Neighborhood Playgarden Application Process

Neighborhood Playgarden is a non-profit parent participation preschool in the upper Castro/Noe Valley neighborhood. Our school was founded in 2005 and serves children ages 2-5. We are a Lifeways program and accredited by WECAN, as well as Gateway to Quality at San Francisco State University.  We receive funding for 4 year old children through First 5 San Francisco’s Preschool for All (PFA) program.

Parents participate in the classroom as volunteers; and each parent is in the classroom with us approximately 10 times per year. . In addition, parents are required to attend 6 monthly parent education meetings per year, as well as one mandatory annual all-parent business meeting held in the weeks before each school year begins. Optional activities include family camp-outs, snow trips, occasional weekend gatherings at parks and playgrounds, and a parents’ handwork and crafts group that meets biweekly. Neighborhood Playgarden strives to attract families who are interested in all aspects of the program and to build a community that is friendly and supportive for children and families.

We have a detailed application process so that applying families are well informed and comfortable with the school before they apply. Here is the process:

1. Visit the NPG web site as well as the Lifeways website at to learn more about how a Lifeways program develops.

2. Read “You Are Your Child’s First Teacher” by Rahima Ballwin Dancy. It is available at Bird & Beckett Books in Glen Park or online. This book will give you a detailed overview of Waldorf education for young children.

3. Sign up for a parent-child class and/or come to a parent education or public event sponsored by our school. Current events over the next month or two can be found on our web site.  We are currently accepting registration for our 2014 classes.

4. When you come to a parent event at NPG you will also be able to take a tour of the school. You will also be able to talk with currently enrolled families and meet the teachers.

5. After you have completed steps 1-4 above you can schedule a 4 hour morning observation of the program in action. You may do this by emailing The morning observation visit is for parents only. Please do not bring your child, although non-mobile babies in carriers are welcome. Classroom observations are scheduled throughout the year.

6. At the end of the 4 hour observation visit, you will be given an application if you would like to apply to NPG.

7. Return your application with a $25 check to NPG Inc. by February 7 for consideration for the upcoming (fall) school year. We do accept applications mid-year if you are interested in being on our wait list.

8. We will let you know by March 1 if we can offer you a spot for fall.