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By Collin Breaux

Kids are learning about caterpillars, staying active and enjoying the outdoors at Community Seedlings Preschool in the Capistrano Beach/San Clemente area.

The private preschool holds classes at Palisades United Methodist Church during the week, though it is not affiliated with the church. Community Seedlings Preschool opened in mid-July for its summer program and started a fall program on Sept. 1.

Peyton Wood, 4, stands by an outdoor activity area at Community Seedlings Preschool, located along Camino De Estrella, on Friday, Sept. 18. Photo: Collin Breaux

“We keep all the children in small groups,” said Carrie Fetter, co-founder and director. “The kids are having a great time. The most important part is, because of how beautiful it is here, we spend 98% of the day outside.”

Teachers and staff wear face masks and have their temperature taken before they enter the campus. Kids rotate to different spots and activities as part of the curriculum. The school generally has about 30 to 35 children a day.

“We have gardening and outdoor nature work,” Fetter said. “We do real clay work, real paint, real materials. We do all our art outside. We have music. We have woodworking.”

The preschool also has a STEM room for kids to study science, technology, engineering and math. The curriculum additionally emphasizes literacy and other skills. Visit for more information.

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