Helen Diller Family Preschool

Ages 2 – 5

Helen Diller Family Preschool is a community rooted in Jewish values and San Francisco culture. We’re committed to giving children the freedom to discover their world through play.

  • Youth & Family
  • Preschool
  • Camp
Helen Diller Family Preschool kids painting in the art studio.

Led by Director Karla Cianci, Helen Diller Family Preschool is located inside the JCCSF at 3200 California Street in Laurel Heights. The school features spacious classrooms, two outdoor play areas, garden space and art studio. Children also make regular trips to the Presidio for additional outdoor time.

Take a Peek Inside

Our preschools are built upon shared goals, values and knowledge that deliver the highest quality experience possible. We’re committed to creating an inclusive community that’s infused with meaningful Jewish values. We celebrate holidays with our children and families throughout the year as well as a weekly Shabbat. Our program is built on the fundamental premise that children learn and understand their world through play. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, we provide a variety of opportunities for learning, exploration, creativity and self-expression.

Young boy plays outdoor musical pipes
Children looking at a worm

Dates & Rates

Diller Program

August 2024 – May 2025
M – F | 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Boy watering plant

Morning and afternoon extended care is available for an extra fee. Financial assistance is available.




We can’t wait to welcome you and your little one to our family of preschools. We’ll support you every step of the way – from applying and touring, throughout your days with us, and into the big transition to kindergarten. Let’s get started!

Submit an Application

Applications for the 2024 – 2025 school year open on Wednesday, September 6 at 9:00 am.

When you select the “Apply” button, you will be prompted to either log into your existing JCCSF account or create a new one. Once you’re logged into your account, select “Personal Information” from the settings, and under “My Household” create a new contact for your child. Then when you continue onto the application, select your child’s profile to complete the process.

Take a Tour

Tours are scheduled from October 2, 2023, through February 29, 2024. Once you submit your application, you will be invited to register for a tour.

Fill Out a Questionnaire

After completing a preschool tour, you will receive a Post-Tour Questionnaire that needs to be returned to complete the application process.

Decision Time

Admission letters are sent in mid-March for fall enrollment.


After accepting your spot, you’ll receive an enrollment agreement and a non-refundable $600 deposit is due. We maintain an active wait pool and fill additional spaces as they become available throughout the year. Families who have applied, but not toured, will still be considered for mid-year vacancies.

Financial Assistance

Once you’ve accepted your spot at one of our preschools, you can submit your application to receive adjusted tuition for the upcoming school year.


  • To be considered for enrollment in the 2024 – 2025 school year, your child must be 2 years old by August 19, 2024.
  • You must complete all three steps of the application process.
  • Only one application is required for admission to all three preschools.

Questions about applying or touring? Contact Theresa Arroyo at 415.292.1252 or tarroyo@jccsf.org.

Summer Camp at Helen Diller Family Preschool

Registration is Now Open!

Helen Diller Family Preschool Summer Camps

Choose from Gentle Transition* (age 2) and Preschool (age 3 – 5). Add on AM Care and PM Care. All options are listed in our Camp Finder above. Click through the options you want and add them to your cart.

6/3 – 6/21 (no camp on June 12 and June 19)

Little Zoologist: Campers will learn and explore all there is to know about their favorite zoo animals.

Camp: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM // GT $2315 // P $2180

AM Care: 8:30 – 9:00 AM // $135

PM Care: 3:30 – 5:00 PM // $390


6/24 – 7/5 (no camp July 4)

Tiny Chefs: Campers will measure, mix, dice and dish as they whip up delicious treats.

Camp: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM // GT $1605 // P $1510

AM Care: 8:30 – 9:00 AM // $95

PM Care: 3:30 – 5:00 PM // $270


7/8 – 7/26

Mini Makers: From painting to building, tinkering and designing, campers will let their imaginations come alive as they become master makers of their own creations.

