Seeking a Daycare or Preschool in Concord/Walnut Creek

Parent Q&A

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  • Preschool recommendations in WC

    (0 replies)

    Any places to check out and/or to avoid knowing Walnut Creek? First time mom of a 2 year old and I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed by all of the choices! I’d prefer partial day and co-op, but would love to hear all recommendations.


    No responses received.

  • Hi all! We are moving to Concord at the end of October and need to find a daycare/preschool nearby for our son who will be 17 months at the time.  We are having trouble finding a place with any availability and feel like our only option is to get on waitlists and wait and see.  Does anyone have any tips/recommendations/advice?  We would love to place him somewhere with spanish immersion but can compromise on that if need be. 

    Concord/Walnut Creek would be ideal but Pleasant Hill and even Lafayette could potentially work.

    Thank you in advance for your guidance!

    Get on those waitlists! Usually sign ups are around January for the fall session for preschools. I have friends whose kids go to Kid Time in Walnut Creek (it's on the Concord border) and they love it. Maybe start there? 

    If you can get spot, I recommend the Love and Care Learning Center.  My son was there from age 4 months until age 3.5 when we moved away from Walnut Creek. .  We loved it there!

    My friends had great things to say about Springfield Montessori.

    I have heard that there are many in-home daycare providers so you may also want to explore that route.

    Good luck!

  • Walnut Creek Preschool Recommendations

    (3 replies)

    I'm about to move to Walnut Creek with my family. I'm looking for a good preschool in Walnut Creek area. I have 3 kids so affordability is important too. Any recommendations?

    White Pony preschool on the Walnut Creek/Lafayette border is amazing.  My kids have been there four years and are in kindergarten now.  It is not the right fit for everyone -- it is a very kind, compassionate, spiritual, small school with a community and family feel.  They have a real emphasis on developing the emotional and spiritual well-being of children.  There is a big emphasis on the arts and nature.  I can't say enough good things about it.

    Most things in Walnut Creek are not very affordable. I don't have kids in preschool yet but live in Walnut Creek and have heard good things about Kindercare and also White Pony preschool. Not sure what their rates are. 

    Lafayette Nursery School is an outstanding family co operative. Many Walnut Creek families have passed through its doors.

  • Hi, 

    We are new to the bay area and are expecting our first baby this October!  I have done quite a bit of research online but do not have many friends/network to ask for personal recommendations on day cares in the area.  Does anyone have any daycares to recommend in the concord/walnut creek/pleasant hill area?  Appreciate any input or feedback that would be helpful in making this important decision :)  My baby would probably need to start around 4 months old but I can be flexible if needed.

    Thank you!


    Hi Hanna,

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!  I would recommend a couple of groups on Facebook - The Mamahood - SF East Bay and TM Childcare Network (SF East Bay).  You can ask questions about specific day care centers in the area and often can get good responses.  Our daughter is currently at Alice's Montessori Infant & Toddler Center.  I would say that we like it but are not crazy about it.  I have heard amazing things about Love n' Care but they do not have availability in your time frame and I think it's pretty much become impossible to get in.  I have also heard great things about Small World Infant & Daycare Center.  

    Good luck!


    We had our son start at Alice's Montessori in Pleasant Hill when he was 3 months old. I really like the director Kiana and all of the teachers plus it always super clean and somewhat calm (as calm as a daycare can be) environment. 

    I have also heard good things about Where the Wild Things Play in Pleasant Hill as well. 

  • Hello ,

    My family and I are moving to Walnut Creek soon . I heard great recomendations for Springfield Montessori and Shederlands .

    I like the building of Montessori but I don't think it is what we are looking for.

    we currently live in San Rafael and we love our preschool! Our son is so happy. Classrooms are around 12-13 kids with 2 teachers . Going to Springfield Montessori it was hard for me to see that the classrooms are 24-2 teachers .

    Im really hoping to find a preschool that is similar to ours in San Rafael , where they are very involved , gives play an important part of teaching and learning .

    I truly appreciate any guidance on where to look. I'm concern that I won't fine something with availability and the characteristics that I'm persuing.

    We are going to be close to Norgate but I'm willing to move from that area.


    I have heard good things about Kindercare in Walnut Creek but not sure about their classroom sizes.  Also the White Pony preschool seems to get a lot of good reviews online as well.

    If you get lucky and can get in the door (lots of applicants), you would love White Pony preschool. It's in Lafayette, right on the Walnut Creek border. It's an amazing place, and all of the things you described in your post. 

  • I'm moving to Martinez from Portland, Oregon this summer and am looking for a preschool for my 3 year old to start fall 2017. He currently goes to a home based Waldorf nursery school all day 8:30-5 two days a week and is thriving. Any suggestions for a school/nursery along these lines in Lafayette/Walnut Creek/Martinez area? I'm not attached to home-based or Waldorf education however I am attached to organic healthy food, ideally an all day program and outside play in a natural environment. 

    Thank you in advance!

