Our 10 Best Private Preschools in San Diego
August 31, 2023

Give your child the best head start in their educational journey by considering top-rated private preschools in San Diego that encourage them to explore their potential!

Learning is a lifetime adventure. As for kids, preschool is the initial step into a formal learning environment. An early childhood education program can tap into your child’s development through play-based learning and exploration in simple yet engaging activities that can foster their growth. When looking for the best school for your child early on, consider the top-rated private preschools in San Diego!

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Kids should come first to the center for early education. And enrolling your child in a private preschool can provide a solid foundation for academic success. Experienced teachers give young students more individualized attention with a flexible curriculum that caters to every child’s unique needs. As for parents, the most challenging part is choosing a preschool that’s right for your child.

To help you find the best private preschool, we reviewed rankings for all private schools from the 2023 Best Private Preschools in San Diego list released by school and neighborhood data clearinghouse Niche. The rankings below have been compiled based on parent reviews and pre-K statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, a comparison of pre-K cost, part-time and full-day PK options, and independent school ratings.

La Jolla Presbyterian Church Preschool

Our 10 Best Private Preschools in San Diego

1. La Jolla Presbyterian Church Preschool

7715 Draper Ave., La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone Number: (858) 454-2677

 La Jolla Presbyterian Church Preschool serves as a beacon in the community, which reflects a profound respect for children, unwavering faith in God, and dedication to developmentally appropriate practice. They offer a high-quality preschool program in a loving Christian atmosphere with experienced and qualified teachers and an environment that nurtures and encourages learning.  

Their space includes ample outdoor play space with areas encouraging climbing, dancing, building, and other gross motor activities. Every part of their curriculum is based on Biblical truths and principles, resulting in a program where your child can grow and develop spiritually, cognitively, socially, aesthetically, and physically.  

2. Aspen Leaf Preschool – Downtown

880 Front St., Ste. 1295, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone Number: (619) 557-3431 

Aspen Leaf Preschool at the Barry Ted Moskowitz Child Care Center (“BTM”) is one of the best private preschools in the Schwartz Federal Building in downtown San Diego. Aspen Leaf has complete control over hiring and implementing the philosophy, curriculum, and program. Their ratios are small, and they practice continuity of care. They utilize their philosophy and curriculum, make the classrooms as cozy and homey as possible, and bring nature into the playground as much as possible.

Aspen Leaf Preschool aims to provide the highest quality early education to children by fostering deep and lasting relationships among the children, their families, and their teachers. They promote a love of learning through play, curiosity, and exploration. They foster each child’s social and emotional development through positive discipline and positive interactions that promote self-esteem and self-sufficiency.

3. Bright Horizons Family Center at Del Mar

720 Arroyo Sorrento Rd. San Diego, CA 92130
Phone Number: (858) 509-0419 

Bright Horizons Family Center at Del Mar provides a safe environment where children can learn, explore, and prepare for school. Their beautiful campus features unique outdoor classrooms that introduce the concepts of science and nutrition through our musical garden and healthy cooking classes, play areas that promote social and physical growth, a science exploration center where children can practice hands-on experiments, an arena to spark creativity, and even a water park for hot days. 

At Bright Horizons, their Discovery Driven Learning® approach makes early learning an adventure. Their curriculum is rooted in the science of learning. Through play, experimenting with possibilities, problem-solving, and project work, we provide children with the very best early education experiences possible. Preschoolers are active learners, collaborating with teachers and each other as they explore ideas and make discoveries.

4. Bright Horizons at Encinitas

1430 Amargosa, Encinitas, CA 92024
Phone Number: (760) 942-0500

Bright Horizons at Encinitas has served families from nearby communities, including Encinitas, Carlsbad, and San Marcos, for over 20 years. Their talented teachers engage in intentional learning activities to foster your child’s growth and development. They offer lots of hands-on opportunities in STEM and science and experimentation with instruments during music class. 

The Encinitas beautiful campus is conveniently located down the street from Home Depot, Target, and the Forum Shops. They have an outdoor learning area for each classroom where children can socialize, channel creativity with art projects, and discover how to grow and harvest plants in our garden. No matter what, your child will have a safe space to explore and learn.

5. Bright Horizons at Tierrasanta

6090 Santo Rd., San Diego, CA 92124
Phone Number: (858) 634-2230 

Bright Horizons at Tierrasanta has been a staple in the community for 28 years, conveniently located right off the 52 freeway. Their center is proudly NAEYC accredited, and the staff takes great pride in helping your child develop a lifelong love of learning through engaging activities and learning-based play. They create an enriched curriculum with hands-on opportunities in STEM and science, literacy and language, and the arts.  