Camp: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM // GT $2670 // P $2515

AM Care: 8:30 – 9:00 AM // $155

PM Care: 3:30 – 5:00 PM // $455

*Gentle Transition: Campers ease into preschool with Gentle Transitions camp. This camp encourages a positive separation process, and gives our youngest students a chance to get familiar with their school. Campers must be 2 years old by the time they start camp.

Deposit & Camp Policies

A nonrefundable deposit of $150 per child, per camp is due with registration, including those who are applying for financial assistance. Individual camp sessions may be one to three weeks long; each camp session requires a deposit. All fees must be paid in full for AM and PM Care at the time of registration. If the deposit is a financial hardship and you intend to apply for financial assistance, please contact the camp office prior to registration camp@jccsf.org or 415.292.1263. You may pay by ACH, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. A 3% fee will be added to each transaction. Read the full Summer Camp 2024 policy here.

Navigating the Kindergarten Process

Graduating from preschool to kindergarten is a big step! Did you know that 80% of our preschool families get into one of their top two choices of kindergartens? Our enrollment support process can help you get a spot in local programs like Brandeis, San Francisco Day School, Burkes, Town School for Boys, San Francisco Friends School, Hamlin, Convent, Stuart Hall, Marin Country Day School, Live Oak and more. Listen below as Diller site director Karla Cianci shares how the JCCSF family of preschools can help your family navigate the tricky and stress-inducing SF kindergarten process.

Thank You To Our Sponsors


What is Reggio-Emilia philosophy and how is it applied?

Over forty years of dedicated work from Reggio Emilia inspires us to further think about the rights of children, their autonomy, and to listen for what they know and want to know. This will challenge our inherited impulses to contain, correct, and guard children. Observing, documenting, reflecting, designing, and experimenting on the teachers’ part will make this ongoing shift possible. The listening and observation teachers do will enhance their ability to create sensitive contexts for children’s play and learning and then teachers can truly recognize the insights the children and small group work can bring.  

What does a typical day Helen Diller look like?

After welcoming the children to school, we begin the day with a time of open exploration that can include art, blocks, dramatic play, manipulation, writing or quiet time. A mid-morning snack and meeting then take place before we move into a small group facilitated experiences like music or gardening. We then head outside for some playtime before lunch. Children then transition to a rest period with either a nap or meditation before the afternoon continues with another small-group experience and more time playing outside or going on a walk. The afternoon starts to wind down with a final meeting before preparing to be picked up.

What makes Helen Diller different from Rosenberg and Brotherhood Way?

Helen Diller Family Preschool is open 9 – 3 pm for early care for those in need. The school year runs from August – May, with the option to join us for any portion of our fabulous 9-week summer camp. Here at Helen Diller we are lucky to call the Presidio our backyard and make outdoor education a part of our curriculum.

Does Helen Diller have morning or after school care?

Yes. For an additional fee, we have AM care from 8:10 – 9:00 am on Monday – Friday and PM care from 3:30 – 5:00 pm on Monday – Thursday.

Does my child need to be Jewish to enroll?

No. Children of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome to apply.

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. Visit our financial assistance page to learn more.

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I can't say enough great things about this school! Between two children, we have been at the school for 6 years. Our experience gets better and better each year. The teachers and staff are so warm and nurturing. The families and community are fantastic.

Randi S.

Helen Diller Family Preschool Parent

This year has been unique and Diller has been fantastic. The teachers, the administrators, the specialists have all been so dedicated to keeping our children safe while continuing a robust and rich program. The community is strong and resilient.

Vivian R.


Our daughter is in her last year of preschool here and we are so sad the time is coming to an end. This is a such a special place. There's just a general warm and happy energy here. Everyone is happy (kids, staff, parent community.) Everyone is seen and respected.

Shirin M.


Children playing on jungle gym
Get in Touch

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Have a question about Helen Diller Family Preschool? Reach out to our team — we’d love to hear from you!

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