Moving to Bakersfield or changing neighborhoods? If living near great schools is a top priority, a good place to start is looking into the best Bakersfield preschools if you have young children. This guide explores the top-rated preschools and pre-K schools in Bakersfield including state, private, Christian, and Montessori options.
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Claude W Richardson CDC | Bakersfield Preschool for Special Needs & At-Risk Students Operated by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools
The Richardson Center, officially the Claude W. Richardson Child Development Center, was opened in 1986 to serve students with special needs from 40+ school districts. The center serves an average of 200 students with direct services provided to at-risk and special needs children from birth to five years.
The center offers a full-day, 10-hour preschool program for students disabled in one or more areas or parents who are working, training, or attending classes.
Lil’ Explorers Preschool | One of the Best Preschools in Bakersfield for Special Enrichment Activities & Outdoor Play
Lil’ Explorers Preschool is one of the top-rated Bakersfield preschools with half-day and full-day preschool and competitive pricing. The early childhood center serves students two meals and two snacks each day and offers two of the city’s largest outdoor play areas with a park and bike trail.
Preschoolers benefit from hands-on learning and enrichment opportunities plus weekly assemblies with special guests like firemen, athletes, and doctors. The play-based curriculum allows students to learn through guided self-discovery with time each day to explore their individual interests. There are weekly themes, cultural celebrations, and fun special events that include animal presentations and even pony rides.
Valley Montessori Academy Preschool | Highly Rated Private Montessori Preschool
Valley Montessori Academy is one of the only private Montessori schools in Kern County. They serve toddlers through lower elementary ages with a Montessori preschool program that provides a child-led education within a prepared environment. Children are allowed plenty of time to lead their own education, explore interests, and choose their own activities under the guidance of specially trained educators who provide natural and individual presentation of concepts.
The VMA preschool curriculum covers:
- Practical life with real-world tasks to help students learn independence
- Sensory activities
- Open-ended art activities
- Science activities
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Preschool tuition at Valley Montessori Academy:
- Full day, 5 days/week: $1,080
- Full day, 3 days/week: $870
- Full day, 2 days/week: $650
- Half day, 5 days/week: $800
- Half day, 3 days/week: $710
- Half day, 2 days/week: $600
- Enrollment fees: $600
Note that this is one of the most sought-after preschools in Bakersfield, California. Space is limited and there may be a waitlist.
La Petite Academy of Bakersfield | One of the Top Pre-K Schools in Bakersfield with Secure Remote Classroom Viewing for Parents
La Petite Academy of Bakersfield is an exciting early child development center in the Laurel Glen neighborhood. The school supports the development of children from birth through kindergarten with comprehensive educational programs, before and after school programs, summer camp, and elective classes.
What makes La Petite Academy one of the best Bakersfield preschools? Their preschool program curriculum focuses on:
- Communication skills
- Hands-on learning
- Number and literacy concepts
- Fostering independence
They offer a STEM-inspired classroom that gives young students the experiences and materials needed to develop problem-solving, critical thinking, and an interest in science, math, technology, and engineering. These concepts are incorporated throughout the day with a digital lesson-planning tool teachers use to generate personalized curriculums based on observation and assessment. This ensures each child’s needs are met in all areas of development.
La Petite Academy also offers a unique benefit for parents: the ability to remotely watch their child’s activities in the classroom through WatchMeGrow. Parents can watch their children in real time from home or work!
La Petite Academy is a subsidiary of Learning Care Group, the second-largest for-profit early childcare and education providers in the country. Other brands in the family include Childtime (also one of the top preschools in Bakersfield), Everbrook Academy, and Pathways Learning Academy.
Sierra Montessori Children’s Center | One of the Top Preschools in Bakersfield for a Montessori Curriculum
Sierra Montessori Children’s Center offers a comprehensive Montessori curriculum within its preschool program that focuses on whole child development and an interdisciplinary approach to learning. The center offers part-time and full-day preschool in Bakersfield.
Montessori teachers at the center have Early Childhood Education Certification as well as training in the use of specific materials that help students develop skills and stimulate self-growth.
For an additional fee, students can also take swimming classes and Spanish classes at the Sierra Montessori Children’s Center and utilize the drop-in care services.
