DLC offers both morning and afternoon preschool programs for children ages 2 through 6 years old. Our hours of operation are 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. We offer full day and half day programs. See our tuition options for full & half day pricing.

Our students benefit from large chunks of uninterrupted outside playtime in developmentally based groups. We have four large outdoor classrooms that each of our groups use for most of their day. The outdoor classrooms have been cultivated and built upon over the years. each is equipped with a covered patio where traditional learning/interest areas can be found (book reading, art, cozy space, building/STEM, sensory play, language & literacy and pretend play). They each also have ample yard space with sand, swings, climbing structures, bikes, etc.

We allow children to take off their shoes, climb structures, ride bikes, swing on swings, ride our zip line (which we call “The Zoom”), play in the mud, paint, garden, and navigate their own play with mixed-aged peers. Our outside time is priceless! When children are allowed to explore, interact, and create freely in an environment that is infused with tools and materials that speak to their senses and natural curiosity, the possibilities are endless! Kids truly thrive with minimal behavioral issues!

We also create outside playtime in cold weather and light rain, or after it has rained. We spend less time outside in colder weather, but we do bundle the kids up, strap on their rain boots, and allow them to run play, climb, and splash. It is critical for children to have access to fresh air and exercise year-round!

          Children who attend DLC need to arrive with a bag packed with plenty of extra clothing. We believe children need the freedom to explore their environment and participate in a variety of activities throughout their day without worrying about staying clean. Kids should also come prepared for various weather situations. A valued learning experience for children is the responsibility and independence that is gained when they are required to change their own clothing and cleaning up after a messy activity! Our staff provides guidance, but the ultimate goal is independence! Please send your child to school in clothing that you don’t mind them getting dirty or stained. Label all belongings with name or initials!


DLC typically runs a 1:6 ratio. The highest ratio a preschool in the state of California can have is 1:12, but we try to avoid this. Having a very low ratio is a critical part of DLC’s high quality program. With a low ratio our teachers can actually attend to all of our student’s needs, we can ensure stellar supervision, and our students and teachers are happier.

Small Group Time

DLC has four preschool groups: the Butterflies (4’s and 5’s), the Dragonflies (old 3’s young 4’s) Ladybugs (middle to young 3’s) and the Squirrels (2’s and young 3’s). Children are placed in groups with peers of similar developmental age (socially/emotionally and cognitively). During small group time (9:00 am -12:00 pm & 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm) children can get deeply involved in long term projects and activities that require skills that children are developing and/or working on mastering. These long-term projects are developed in concert by teachers and children based on the children’s emerging interests. Examples of long-term projects include planning and building a small city, creating puppets and puppet show, hatching duck eggs, superhero unit, learning about farm animals and so much more!

We work in small groups to develop social/emotional intelligence, problem solving skills, and much more! We work on true math, science, and literacy concepts, not just rote memorization. For children to do this they need to be interactive, hands-on, explore, contemplate, make mistakes, and ask questions. During group time we offer a variety of experiences which include but are not limited to, creative movement and music, literacy, math, science, sensory experiences, circle time, critical thinking opportunities, cooking projects, and much more. Whatever we are working on, we make sure it is meaningful and appropriate for each child. We also care deeply that children learn to respect their environment, their peers, and develop empathy.


Our school-age program provides transportation to and from CMP Carmichael (pick-up only), CMP American River, Schweitzer and Dewey. After school the school-agers get to play outdoors just as the preschoolers do! Our school-age program has an emphasis on team building skills, cooperative play, friendship building, and projects that emerge from the children’s interests (when time permits)!

Our School-Age summer program is an outstanding option for your child as well. Our teachers work very hard on planning a summer packed full of enriched experiences for our students. Two days a week (T/Th) our school-agers go on all day field trips using our school vans. With their backpacks packed with everything they need for the day, they head out early in the morning to visit parks, pools, creeks, museums, and take various scheduled tours. Our school-agers develop a heightened sense of responsibility, awareness of their surroundings, needs of others, safety skills, communication skills, investigative skills, problem solving and critical thinking skills, as well as having a ton of fun!

Extended Day

Our center hours are from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Children may attend on a full-day basis and be assured of a quality program to meet their development needs.

Lunch and Snack

DLC offers two nutritious snacks a day (9 am & 2 pm). Families provide lunch for their child. Please pack icepacks in your child’s lunchbox to keep it cool, as we have limited space in our refrigerator. At 4:00 pm children are allowed to eat snacks from their lunch box. We are a nut free school. Please make sure any food that comes to our center is free of all nut products.

Toilet Training & Napping

Your child does not need to be toilet trained to attend DLC, and we do not base our decision on which small group they will be placed in on their toilet training status. If your child does wear diapers, then we ask that families provide us with diapers and baby wipes.

Not all children at DLC need to take naps. If your child does need a nap you may bring in a crib sheet, blanket, and pillow for them to use. Our nappers go to sleep right after lunch (between 11:30 and 12:00), and are allowed to wake up naturally, but the nap room is cleaned up by 2:00 pm.