The primary objective of Country Day Little School is to create a homelike environment that nurtures the individuality of the growing child. We strive to further the healthy development of the whole child by fostering:
  • A lively sense of wonder and joy at discovering the world

  • A wholesome and creative imagination

  • A healthy sense of self, as well as respect for others

  • A strong foundation for pre-academics through real work and creative play



At Country Day Little School, learning takes place through play, activity, and imitation, rather than through the introduction of academic subjects. Children below grade-school age absorb everything from their environment. The teachers' purposefulness in the work of the preschool is imitated by the children, who display a similar purposefulness in their play, which is their means of relating to the world.


Because of the importance of the environment for the growing child, we place great emphasis on maintaining a beautiful classroom space. Our playthings are made of natural materials and are simple enough that the child's imagination is awakened by using them in many different ways. The exercise of healthy fantasy through creative play in the preschool years is an important seed, which will later flower into intellectual accomplishment.


During the indoor and outdoor play periods, the children are able to relax into their play, largely uninterrupted by adult concerns or distractions. Many children today are over-stimulated and need to rediscover the ability to play unselfconsciously and wholeheartedly. In rediscovering this precious ability, which belongs to childhood alone, they develop a wide range of skills: self-confidence, an active interest in the world, and faith in their own ability to affect both the world and others in a positive way.


The children are encouraged to be kind to one another. Cooperation and sharing are encouraged over competition; concern for others is stressed. The atmosphere we strive for is supportive, warm, non-threatening, non-competitive, yet with sufficient structure to give children the security and boundaries they need and want at this age.


Seasonal Activities and Festivals
At Country Day Little School we celebrate the beauty of all the seasons. In the classroom, our colorful seasonal table is draped with silks and offers a gradually changing scene reflecting the seasons. The children enthusiastically follow their progress and help make each display as beautiful as possible. Festivals are another wonderfully rich aspect of the Waldorf curriculum. We celebrate holidays, special occasions, and the arrival of seasons with a different festival, consisting of its own special songs, stories and activities, and often a shared meal with families.


Parent Involvement

The success of Country Day Little School and the enrichment of your child strongly depend on the volunteer energy of parents and the community at large. We depend on our entire "family" of parents and friends to take on various tasks throughout the year. Beyond supporting your child's experience, volunteering is an enjoyable social activity where friendships are made, new skills learned and taught, and existing skills enhanced. At the time of enrollment and throughout the year, we offer parents many different opportunities to become involved. Parents play an essential role in the life of the school. Besides the obvious importance of parenting and providing the financial basis for the existence of the school, a vital community life forms through participating in school activities. Parent participation in the life of the school takes many forms, including:

  • Participating in school festivals and parent workdays
  • Attending parent/teacher conferences
  • Coming together for all-school meetings, lectures and special events
  • Taking advantage of opportunities for adult education.
Country Day Little School is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing (License #434400049). Country Day Little School is licensed for 40 children (but targets enrollment for 25-28 children) ages two to six years of age. The teacher-child ratio required by the State of California is a 1:12 ratio. We do not believe this meets the needs of young children. Thus, our overall school ratio is 1:7 for children ages two to three years and nine months, and 1:8 for children ages three years and ten months to six. The director does not fall into this ratio unless filling in for a teacher.
The state requirement for licensed teachers is six completed units in Early Childhood Education, continuing to 12 semester units or 18 quarter units. Again, we feel this does not meet the education needs of the children. Thus, all of our teachers and assistants either hold or are pursuing at least a BA in Early Childhood, or a related field with Early Childhood course work.
Country Day Little School - 3990 Ventura Court, Palo Alto, California - 650-494-8044