Tierrasanta’s playgrounds and outdoor gardening boxes are the perfect places for hands-on nature activities and enjoying the great outdoors. Their research-based World at Their Fingertips® curriculum meets children where they are developmentally. Their approach enables teachers to take each child’s interests and develop activities and projects that spark curiosity, create excitement, and build on individual talents and skills.

Carmel Mountain KinderCare

6. Carmel Mountain KinderCare

12135 World Trade Dr., San Diego, CA 92128
Phone Number: (858) 487-6444 

Carmel Mountain KinderCare is one of the best private preschools in San Diego, with talented early childhood teachers who set kids down the path toward becoming lifelong learners in a positive, safe, and nurturing environment. They are committed to educating the children of the Black Mountain community and offer programs in various subjects, such as math, phonics, music, and reading. 

At Carmel Mountain KinderCare, every learning moment counts while your child is very young. That’s why their childcare programs put education first—even for the tiniest babies—because every adorable coo, crawl, and creation proves they’re ready for more than just daycare. Walking through our center doors makes you feel welcomed and part of our KinderCare family.

7. Childtime of Chula Vista

770 Rancho Del Rey Pkwy., Chula Vista, CA 91910
Phone Number: (844) 568-0454 

Chula Vista Childtime provides a home-like setting to create a sense of warmth and security while implementing the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. From infant and toddler care to preschool and pre-kindergarten, their programs provide the perfect foundation for learning and development. This approach is designed to help them grow as students and people in school and life beyond.

Their highly trained, friendly, and professional staff meets all the teaching qualification standards set by the State of California and NECPA accreditation. They’re committed to keeping you connected throughout the day while your child is in their care. A Reggio-inspired curriculum is based on children’s questions and emerging skills. They offer immersive learning experiences and help children get ready for school.

8. Childtime of La Mesa

5565 Lake Park Way, La Mesa, CA 91942
Phone Number: (833) 848-3125 

Childtime of La Mesa offers infant and toddler care, preschool, pre-kindergarten, and school-age programs. They’ve been serving families in the community for more than 20 years and are nationally accredited by National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. The standards they follow are higher than the State of California Child Daycare Licensing Standards. They’re committed to keeping you connected throughout the day while your child is in their care.

This warm, nurturing classroom environment encourages collaboration and individual growth. In a playful space filled with fun and friendship, children get a jumpstart on the essential readiness skills to begin their academic careers in kindergarten. Meanwhile, teachers use their digital lesson planning tool to create customized curricula to meet the needs of each child across ten significant developmental areas.

9. Childtime of San Diego

8111 New Salem St., San Diego, CA 92126
Phone Number: (833) 848-3125 

Childtime of San Diego is among the best preschools, with a warm, inviting, home-like environment bathed in natural colors. At Mira Mesa Childtime, children six weeks to 11 years old enjoy educational experiences in their infant and toddler care, preschool, pre-kindergarten, and school-age programs. They offer bussing from Ericson, Sandburg, and Hickman Elementary schools for their after-school program, and they have summer, fall, and all-school break camps.

The staff is long-tenured and genuinely love what they do. They participate in yearly training to stay current in early childhood education. Their preschool classroom has eight dynamic learning areas that allow preschoolers to make significant gains and experience many hands-on activities. This includes the art center, block center, dramatic play center, mat center, music and movement center, science center, reading center, and writing center.

10. Chollas Heights Child Development Center

6205 College Grove Way, San Diego, CA 92115
Phone Number: (619) 265-2115

The Naval Base San Diego Chollas Heights Child Development Center (CDC) is in the Chollas Heights Family Housing Area. Child Development programs are offered to ages six weeks to 5 years throughout San Diego. Caregivers receive extensive training in developing infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to ensure an enriching daycare experience for young Navy family members. 

Their classrooms provide fun, inclusive, engaging environments, individualized learning experiences that meet each child’s needs, and great socialization opportunities. Everything seems more accessible when you’re confident your child is safe and cared for. That’s their mission – to make sure you can rest easy knowing your kids are well cared for and enjoying themselves.

Chollas Heights Child Development Center

Private Preschools in San Diego

Making the right decision in choosing the best private preschools in San Diego for your kids is very important. At this crucial stage of child development, parents should help them build a strong foundation for learning. A bright future for your little ones awaits by investing in their education. Eventually, as your child ages, they will be ready to face any challenges in this ever-changing world and live a successful life.

San Diego offers many opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all year round! Check out our list of resources, or browse through our things to do in San Diego with kids. Still looking for more activities for kids in San Diego? No problem! Check out our comprehensive listing of Schools & Activities in the region and our highly recommended education blog posts.

Our 10 Best Private Preschools in Los Angeles   
Our 10 Best Private Preschools in Sacramento
Our 10 Best Private Preschools in San Jose
Our 10 Best Private Preschools in San Francisco

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Troy A. View All Posts