Margaret's Garden Preschool

Berkeley, CA

No longer in business

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Home-Based Daycare/Preschool
Danielle Epifani
510 528 8897
depifani [at]
Berkeley Hills - Cragmont
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Editors' Notes: 

(Nov 2014) Margaret's Garden is now closed, per Danielle Epfiani.

Parent Reviews

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Archived Reviews: 

Dec 2013

My four year old son started at Margaret's Garden in July of 2013. He had mostly been with me full time up until then so transitioning into full days apart was a big deal. I couldn't have found more nurturing and supportive place to make this transition. Despite teary good byes the first week or so, I walked away feeling confident that he was safe and would be allowed to move through his fears and into a good day filled with play, good food, and rest. One of the most important things to me is that my son gets a lot of time outdoors, I love that Danielle can take the children up to Tilden Park to run and roam and discover nature.

Although I of course loved the aesthetics when I first visited Margaret's Garden and was charmed by Danielle's sweet disposition, what resolved my choice to put my son in the program was when I went to observe one afternoon on my own. What I saw was a loving relationship between Danielle and each child present, and seeing every child clamor to give her a good bye hug after the closing circle sealed the deal for me! The children at Margaret's Garden love being there, my son included. When I arrive to pick him up he is happy, peaceful, and excited to return the next day. I highly recommend Margaret's Garden.

Nov 2013

Margaret's Garden is a child's garden and a parent's delight! Natural toys and playthings inside Danielle's cozy home complement the abundant garden. The rhythm of the day carries my child from arrival into a gentle structure, helping prepare snack, gathering for circle time, through outside play, eating, nap, and closing. (Napping there helped transition.) Photos on Facebook show the beauty of the setting and children engaged in meaningful work and play:

I have grown to appreciate Danielle more deeply, discussing parenting and early-child development in brief morning exchanges, long emails, and parent meetings. Her consistent focus on the well-being of the children (their bodies, minds, and spirits) is a grounding force that resonates with my desires as a parent. After almost a year there, I see my 3-yo growing into a socially-engaged and imaginative little person, who can change his own shoes, use the potty and wash his hands, grind grains and wash cups, and sing. Danielle's grace with the children makes this level of care seem effortless, but I know that she has something really magical here, and that behind the scenes she is very deliberate in how she guides the children on their paths.

Sept 2013

Hi, want to give you all a tip that Margaret's Garden nursery school has a rare opening for a new student now. It's a home-based Waldorf school in the Berkeley hills. A great mix of joyful unhurried play and gentle structure. Teacher Danielle Epifani is very experienced and attends sensitively to each child in the small group. It is the most beautiful preschool I've seen, and cozy too. We loved the seasonal festivals like lantern walk. School days include playing/working in the rambling garden, preparing organic meals, circle time, music, puppets, hiking, handcrafts, and general romping around with good quality toys. Parents have a helpful attitude; we've done carpooling and babysitting trades. If we weren't moving to Sonoma County we'd keep our daughter at the school until age 6. You can see photos here: Danielle accepts children as young as 18 months but right now sounds most keen to welcome another 3 year old. If interested email her: depifani [at] Elizabeth

Oct 2011

Hello families as you search for the best school I would have to reccommend Margaret's Garden. I searched high and low for a school that was waldorf based so my son could play with toys that weren't plastic and could be in that sort of environment. As soon as I walked into Danielle's home it was a dream come true. The space is so nicely layed out for the kids with wonderful uplifting colors and the decor is natural and simple and gives so much to the energy of the children. I have taken my son to other day cares but this one far out weights the rest. I can say that I am able to happily leave my son there knowing that he will be cared for with unconditional love from Danielle whom is a very experience teacher and knowing that my son will always eat healthy foods and have great fun in a natural environment partaking in natural activities. I am so happy we found her and would reccommend her to anyone that wanted a happy, safe uplifting, healthy environment to leave their children for the day.. Margaret's garden will go above and beyond to take care of you child even doing amazing arts and crafts that are so fun. Go check her out! Theresa

July 2011

Margaret's Garden is a mixed age, Waldorf inspired, home based Preschool in the Berkeley Hills. The children flourish under the care of Danielle Epifani, a highly trained and experienced Waldorf teacher. Organic meals are provided and the children have ample time outdoors to explore and learn in nature. They sing, play, garden, cook listen to stories, do crafts and have space to just be kids. I cannot express how thankful I am for Danielle and her program. She continues to mentor and support her parents through every development and obstacle that may arise in the preschool years and beyond. She has openings for the fall. Should you be interested please email her at danielle [at] You may also want to visit her facebook page at Anne

Nov 2010

I wanted to get the word out that Margaret's Garden in Berkeley is accepting applications. It is a wonderful program, run by Danielle Epifani, a gracious, capable, and highly trained Waldorf teacher. My now-six-year-old daughter has been in her program in the past and loved every minute of it. The exquisite nature-inspired artwork she came home with nearly every day is cherished and will remain treasured family pieces forever. The hikes in Tilden park, and the beautiful and heartfelt festivals Danielle put on, are treasured memories as well. We are hoping she can join again in the summer. Colene

March 2010

I would like to recommend Margaret's Garden, a Waldorf inspired preschool program in the Berkeley Hills. My daughter attends the program and loves it. Her listening skills and eating habits have improved immensely. Danielle leads the children through the routines of the day with her loving and firm hand. Songs are an essential part of the program and the children all sing along. She serves healthy, organic food which everyone prepares together. In addition to her Mo.-Fr. program she offers parent/child classes and hiking days at Tilden Park. You can check out her facebook page for more information.!/pages/North-Berkeley-CA/Waldorf-Early-
Contact: Danielle Epifani, 510 528 8897

April 2009

We have posted about this program before, but it has just reopened after a two-year hiatus. Margaret's Garden is a Waldorf-inspired preschool run by Danielle Epifani. Our older daughter attended from ages 2-4 and the program was a dream. Danielle proved to have such a kind and compassionate heart when working with our child. With a gentle hand she managed to convince our ''pasta-only'' child to eat quiche! She truly embodies the principles of Waldorf by modeling what it is to be a good person. We were thrilled when she announced that the program would continue in the fall, and we are happy that we will be able to send our younger one to her. Danielle offers so much in her program: organic food grown in her garden, puppet shows, festivals, nature walks and hiking, parent craft nights and informational evenings, all delivered with warmth and grace. In our experience she has a wonderful way with the children and their families. She has a website at, or call at 510 528-8897. Karima

March 2007

I would like to recommend Margaret's Garden, a Waldorf-inspired preschool program in Berkeley, run by Danielle Epifani. She provides a gentle, nurturing environment for children aged 2 through 5. Her program is very comprehensive and she brings the whole family into the process, including festivals (an enchanting lantern walk for Michaelmas, for instance), workshops and singing during advent. The school is based in her beautiful home, with a glorious California-natives garden. Much of the food she serves is grown by the children in the vegetable patch (everything she serves is organic or biodynamic). She has treated our whole family with love and respect. Our daughter, who went for two years, would come home every afternoon singing a new song. Just today, she said, ''Danielle is the best cook!'' We can't wait until our second one is old enough to join. Danielle's number is 510 528-8897. Duncan