Welcome to The Garden


The Garden Cooperative Nursery School follows a non-violent, empathetic approach in interacting with children to create a safe, nurturing and caring environment.


We provide a social interactive curriculum, designed to support young children in language and social development, revolving around a diverse range of developmentally appropriate learning activities.


Our primary goal is to promote a child’s self-value and gradual social independence by guiding their own evolving ability to discover inner strengths, solve problems and make decisions.

About The Garden


We offer a mixed age program for children 2-5

Our program is outdoor and play-based

The curriculum is child-led and emergent

The Garden is a parent cooperative–parents have a weekly workday and family job

Our program is half-day– 9am-12:30pm

Our emphasis is on social emotional development

Our Mission

The mission of The Garden is to love, nurture and grow self-confident, empowered, emotionally intelligent, expressive, curious and capable children by cultivating an inspiring outdoor play-based environment with a variety of hands-on experiences and activities and providing rich opportunities for parent involvement and education.

Meet our Staff

Lisa Anand (she/her) joined the Garden Coop Nursery School community as a parent in 2007.  While playing and getting to know all the kids on the yard, her passion for working with young children was born. After her younger son graduated, she earned her certificate in Early Childhood Education from UCLA and became a teacher at The Garden in 2012. She was thrilled to be named Director of the school in 2014, and subsequently completed additional administrative coursework to earn her California Child Development Program Director Permit.

Prior to working at The Garden, Lisa acquired a BA in French from UCLA and spent a year teaching in France after college. She also spent five years at Lanterman Regional Center as the Toy Loan and Play Program Coordinator facilitating play groups, Music Together classes, and special workshops for parents and their children with developmental disabilities.  Lisa believes that the preschool years are some of the most amazing and rewarding, but knows they can also be challenging for parents. She is honored to share this journey with the The Garden School families and offer them support and counsel.

Rebecca Espinoza (she/they) is a Los Angeles native and joined The Garden as an Associate Teacher in 2023. 

After graduating from Pasadena City College with an AA in Psychology, Rebecca transferred to Cal State Long Beach where she graduated with a BA in Psychology and a passion for conflict resolution. She is currently completing the Early Childhood Education program at UCLA.

Rebecca enjoys cooking, dancing, photography, and crafting of all kinds: from card making to paper flowers and more. 

Rebecca strongly believes in The Garden’s non-violent communication approach. She believes that modeling and encouraging children’s natural capacity for curiosity and empathy will give them the tools to develop stronger bonds throughout their lifetime. Rebecca is excited to share her creativity and passion for learning with the Garden community.  

Caroline Hollister (she/her) joined The Garden as an Associate Teacher in 2023. She grew up in nearby Thousand Oaks and attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studied Communications. Since then, she’s lived and worked in  the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara areas and has a professional background in training and development, communications, and marketing.  Caroline loves being outside, traveling, running, and cooking. She looks forward to daily walks with her partner and their dogs, Bonnie and Lincoln.

Over the years, Caroline has explored a great passion for supporting children and families through volunteering, taking classes, and providing in-home support services. She knows how important it is for children to be surrounded by a loving community that nurtures their individuality, and that’s what drew her to The Garden! She’s excited to leap into teaching and become a part of this special community.

Substitute Teachers

Yuliana Parada (she/her) joined The Garden as a parent in the fall of 2013. During the 5 years that she participated as a co-op parent, Yuli shared an array of skills, passions and traditions with the children including Spanish language activities, geological enrichment, African drumming and dancing, capoeira, tortilla and tamale making, planting and harvesting. She has remained connected with and supportive of the Garden community since her own children graduated, even providing childcare at monthly meetings. 

Yuli studied geology at Pasadena City College and has a love of nature and the outdoors. She enjoys camping with her family and once hiked Mt. Whitney with a group of fellow Garden School parents.

Homeschooling her two children over the past year renewed Yuli’s interest in education and working with young kids. Having completed her Associate Teacher Permit coursework at UCLA, she decided to return to The Garden in 2021 and we couldn’t be more excited to have her on staff. Yuli brings curiosity, energy, creativity, and fun and is looking forward to getting to know and support the next generation of Garden children and families.

Janae Archuleta (she/her) is a mother of two and joined the Garden Co-op Nursery School as a parent in 2017. Playing and connecting with the kids ignited a passion for this work. At the end of her daughter’s last year, she decided to earn her Associate Teacher Credential through UCLA’s Early Childhood Education program and become a part-time teacher at The Garden in 2020.

