Gates and Bridges Preschool

Our Mission and History

We believe that children are naturally motivated to learn. A supportive, stimulating atmosphere with room for the child’s input and interest is optimal. As a full-time day care center, it is our responsibility and our goal to create a safe, child-centered environment. We seek to balance various ingredients of early childhood philosophies into an exemplary program. Our approach gives attention to emotional, social, physical, creative and cognitive development. Since we also believe that children who spend the day apart from their parents need a more intimate, involved setting than the traditional preschool environment, we emphasize continuity and relationships among children, parents and teachers.

Gates & Bridges Preschool began as The Infant Development Center (IDC) of San Francisco at Lone Mountain College in 1978 using the methods of Emmi Pikler as a basis of philosophy and approach. When Lone Mountain College closed a group of dedicated staff and parents reopened IDC in the Inner Sunset as a private, nonprofit program serving the needs of infants, toddlers and their working parents. The new program was intimate and family-like, and strong relationships developed among parents and staff. In 1983 parents and alumni families made it possible for the organization to purchase our present building, affectionately know as “the Big Blue House.” In 1994 IDC closed the infant portion of the program in order to focus entirely on preschool children and renamed the program as Gates & Bridges Preschool. Now incorporating newer adaptive philosophies from R.I.E in addition to our original Pikler approach, we have been serving thriving San Francisco toddlers and their families for over thirty five years!


Gates and Bridges is governed by a Board of Directors composed of current parents, staff and community members. We are funded solely by tuition and fund raising efforts by the Board of Directors and parent body. The Board of Directors meets monthly and parent input on school policy and governance are a key ingredient in maintaining a quality child care program. The Program Director, who reports to the Board of Directors, has responsibility for the overall program.

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