    White Pony preschool on the Lafayette/Walnut Creek border is amazing. Very caring and nature-based. It can be quite hard to get in due to so many interested families, but it is a wonderful place and worth checking out. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2007

I'm just starting my search into preschools for my son. We live in Walnut Creek, but I'm also looking in the Lafayette area as well. The postings for recommedations in WC are fairly old, so I'd appreciate any feedback good or bad with preschools in the area. anon

As you start gathering information about preschools, you might check -- this doesn't list every school, but does list many, and provides enough information to rule many in or out. We started here, then went to visit a few locations to get a sense of what we really wanted for our son. Best of luck! Mom in W.C.

Sept 2002

Re: "Traditional" school 2-3 mornings a week
I know this is too far away for you, but I just wanted to mention the City Of Concord Leisure Services preschool because it is EXACTLY what you are looking for (except for the French, but we do get some Spanish!)

I was looking for the exact same qualities and searched every preschool within 25 miles of my home. I finally discovered that what I wanted was right under my nose, and dirt cheap! I suggest checking into the city leisure services programs - Concord may not be the only city offering such a great preschool!

Of course, I would highly recommend coming to Concord if you are up for it! One family drives in from Oakland and another drives from Oakley - to some it really is worth it! The teacher for the 2 year old class (must be 2 by 9/1)has been there for 9 years. It is STRICTLY part-time, semi-academic, and REALLY fun. My daughter wants to go every day! Jaime

April 2002

I've been watching the lists and checked the archives, but I haven't seen too many preschool recommendations for the EAST East bay :-) I was wondering if anyone knows of a good preschool in the Concord/Walnut Creek area. So far we are considering Walnut Ave. Community Preschool in Walnut Creek and Myrtle Farm Montessori in Concord. If you have any experience with those, please let me know!

I'm also interested in coops, but was concerned to see the high student-teacher ratios. I understand that parent participation is essential, but I worry that there may not be enough teacher participation with so many children in one class! Jaime

My daughter went to Morningstar Preschool in Walnut Creek--we were pretty happy with it. If you're interested in a family daycare setting, she also went to Annie's Little Farm (Ann Cohen), which we liked a lot. Deborah

I would recommend you check which is the Contra Costa Child Care Council, which provides free guidance for choosing daycare/schools. We live in Walnut Creek, but our daughter goes to White Pony in Lafayette and we love it, as does she. A friend of our daughter's and her sister go to Kidtime in Walnut Creek and love it. I also checked out The Child in Lafayette and really liked it a lot. Our friends' kids went there. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the schools you mentioned. Good luck! Lori

October 2001

We are new to Walnut Creek and are looking for a pre-school, our child will be 3 in Feb. We have checked out the parent's network website and were wondering if there are any other preschools that parents would highly recommend. Thanks, Angela

The White Pony Preschool (Meher Schools) in Lafayette, close to the Lafayette/Walnut Creek border is supposed to be really good. Its at 999 Leland Drive, if you take Olympic from Walnut Creek, make a right onto Pleasant Hill Road, a right onto Condit, and a left onto Leland. Richa

We live in Pleasant Hill and I checked around extensively befoer sending my daughter to preschool. She (and we!) have thoroughly enjoyed Peter Pan Preschool in Pleasant Hill on Gregory Lane. The 3 and 4 year olds play together at the start of the morning, then are divided into small groups (10) for the rest of the morning until circle time near the end of the morning. The small groups are wonderful and allow for lots of individual attention. When the children turn 4, they go 3 days/week and only the 4 year olds go on Monday ams, which is sort of their "science day". Parents come in and help with stations where the kids get experience in whatever the theme is for the morning. We were also impressed with Mary Jane's Preschool on Geary, just near the W.C. border and have heard rave reviews about Creative Play (a co-op) in P>H., although I have not been there. Trish

Lori 12/99
Does anyone have any direct experience (positive or negative) with either the Early Childhood Services (preschool and kindergarten) at the Jewish Community Center in Walnut Creek or the White Pony school in Lafayette? We're considering these for our daughter - each seems to have a lot going for it. My daughter is now in a daycare center and is 16 months old, but we have to plan ahead for the transition to the next step. She can stay at her current daycare up to 3 years of age, but we might want to switch her to JCC or White Pony before that. Also, how much time would you recommend for transitioning from one daycare situation to another? She has only ever been at this daycare and started there when she was 3 months old. Thanks.

From: Deborah (2/99)

When looking in Walnut Creek I was NOT impressed with the centers I visited: lots of standing in line, counting kids to keep track of them, calling the teachers "Miss Mary" or "Mrs Joan"--not the cozy, child-centered feeling i was looking for. Also, lots of preschools have a religious component, which I didn't want. BUT, i found a family daycare that I like a lot, and my 31/2 yr old has been there for a year. It's at the home of a woman named Ann Cohen, (925) 935-6492, who lives right near the N. Main exit off 680. Ann is licensed for 12 kids ( most days has fewer) and there are always 2 or 3 adults there. Kids range from babies to pre-K, which I like. Down side is that are only a few kids of each age. There are four 3-4 yr olds and two 4-5 yr olds (starting K in the fall). Program is very unstructured, lots of music, art, and dance. Ann and her husband Allen and their house remind me of my childhood in Berkeley in the 60's, and I mean that in a good sense, although I don't think everyone would like it. Also, they serve mostly organic produce and generally healthy food. I also visited another family day care recommended by a list member. I liked it a lot, but it was far for me. Perhaps the same person will write in the name/number again.