Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What ages do you serve?

A: We serve children 2½ - 5 years of age. Children are put into class by age: three-year old classes, four-year old Pre-Kindergarten classes and five-year old Junior Kindergarten classes. We also offer a Jumpstart Preschool class for young children that are not yet toilet-trained.


Q: Where is the school location?

A: Our address is: 30322 Via Con Dios, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688. The two major cross streets are Avenida de Las Flores and Santa Margarita Pkwy.


Q: What is your teacher/child ratio?

A: Regular preschool classes can have up to 16 children in them with a teacher and teacher’s aide in each room. Our Jumpstart Preschool class will have up to 11 children in it with a teacher and teacher's aide.


Q: How do I contact you?

A: You can visit or write to us at the address above, or call us at (949) 858-0646. You can also email us at saddlebackchildcenter@gmail.com.


Q: Where can I get a tuition schedule?

A: We have several schedules available ranging from 2 half days a week to 5 full time days a week. For a complete list of schedules and tuition please see the Tuition & Registration tab under Admissions on our website or contact the office at (949)858-0646.


Q: How long have you been in business and how long have your teachers worked at the school?

A: Saddleback Children's Center was started in 1983 and was first located in El Toro. We moved to Rancho Santa Margarita in 1988 and opened the school in February of 1989. Many of our staff have worked here at Saddleback Children's Center for over 10 years.


Q: What is your Federal Tax Identification number for my tax filing purposes?

A: Our tax ID # is 93-0782055.


Q: What is your staff training or education?

A: Our staff are certified through the State of California Commission on Teaching Credentialing. All staff have current C.P.R. and First Aid training certificates.


Our staff is carefully selected to provide a loving and nurturing Christian environment while stimulating the children academically and socially. All staff members are experienced, well-qualified and knowledgeable in child development. Kindness and consideration are modeled in both words and behavior. Positive reinforcement is used to guide children and help them develop a strong self-esteem. Staff members attend staff meetings, professional seminars and the California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC) annual conferences in order to keep abreast of new developments in early childhood education and continue to provide a quality program for the children.


Q: Do you hold parent teacher conferences?

A: Yes, we meet with parents in October and May, but you are welcome to request a conference at any time during the school year. In addition to our developmental observation, you will have the opportunity to have your child screened for kindergarten readiness by Chancy and Bruce Educational Resources.


Q: What is an NAEYC Accredited school?

A : The National Association for the Education of Young Children ( NAEYC ) has been working for over 50 years to define and promote quality educational programs for young children. Their collaborative efforts involve literally thousands of stakeholders--including policymakers, researchers, administrators, teachers, parents, professors and validators to name a few. They work together to set standards that define what a quality program for children should be. 


Since 1992, Saddleback Children's Center has been accredited through The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We strive to meet the highest standards possible in an early childhood program. We go through the re-accreditation process every five years, which insures that our program is up to date with the latest findings in the field. To learn more about NAEYC accredited schools visit their website at NAEYC.com


Q: Is the school a part of Community Lutheran Church?

A: Yes, we are an extension of Community Lutheran Church. Our school is considered a part of their community outreach program and we incorporate Christian values into our everyday program. We have chapel once a week in the mornings where children sing songs, have story time and learn about the love of our Lord. In addition, we incorporate prayer daily at snack and circle times in the classrooms.


Q: What is your discipline policy?

A : Young children are socially immature. One of the reasons people send their child to preschool is to develop better social skills. If a child becomes upset or is having trouble getting along, our staff will use this as an opportunity to help the child learn appropriate ways to express their feelings in a positive manner.


Q: Do you offer a lunch bunch program?

A : Yes for a small additional fee you can pack a lunch and have your child stay from 11:30-12:30. Lunch Bunch is offered Monday-Friday on most regular school days.


Q: Can we stop by for a tour anytime?

A: You are always welcome to stop by; however, it is best to call and make an appointment so you are assured that someone can help you. Touring the school is usually done in the mornings at 9:15.


Q: Why do I need to send my child to preschool?

A: Young children first and foremost need to develop social and emotional skills in order to be successful learners and have continued success in life. The number one skill that must be in place for successful entry into kindergarten is social and emotional stability. Preschool allows your child the opportunity to mature and develop social skills that will last a lifetime. Allowing your child to interact with their peers in a controlled and safe environment will help them to develop: self-confidence, problem solving skills, cooperation and collaboration skills, independence and a sense of self and others. Preschool allows this and so much more for children to experience. What children experience at home with siblings and parents, at school with friends and teachers, or with sports groups and other activities, all contribute to developing the whole child.


Q: How will you teach my child to be ready for kindergarten?

A: This class specifically supports a smooth transition into kindergarten by encouraging the necessary skills required for success in kindergarten. Our fully credentialed early child development teachers place a higher concentration on academics than in our younger classes.


Academic focus on language arts activities include:

  • Phonological awareness
  • Letter and word recognition
  • Sound recognition through utilization of Zoophonics
  • Sight words
  • Blending and word families
  • Concepts of Print

Handwriting Without Tears curriculum implemented for letter writing includes:

  • Emergent writing
  • Correct letter formation
  • Left to right sequencing

Jumpin' Numbers and Shakin' Shapes is used for number and shape knowledge. Math skills encouraged on a daily basis include:

  • Counting
  • Sorting
  • Patterning
  • Measuring
  • Classification
  • Simple mathematical operations

Teachers also employ the use of graphs, estimation, and manipulatives to support mathematical development.


Science is supported through inquiry based as well as hands-on activities.


We welcome you to visit our Pre-K classrooms to observe our teaching strategies. 


Q: How can I participate as a parent?

A: We believe parent involvement is an important part of the learning process. Families are encouraged to participate in the program and to interact with each other in order to create a first educational experience which will help each child develop to their full potential.


A parent volunteer list will be passed out at the beginning of the school year listing many ways parents can help out including classroom preparation, collecting materials, taking pictures, fundraising, events and room parent responsibilities including the room parent liaison. Parent help and support is a vital part of our program and is much appreciated.


Q: Ways we Communicate?

A:

  • Monthly School Newsletter
  • Parent Orientation
  • Parent Conferences
  • Information Posted in Foyer
  • Back To School Night
  • Open House
  • Open Door Policy
  • Parent Boards Outside Classrooms
  • Guest Speakers
  • E-Mails
  • Lesson Plans

Q: Other programs available at Saddleback Children's Center

A: In addition to our preschool program we offer other enrichment classes on campus. These classes are offered after morning preschool from 11:30-12:15.

  • Ballet
  • Spanish
  • Ball sports

There is an additional charge and prices vary depending on the program you choose.


Q: Do you welcome visitors at Saddleback Children's Center?

A: Yes, once you have enrolled your child into our program, we recommend that you have your child visit our school a few times before they start.


We welcome parents to our center at any time. All parents must report to the office before going to the classroom except when they are bringing or picking up children. Although we do not have observation facilities, for those wanting to observe their child discreetly we will attempt to provide a place for inconspicuous observation. 


If you have any further questions, please call (949) 858-0646 or email saddlebackchildcenter@gmail.com.