Notre Dame Learning Center Preschool (NDLC) is often described as a hidden gem. It is literally hidden, tucked behind Notre Dame Center and shaded by a weeping willow tree. Though its location is inconspicuous, the Sisters of Notre Dame have owned and operated it for ten years, serving over 150 families in the Conejo Valley area.
Sister Carol Marie Papet and Sister Betty Mae Bienlein, who direct the preschool, pride themselves on their unique play-based learning program that incorporates Notre Dame values. Children at NDLC are encouraged to build a wide variety of competencies through play including experimentation, empathy and language. The instructors at NDLC promote this kind of play by asking the children questions, engaging them and challenging them to be imaginative. The end result is a preschool program that is lighthearted and fun, but also prepares children well for kindergarten and beyond.
“Play isn’t about right and wrong,” said Sister Betty Mae. “Play is always successful for children because it puts them in a position of confidence and gets them ready for school. It involves creativity, problem-solving and negotiation, which are vital life skills.”
To celebrate their tenth anniversary, the teachers and staff at NDLC are seeking to increase their enrollment and usher in a new chapter for the school. They also plan to offer new information sessions for parents of preschoolers to help them navigate the waters of kindergarten readiness and overall child development. To schedule a tour of the campus or learn more about the preschool, contact Sister Carol at 805-494-0304.