Zaca Center – Special Education /Santa Barbara County Education Office

Location: 27 Six Flags Circle
Buellton, CA 93427
Phone: 805-688-0050
Website: N/A
Director: Shelley Grand

Ages served: 2 years through 5 years
Enrollment capacity: 105 daily
Hours of operation: 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Type: Non-profit, NAEYC-accredited, Rural. This center is a recipient of support from The Orfalea Foundation Early Childhood Initiatives.

Zaca Center

Philosophy Statement

Zaca Center is based on the premise that learning is a natural on-going process. Our staff is committed to enhancing this learning process. We are staffed by mature, loving, and responsible adults who not only have the academic backgrounds in Early Childhood Education, but have the ability to understand and accept individual differences in children. We strive to create a daily environment that is nurturing, secure and supportive. Children need to feel secure in order to explore and expand their horizons. We believe that it is important to give children space and time to discover the world around them and their place in the world. We spend a large portion of our day outdoors exploring and investigating our surroundings. We believe in maintaining an anti-biased curriculum full of opportunities to experience many cultures and the differences among people. We offer many opportunities throughout the school year for parents to participate in their child’s experience here at Zaca Center.

We believe in maintaining an anti-biased curriculum full of opportunities to experience many cultures and the differences among people.

Special Center | Site Features

  • We are an inclusion preschool—children with special needs are included into our daily preschool program.
  • We prepare lunch and two snacks daily. All food is prepared on site using fresh fruits and vegetables and cooked from scratch recipes.
  • We have two guinea pigs, a parakeet and hermit crabs that the children help feed and take care of each day.
  • We have a garden—growing fruits and vegetables that the children can plant, tend, harvest and eat.

Additional Info

The children spend a substantial portion of each day outdoors, exploring, experimenting and investigating the outdoor environment. They collect insects, work in the garden, play in the mud, work in the outdoor writing center, play in the water, and use real tools to experiment with. Zaca Center has also been recognized as a “Green Care Provider” by the Green Care for Children Organization of Santa Barbara. We practice being green by using cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals and irritants, we recycle, compost, and practice water and energy conservation. We are also participating in the Santa Barbara County Preschool Healthy Foods Initiative sponsored by the Orfaela Foundation. We use fresh produce and cook from scratch recipes. Our children participate in gardening experiences by growing, tending and harvesting foods from our preschool garden.

Click any image to see full size