Zaca Center Preschool (license number 426215499) has been in operation since February 1996. The center is part of the Rancho de Maria housing development in Buellton. We are nestled between single-family homes, condominiums, and the Zaca Creek Golf Course and Community Park. Zaca Center Preschool serves children and families throughout the Santa Ynez Valley.
On any given day we have the privilege of serving up to 43 preschool children and their families. Our doors are open from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. providing early and late day care, snacks, lunch, and naps, as well as, a structured preschool curriculum designed specifically for the developmental needs of two-to-five year olds. The preschool program offers a rich and challenging environment that encourages exploration, curiosity, and creativity.
Zaca Center Preschool recognizes that children develop at different rates and in different ways. Our curriculum is geared to the developmental needs of each individual child. Our team of staff members works closely to facilitate an effective and efficient full inclusion program. Parents, as well as staff, are continually encouraged by the goal achievements and mutual peer benefits within the inclusive setting. Behavioral concerns are quickly moderated and functional social/self-help skills are acquired by the generous exposure to appropriate peer models.
Activities in our preschool include art, science, math, language development, music, movement, dramatic play, neighborhood walks, conversations, nature activities, story reading, cooking, and tending to classroom pets and our garden.
Through play, the primary focus is to help children develop socialization skills by interacting with their peers and learning methods of conflict resolution. Our children learn how to identify their feelings and express them in constructive ways. All of these experiences are designed to foster life-long feelings of competency and self-esteem.
Zaca Center was also observed by the California State University Northridge faculty, receiving an overall superior rating on their Program Quality Index for Full Inclusion Sites.
Zaca Center is a Demonstration Site for the Outdoor Classroom Project. The children spend a substantial portion of each day outdoors, exploring, experimenting and investigating the outdoor environment. The children collect insects, work in the garden, play in the mud, work in the outdoor writing center, play in the water, and use real tools to experiment with.
Zaca Center has also been recognized as a “Green Care Provider” by the Green Care for Children Organization of Santa Barbara. We practice being green by using cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals and irritants, we recycle, compost, and practice water and energy conservation.
We are also participating in the Santa Barbara County Preschool Healthy Foods Initiative sponsored by the Orfaela Foundation. We serve two healthy snacks and a healthy lunch each day. We use fresh produce and cooked from scratch recipes. Our children participate in gardening experiences by growing, tending and harvesting foods from our preschool garden.
We are grateful for the opportunity to share our program with you and would welcome your interest and suggestions for continuing our high quality work with children at Zaca Center Preschool.