Little Red School House | Voted Best of Bakersfield Preschool for 20 Consecutive Years
The Little Red School House was founded in 1967 and the facility has earned a reputation for excellence in academics, enrichment, and positive reinforcement. In the Bakersfield Californian’s annual Reader’s Choice poll, the Little Red School House has been voted the Best of Bakersfield in the Day Care/Preschool category for 20 years running!
The facility offers a preschool program with a structured environment and teacher-directed curriculum full of hands-on learning and self-fulfilling experiences. Students participate in regular fun events like Root Beer Float Day, Popcorn Day, and Bounce House Day!
Childtime of Bakersfield | Leading Pre-K School in Bakersfield with a Reggio Emilia Approach to Learning
Childtime was founded as a division of Gerber Products Corporation in 1967. They now have over 200 early learning centers nationwide as a subsidiary of Learning Care Group, one of the country’s largest for-profit early childcare and education providers. They offer early education and childcare from birth through 12 years with a homelike setting and learning inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach.
The Reggio Emilia approach is student-centered with a self-guided curriculum and experimental learning that fosters relationships. The approach presents new concepts and ideas to children in many formats through discovery, exploration, and play.
Parents can take a peek into their child’s day in the classroom with free, secure live streaming. Students can also grow and learn through a variety of elective programs for an additional fee such as Grow Fit Yoga Sprouts, Spanish, and Kindermusik.
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Stepping Stones Christian Preschool | Best Christian Preschool in Bakersfield with an Abeka Curriculum
Stepping Stones Christian Preschool is located in Crossway Baptist Church. The center serves children 2 through 6 with a fun and creative learning environment away from home designed to foster academic, developmental, and spiritual growth.
Stepping Stones uses an age-appropriate Abeka curriculum, a biblically-based curriculum. This preschool curriculum offers a traditional approach to learning and teaching with hands-on activities. The entire program is developed from a Christian worldview to expose children to the Bible as well as poetry, art, and phonics.
Ming Avenue Child Development | One of the Top State-Funded Preschools in Bakersfield
Ming Avenue Child Development is located in Southgate, Bakersfield. This state-funded preschool program is operated by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools and it’s one of the largest early child development centers in the district. The facility serves over 200 children between 2 and 5. They offer a full day, 10-hour preschool program limited to 120 kids as well as a 3-hour preschool program in the morning or afternoon.
Priority in state-funded preschools is given to students with disabilities and at-risk students in low-income homes. The preschool program is free to qualifying parents and includes healthy meals.
Little Wonders Enlightening Preschool | Preschool & Pre-K School in Rosedale with Full and Half-Day Programs
Located in Rosedale, Little Wonders Enlightening Preschool is a licensed facility that offers childcare, preschool, and pre-K programs for kids 12 months to 5 years old.
Preschool activities at the center include coloring, reading fundamentals, proper handwriting grip, art and painting, sports, dramatic play, puzzles and board games, science experiments, kindergarten school readiness evaluation, and more.
Monthly preschool cost at Little Wonders Enlightening Preschool:
- Full day, 5 days/week: $685
- Full day, 3 days/week: $440
- Full day, 2 days/week: $304
- Half day, 5 days/week: $500
- Meal program: $26 to $65
- Annual registration fee: $50
Bakersfield Preschool FAQ
What is the age range for a preschool?
Preschool is for children three to five years old. California does not require children begin school until the age of six when kindergarten starts.
What age does preschool start?
Preschool starts at the age of three in California.
What is the difference between a daycare and a preschool?
A preschool prepares young children for kindergarten using lesson plans and a structured curriculum that allows for discovery and play time. Daycares also provide learning and education, but informal play is a larger part of the day with no set curriculum.
Is preschool free in California?
Families have a choice between private tuition-based preschools and federally funded or state-funded preschools. Federally or state-funded preschools in California are free (or with reduced tuition) for families that meet income guidelines. By 2025, California will offer pre-kindergarten for all four-year-olds.
Top Bakersfield Preschools Map
Are you looking for the best Bakersfield neighborhood to settle down and give your child a quality education? As you can see, there are many great preschools across the city to choose from. If you’re relocating to or within Bakersfield, call Mentors Moving & Storage once you’ve settled on the right place to call home. We’ll help you get settled in your new home with a seamless moving experience!