Mission Hills Community Preschool

Play-based, half-day preschool programs for children 2-5 years old. Missions Hills Community Preschool was founded in 1971 as an outreach ministry of the Mission Hills United Church of Christ.

Its mission is to serve parents and children in the community. MHCP offers programs for children 2 to 5 years of age. Our programs are designed to support the social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual development of typically developing children. The preschool is operated on a non-discriminatory basis, offering equal treatment and access to services without regard to ethnicity, religio

Operating as usual

Bid The Love 02/08/2021

Bid The Love

Dear Mission Hills neighbors and friends,
Mission Hills Community Preschool has been serving the community since 1971, providing a nurturing environment for young children to learn and grow. Since COVID 19, we have been operating at half our normal capacity. We are reaching out to you, dear neighbors, to take a moment to visit our online auction fundraiser. There are amazing items, including vacations, dining, and even fine jewelry!
Please help support this treasure of a preschool by clicking the link below and donating what you can!


Bid The Love BidTheLove.com


Will social distancing harm my child emotionally? — Mission Hills Community Preschool

Here's my latest blogpost inspired by a mom in our community. Feel free to share.

missionhillscommunitypreschool.com I ran into a mom with her two children on a neighborhood walk today. She was wondering if this whole social distancing experience would have long-term negative effects on her child. Here are few thoughts on this. First, it's important to remember that above all else, you are your child's primary fo

americastestkitchen.com 03/19/2020

Recipes & Cooking Activities for Kids

Dear Parents,
Here are some fun cooking activities with children!

americastestkitchen.com The kitchen is a great place for kids to experiment and explore! Discover kid-tested recipes, cooking experiments, & videos that will excite young chefs.

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com 03/19/2020

There Are Plenty of Things to Worry About Right Now: Your Preschooler's Education is Not One of Them

Dear Parents,
Teacher Tom nails it again! Please read.

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com Increasingly it's looking like our children aren't going back to their schools until, at best, May, but quite possibly...


Social distancing with preschoolers? No sweat! Fun activities to do in/near home. — Mission Hills Community Preschool

Please feel free to share with anyone who might find this useful.

missionhillscommunitypreschool.com Hexbug Maze Build a maze with building blocks and watch the hexbug maneuver. Trouble-shoot and repair the course. Children will learn how to design, build, and problem-solve.  Link to hex bugs: https://www.google.com/search?q=hex+bugs&oq=hex+bug&aqs=chrome.0.0j69i57j

theatlantic.com 11/05/2019

Stop Trying to Raise Successful Kids

Here's a wonderful article to help parents keep sight of what really matters.

theatlantic.com And start raising kind ones.

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com 06/11/2019

"Hey Buddy!"

Great post on attention/connection seeking behavior.

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com Mom gave me plenty of good advice when our daughter was born. Among her pearls was this one: "All young children w...


This sums up our school’s philosophy!

nextdoor.com 04/15/2019

Mission Hills Community Pre-School — Nextdoor

nextdoor.com Mission Hills Community Pre-School is on Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods.

pbs.org 03/08/2019

The Difference Between Praise and Encouragement

Do you ever catch yourself responding to your child's painting/building/potty-success with "good job?" While your intention is probably to encourage your child, you may be surprised to learn that praise often has the opposite effect.

Studies have shown that encouragement tends to foster intrinsic motivation and determination whereas praise tends to undermine a child's perseverance and motivation.

Here's a wonderful article on Encouragement vs. Praise.

Next time you find yourself about to offer praise, try asking some open-ended questions/phrases instead.

For example:

"Tell me about your (picture, building, science project." (This allows children to focus on the parts they enjoyed or felt worked well)

"It looks like you are feeling pretty proud of yourself." (This places the focus on how the children feel about what they did as opposed to what they did. This encourages enjoyment of the process of creating and removes the focus from the outcome)

"I wonder what would happen if..." (This encourages critical thinking/problem-solving)

For further exploration, please check out this wonderful article on Encouragement vs. Praise.

pbs.org Learn why encouragement is better than praise for building confidence, resilience and self-esteem.


Impressive Things

This looks promising!

This vibrating bed soothes babies from crying.


This is the first thing children learn at our preschool! We revisit this daily.

