Hours & Daily Schedule
Little Ducklings Preschool & Childcare is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am - 4:30pm.
Here is our VERY flexible daily schedule:
8:00 - 9:15 Arrival and free play inside including puzzles, playdough, art, building toys, etc.
9:15 - 9:45 Outside play time
9:45 - 10:45 Morning Songs and Mat Work
10:45 - 11:00 Potty/diaper change, wash hands
11:00 - 12:30 Lunch and outside play time, including structured and unstructured activities
12:30 - 1:00 Potty/diaper change, wash hands, and get ready for nap
1:00 - 3:00 Nap/Rest time
After nap Potty/diaper change, wash hands and snack
After snack Outside play time, clean up and go home
4:15 Latest parent arrival time
4:30 Little Ducklings closes
About Little Ducklings
Little Ducklings Preschool & Childcare is fully licensed by the State of California as a Large Family Childcare Home (Lic. #406213966) with space for up to twelve full-time children ages 12 months and up.
OUR PHILOSOPHY: Little Ducklings Preschool & Childcare seeks to provide a warm, nurturing environment where children grow and learn naturally at their own pace. We offer a child-centered program that provides hands-on experiences appropriate to the child’s level of development. Your child will be presented with many learning opportunities every day, and we will spend a lot of time outdoors when the weather permits.
OUR PRESCHOOL PROGRAM: The cost to have your child participate in the preschool/tot school program is included in your monthly tuition. Each day from about 9:45 - 11:00, we have our focused learning time. For the first 15-20 minutes we sing songs, listen to stories, and have group lessons based on the current theme. Then the children move into “Mat Work” time -- a Montessori-inspired learning period. Each child chooses a tray, sets it on his/her mat, and works independently on that activity. Adults might assist by adapting the activity to that child’s level or demonstrating how to complete an activity, but the child takes responsibility for determining what s/he will work on and when s/he is done with it. Our tot school/preschool day includes activities that will teach:
• Pre-reading & language skills - listening to stories, singing, learning rhymes, conversing, learning letters
• Pre-math and math concepts - counting, volume, size, shapes, colors, matching, sequencing, numbers
• Music - singing, rhythm, simple instruments, movement, dance
• Science and nature - investigating, observing, discovering, cooking, gardening
• Pre-writing (fine motor/small muscle) skills - puzzles, coloring, playdough, blocks, stringing beads, drawing
• Gross motor (large muscle) skills - crawling, marching, running, jumping, dancing, stretching
• Arts & crafts - projects emphasizing creativity and technique, not perfection
• Creative play and imagination - dress up, puppets, play house, play kitchen, cars, dolls, building toys
Denine Hicks, M.A. Ed.
As the lead teacher and owner of Little Ducklings Preschool & Childcare, I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies, a Minor in Music, a Master of Arts Degree in Education at Cal Poly, and a California Teaching Credential. I have over a decade of experience teaching in public schools in San Luis Obispo County, primarily in Templeton where I taught kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, and music. In addition, I have worked for the United Methodist Church teaching children’s music and coordinating Family Ministries. Since 2013, I have run Little Ducklings Preschool & Childcare, serving dozens of families. Most importantly, I have over two decades of experience as Mom to my own children.
About the Team
Most of my assistants are Cal Poly students, many of whom are studying to be teachers. As is required of all family childcares, my assistants and I are certified in CPR, First Aid, and Health & Safety and have been fingerprinted, background checked, have tested negative for tuberculosis, and have current flu shots and immunizations, including for COVID-19.
Monthly Tuition Rates
5 days/week = $1075*
4 days/week = $950*
3 days/week = $775*
2 days/week = $550*
Daily Rate = $70/day (as available)
*An Early Pay Discount of $25 off per month is available when tuition is paid on or before the first day of the month
At Little Ducklings, children experience care from a credentialed teacher and an assistant in a loving home environment with a morning tot-school/preschool time which includes: music, literature, pre-writing, pre-reading and pre-math skills, outdoor play, science, art, social skills and more, in a play-based, child-centered environment. Curriculum is taught in themes such as The Farm, Transportation, Birds, etc. We sing songs, read books, do activities, and learn about the theme in engaging and interactive ways.
If you are interested, please email
or use the form and include the following:
• Your name
• Your child's name and date of birth
• Days and times you need care
• Approximate date you need care to start
We usually respond within 24 hours.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
She has been so happy since starting with you at Little Ducklings. She [is] so comfortable in the familiar Little Ducklings setting where she has been thriving. Thank you so much! You are the very best! — SL
Thank you for everything and for being a part of our child's life. — JM
We really appreciate all that you do with our kids. You are truly a talented and passionate teacher and we are so lucky to have found you! We have so many great memories of Little Ducklings. — KP