Helping children develop their creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills.
The Silver Lake Center for Creativity is a Reggio-inspired and research-driven preschool committed to providing hands-on, collaborative learning experiences that help develop a child’s creativity, imagination and problem-solving skills.
Research-Driven: Based on the latest early childhood education research, Silver Lake Center for Creativity (SLCC) implements a multitude of creativity and collaboration-focused learning experiences for its children. We believe that creativity does not solely speak to the arts, but also encompasses everyday risk-taking, problem solving and flexibility of thought. These are the creative faculties we employ when solving problems in the real world.
The Wisdom of Loris Malaguzzi: At SLCC, we believe every child is a competent learner who deserves our respect. We value the wisdom of Reggio Emilia’s founder Loris Malaguzzi, who stated that “The child has a hundred languages, a hundred hands, a hundred thoughts, a hundred ways of thinking, of playing, of speaking.” Thus, we must provide a variety of learning experiences that meet the needs of each individual child in order for them to be able to fully express themselves and develop to their fullest potential.
Join the SLCC preschool community in four easy steps:
1. Explore our website
We’ve provided information about our philosophy, approach to learning and flexible programs to help you decide if we are the perfect match for your special child’s first school experience.
2. Tour the school
Come visit us in the heart of Silver Lake, meet our Head of School and Lead Educator, Chiara Angelicola, and tour the brand new learning environment! Please schedule a tour by filling out the “Schedule Tour” form.
3. Submit an Enrollment Application
If you would like to enroll after taking a tour, submit an enrollment application. A link to the application will be sent to you via email automatically after your tour.
After reviewing your application, we will send you an invitation to enroll. Upon accepting your invitation, you’ll pay your deposit (equal to one month’s tuition), fill out enrollment documents and review our Parent Handbook.
Our school is a cozy, cabin-style cottage on a private, gated property which features a gorgeous and enclosed, grassy backyard. The SLCC cottage is located on a cactus-lined, quiet residential street between two central streets, Fountain Ave and Santa Monica Blvd.
The SLCC cabin is a unique and intimate environment where children feel at home and safe enough to take healthy social-emotional risks with their new peers and teachers. The classroom lends itself to the best of both worlds: an intimate home-like environment and high-quality, research-backed early education.
We offer hands-on, collaborative and MESSY explorations in both our indoor and outdoor classrooms. Children spend equal parts of their day exploring classroom materials and mingling with nature. The school experience is intimate and personal with a teacher to student ratio of 1:6. SLCC is a mixed-age classroom where children become each other’s own models and prosocial coaches.
“Creativity is the recovery of childhood at will.” - Rainer Maria Rilke
At the Silver Lake Center for Creativity (SLCC), we believe Rilke’s famous words speak to every child’s innate capacity to wonder and imagine. Our curricula for ages 2 to 5+ yrs. aim to cultivate a greater awareness of this capacity in children. Our preschool offers flexible half or full day programs up to 5 days a week for the entire calendar year.
SLCC is a Reggio-inspired and creativity-focused preschool, which is informed by the latest research in early childhood education. Our program creates hands-on, play-based and collaborative opportunities for children to stretch their imagination and employ problem-solving tools such as flexibility of thought and self-regulation on a regular basis.
SLCC values a mixed-age learning environment where children gain collaborative opportunities to learn from and model for each other. From these exchanges, we cultivate a sense of community and care for each other and our school.
Additionally, we value a strong parent partnership as a school community. At SLCC, families have regular opportunities to volunteer in the classroom, share their family cultures and traditions with the children and have the resources they need for implementing best early childhood practices in the home. In an effort to bring our families and children together, SLCC hosts various family picnics, feasts and potlucks through out the school year on campus and at our local park. We also host quarterly pedagogy round-tables and parent education workshops for our families. At SLCC, our doors are always open to help support our parents. Our priority is to make your child’s first years of education a success and full of joy and creativity.
A typical day at SLCC…
Children are greeted in the morning with open-ended provocations for inquiry. They then gather for our morning meeting to discuss any salient wonders the children might have or to plan for our upcoming projects. Concurrently, a morning meeting might involve the use of other languages, mindful meditation, yoga or music. The children spend equal parts of their day investigating the many natural wonders in our outdoor discovery space and developing small-group projects in the classroom. Take a look at our Daily Flow for a more detailed outline of a typical day at SLCC.
