Circle of Friends









Please call for a visit.

Olivia Partridge, Director

After more than 20 years of Circle of Friends, our program is still evolving. 
In an environment of care and respect for each other, our primary focus continues to be on the emotional and social development of our children.  In the last few years, with the influence of Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods) and the Reggio Emelia approach, we have come to include a more conscious connection to Nature.  The children compost, snack from the organic garden, and play in the tree tunnel as they learn and grow.


Circle of Friends is committed to the well being and healthy social, emotional and educational development of children.

We believe that children need to be valued and accepted as unique individuals. They have a right to learn in environments, which are responsive to their needs.

We offer home-based enrichment in the most natural and appropriate learning environment for young children.


We believe that it is important to encourage in children:

* A positive attitude towards school by offering children a playful environment in which they can learn.
* A healthy self esteem by offering children choices, challenges and opportunities for success.
* A healthy means of self-expression by encouraging children to use language, art, dramatic play and music.
* An understanding and respect for others by teaching children about themselves and the world around them.


Excerpts from Circle of Friends Newsletter regarding
Child Centered Approach

“Healthy education supports and encourages spontaneous learning. Early instruction miseducates, not because it attempts to teach, but because it attempts to teach the wrong things at the wrong time. When we ignore what the child has to learn and instead impose what we want to teach, we put infants and young children at risk.” (Dr. David Elkind)

“The cornerstones of truly Child Centered places are long periods of free time to get engaged, to wallow in experiences, to repeat behaviors in order to master developmental skills, and to have time to be curious and develop a passion for discovery.” (Lisa Murphy “The Ooey Gooey Handbook- Identifying and creating child-centered environments.”)

In promoting a more Child Centered approach, Dr. Elkind states that, “No authority in the field of pediatrics or child psychiatry advocates the formal instruction of infants and young children. In fact the weight of solid professional opinion opposes it, and advocates ” …providing the young child with a rich and stimulating environment that is at the same time warm, loving and supportive of the child’s own learning priorities and pacing. It is within this supportive, non-pressured environment that infants and young children acquire a solid sense of security, positive self-esteem, and a long-term love of learning.”

This is what child-centered learning is all about. It is the core of our philosophy at Circle of Friends.


4151 Chippewa Ct., San Diego, CA 92117
Circle of Friends is located in Clairemont, close to the intersection of Clairemont Drive and Balboa Avenue.


We offer a half-day, Preschool Enrichment Program

*** Welcoming 2-5year olds
*** Maximum of 6 students daily
*** Teacher/child ratio of 1:6
*** Hours: Monday – Friday 8am – 12noon

Please call for a visit.

Olivia Partridge, Director

1 Comment

  • Cody Toscano May 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I am starting to look into pre-school for my 3 year old son Charley. I am eager to find a great place where he can flourish and grow from others around him. He is currently a only child but will be expecting a little brother or sister soon. I am hopeful this will encourage his readiness and empower him to grow. I am flexible with times. Any possible information will be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Cody Toscano


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