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Your Child’s Day at School


Through joyful learning and collaborative play, our program focuses on the development of the whole child: physical, cognitive, and social-emotional. We value and prioritize time for pursuing interests, developing relationships, and engaging in  play and exploration both indoors and out. 


Children are encouraged to try novel experiences, but feel empowered to make their own choice of where they play and which friendships they would like to explore. The experience of both structured and unstructured play fosters decision making skills, cultivates a sense of confidence and autonomy, supports social-emotional learning, and strengthens the development of critical thinking.


Daily Flow


9:00 am -  School starts and children play in the front yard as everyone arrives

9:30 am -   Morning circle (e.g. songs, stories, mindfulness, movement, or guided games; discussing the day and introduction of activities)

10:00 am - Snack time 

10:20 am - Play and Exploration (Front Yard, Backyard, Art, Middle Room, Dramatic Play Area)

11:50 am - Transition circle time 

12:00 pm - Lunch 

12:30 pm - Play and exploration in the front yard

1:45 pm -  Closing circle time 

2:00 pm -  Dismissal


*Please know the timing or order of events may shift based on the needs of the children 



Program Environment

Young children learn through interacting with their environment and the world around them. Our large outdoor play space features a flower and vegetable garden, swing set, chicken coop (with our two wonderful chickens), sandbox (with therapeutic-grade sand), climber, imaginative play house, garden house, bicycle area, water play area, and much more!  The children have the option to be outside rain or shine. When it's wet, we find lots of salamanders and worms and utilize our covered spaces and wear our rainsuits. Mill Valley Nursery School is a secure, nurturing, child-centered play space. With guidance from patient, loving adults, children learn to navigate the outdoor area and MVNS cottage with gusto and ease as they grow and learn together.


An abundance of opportunities for imagination, creativity, friendly risk-taking, and problem-solving empower children, while providing social constructivist learning experiences.

Adding the word “contextual” to “curriculum” places strong emphasis on the idea that learning happens in a context — in relation to and as a result of experiences, environment, relationships, family, community, and culture. In other words, our curriculum is a continuous interaction, exchange, and collaboration among teachers, children, and parents. It is, in particular, shaped around the emerging interests, ideas, and wonders of the children as communicated through their play and behavior. Each year, our curriculum is molded by the members of our community and the unique stories and experiences of every individual. 

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