San Mateo Preschools

Raziel Ungar

Raziel Ungar

April 27th, 2012 - 7 min read

Below is my extensive list of preschools serving the San Mateo community. If you’re looking for a San Mateo preschool or thinking about buying San Mateo real estate, it’s a good idea to be aware of our many excellent options. The information below was compiled from information from each school’s website. To view parent reviews and ratings of San Mateo preschools or other schools in the community, visit GreatSchools.

A Map of Preschools in San Mateo:

View San Mateo preschools in a full screen map

Bay Meadows Kinder Care

Bay Meadows Kinder Care, located on Wayne Way and right next to Whole Foods at Bay Meadows, is a play-based program for children ages 18 months - 6 years. Kinder Care devises innovative and interesting ways of learning for toddlers along with ample companionship. Kinder Care gives children opportunities to grow, learn and develop in a caring and stimulating atmosphere. The center is open from 6:30 am – 6:00 pm, providing a full-day program for working families.

Contact: 650-577-0257,

Beresford Montessori

Beresford Montessori is located on Gum Street in the Hayward Park neighborhood. Beresford Montessori provides a safe environment for children where they are nurtured, loved and encouraged to learn. The school offers a quality year-round preschool and kindergarten program as well as an afternoon Spanish immersion program and summer camps. A typical day includes free play time, curriculum activities, music, free choice (where children direct themselves to age appropriate activities), playground time, and story time. School is in session from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. (Spanish immersion program hours are 3:30 pm – 5 pm during the school year.)

Contact: 650-571-8749,

Bright Beginnings Montessori Preschool

Located in San Mateo’s Aragon neighborhood on Hobart Street, Bright Beginnings is a year-round developmental program based on the Montessori philosophy. The school helps to develop social skills, self-esteem and motivation while fostering a child’s natural desire to learn. While creativity is encouraged, there is also a framework through which each child can develop self-discipline and personal strength. Click here for information about the Pre-K program. Choose a two, three or five day school week. Click here for tuition costs.

Contact: 650-571-0343,

Building Kidz School

Located in the Beresford Manor neighborhood, Building Kidz School provides infant care, preschool and kindergarten, where caregivers nurture children with individual attention and intellectual and physical stimulation. The preschool program provides a rich classroom environment where children are encouraged to explore and learn, while making friends and developing self-confidence. Memory games and hands-on experiences combine creative expression with a tactile experience. Because arts education helps to create a climate supportive of active and self-directed learning, Building Kidz exposes children to performing arts to develop confidence, self-esteem and helps each child recognize and explore his/her own artistic abilities.

Contact: 650-212-5439,

Bunker Hill Parent Co-op

Located in the Crystal Springs United Methodist Church, Bunker Hill is a parent cooperative which encourages the grown and learning of both children and parents. It provides a nurturing environment in which children develop socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically through play, new experiences and adult/child interaction. In the woodsy setting, children enjoy a natural world of discovery while playing outdoors. The playground includes a tricycle path, climbing structure, sandbox, playhouse, garden and waterway. Indoors, children are free to explore three thematic rooms: The Discover Room provides puzzles, table toys, a science table and hundreds of books. The Block Room accommodates circle time, block-play, music, dramatic play and dress-up and includes a fully equipped playhouse. The Art Room offers a variety of projects including painting, play-dough, cooking and use of the Creation Station.

This cooperative school requires parent participation based on the number of days a child attends. Click here for more information about parent participation and tuition costs.

Ganon Early Childhood Learning Center at Peninsula Temple Beth El

The Ganon Early Childhood Learning Center focuses on individualized, developmentally appropriate care and curriculum for children ages 12 weeks through preschool. Located in the Beresford neighborhood, the program prepares children for kindergarten and emphasizes Jewish traditions and values of kindness, charity and cooperation. The infant, toddler and preschool programs have been designed to provide a nurturing, secure, dependable environment.

