Learning by Heart
Paloma’s Nest strives to create a nurturing and respectful “home away from home” for children ages 2 1/2 to 5 years. Authentic, trusting, and respectful relationships with children and families are at the heart of our work. The gentle rhythms of home life and nature provide the basis of our curriculum which we further enrich with intentional opportunities for exploration and discovery.
At Paloma’s Nest our goal is to work in partnership with parents and the children themselves to nurture a “compassionate sense of wonder” in each child. This goal includes:
- Confidence in self
- Intellectual curiosity and interest
- Deep connection with fellow humans and other living things
- A reverence for the planet
We are currently enrolling for this school year, September 2016- June 2017. We have one Monday-Wednesday spot opening on April 1st. Child must be two years old by the start date.
Join the Paloma’s Nest community in three easy steps:
Explore our website
We’ve provided detailed information about our philosophy and program to help you decide if Paloma’s Nest might be right for your family.
Tour the school
Come for a family play date! Tour the school and speak with the director while your child explores our environment. Please schedule a tour by filling out the “Schedule Tour” form on the right. Before we meet, we will send you a prospective family questionnaire so we can get to know you and address your needs and concerns during our tour.
Apply to enroll
After your tour, we will send you an application to enroll.
Paloma’s Nest Preschool is based in a detached single family home in the Marina district of San Francisco. Our typical “Marina style” home has been renovated and modernized to maximize light and space while maintaining much of its original charm and warmth. Paloma’s Nest utilizes the entire ground floor for joyful exploration. We have a large two-level playroom, a quiet nap room, efficient kitchenette, and bathroom.
Rain or shine, we love fresh air and getting outside. We have a deep yard and garden right outside our back door. In fact one of our favorite features is our back door - a glass door of accordion panels. In beautiful weather we can open up the back wall entirely and welcome the beauty of the outdoors in!
All of the children, have easy access our play yard (aka “outdoor classroom”) everyday - rain or shine! Nestled between the lush Presidio and Crissy Field Beach, Paloma’s Nest is perfectly situated near so many of San Francisco’s natural treasures and the friendly businesses of Chestnut Street. Our children venture out at least once a week to explore the beauty and community of our neighborhood.
The play-based program at Paloma’s Nest is inspired by a few child development approaches that are different but quite complementary. These approaches are Reggio-Emilia and LifeWays. We draw from experience and education in all of these approaches to create a program philosophy that is authentic, intentional, and evolving. Your child and family will benefit from this varied exposure by seeing which aspects resonate with your own values and beliefs about education and how your child responds to them. This will give you a better frame of reference when deciding where you will apply to preschool and elementary school and ease some of the stress of that process. We welcome questions and discussions about the how and why of our philosophy and curriculum throughout your time with Paloma’s Nest (from Open House to “graduation”).We are committed to paying our teachers a worthy and highly competitive wage to attract and retain the best educators and ensure continuity of care.
A One Preschool Classroom
Paloma’s Nest Preschool is part of the One Preschool network. One Preschool handles many of our program’s business and staffing needs ensuring that the staff have more time and greater focus on what is really most important: the care and education of the children! Simplifying billing and communication will make your life less stressful and keep you connected to your child’s first school experience.
Parents are a child’s first teachers! We view parents as partners in the education and care of their children. Paloma’s Nest encourages parents to volunteer on projects, attend special events, share skills and talents, and build friendships with other families. Each family is required to participate in ten hours of activities per year. Opportunities arise throughout the school year.
Director and Head Teacher
Vanessa received her Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State in English Literature. After graduation she was inspired to return to school to study early childhood education. She has over 36 ECE units from community colleges and graduate coursework at Mills College including a practicum at Mills College Children’s School. Vanessa has experience teaching children 2-6 years in Reggio-inspired schools, mentoring new teachers, and working as an administrator in programs serving children 0-6 years. Vanessa took time off to devote to starting her own family. This has been her most impactful experience. During this time, she attended LifeWays training and the RIE Foundation course. Committed to lifelong learning, Vanessa continues to read the latest books and articles on child development, to attend numerous trainings and conferences, and to learn alongside her colleagues and parent peers.
Caitlin has been working in the Early Childhood Education/Development field for over 10 years. Previously, Caitlin worked as a Lead Teacher and Acting Assistant Director at Children’s Learning Cottage. Caitlin is a graduate from Notre Dame De Namur University with a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies, adding to her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Canada College. Miss Caitlin creates a safe learning environment where children feel free to take on challenges and grow through experiences. We are delighted to have her bright spirit and gentle nature at the Nest!
Francesca is from a small village just outside of Brescia, Italy. After obtaining degrees in Business Appraisal and Foreign Languages, she began a career as an accountant. Even then, she spent much of her free time working and volunteering with children.Since moving to the U.S., she has become a certificated nutritionist after studying at SF City College.Francesca combines her skills, background and love of children to bring Italian culture, food and language to our program. The children love baking, cooking, and gardening with Francesca. She also supports our Reggio-inspired program with her own personal history - she attended a Reggio school herself as a child!
Marlo, our cheerful West Highland White Terrier spends much of her day upstairs. However, she does make special appearances here and there to the delight of all her small friends.
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.