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North County School News

5 Preschools to Check out in San Marcos

Are you looking for a preschool in San Marcos? There are over 20 to choose from. Here are 5 that you should definitely put on your list to look into


Multiple Locations

760-744-9000 ext. 3506

This program is a half day part time preschool through the city and has 3 locations: San Marcos Civic Center by the library, San Elijo Hills Rec Center, and Woodland Park Rec Center. It’s for ages 3 to 5 and you can choose attending 9-12pm or 1-4pm. There are Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer Sessions. Children must be potty trained. T/TH classes are for 3-4 year olds and M/W/F classes are for 4-5 year olds prepping for Kindergarten. This is a recreational preschool that introduces academic concepts. Summer is not academic and is more like a play based camp with arts and crafts, playground time, story time, and water play on Fridays. If your child turns 6 over the summer they can still attend the summer camp if they are 5 when it starts. You need to pre-register at the community center and then enroll online on a particular date when registration opens up. Spots go fast, sometimes within 5 minutes. Very affordable cost.


3419 Grand Ave

San Marcos CA 92078


This preschool is located on the San Marcos Lutheran Church grounds behind Sunset Park, very close to Vista (next to St Joseph Academy). It is a small intimate half day preschool with 3 preschool teachers and 3 classrooms. They accept 2 years 9 months through age 5. The indoor classrooms surround an indoor discovery room that has dress up stations, educational toys, art tables, book station, and more. The outdoor playground is gorgeous with a garden, shade trees, a stream (although I never saw it run in two years my child was there), a glider swing, forts, jungle gym, sand box, bike track, and more. This is a faith-based school and they do share bible stories and act them out with the kids. Once a week they attend the chapel and the kids do a performance for families in the chapel at Christmas, Easter, and end of year. Some years Santa comes for pictures with the kids and the Easter Bunny hides eggs. While this is a faith based preschool, they do accept students of all faiths or no faith. Parents just need to be okay with the stories taught. Seeing their playground might sway you 😊 They accept students who are not fully potty trained but almost there. You can choose 2, 3, or 5 days a week. School ends at noon and you can choose lunch bunch hour add on until 1pm any day of the month. The next month you pay for the days of lunch bunch you picked the previous month. There’s a big field by the parking lot and kids gather to play on it for a bit at pick up where the parents chat and get to know each other. Affordable cost.


453 La Moree Rd

San Marcos CA 92078


Need a full day program because both parents work? This is an excellent choice. The center is located on the campus of Cal State University right next to the campus police, so you feel safe. Per the website, "our school is used as an example and a canvas for college students. The university has the benefit of observing our children and the teachers to learn from the best. This makes us a unique learning center for all ages. Over 400 student observers visit our school each semester." It’s in a modern, clean building with the lobby doors locked and you need to be buzzed in. Classrooms are beautiful with fun forts/climbing structures. The outdoor play space is large and they also have a shaded awning with misters when it’s hot out. They have multiple classrooms and accept children from 6 weeks through private Kindergarten at age 6. They have cameras in the classrooms so you can log in and check in on your child from work. One thing that separates this preschool from other preschools is that they have a learning adventures enrichment program option. It’s an add on pull out program in small group settings. You can choose Music Explorers, Spanish, and STEM Innovators. This preschool is NAEYC accredited, which means they must meet national standards for quality. This is very difficult to achieve. Hours are 6am to 6pm and full days only. You can, however, choose 2, 3, or 5 days a week. Pretty Expensive.


933 W San Marcos Blvd

San Marcos, CA 92078

This Preschool is located on San Marcos Blvd, in between Restaurant Row and Hobby Lobby. They are open from 6:45am to 6pm. There are never more than 12 children to one caregiver. They offer high quality childhood education and ensure their children are prepared for kindergarten by following the standards of Preschool Learning Foundations by the California Dept. of Education. A couple hours of the day is focused on teacher directed learning in math and literacy. Another hour of the day is focused on art or science. What sets them apart are the following programs: Science Discovery, Handwriting Without Tears, Go Phonics!, Artist of the Month. They have a small outdoor area. Potty Training required. Part time options. Cost is more than the first two listed but less than #3.


2 locations


This preschool is the only Montessori based preschool in San Marcos. They have two locations: One on Mission, next door to Palomar College. This one accepts age 2 to Kindergarten. A second location is on Mulberry and accepts 18 months through Kindergarten. The Montessori method is child led and focuses on hands on materials. The goal is to help the child reach full potential in all areas of life. Want to learn more about Montessori education? Read more on the American Montessori Society site.

There are many options of preschools to choose from in San Marcos. There are language immersion preschools, academic preschools, play based, and home based. Even a 1 day farm preschool. You're sure to find what you're looking for nearby. If these 5 don't sound like a fit, check out San Diego Schools Network website to view all the San Marcos preschools.


About the Author: Cherylyn Pasetto is an education consultant in San Diego County. She currently specializes in north county schools and spreads awareness of school options to parents. She believes in all types of education options and enjoys helping families find the right fit for each of their children.

Disclaimer: San Diego Schools Network is part of an affiliate program. Any purchases through product advertising links on this page may bring in a referral fee, at no cost to you. Cherylyn Pasetto only refers what she believes in. However, please do your research and only buy products that you feel will benefit your child.

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