Saint Raphael Preschool is accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year!

Saint Raphael Preschool partners with parents, community members, Saint Raphael Church, and Saint Raphael School to continue to give our students the Catholic education they each deserve. As the only Catholic Preschool in Marin County, we focus on faith, service, and academics.

Mission Statement

Saint Raphael Preschool, rooted in the Dominican tradition, is committed to partnering with parents in the spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological, academic, and intellectual development of young children. Our preschool provides a safe environment where children can further their awareness of God's love and creation through informal and formal interaction with adults and other children. The preschool supports the growth of the whole child by offering a variety of opportunities to each and every child. The Catholic preschools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco are committed to the mission of the Church by providing quality, age-appropriate learning environments that nurture the development of the whole child. Working with the families the preschools focus on preparing the children to be productive citizens.


Saint Raphael Preschool, a non-profit community service, is licensed by the State of California and is owned and operated by the Archdiocese of San Francisco under the leadership of the Pastor of Saint Raphael Parish. Our Preschool is located in downtown San Rafael and is affiliated with Saint Raphael School, which serves children in Kindergarten through eighth grade. We provide a safe, stable, and stimulating environment of fun, love, friendship, and security for children, without regard to race, religion, or ethnic origins. We encourage the individual development of each child and value each child's individual personality. Children discover the joy of learning by exploring and playing safely and freely in age appropriate activities. Mutual trust and respect are developed using certified, nurturing teachers experienced in early childhood education. Children will interact with people, ideas, and materials to develop a true sense of community. Emphasis is placed on building moral values, self-esteem, problem solving, academic readiness, and lifelong skills.

Best of Marin 2022!!

It is with great pride that Saint Raphael Preschool has been presented with the highly prestigious honor from Marin Magazine of being voted by their readers as the BEST PRESCHOOL IN MARIN COUNTY FOR 2022!! As an entire staff, we are truly humbled and blessed to receive such an honor! This award recognizes that the staff and teachers at Saint Raphael Preschool are dedicated to providing a high-quality, loving, educational program to all children of Marin County. As a preschool team, we only strive for excellence and will continue to do just that!


Gold Growing Strong Award

It is with great pride that Saint Raphael Preschool has been presented the prestigious honor from Marin Child Care Council of the GOLD: GROWING STRONG AWARD for its dedication to Child Health and Wellness and Quality Child Care! This award recognizes that the staff and teachers at Saint Raphael Preschool are dedicated to nutrition, physical activity, and empowering children and families to make life-long healthy choices!

Saint Raphael Preschool


Congratulations to Kathy Damato for being nominated as Teacher of the Year, and Edith Yates for being nominated as Director of the Year from Marin Child Care Council in 2019! It was a huge honor to be nominated and recognized among all the preschools in Marin County!

Marin Child Care Council is a strong believer in providing children and families access to high-quality child care. Marin Child Care Council characterizes their work by competency, respect, integrity, and compassion, and it is very touching to know that they recognize these qualities in our staff, teachers, and preschool as a whole!

Saint Raphael Preschool

Enrichment Programs

Weekly Music Class with Mr. O!

Mr. Orjuela, or Mr. O as the children call him, performs his music lessons with his acoustic guitar that inspires the children to sing, dance, and play! Utilizing traditional children's songs as well as religious music, Mr. O introduces magic to the children that lifts their spirits, builds social-emotional literacy, strengthens their pre-math skills (clapping to a beat, keeping rhythm, etc.), and creates community among the students! The children absolutely love music time with Mr. O! 

Weekly Karate Class with Coack Derek!

Coach Derek, as the children call him, is a Marin County native and he has been practicing martial arts for over 25 years! He earned his first degree Black Belt at West America Tae Kwon Do in 1999. Since January 2000, Derek has taught at Taylor’s House of Karate, a martial arts school right here in San Rafael, which is owned and operated by his family! Under the instruction of Daythan Taylor, a key instructor at the school, Derek earned his fourth degree black belt. Coach Derek brings his martial arts expertise, along with a great sense of humor, to engage our students in learning basic martial arts techniques as well as helping to boost their confidence, self-esteem, and gross-motor skills! We are so very fortunate to have Coach Derek working with our children and they all look forward to their weekly class with him!

Kimochis: Social-Emotional Development Tool

Can you say Ki-mo-chis? Great, you just learned how to say "feelings" in Japanese! The children at Saint Raphael Preschool are learning daily about their feelings/emotions, and that everyone has feelings and some feelings are hard to have and some feelings are easy to have. Using the Kimochi curriculum, we help our students to identify their emotions and also learn new tools to help each child express their emotions correctly. Using Kimochis in the classroom also develops social-emotional, language, and cognitive development in children, as well as early literacy, creative expression, and appreciation for the arts.

HEAL Program!

Saint Raphael Preschool is proud to be a participant in the HEAL (Healthy Eating, Active Living) Program offered through the Marin Child Care Council! Our teachers are highly dedicated to teaching their students daily about nutrition, exercise, and making healthy life choices! Periodically, free HEAL classes or workshops are offered to our families and parents as well. Our preschool was even awarded the 'Growing Strong Award' from the Marin Childcare Council for adopting HEAL initiatives and policies at our site and for our teachers' dedication to child health and wellness, and quality childcare!  

Saint Raphael Preschool’s Annual Summer Program!

Saint Raphael Preschool offers an annual 3-week Summer Program for children ages 3-5 years old, who are fully potty trained, and will be enrolled in the following school year. We offer a fun, dynamic, educational, and very exciting curriculum that will incorporate S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) daily. A variety of S.T.E.M activities will be incorporated into a different theme for each week. Our Summer Program is really a blast for all! 

Please contact our Director, Criselda Thomas, to schedule a tour and to learn more about our Preschool. 


[email protected]

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We are located at 1100 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael, and are part of Saint Raphael Elementary School.

  • When you come for your tour, please park in the Saint Raphael Elementary School parking lot on Fifth Avenue.
  • You will ring the bell next to the orange/brown gate and tell the office you are here for a preschool tour. From there, you walk straight up the walkway and go through the silver chain-linked gate.
  • You will see blue footprints painted on the asphalt going up the hill. Please follow those painted footprints up to the front doors of the preschool and ring the doorbell so a teacher can let you in.
  • Feel free to call us at 415-456-1702 and someone will meet you at the parking lot and escort you to the preschool.