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 offer Early Learning Scholarships through San Francisco’s Office of Early Care and Education. To find out if your family qualifies for San Francisco’s Early Learning Scholarship please visit Children may attend 3 or 4 days a week for the 2020-2021 school year. We are currently enrolling for outdoor programs in two locations!

The mission if Neighborhood  Playgarden is to build sustainable community for San Francisco’s urban families”.  To further our mission we offer families many opportunities to get to know each other.  Due to Covid 19, during the 2020-21 school year our community events are curtailed.  Previously families have enjoyed 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.  In the 2021-22 school year we hope to resume our usual community activities and events

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 ‘Joyful Toddlers and Preschoolers’ by Faith Collins. This book will give you a detailed overview of Waldorf education for young children.

3. 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.

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. Due to Covid19 we have discontinued our four hour observations for 2020.  To arrange a FaceTime tour of the school with the director email her at

6. At the end of the FaceTime tour, 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.