The Ganon Infant/Toddler and Preschool Center is open for full time enrollment only, Monday through Friday, 7 am – 6 pm, year-round, with the exception of major Jewish or national holidays. There are seven classrooms, a spacious and sunny yard filled with equipment for each child to enjoy. In this loving and warm atmosphere, children can explore their environment through both choice and structured play experience. Music, rhythm and movement, art, games and puzzles, wheel toys, cars, balls, a sandbox, two wading pools and a sand and water table help children develop language and muscle skills. Children are introduced to Jewish holidays sand Shabbat celebrations through the use of songs, food, stories and craft projects. Toddlers through preschoolers bake challah for Shabbat weekly. Tours are scheduled daily, so call or email to schedule your visit or for more information.

Contact: 650-341-7701,

Hope Lutheran School

Hope Lutheran Preschool offers young children a Christian setting in which to grown, learn and develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. There are 3 class sessions: MWF – 9 – 11:30 (18 students, 3 teachers)

Pre-K MWF – 12:30 – 3 (18 students, 3 teachers); T/TH – 9 – 11:30 (14 – 16 students, 3 teachers)

For more information about admissions and tuition, call 650-345-8438 or email Jeanne McCarthy, Preschool Director at, or 640-345-8438

La Creche Child Development Center

Located in the Beresford Manor neighborhood, La Crèche is a program committed to providing developmentally age appropriate programs for children while supporting teachers, families and the community. The unique strengths of each child are nurtured while self reliance, creativity and empathy for others is encouraged. Age appropriate programs for children ages 2 – 6 are offered, in addition to full-day programs for infants and toddlers. The preschool program has a set curriculum that incorporates science, music, movement, social studies, art, math and reading in a fun, loving environment. Special programs including Spanish and French language skills, yoga, cooking, science and gardening projects help enrich the lives of the children, and field trips may be planned by individual classroom teachers or the school as a whole. For a full listing of class schedules and a partial tuition list, click here. To download enrollment forms, click here. Call 640-638-9300 for additional tuition information.

Contact: 650-638-9300,

Bayview Montessori School

Bayview Montessori exemplifies the traditions of Montessori schooling and is dedicated to fully supporting the natural development of children ages 2 1/2 - 6. Bayview offers a morning program (8:30 am to 11:30 am) or afternoon program (12:30 pm to 3:30 pm). Students may be enrolled two, three or five days per week. In addition to the weekly Spanish language lessons, there are also music and movement classes. They also offer daily lunch from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm.

Contact: 650-571-1444,

San Mateo Parents’ Nursery School

Located near Harbor View Park, San Mateo Parents’ Nursery School has been providing enriching learning experiences for children for more than 60 years. The play-oriented, age appropriate program serves children ages 2 – 5. SMNS is a parent cooperative preschool requiring parent participation for 3 hours once each week. (Occasionally there are a limited number of non-participation spots available. Contact the school for more information about these.) There are two school sessions each day; mornings from 8:30 am – 2 pm and afternoons from 1 pm – 4 pm. You may choose a morning or afternoon session, or a full day, 2 – 5 days per week. You may extend the session with the lunch hour, and the school offers extended hours to make it easier on working parents.

Contact: 650-347-1955

Kindercourt School System

Located in downtown San Mateo, Kindercourt serves infants through pre-kindergarten children. The “Ducky Group” offers loving, nurturing care for children ages 3 months to 2 years old. With a 1 to 4 ratio and teachers with specialized training in infant care, your baby is in good hands. Each infant is on an individualized schedule, with specialized activities to meet different stages of development. Each activity is charted throughout the day to ensure that all needs are being met. There are also small group activities which include music and movement, arts and crafts and stories and puppets.