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com 03/20/2018

Occupying Their Brains With Our Stupid Questions

Dear Parents,
Here's a little something to think about. While I'm sure that parents and caregivers have the best intentions, is it really helping children to expand their critical thinking skills when we ask them close-ended questions? This article cuts to the chase. Enjoy!

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com They say there's no such thing as a stupid question, but I beg to differ. We hear stupid questions almost every time ...


All 4

One of our preschool parents lovely example of children using conflict resolution skills. Notice hot the teachers support and allow the children to express their feelings, validate them, and encourage them to work through their issues. This is so much of what we do at the preschool!

Nobody is more sensitive than 4-year-olds...


Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech-free — and it should've been a red flag

Dear Parents,
Please take a few minutes to read this poignant article about the impact of technology on children.

Interviews with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and other tech elites consistently reveal that Silicon Valley parents are strict about technology use. A new book suggests the signs may have been clear years ago that smartphone use should be regulated. There may be a way to integrate tech into the classroom,...


Higher Perspective

We can all learn a lesson from this!

One awesome thing about Eeyore...

ttacnews.vcu.edu 04/25/2017

What is the teacher’s role in supporting play in early childhood classrooms? | Virginia Commonwealth University Training and Technical Assistance Center Newsletter

Excellent article on the importance of play-based preschool, the teachers' role, and how screen-time interferes with developing creativity. I encourage all parents of young children to read this!


ttacnews.vcu.edu Play is a universal phenomenon and serves both natural and biological functions. Through play, children learn about the ever-changing world (Elkind, 2003). Teachers and families often view the value of play in different ways. Early childhood teachers say that “play is a child’s work” while some pare...


May 1, 1969: Fred Rogers testifies before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications

Dear Parents,
Fred Rogers was ahead of his time! About 47 years ago, he spoke about the importance of teaching about feelings and compassion, as well as the harm that comes from viewing violence on television. Now, many years later, there is much research to validate this. Please watch this clip, and pay attention to what your children are watching. Limit screen time, or, better yet, do not allow young children to have screen time. Let them be creative. Let them figure out how to amuse themselves without television or ipads or ipods. It's time for our nation to take a good, hard look at the children we are raising. Let's raise a more compassionate/creative/thoughtful generation.

On May 1, 1969, Fred Rogers, host of the (then) recently nationally syndicated children's television series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (named Misterogers' ...


Rebel Girls

Let's all take note of this and make sure that females are represented in the books we read to our children.

If you have a daughter, you need to see this.

nbcsandiego.com 03/09/2017

San Diego Women Celebrate International Women's Day

Our preschool is mentioned on this segment. Proud to be part of this special day! Thank you for all the support!

nbcsandiego.com Women around the U.S. and world rallied together Wednesday for International Women's Day.

[03/06/17]   Many of us marched together in February at the Women's March. But one day is not enough. Wednesday, March 8th is A Day Without a Woman.We invite you to stand with us on this important day!

The following was taken from the Women's March FAQ page:

What are people going to do to observe A Day Without a Woman?

A: People can participate in any one or all of the following ways:

Women to refrain from paid and unpaid work

We ask all people to refrain from shopping in stores or online. Exceptions include local small businesses and women-owned businesses that support us. (#GrabYourWallet has a list of corporations we do not support throughout the year.)

Wear red in solidarity with the strike.

We ask that our male allies lean into care giving on March 8th, and use the day to call out decision-makers at the workplace and in the government to extend equal pay and adequate paid family leave for women.


A Day Without a Woman

Wednesday, March 8th is A Day Without A Woman.

What will you do to bring awareness to the important issues that women face?




Good Morning America

This video demonstrates what we should expect from our children's teachers: to have a unique understanding of our children as individuals.

At MHCP, we come to know each child intimately. We know which child prefers an icepack when injured and which prefers a bandaid. We know which children do not even want the teacher to acknowledge their injury. We know which children want to be held, and which prefer to listen to a story while sitting next to the teacher.

Preschool is the beginning of a beautiful educational journey. It is important to advocate for your child. Every child deserves to be understood, respected, and valued.

WATCH: Fifth grade English teacher in North Carolina has an elaborate, personalized handshake with every one of his students, inspired by their personality." That brings them excitement and pumps them up for a high-energy class.” http://abcn.ws/2kiaieL


Janet Lansbury

Excellent article!