“We met Chiara when our 4 year old twin boys joined The Discovery School in Sausalito, CA, last year. Chiara quickly got to know the different personalities of our twins and with her outgoing and cheerful personality won their hearts within a very short time. Chiara has a wealth of experience in working with young children. Her positive and open-minded attitude is a magnet for kids. As a head teacher, she was able to develop a well-rounded, comprehensive curriculum with a global focus which is very important to us. Her inquiry-based projects encouraged critical thinking and fostered the creative minds of our children. Our kids would often come home and say “I wonder why….”. Chiara has the ability to tailor educational strategies towards the individual child and has a deep understanding on how to help children achieve their emotional, social, academic and physical milestones. Our children were thriving under her guidance and learned more than just academic concepts, but what it means to be a global citizen, to care for yourself and others, to take risks and understand good values. Chiara genuinely cares for children and her smile and big heart are sorely missed. “ __-Neumeier Family
“Our family was lucky enough to have Chiara teaching our son, Davis, for two consecutive preschool years (2014-15 and 2015-16). We immediately realized that she was something special. Her love of kids and passion for teaching were obvious. She shared her other passions with the children as well: music, art, books, yoga, gardening, health, nature, the environment, etc. She exuded warmth and celebrated each child for his/her strengths and talents. She supported our son’s weaknesses with patience and encouragement. He felt capable and valued under her leadership, and his confidence as a student and member of the classroom grew during those two years. When Davis became interested in mushrooms, she embraced that curiosity, and they delved deep into the world of fungi with nature walks and examining species that they found. Just recently, our son was recalling facts about the eye; when we asked him where he had learned that, he said from Teacher Chiara’s class (2 years ago!). As a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, I was particularly impressed by Chiara’s communication skills, both with the children (whom she interacted beautifully with) and the parents (who appreciated her insights and information). A great teacher is invaluable, and we consider ourselves extremely fortunate that Chiara played a significant role in our son’s early education.” -Kintz Family
“Chiara was my daughter’s teacher for two years in Mill Valley, CA when she was 4 and 5 years old. She was able to give my daughter the support she needed emotionally and academically. She keyed in to how my daughter worked and really fostered a relationship so that my daughter really trusted Chiara. That trust was the basis for my daughter to grow. My daughter went to the same preschool, which is a fantastic school, for four years and it was only in her third year, when she first had Chiara as a teacher, that she actually looked forward to going and said she liked school! I think Chiara’s gentle and caring approach made it easier for my sensitive girl to go to preschool. Chiara made my daughter feel special and she took the time to do that which made a world of difference for my little girl. Chiara was special in that she was caring and also had the academic acumen in working with young children. I felt that she really understand the importance of early childhood education and I see the rewards in my child now who is a wonderfully well-rounded girl. Chiara really approached learning through the eyes of the child and that’s what made her class so much fun. I also don’t want to leave out that in addition to being a wonderfully caring person, with a deep understanding of early childhood education, she also was able to communicate really well to parents. Yes, the teacher is there for the kids but it also takes a special person to be able to handle adults. Chiara was always very polite, communicated clearly, timely, and was very open and easy to talk with. ” -Besse Family
“Chiara taught my daughter Lilah in her last year of preschool/preK at The Discovery School, 2016-2017, and it was a transformative year for Lilah, and for our family. Chiara just immediately *got* Lilah - and all the kids - right off the bat, celebrating their unique styles and optimizing group dynamics to foster collaboration and creative problem solving. Steeped in the Reggio-Emilia approach, Chiara truly believes in child-directed learning and made space for all the kids’ interests to guide and evolve an emergent curriculum. Chiara is also an accomplished musician, and music and artistic expression played a huge role in the classroom. I believe Lilah’s year with Chiara significantly shaped who she is today, and the possibilities she imagines for herself in the future.” -Favetti Family
“Our daughter Zola (4.5 years old) was truly beyond blessed to spend her second year of preschool in Chiara’s classroom at The Discovery School in Sausalito, CA. Chiara’s warmth, patience, and positive energy are felt in every aspect of her work with young children. Grounded in her incredibly on-point intuition, Chiara consistently demonstrates competence and expertise in the field of early childhood education. She is committed to ensuring that her students feel seen, known, and understood, and takes whatever time is needed to keep parents feeling comfortable and informed. From the moment we met her, we had no doubt that Zola was about to learn from quite possibly the very best teacher she would ever have. And when Chiara decided to move on from TDS, our entire family missed her before we even said good-bye. Zola still refers to Chiara as “my rockstar”, talks about her daily, and says she wants to “play music just like her when I’m a grown up”. -Krasner Family
Owner | Head of School | Lead Educator
Chiara Angelicola, a Bay Area native, graduated from the University of California-Santa Cruz in 2006 with a BA in Child Development Psychology. She has worked in the early childhood education field since then, both as an educator and supervisor, training teachers and facilitating workshops for parent community education. Over the past 10 years, Angelicola has taught on both coasts, from the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY to the bustling, entrepreneurial city of San Francisco. Chiara’s main pedagogical passions emphasize best practices from Reggio Emilia philosophy, co-constructivist theory and creativity-driven curricula. In 2016, she was a founding contributor and designer of The Discovery School’s first kinder-prep classroom within the walls of the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) in Sausalito, CA, for which she led and taught during the school year. During this time, Chiara worked beside BADM’s on-site Center for Childhood Creativity to implement the nation’s latest cutting-edge research on STEM, creativity and collaboration-focused learning experiences. Angelicola is a member of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance, Innovative Teachers Project and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Within these organizations and independently, Chiara is interested in propagating for the wider development and implementation of inclusive, collaborative and creativity-focused experiences for early childhood learners. She is also a native Spanish speaker, musician and avid yoga practitioner.
We are a proud member of the Wonderschool network.
Wonderschool is a group of early childhood programs that combine the quality standards of the best child care centers with the warmth of an in-home program in your neighborhood.