Mountain Childcare facilities
Neil Wiley

A quick tour of mountain childcare facilities isn’t particularly revealing. You see a dedicated teacher, perhaps a few assistants and some kids, who are busily enjoying crafts, organized play and learning. Detecting the differences in personality and approaches to childcare requires an interested parent observing over several hours. 

The one obvious difference is geographical. The childcare facilities are typically located near or on the campus of one of the three public elementary schools—

Loma Prieta

Building Blocks Preschool
Non-profit Parent Co-op Preschool
Sponsored by the Loma Prieta Community Foundation, Loma Prieta School District and the Los Gatos/Saratoga/Loma Prieta Recreation Department.

Building Blocks is a parent-participation preschool with a newly expanded Pre-K program 3 days a week for older children (ages 4 & 5 years), and a special program 2 days a week for younger (2 & 3-yr.-old) children. Both programs are multi-sensory and child-directed, based on developmentally appropriate activities.

Through gentle encouragement children play and learn in small groups and to make exciting choices from projects led by parents and the Teacher/Director.

Program Details: The program is open to children 2 to 5 years of age, contingent upon an evaluation period to determine readiness by the Director.

IKids and Company
Loma Prieta School District-sponsored
23800 Summit Road
408-353-KIDS (5437)
Email: kids&

Bridget Anne Freiri and several assistants serve children from five years of age and up. Facilities are divided into three sections—a K-2 room, an 8 year old and up room, and an open room for all ages. Children have access to art supplies, computers, dress up area, games, puzzles and organized activities.

Hours of operation are from 6:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. Kids and Company offers a wide range of service options, including all day care, morning only, afternoon only, holiday care, minimum day, SIP day, school break, and drop-ins.

Teacher-child ratio is 1 to 12 or better. On trips it is 1 to 7 or better.

Transportation is provided to Loma Prieta activities. Two to three snacks are available daily. On Wednesdays, children can prepare their own snacks using a variety of cooking styles.
Costs for children enrolled five days per week:

From 6:45 a.m. to school: $98.00
From close of kindergarten to 2:35 p.m.: $180
From close of kindergarten to 6:15 p.m.: $385
From close of elementary school to 6:15 p.m.: $260

Service is also available for one, two, three or four days per week at a lower price. Prices are discounted for a second child.

Capacity is 65. Openings are available.

Operated by the Loma Prieta School District, Kids and Company is exempt from licensing.


Tree House 
Privately owned preschool and
20333 Hebard Road 
(Half a mile south of Lexington School)

The Tree House head teacher is Maria Gonzalez.

Facilities include a large indoor area, a large deck for outdoor recreation and a large play yard, complete with a tree house with steps and slide, a sand box, jungle bars, see-saw and assorted manipulatives.

Curriculum includes language, music, drama, math, art, crafts, dramatic play, computer, “Gymsters, nature walks and gardening. Teacher-student ratio is 1 to 6.

The school serves 14 children from the ages of 12 months to 5 years from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Breakfast, morning snacks, lunch, and afternoon snacks are served.

Monthly full-time fee for a toddler is $948, $804 for four days, $630 for three days, and $492 for two days.

For more information about rates and curriculum, visit our website:

Lexington Clubhouse
Sponsored by Los Gatos-Saratoga Community Education and Recreation
19700 Old Santa Cruz Highway

Director Elaine Daniels has a B.A. and graduate work toward a M.A. She is an elementary art specialist, art instructor and credentialed teacher. She is assisted by Lauren Honda, Santiago Gomez and Judy Ford.

The new clubhouse is a forty by forty-eight foot facility designed for daycare use on the Lexington campus. Activities include arts and crafts, games, sports, drama and a homework club. A day includes a planned curriculum and free play. Lots of equipment and manipulatives are available. A snack is provided in the afternoon.

The club serves Lexington School students from age five (by December 1) to twelve years of age from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 11:45 to 6:15 p.m. on school days, Monday through Friday. Capacity is 58, but the club now serves 45 children. Openings are available.

Teacher-child ratio is 1 to 14 or better. The clubhouse is exempt from licensing because it operates under a joint powers agreement with Los Gatos Union School District.

Cost is $5.10 per hour for drop-ins, $4.10 per hour for children in a tuition plan scheduled for three to five days per week.


Los Gatos Preschool and Childcare
Redwood Estates

Los Gatos Preschool is conveniently located 1/2 mile away from 17 and walking distance to the Redwood Estates community pool and the Redwood Estates Pavilion.

Embedded in a beautiful mountain setting, the facility consists of a spacious indoor play area, a large classroom, playground, covered sand box, over 1000 square feet of lawn, and more than 6000 square feet of gated play yard.

The facility is licensed by the Department of Social Services to ensure that the facility meets requirements. Our curriculum provides a variety of programs that promote the educational, social, cultural, emotional, and recreational development appropriate to the ages and developmental levels of the children. This allows children to grow at their own pace and to explore, experiment, and create in a safe and nurturing environment in ways that help them become confident in themselves.

Although open between the hours of 7:30 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday, flexible scheduling can be arranged.
Nutritious hot meals (breakfast and lunch) and morning and afternoon snacks are provided.
Our preschool supports a small group of children that allows for individual attention and a calmer atmosphere with a ratio of 1 to 4

We offer toddler, gymnastic, and yoga classes.

Evening and weekend childcare rate us $10 per hour for one child, $15 for two. New clients receive a 10% discount.

Visit us at



Los Gatos-Saratoga Observation
Nursery School
Sponsored by Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District
19601 Black Road
Mailing address: P.O. Box 33091, 
Los Gatos, CA 95031
Schoolhouse: 408-395-2802
Director: 831-438-3236

Director Marie Imai, seven “head” credentialed teachers and twelve assistant teachers serve children from two to five years of age, with classes from 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday. During spring and early fall, students and parents explore outdoors at Saratoga Springs. The rest of the year, classes meet in the old Lakeside School on Black Road.

This program requires parent involvement. Parents must attend one daytime class with their child per week, write ten in-class child observations per semester, attend six evening meetings per semester, and participate in required fundraising and maintenance.

Teacher-child ration is 1 to 5 for 2 year olds, 1 to 6 for 3, 4, and 5 year olds. The program includes self-directed play, nature studiies, nursery school activities and a balance of physical, social and intellectual stimulation. Activities include music, dance, storytelling, art and drama.
Serving approximately 100 children, the school has a waiting list.

Yearly cost: one class per week is $525, two classes per week $840, and three times per week $1230.

Lakeside Clubhouse
Sponsored by the Lakeside School
19621 Black Road

Teachers are Cally Findley, Kellie Trinka, Justin Murphy and Denika Shile.
The clubhouse is a before and after school daycare program providing children with a safe, healthy, fun and educational environment. The clubhouse gives children an opportunity to interact with other children and adults, and to develop positive social skills.

The clubhouse serves K-6th grade children from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 12 noon to 6:30 p.m. Capacity is 25 children. Teacher to child ratio is 1 to 14.

Curriculum includes arts, crafts, games, sewing, cooking, clay, working with animals, gardening, reading, computer games and outdoor sports. Snacks are provided.

Cost is $3.95 per hour for the first child. Each additional child in the same family costs $2.95 per hour.


(c) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 mountain network news All rights reserved.