren't even in this book! In an effort to try to give you more schools to look into as you start your preschool search, I thought I'd post a list of some perhaps lesser-known, but still terrific, schools that I either have personally toured, have been recommended to me by friends who are very much in the know about Southern California schools or are schools which the twins (or triplets) of friends of mine attend and love.
Keep in mind that a great website doesn't necessarily mean it's a great school, nor should the lack of a web presence (or a not-so great website) turn you away from touring a school. Additionally, it is very easy to get wrapped up in trying to get into "the best" schools; remember that what is "the best" to one person may mean very little to the next. Do your research, tour and make up your own minds. I hope you find this list useful:
- Montessori Shir-Hashirim, Hollywood
- Exploring Minds Montessori, Van Nuys
- Green Beginning, West LA
- Cassidy Preschool, Santa Monica
- Happyland, Culver City
- Beverly Glen Playgroup, Los Angeles
- Crestwood Hills Co-op, Bel Air
- Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles
- Wilshire Boulevard Temple Erika J. Glazer Early Childhood Center - East Campus, or Mann Family Early Childhood Center -West Campus, Los Angeles
- Sunshine Preschool, Brentwood 11942 Sunset Boulevard Brentwood, CA 90049 Phone: (310) 472-2212
- The Sunshine Shack, Hollywood
- Blueberry Atelier, Santa Monica
- A Kid's Place, Los Angeles
- St. James Preschool, Los Angeles
- Neighborhood School, 3 locations: (a) 4528 Matilija Avenue Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 Phone: (818) 784-8446 (b) 11742 Riverside Drive, Valley Village, 818-762-1212 (c) 4433 Mammoth Ave, Sherman Oaks, 818-783-7289
- Evergreen, Santa Monica
- Circle of Children, Santa Monica
- Children's Circle, Van Nuys 6328 Woodman Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91401 Phone: (818) 782-9060
- The New School - West, Los Angeles
- Woodland Hills Private School (Collins Campus), Woodland Hills
- The Growing Place, Santa Monica
- Plymouth School, Hancock Park 315 S Oxford Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90020 Phone: (213) 387-7381
- Garden Of Angels, Santa Monica
- Sunnyside Preschool, 3646 Coldwater Canyon, Studio City Phone: 818-763-7476
- Kigala Preschool (Kids Garden of Languages LA), Santa Monica
Update: I have added some additional suggestions to help in your preschool search on my post More LA School Information.
Update: I have now made a list of an additional 20 preschools on a new post Hidden Gems Part 2: More SoCal Preschools You May Not Know.
Thanks for reading!
The Twin Coach
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