Janae was born and raised in New Mexico and studied Communication at University of New Mexico. She moved to Los Angeles in 2012 and shortly thereafter began a career in the Healing Arts, returning to her roots in Curanderismo, (a folk healing tradition of the Southwestern United States, Latin America, and Mexico, amongst other countries). She is a certified Reiki Master, Crystal Healer, Sound Healer, Shamanic Practitioner, and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner. She also attended Arthur Findlay College in the UK, for Trance Mediumship. She is currently enrolled in a ministry doctoral program studying transpersonal counseling (integrating spiritual experience with modern psychological theory), and is pursuing certification in Trauma Informed Non-Violent Childraising. Needless to say, Janae is continually learning and loves to support people and families in myriad ways. (http://www.moonseed.love/)

Janae is thrilled to continue to be a part of the Garden community as a teacher. She believes the world can be a more peaceful place if we strive to cultivate and nurture our children’s curiosity. 

Edlín Reconco (she/her) joined The Garden as a parent in the fall of 2017. After completing her practicum hours at The Garden, she joined the team as a part-time teacher in January of 2017.

Edlín has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and an MA in Teaching from the University of California, Irvine. She also holds a Single-Subject Teaching Credential in Spanish and taught Spanish for six years at a local high school in Koreatown. Edlín decided to take a break from teaching after having her daughter five years ago. Watching her daughter grow during those five years sparked her interest in child development and Edlín decided to go back to school to study Early Childhood Education.

Edlín is excited to share her love of learning with children. Edlín believes that all children are naturally curious about the world and eager to learn. She believes a child’s early learning experiences and relationships will impact a child’s attitude towards learning later in life. She is thrilled to be in a school like The Garden where children are given the opportunity to form strong loving relationships in a safe place that honors their interests and needs.

Cristina Drake (she/her) was born and raised in California. She attended UC Santa Cruz where she studied cultural anthropology and art history. After college she spent some time living in Vancouver, New York, and London, working in the film industry.  In 2010 Cristina was married and moved back to California with her husband.  Soon after, she began studying early childhood education at UCLA extension and in 2012 started working at The Garden Cooperative Nursery School. She is deeply committed to the philosophy of nonviolent communication and has embraced The Garden School culture. In 2017 Cristina gave birth to her first child, Sonny. She returned to teaching part-time. In 2020, Cristina had her second child, Louisa, who is now a student at the school. Cristina is enjoying continuing her parenting journey at The Garden, and as a substitute teacher as needed.

Our Philosophy


Our child development philosophy follows the theories of Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson. Over 50 years ago Jean Piaget, a Swiss developmental psychologist, established what is generally recognized as the foundation for current theory on children’s cognitive development. Several points are central to our philosophy:

• Observation is central to understanding children and identifying their level of development.
• In developing cognitive skills, children progress through stages and build upon their achievements in each previous stage.
• Experimentation and confirmation through repetition are central to the learning process.
• The process of each child’s development is unique to each child and dependent upon his or her mastery of each developmental step.





A group of parents work with our teachers to generate a wide range of experiences and discovery based learning opportunities. We follow an emergent and child-led model to encourage children’s natural curiosity and foster a love of learning.


“If it hasn’t been in the Hand, the Body and the Heart…it can’t be in the Brain.” –Bev Bos


Our program is entirely play-based and child-led. Our yard provides ample opportunity for dramatic play, gross and fine motor activities, creative expression and discovery in a multi-age setting.


The art projects are process rather than product oriented so that children may explore different mediums and express themselves freely.

Musical instruments are available throughout the day and a few days a week our Director, Lisa, leads a Music Together enrichment during circle.

Our program includes a large variety of sensory activities for kids to explore.




Applications for Fall 2024 Enrollment are now closed for the 2024-2025 school year.

How to Apply for Fall 2025

The Garden Nursery School serves children ages two through five (at least 2 by September 1st of the entering school year).

1) Attend one of our upcoming school tours in the Fall. 

Check back in September for dates and to RSVP.

2) If interested, complete and submit an application by January 31, 2025.

 Check back in September for a link to the application.

3) In February, we will follow up with an application fee and schedule an interview.

4) Offers of membership will be made in early March.

Please email Jen, membership chair, with any questions.


Scholarships are available.
The scholarship application link will be made available in September 2024.
If you submit a scholarship application, you must also submit the main application as well to be considered for enrollment. 

2024-2025 Tuition

Tuition Fees (Paid Sept. – July, 11 months)

$364 per month for 3 days per week
$411 per month for 4 days per week
$459 per month for 5 days per week

Afternoon Enrichment (second- and third-year students only): $83 for 1 day, $166 for 2 days

Tuition for siblings will be discounted 10% during the time both children are in attendance. The fundraising requirement remains per child.

Contact Us


The Garden Nursery School
3602 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90065

For Enrollment and Admission information: peeps@thegarden.la

Fundraising information: fundraising@thegarden.la

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS The Garden Cooperative Nursery School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.