Programs and Age Groups

What We Teach in a Loving and Nurturing Environment

Because play holds such rich potential for promoting children’s cognitive, linguistic, social, and physical development, we view play as a key element in our curriculum. Children’s spontaneous play is a window into their ideas and feelings about the world. As such, we use these ideas to create an emergent, child-directed curriculum. 
Our curriculum focuses on the whole child. Physical (fine/gross motor), Cognitive (vocabulary/number/basic concepts), Emotional (how to recognize and express feelings), Social (how to be with peers), Creative (express self through art/dramatic play/role playing), and a Positive Self-Concept (fostering a sense of self-worth).

One of our main focuses is Socialization – teaching children how to be with others their own age, how to navigate in a social setting, how to negotiate, compromise, lead, and join a group of peers.

Toddler Program

Includes Ages 18 months to 36 months:
Emphasis is placed on social-emotional development through building caring and nurturing relationships. Teachers use routines to build a foundation for self-help skills. Interaction with peers in developmentally appropriate learning environments is at the root of children’s growth through hands-on experiences.

Preschool Program

Tailored to different age groups, our Preschool Program includes ages 2 1/2 – Kindergarten, including 3 potty-training classes. Each class emphasizes socialization by guiding children in identifying, labeling, and expressing emotions appropriately, fostering respect for others, and promoting kindness among peers.

While our approach is play-based, we remain mindful of kindergarten readiness, adhering to developmentally appropriate practices and the California Department of Education’s Preschool Learning Foundations, which primarily focuses on socialization. Our goal is to make each day a playful and enriching learning experience.


At Hillcrest Preschool, we are dedicated to nurturing the holistic development and social-emotional growth of each child. Our curriculum is inspired by the California Department of Education’s Preschool Learning Foundations, serving as vital benchmarks to strengthen preschool education, promote school readiness, and bridge achievement gaps.