Contact: 650-344-6612,

Highland Montessori

Highland Montessori, which was established in 1982, is located on the Burlingame/San Mateo border. Highland offers both 3 and 5 day programs in half day and full day sessions for children ages of 2 - 6. They also provide childcare before and after school, and they have a summer program which includes cooking classes, drama, art, music and botany. All the teachers at Highland Montessori have over 20 years of Montessori teaching experience and are required to continue their education or keep current on advances in the Early Childhood field through workshops or seminars. The staff all share the beliefs and teaching style consistent with the school's Montessori philosophy.

Contact: 650-347-6450

Creative Learning Gazelle School

The Creative Learning Gazelle School for children ages 3 - 5 began as a six-week summer school 36 years ago. The two year program focuses on maximizing learning for children during the crucial two years before kindergarten. The warm loving, humane environment, with experiences designed to facilitate exploration, creation, sharing, relaxation and choice, the program emphasizes the interaction of children with each other in a program designed to encourage and nurture the expression of each child’s gifts, talents and creative strengths.

Schedule: Mornings, September through July (the school is closed in August) from 9 am – 11:45 am. Choose any three mornings per week. In the second year a fourth or fifth day is possible.

Contact: 650-347-8411,

Kinder Academy Montessori

Kinder Academy Montessori offers year round preschool and kindergarten programs for children 2 1/ - 6 years old. The center offers half days, full days and extended care. Kinder Academy Montessori is committed to providing meaningful experiences that aid in the development of the whole child. Children develop self-help skills by doing activities that they observe in their daily routines. These exercises provide opportunities to improve eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills, a sense of order and concentration. A few examples of activities that can be found in this area are: pouring water from one container to another, spooning, using tongs and buttoning frames.

Contact: 640-340-8818,

Little City Kids

At Little City Kids, children learn necessary “kindergarten readiness” skills, but not just by writing on paper. They are exposed to literature in tactile, artistic and creative ways that provide a world context for meaning. They don’t just learn their numbers; they learn the fundamental principles of mathematics. They don’t just learn colors and shapes, they learn about world class art and artists. All of this knowledge is shared through play. The fantasy classroom and Imagination Stations address the needs and senses of the whole child, immersing each student in an environment that cultivates problem-solving skills and creative thinking.


Petite Sorbonne Preschool

The goal at Petite Sorbonne is to provide a well-balanced, carefully planned, nurturing environment for children. Your child will feel comfortable and confident, allowing him/her to explore, feel challenged, take risks, gain independence and initiative, develop empathy, have fun and feel good about being a child. The entire day is made up of developing thinking skills, motor skills and social skills. Children will meet friends, play with toys, look at books, explore how things work, listen to music, pour and measure in the sand box and will have different experiences in a mostly child group situation. They will develop and expand language skills and will have creative art experiences. There are full day and half day programs, so click here for the full schedule and tuition costs.

Contact: 650-347-410,

Serendipity School

Located near the Western Hills neighborhood, Serendipity’s year-round, full day curriculum promotes the natural development of children. The enriched programs, low child-teacher ratios and small classes allow the children to experience a child-centered, hands-on learning environment. The curriculum includes enhanced Language Arts, Math, Science, Spanish, Practical Life, Art, Music and Motor Development. The preschool program includes well-planned field trips and on-site special events and demonstrations. All aspects of the program take place in a relaxed, nurturing atmosphere. The wonders of learning are conducted in a positive, caring manner in which self-esteem takes precedence.

Contact: 640-474-7400,

Stella Piccolo Preschool

Stella Piccolo is a nurturing preschool program for children ages 3 – 5. At Stella Piccolo, children explore their environment in a carefully planned play atmosphere. A wide variety of materials and learning experiences are available to promote developmental growth opportunities for each child. Some of the activities include arts and crafts, construction and building, reasoning and thinking, dramatic play, books and outdoor play. Stella Piccolo shares a campus with San Mateo County’s Infant and Early Childhood Education Programs for children with special needs, and students regularly interact with one another. Choose a three or two day program (Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday and Thursday) from 9 am – 12 noon. (Contact the director if you are interested in a five day program.)

Contact: 650-804-4923,

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