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Puddle Jumpers Workshop

22nd Street and Shotwell
San Francisco, CA 94110

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Puddle Jumpers Workshop is one of San Francisco's oldest parent-run daycare cooperatives. Children can attend from 18 months to 3 and a half. It is located in the heart of the Mission District.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Co-op

Day in the Life

General School Mission

It is our belief that the participatory nature of cooperative childcare allows for an experience that is more nurturing, diverse, stimulating and responsive than traditional group or private childcare. Puddle Jumpers Workshop emphasizes free play, positive learning experiences, unconditional caring and good nutrition. We are dedicated to maintaining a child-centric, non-sexist, non-racist, non-authoritarian atmosphere. When conflicts occur, members seek resolution by re-directing children away from the source of frustration and engaging them in other activities. We strive to offer a healthy and balanced diet, relying on organic ingredients whenever possible. We avoid red meat and processed foods. Working parents provide a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. Puddle Jumpers is managed, funded and maintained by our members. Working together, we strive to make a child's time at Puddle Jumpers exciting, nurturing and inspirational.

A Typical Day

Puddle Jumpers Workshop is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except standard holidays. Mornings include art, free play and a trip to the playground; in the afternoons, we visit the park or our community garden plot, sing, read, and have a snack. Occasionally, we organize a morning field trip to an offsite location. Up to eight children ages 18 months to three years attend daily, with at least two parents on duty at all times and an Activities Coordinator present each day.

8:45 - 9:00am Greet children; working parents arrive.

9:00 - 9:45 Quiet activities, free play, arts and crafts.

9:45 - 10:00 Clean-up, potty time, diapering and hand-washing.

10:00 - 10:30 Snack. Depart for playground.

10:30 - 11:30 Visit playground.

11:30 - 12:15pm Return to Puddle Jumpers. Potty time, diapering and hand-washing. Story time and songs.

12:15 - 12:40 Lunch.

12:40 - 2:30 Nap time. Adult clean-up. Quiet time.

2:30 - 3:30 Kids begin waking up. Snack.

3:30 - 4:45 Free play indoors, gym time, park.

4:45 - 5:15 Clean-up. Parent pick-up. Good-bye Song.

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

As a new family, you'll receive a buddy family to help with the transition to Puddle Jumpers. You'll meet before your child begins attending school; it's a great resource for the parents to connect and help answers any questions you have. It's also great for your child who will be able to make a new friend and see a familiar face upon starting at Puddle Jumpers.