Why we started our Encinitas preschool

As early educators with strong beliefs about what makes for a high quality preschool program, when it came time to find the right place for our son, we decided that the only way to find our perfect program was to create it ourselves. 
Daniel, Emily and Ronan

In early 2019, twenty-seven years after meeting in third grade, Daniel and Emily moved to Encinitas to realize the dream of opening a preschool together. 


Daniel's career in early education began in 2001 when he took a job as a Mommy and Me Class Leader. He knew almost instantly that he had found his calling and went on to major in Psychology at UC Berkeley with an emphasis in Child Development. After graduating, he continued his coursework in Early Childhood Education at UCLA and Santa Monica College. He taught at a popular center-based preschool in Los Angeles for nearly a decade before resigning to start The Garden Schoolhouse.  


Daniel's intuitive way of working with young children has always made him a favorite among students and parents alike. Children especially love his patience, playful nature, silly socks and of course his ability to fix broken toys. 

Emily graduated from UCLA  and worked in the entertainment industry for several years before going back to school to study Early Childhood Education. Her experience and background in the arts informs her work with children as does her love of language and storytelling. When not teaching or parenting, she spends much of her time experimenting in the kitchen, learning about gardening, writing stories and playing with the school's pets. 

Emily and Daniel's 2-year-old son Ronan is their muse and teacher. He constantly reminds them that no matter how much they think they know about young children, there's always more to learn. He inspires them to always strive to be better parents and teachers. 

Nola, After Hours CEO

Nola stays in the back part of the house during school hours but at night, she functions as the school's CEO, or Crumb Elimination Officer, a role which is vital to both the school's and the vacuum cleaner's continued functioning.