Providing quality programs for young children since 1976 --
Alamo, Danville, Walnut Creek and San Ramon.

About Us

Our Philosophy
Our Facility
Our Staff

Our Philosophy

The Creative Learning Center provides a climate for growth where children are helped to understand their world through the full use of their senses, their feelings, and their intellects. Our program focuses on three essential educational principles:

  • Enhancing a positive self-image - A child's self image is the most important ingredient in the learning process. At the Creative Learning Center children develop a high sense of self esteem; a feeling of competence that breeds further success and motivation for further learning.
  • Providing a safe environment to explore social relationships - Social sensitivity is a slow arduous process that involves learning to understand how to share, cooperate and empathize. We believe that play is vital to a child's learning positive social values. Through play, children learn to initiate and sustain relationships, building interpersonal trust and emotional maturity.
  • Introducing academics through "hands-on", interactive experiences - Each child is a unique individual with different levels of development. It is our role to assess each child and provide a broad spectrum of learning experiences geared to challenge the mind and body and cultivate curiosity and awareness of the world. Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of each individual child.

Our Facility

The Creative Learning Centerwas etablished in 1976 to provide a comprehensive Early Childhood Education program and resource center for the Diablo and San Ramon Valley communities.

Our educational facility is especially designed with children in mind! Every feature of the indoor and outdoor learning environment is an extension of the school's philosophy and goals, and is carefully planned to meet the development needs of young children. We are fully licensed by the State Department of Social Services.

Our facility is open to all children between 2 years and 9 months of age through Kindergarten. We offer Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten programs from September to mid-June with both half day (a.m. or p.m.) or school day options. In addition, our Summer Camps for Curious Campers (Preschool/Pre-K) and Explorers (entering or completing Kindergarten) run from late June through mid-August.

Our Staff

The heart of any educational experiences lies in the interaction of people with one another. The staff at the Creative Learning Center includes teachers trained specifically in Early Childhood Education and diversified in age, experience and interest to provide a rich collection of talent and expertise. The teacher/student ratio is 1:5-1:8.

Teaching Team

  • Adeela joined our CLC teaching team in 2011 and continues as our Junior Kindergarten Teacher Aide. She received her ECE training at University of California, Santa Cruz, and previously taught preschool at several local preschools.
  • Chieko has been with CLC since 2010. She is teaching our Red together Time Group this year. She received her B.A. from University of California, Davis, and her Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. Before joining CLC she taught in the SRVUSC, in the Palo Alto USC, as well as several ECE programs.
  • Linda joined CLC in 1999. She received her B.S. in Child Development from University of California,Davis, and previously taught locally, as well as in Oklahoma. She is our early morning arrival teacher, and our Blue Together Time Teacher.  She will also implement Science specialist Lynne's curriculum on Friday afternoons.
  • Lindi, who joined us in 2015, will be working with our morning Purple Together Time group and afternoon Green and Gold Together Time groups this year. She was graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Special Education and holds certifications in Early Childhood Education. Before joining CLC she taught preschool in New York City and Georgia.

  • Lynne, our afternoon Blue Together Time Teacher, brings a wealth of expertise as an ECE professional, including many years local experience as a Preschool Teacher and Director. She is also our Science Specialist.  Lynne received her ECE training at DVC.

  • Marie has been with CLC since 2006. She received her B.A. in Human Development from Cal State University, Hayward, and also has additional ECE training from DVC. Marie has previously been a Special Education teacher aide with San Ramon Valley Unified School District.  She will be our Green Together Time Teacher and also team with Mary and Adeela in our PM Junior Kindergarten program.
  • Mary is our Orange Tiger Junior Kindergarten teacher in the mornings and afternoons. She joined Creative Learning Center in 1990, and received her B.A. from Chico State University and Early Childhood Education training from Diablo Valley College.
  • Mary Anne is our morning Teacher Aide, having joined us Summer 2015. She received her ECE training at DVC and has experience at several local programs.
  • Nida joined our teaching team Winter 2017 as Teacher Aide. She previouslytaught at several Northern California preschools and received her ECE training at UC Santa Cruz.

  • Renee joined us last school year as both a morning and afternoon Teacher Aide. She attended California State University, Fullerton, as well as DVC. She has experience as a nanny and summer Camp counselor. In addition, she is an Intern for a local theater group company.
  • Susan completed her Associate Teacher certificate in Early Childhood Education from DVC and holds a B.A. in Journalism from Cal State University, Sacramento. She joined our CLC team in 2007, and will teach our Yellow Together time group and our afternoon Red Together Time group this school year.


  • Courtney of Tiny Tumblers, continues this year as our Monday Motor Specialist. She guides the children each Monday as they tumble, dance, stretch and move creatively. Courtney’s background includes a B.A. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Child Development, as well as experience as a preschool teacher.
  • Jan has been our Wednesday Music Specialist for over twenty years. Jan delights the children on Wednesday with her wonderful music program, including a wealth of songs that the children enjoy learning. She emphasizes creative movement and use of musical instruments.
  • Lynne also our Friday Science Specialist, brings a wealth of expertise as an ECE professional, including experience as a Preschool Teacher and Director. She received her ECE training at DVC. Lynne looks forward to creating engaging, creative, hands-on science activities - questioning, researching, hypothesizing, testing, analyzing and concluding.  Linda will team with Lynne and implement the Science program on Friday afternoons.

Administrative Staff

  • Jori Carmel, Executive Director, holds a B.A. from UCLA and MS. Ed in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College, Boston. She has extensive experience in the field of ECE as a Preschool Teacher and Director, Community College Instructor, and developer of programs and centers.
  • Julie Nejedly, our Office Manager, joined our CLC staff in 2012. Her background includes a B.A. from University of the Pacific in Economics, as well as a wealth of administrative and volunteer leadership experience.
  • Lorena Ferris, our Program Director, received her ECE training at DVC. Before joining CLC in 2001, she was a teacher, and then director of an early childhood program in Martinez. She has also been a Special Education Teacher, as well as part of the Bilingual IEP staff for the Martinez School Dristrict.

PARENTS also play a vital role at the Creative Learning Center! We encourage hands-on parent participation. Parent conferences are also scheduled regularly to provide a time for more formal communication.

Why Creative Learning Center

  • Chosen "Best Preschool in East Bay" again 2017-2018 Readers' Choice Awards by Bay Area News Group
  • Our educational facility is especially designed with children in mind. Every feature of the indoor and outdoor learning environment is an extension of the school’s philosophy and goals, and is carefully planned to meet the development needs of young children.
  • Program schedule flexibility offers parents full or part week/half day or school day options.
  • The staff includes teachers trained specifically in ECE with a wide range of experience and interests to provide a diversified collection of talent and expertise. The teacher/student ratio is 1:5 – 1:8 and the staff turnover rate is extremely low.
  • Parent Participation in our classroom is encouraged (but not required). Volunteering in our classroom offers parents an opportunity to experience firsthand our quality program, see your child interact with others, and observe our staff in action.
  • Weekly Music, Science, and Perceptual Motor Specialists add additional enrichment.
  • Our strong, yet developmentally appropriate, academic program includes:
    • Scholastic’s "Alphatales”
    • McGraw-Hill Pre-K Mathematics
    • Handwriting Without Tears based writing readiness
  • "Curbside service” at drop off and pick up enhances convenience.
  • We offer strong communication with our parents through regularly scheduled parent conferences and monthly newsletters, as well as ongoing informal opportunities.
  • Continuous staff professional development gives teachers regular opportunities for professional growth and re-energizing.
  • We’ve been providing comprehensive Early Childhood Education programs since 1976.

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