Children are very sensitive to our feelings. If we are feeling ambivalent, upset, guilty, etc. about leaving them in a safe place while we separate, there’s little chance that our child is going to be able to let us go gracefully. If we’re unsure, how can our child possibly feel secure?

So I recommend always telling your child you will go (sneaking out creates much more anxiety and mistrust), and doing so with kindness, assuredness and confidence in your child as fully capable of handling this situation. “I’m going to the bathroom and will be back in 5 minutes.” If you can remember to, it’s always best to leave out the “okay?” at the end, since that implies uncertainty or a need for the child’s permission. If the child cries as you are trying to leave, acknowledge, “I hear you. You don’t want me to go. I’ll be back.”


Janet Lansbury

If we can curb the impulse to overreact, our child can receive affirming messages like these:

Uncomfortable things happen, but I’ll be okay.

My parents understand that kids make mistakes, and they forgive.

They don’t label us “good” or “bad.”

I can share difficult feelings and explore situations with my parents without them getting upset.

They listen to and trust me. They give me ideas for handling situations, but they never tell me what to feel.


janetlansbury.com 09/10/2016

Good Grief

Beautiful article on acknowledging sadness. Apropos for the first week of school!

janetlansbury.com Loren needed to leave the room. She walked with trepidation toward the door exiting the RIE parenting class. But then she paused and she asked me, “Should I

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com 08/24/2016

Teacher Tom: How To Raise Successful Children

The experts agree– children need more play! Especially outdoor play.

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com Reflections on teaching and learning from preschoolers

popsugar.com 08/05/2016

Why You Shouldn't Teach Your Kids to Share

Here's an article that illustrates what our amazing teachers have been doing for years! Please share this with anyone who has young children. It's invaluable!

popsugar.com One of the principles of early childhood education is teaching children to play well together, which usually translates into teaching them to share. If you've ever seen three preschoolers playing in the sandbox, you know that even if there are 10 toys in


London Play

Yes! This is how our schools should be structured!

Here's a puzzle. Finnish children spend comparatively little time at school, don't get homework and yet receive one of the best educations in the world. Curious? Watch how the Finns did it in this clip from Michael Moore's compelling documentary film 'Where To Invade Next?'



Have you ever taken your children down into a canyon? When I was 6, my brother and I ventured into our canyon every day. We spent hours finding snakes, playing with eucalyptus branches and leaves, drawing in the dirt with sticks. Mom stayed home to cook and clean. Somehow, we made it back every day. While this is probably not realistic today, children will still gain a lot from being in nature, however urban it may be.

This weekend, set aside an hour to explore the outdoors. Balboa park has canyon paths, rose gardens, cactus gardens. Or there's Torrey Pines, or Presidio Park. Resist the urge to caution children to be careful. Let them manage their risks. I'm willing to bet that you will experience an hour free from conflict (except for when it's time to leave).

Unlike Americans, Europeans don't view recess as a waste of time.

Like ATTN: on Facebook.

For a full look at SBS's Dateline program referenced in our video, here is a link to "Kids Gone Wild," about Denmark's forest kindergartens: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/dateline/story/kids-gone-wild

janetlansbury.com 02/25/2016

7 Reasons Kids Need Us to Disagree

Dear Parents,
I wish I had had this article when my children were younger. Excellent advice on when to set limits, and what choices are appropriate for children to make. Please take some time to read this. Maybe even print it out and refer back to it!

janetlansbury.com It can be our tendency as parents to avoid conflict with our children. But disagreements are a natural part of our parent/child relationship and a healthy



You may have seen this, but it's a wonderful reminder.

Beautiful video - a complete surprise... love family!

A very special thanks to Masterfoods for this video.


This is what we do at MHCP!


teachertomsblog.blogspot.com 08/29/2015

Teacher Tom: First They Need Their Childhood

We need to allow children to just play! It teaches them so many valuable things.

teachertomsblog.blogspot.com Reflections on teaching and learning from preschoolers





1211 W Lewis St
San Diego, CA

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 12pm
Tuesday 8am - 3pm
Wednesday 8am - 3pm
Thursday 8am - 3pm
Friday 8am - 3pm
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