Natural Family Preschools

Natural family, attachment parenting friendly, and nature-based private preschools in San Diego County



Circle of Friends Preschool is a delightful preschool in the Clairemont area for ages 2 through 5, offering a home-based enrichment in the most natural and appropriate learning environment for young children. Comes absolutely highly recommended by many of our AP and natural families. 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.


Conveniently located between College Area and Downtown, we at Sweet Peace Playgarten call ourselves a “playgarten” because we are not a typical daycare and we are not a standard preschool – we offer a program of outdoor exploration and play especially appropriate for ages two to four years old. Our 9am-1pm play experience gently guides children to joyfully connect to the natural world by fostering awareness of all their senses – with their fresh, open, and inquisitive eyes, hands, noses, ears, tastebuds…. and hearts. With a 3 child to 1 adult ratio, each child can be nurtured and have his or her needs quickly met. We are located on the border of City Heights and Oak Park on a quiet street with hovering hawks, crowing roosters, and the sweet smell of fresh canyon/creek air. Please contact us to schedule a time to visit. We look forward to meeting you and yours.



In Central San Diego/Oak Park and in Oceanside.

At A Child’s Garden of Thyme (ACGT), we strive to provide an ideal Early Childhood experience inspired by Waldorf education for preschool aged children from newborn to five years, in San Diego county. In addition to loving, Waldorf/LifeWays trained and highly experienced teachers, our programs feature a natural, home based environment for children to experience the world at their own pace and learn through their senses. A truly mixed-age preschool/daycare experience for children (aged 0-5). A 2–8.5 hour day beginning at 7:30am, five days a week (Monday through Friday). Before or after care as needed. Our daycares utilize a curriculum inspired by Waldorf Early Childhood Education with two teachers (rather than a teacher and an assistant) with Waldorf and LifeWays training and experience.




We know that finding the right environment for your child makes a world of difference. At The Children’s School (TCS), in La Jolla, our Toddler through Eighth Grade students are part of a unique learning environment where risk-taking is expected, where making a difference is encouraged, and where working together is the norm. For 40 years, TCS has been inspiring, engaging, and preparing students to become 21st Century learners and leaders through a dynamic hands-on, project-based curriculum and a one-of-a-kind, integrated social curriculum. We are extremely proud of our school’s history of graduating confident, self-motivated students who are prepared both academically and socially to succeed at top high schools and beyond.



In Encinitas: Oasis School. Our mission is to offer a choice for children and families looking for a more child-centered, nurturing educational environment. We believe it is important to teach children skills that will lead to the ability to create a happy , healthy and successful life for themselves, their human community, and the natural environment we all share. We follow the Oasis Nurturing Education methods and practices of co-creating learning environments for young children.



In Solana Beach: Sandy Hill is a parent cooperative pre-school which unites family participation and teacher expertise in a natural setting. Our play-based philosophy supports children as they explore and learn while building self-esteem. We endeavor to provide all our children with a responsive, nurturing, and stimulating environment in which they can reach their full potential as happy, competent, and productive human beings.



The Hanna Fenichel Center for Child Development offers programs for children from 18 months to 5 years of age. Our programs are designed to support the emotional, social, physical and cognitive growth of children. Beginning with the first moment of separation and experience in the world outside of home, the school provides a secure child-centered environment that fosters self-confidence and self-esteem. We’re a non-profit organization sponsored by The San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Through this and our many other affiliations, we offer educational programs that are open to the general public as well as the families served by the center. See Events for what’s upcoming. Please feel free to call to schedule a tour and to learn more about how we can meet the needs of your child.


In Carlsbad

The Nursery/Kindergarten programs are a bridge between home and school for the young child (ages 3-6), held 8:30 am-12:30 pm. Children of this age learn primarily through play and imitation. The Waldorf environment fosters the child’s capacities for imagination and creativity. The rhythms of the day, week, and seasons provide a structure within which the child gains a secure relationship to the world. We work with raw natural materials for a true education of the senses. Creative play, storytelling, circle time, and artistic activities provide a balance between the free, creative expression of the child and the teacher-led group experience.


1 Comment

  • Alex Hazell August 11, 2017 at 6:16 am

    A new Waldorf Preschool in the La Mesa/El Cajon Area. It is called Garden Canyon Preschool, we focus on creative indoor play and outdoor nature play. The children and I garden, bake bread, build forts and more! Days: M-F Hours: 8am-3pm Extended hours available.
    Ages: 2-6. 619-386-9708 Best, Alex


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