About The Preschool
Preschoolers are curious and fun-loving. They want to know how and why things work. At St. Margaret’s Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) we offer ‘play with a purpose’ in a safe and nurturing environment where it’s OK to ask questions, risk, try out ideas and learn from your mistakes. We plan curriculum to spark the imagination, stimulate the senses and engage young minds. Just like the Hokey Pokey, we put our whole selves in. Each day children experience a balance of activities planned and led by teachers and activities that the children choose to explore individually or in small groups. At least once a day the children gather together as a group to sing, read and practice ‘turn-taking-talk’.
Our approach to literacy development is based on current research and is individualized, integrated and intentional. It begins with phonological awareness...listening to and playing with sounds. Children practice clapping out syllables, recognizing and making up rhymes, and identifying sounds at the beginning and end of words. Children are read to throughout the day and encouraged to dictate and act out stories. Vocabulary development is part of math, science and social studies, too.
But academics aren’t enough. We believe that developing ‘dispositions for learning’ is just as important as the acquisition of academics; so, we encourage curiosity, communication and negotiation skills, persistence, creativity, collaboration, connectedness and self-regulation—skills that prepare children not just for kindergarten—but for life.
Getting along with others and learning self-control takes practice. At St. Margaret’s ECDC talented teachers guide and support children in learning social skills, taking turns and developing the ability to negotiate differences. In addition to these day to day interactions with children, we teach Second Step, Social-Emotional Skills for Early Learning to help children identify and manage their feelings, navigate friendships, and learn to solve problems.
Childhood may have changed...but children haven’t. Our garden and barnyard give children a chance to let nature be a teacher, too. We want children to spend time outside exploring the garden, observing and feeding the chickens, riding bikes, moving to music, digging in the sand, hunting rollie pollies, building with blocks, jumping, pretending, swinging, putting on plays, making mud pies, painting, hopping and chasing after butterflies. Outside the children are building muscles, balance, coordination as well as academic foundations in science, math, language and social skills.
Why St. Margaret’s Early Childhood Development Center?
- Credentialed Early Childhood teachers with an average 20 years of experience in the field
- Safe, secure building with a self-contained playground that includes a garden, barnyard, motor development area and art room, staffed by full time, credentialed Early Childhood teachers
- First and only Recognized Outdoor Classroom in Orange County
- Accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children for more than 20 years
- Small class sizes with average pupil/teacher ratio of 6:1
- Chapel once a week with a St. Margaret’s Chaplain where children share songs, prayers and stories about living together in God’s world
- Trips to the Lower School music room twice a month for music class with the SMES PreK-3rd music teacher
Working on ‘basic music competence’, experimenting with rhythms and movement, singing old and new songs and exploring Orff instruments
- Trips to the St. Margaret’s library twice a month
School Librarian shares books, poems, songs and stories
- Nutritious snacks
- Half Day, Full Day and Extended Day options
- Two-day, Three-day and Five-day programs
- A place for your child bloom and grow from preschool through high school graduation
We’re proud of our school and invite you to call and visit us soon. For a school tour and admission information contact Erin Durante, Associate Director of Admissions 949-661-0108x250 or .
Non Discrimination Policy
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.