Building Community from the Inside Out


Garden Pathways Downtown Education Center, “A Caring Community of Lifelong Learners,” is located in the heart of downtown Bakersfield at 17th and M Streets. For more than a decade, our preschool and infant care center has nurtured comprehensive readiness for success with an established research-based curriculum, a faith-based foundation, and a safe, loving environment. Call 633-2302 to arrange for a personal tour. 

We welcome all private-pay families and Community Connection for Child Care!  Enroll your child at Garden Pathways… for success in school and success in life.

“A Caring Community of Lifelong Learners”

  • Caring – safety, security, cleanliness, nourishment, love
  • Community – partnership with families, communication
  • Lifelong – nurturing readiness for success in school and life
  • Learners – developing the whole child in all areas, celebrating the uniqueness of each child

Licensed Child Care

Garden Pathways Downtown Education Center, a division of Garden Pathways, Inc., is a fully-licensed child and infant care center (California Day Care Center License #153808748, 153808747) . We welcome all private clients and Community Connection for Child Care.

“I appreciate The Garden so much; Mattox is thriving and also loving it”

Parent of 4-year old

“Excellent job by staff and volunteers.  My child loves her school.  She is prepared socially, culturally, and academically to go forward to kindergarten with confidence.”

Parent of 4-year old

Research-Based Practices

Your child benefits from the best of research in early childhood education. Guidelines of the premier national early childhood education associations judiciously shape our curriculum and practices. We perform ongoing assessments of your child’s progress to allow us to effectively help your child during the critical first years of development. 

Three major projects have formed the foundation for the development of our core curriculum:

  • the report of the Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy of the National Research Council;
  • the report of the Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine;
  • the joint statement of the International Reading Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a statement endorsed by twelve other professional associations concerned with the education of young children.

“I love how friendly the staff is.  I love how comfortable and welcoming they make me feel, especially since I come in daily to spend my lunch breaks with my son.”

Parent of infant

“My son started talking!”

Parent of 2-year old

Early Literacy Curriculum

Our engaging, research-based core curriculum, Houghton Mifflin Pre-K: Where Bright Futures Begin, incorporates these ten principles that reflect learning from early childhood studies and informed practice:

  1. An integrated curriculum
  2. Standards-based instruction
  3. Age-appropriateness
  4. Cultural and linguistic diversity
  5. Balance of exploration and instruction
  6. Oral language development
  7. Focus on literacy
  8. Focus on math
  9. Social and emotional development
  10. Family involvement

Our curriculum features high-quality literature, child-centered themes and a flexible lesson structure that specifically develops critical early literacy skills, such as oral language, listening comprehension, vocabulary, phonological awareness, print awareness and alphabet knowledge. The program also teaches mathematics on a daily basis, and incorporates activities to address social/emotional development, physical development, science, social studies, music and art.

“I love how staff tell me about my son’s day and all the interesting and funny things he says.”

Parent of 4-year old

“The staff is very well qualified to care for my son.  They do a great job.”

Parent of infant

“We love Garden Pathways!”

Parent of 3-year old

Arts Education

The preschool provides your child with unique opportunities for education in the arts. We give children rich experiences in many art forms, encouraging creative expression through music, movement, language, and visual art. Gifted teachers in the arts enhance your child’s learning experience. Our arts programs reflect application of research that shows the significant benefits of the arts on child development and academic achievement.

Partnership with Families

Garden Pathways Downtown Education Center closely partners with families to help you support your child’s learning and development and to enable us to achieve shared goals. Frequent communication with families underpins collaborative partnership based on trust, respect, and positive regard. 

Partnership with Families

Garden Pathways Downtown Education Center closely partners with families to help you support your child’s learning and development and to enable us to achieve shared goals. Frequent communication with families underpins collaborative partnership based on trust, respect, and positive regard. 

Character Education

Our staff members partner with you to develop positive character traits in your child. We model and teach important social skills and character qualities such as kindness, honesty, generosity, and self-control. Our Christian values-based training reinforces the values that are the foundation of our society.

Healthy Food Prepared On Site

 Downtown Education Center serves nutritious meals and snacks based on the United States Department of Agriculture Child and Adult Care Food Programguidelines.  Our cook lovingly prepares all meals on site with attention to high quality ingredients and freshness.

Parents are always welcome to join their children for lunch!

Professional Development

Our fully-qualified staff engages in ongoing professional development to ensure the optimal care and education of your child. Our energetic and experienced teacher’s continual quest for excellence and our love of children elicit the finest in child care.

On-Going Assessment

Staff at Downtown Education Center utilize the Desired Results Developmental Profile for Preschool to assess enrolled children and inform our lesson planning.  The 6 Desired Results are:

1) Children are personally and socially competent.

2) Children are effective learners.

3) Children show physical and motor competence.

4) Children are safe and healthy.

5) Families support their child’s learning and development.

6) Families achieve their goals.

We truly partner with families to best assist the growth and development of the child and the success of the family as a whole.  Assessment of children is done upon entry into the program, to establish a baseline, and then up to twice a year thereafter.  Completed assessments will be followed by Parent-Teacher Conferences to share your child’s strengths and areas for development.

More information on Desired Results can be found at