Early Childhood Program

"Play has a threefold relationship to children's learning. When playing, children are developing their ability to communicate, think, and generalize in relationship to others. Moreover, play experiences build children's language, and the acquisition of language sets up children's abilities to control their thinking and their feelings. What this means is that play experiences are understood to be essential to children's later academic achievement and emotional well-being."
- David Whitebread, "The Importance of Play"
Upon entering a preschool classroom at CDS here in San Francisco, you will notice the hum of inquiry and play, as children and teachers interact and actively explore projects and materials.

A Preschool Day at CDS


8:00 - 8:25 - Morning transition into the classroom

8:30 - Morning meeting (depending on activities and projects, morning meeting time will vary)

Includes a good-morning song, attendance, calendar, jobs, discussion about the day's activities, the current classroom project, and introduction of new songs and activities.

9:00 - Indoor/outdoor work time

Children choose from a variety of activities in the curriculum centers, both inside the classroom and outside on the yard. These may include reading, art, dramatic play, science, woodworking, writing, building with blocks, project-related work, and much more. In addition, during this time children may create artwork with one of our art specialists, work in the farm or garden with our environmental education resource teacher, or make music with our music specialist. This time also includes access to a self-help snack.

At CDS, Spanish is a natural part of every preschooler's day. Each preschool class has at least one Spanish-speaking teacher who integrates common Spanish expressions into the day, including during routines, reading, songs, and work time.

11:00 - Lunch

Children bring lunch from home or families can order School Foodies.


12:00 -

Children rest on mats on the floor using blankets provided from home.

12:45 - Quiet inside work time and/or outside work time

As children wake up, they choose from a variety of quiet indoor activities that may include reading, observational drawing, and construction activities. They may also choose to go outside to play in the outside classroom or on the structure.

2:00 - Afternoon meeting

2:15 - Dismissal to home or after school program

2:30 - Free play in the yard

3:00 - Work time (including a school-provided, self-help snack)

6:00 - School closes
Children's Day School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  Learn More