Manhattan Beach Preschools - An Insider’s Guide

Manhattan Beach Preschools - An Insider’s Guide 

We would like to start this blog by giving the parents and loved ones reading this - a big warm hug! What an exciting time for you and your little one(s)! We completely understand how bittersweet this first school experience will be for your family, and we’re here to help you in making this decision as easy on you as possible. Manhattan Beach is known nationwide for its outstanding school programs, and preschools are no exception to that reputation. Resulting in Manhattan Beach neighborhoods being extremely sought-after and competitive when it comes to housing inventory. 
Unlike elementary schools, preschools are not based on the neighborhood. Meaning you have full choice strictly based on your personal preferences and values. So no matter if you are in the Sand Section, Tree Section, Hill Section, or East Manhattan, your little one(s) has many options and opportunities available for their formative years. We’ve compiled a complete guide to all preschools in Manhattan Beach, highlighting specific attributes each school adheres to.

American Martyrs Preschool

1705 Laurel Ave Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
A Catholic school rooted in learning through hands-on experiences, and God. They emphasize the paramount importance of play in cognitive development. AMP implements mixed-age play, stating this method stimulates creativity and depresses competition. Enrollment fills up, with priority granted to families who are parishioners. After preschool, American Martyrs Catholic School serves kindergarten through 8th grade. 

Circle of Love: First Lutheran Church 

1100 N Poinsettia Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Circle of Love starts the curriculum as young as 2 years old with their Rainbow Room program. Their philosophy is centered around play, with their slogan stating “we play, we learn!” The reviews are all extremely positive and lengthy, all similarly stating COL is a smaller, more nurturing environment than a few of the larger schools in the area. Not to mention COL is also half the price of competing schools. A great option for Lutheran families! 

Creative Kids Preschool 

1203 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 
No tuition stated 
Creative Kids is known for having warm and nurturing teachers, as well as a great outdoor space! Teachings can start as young as 18 months old. Pick-ups and drop-offs are made easy by the vast area they provide for the parents, which is gated and code protected. The reviews rave cohesively about the environment created for kids to blossom and thrive. 

Growing Garden Preschool

2108 Vail Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90278
No tuition stated
Growing Garden Preschool is the South Bay’s only Jewish preschool that follows a curriculum inspired by Reggio Emilia. Meaning that the child is encouraged to learn guided by their own interests. This approach is a student-centered and constructivist self-guided curriculum that uses self-directed, experiential learning in relationship-driven environments. The reviews all rave about this gem of a school! 

Journey of Faith Preschool 

1243 Artesia Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Tuition available upon request 
Affiliated with the Journey of Faith Church, this preschool welcomes children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.  The learning center is one big room, divided into different sectors by division walls. JOF has abundant wonderful reviews. There is a very long waitlist, so try to get in as early as possible! 

La Marina 

115 S Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
No tuition stated 
After diving deep into the reviews, La Marina has the most mixed reviews. Some parents claimed they had a positive experience, and a good amount stated they had to pull their children out. If you were looking into La Marina, I would recommend taking a look for yourself. 

Magic Rainbow

1159 N Aviation Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Founded in 1982, the Magic Rainbow Preschool is centered around family and fun! Your child(ren) will love all of the extracurricular activities they offer! Like trips to the aquarium, cooking classes, and gymnastics. The reviews are all extremely positive, raving about the wonderful teachers and staff. 

Manhattan Academy 

1740 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
No tuition stated 
Manhattan Academy can start as young as infancy for your child(ren). The Montessori environment encourages children to follow their natural interests. The classrooms are multi-age which allows the children to learn at their own pace. A few reviews highlight the tricky admissions process, claiming there is a $300 non-refundable deposit to sign up your child(ren) on the waiting list. 

Manhattan Beach Nursery School 

1520 Nelson Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
If you’re looking for a safe space for your child to run free and start grounding themselves as human beings, MBNS is for you! This non-profit started in the 50s and has been a beacon of individuality ever since. It’s the only preschool mentioning a stance on racism or homophobia, bringing awareness safely orchestrated by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). This indoor-outdoor co-op embraces community by welcoming the parents and caretakers to learn together as they embark on this new journey of raising children. 

Manhattan Beach Preschool

1431 15th St, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Affiliated with MBUSD, Manhattan Beach Preschool is Manhattan Beach’s only public preschool. Due to the lack of public preschools, please note this one has an extremely long waitlist - it would be best to apply when your child(ren) is born. The curriculum here is both academic and play-based. No reviews are listed on this preschool. 

Shalem Preschool 

1829 N Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
No tuition stated 
Shalem Preschool is a brand-new Jewish preschool centered around developing a child’s mind, body, and soul. The environment nurtures a child's innate sense of curiosity, imagination, and self-esteem. The staff is made up entirely of women, founded by Rabbi Seliah Kalev. The reviews absolutely rave about how wonderful this preschool is. Some reviews are written by parents who don’t affiliate with the Jewish culture but resonate with the school's core values. 

The Academy at Manhattan Beach: A Bright Horizons Preschool 

1114 22nd St, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
A part of the Bright Horizon chain of schools nationwide,  The Academy offers a well-rounded curriculum where your child(ren) will embark on their learning journey from health & wellness, to literacy and language. From the online guided tour, the classrooms like very clean and large. No reviews could be found for this preschool. 

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