The Play Yard




1715 Anderson Road
Preschool program: 9am to 3pm
Full day care available: 7am to 6pm
(530) 758-0842 ex. 105

"Gan Haverim" means Garden of Friends in Hebrew


Gan Haverim is the play-based Jewish preschool associated with the reform synagogue Congregation Bet Haverim. The preschool has a mixed aged group from 2 years to entering kindergarten, utilizing an emergent curriculum that encourages the students to be independent thinkers and explorers. Children of all faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds are welcome to join us.

There are two classrooms; the Sunshine room and the Redwood room to fit the needs of every child. Placement in classrooms is based on age, abilities and development of each individual child. 


Jewish values create the school environment. We model and encourage kindness, compassion, respect and responsibility. Judaism teaches that the formative years of early childhood are vitally important. We want all children to feel competent, unique, nurtured and loved. Our aim is to create a warm, caring and stimulating learning environment where children will grow in confidence and self-esteem. At Gan Haverim, children have the opportunity to develop their natural curiosity, imagination and creativity. They are allowed time for creative thinking and exploration.


Gan Haverim follows a play-based or emergent curriculum. This means that we observe the children in our group to see where their interests are. Our activities may dramatically change from year to year depending on the needs of the children enrolled.

Every Thursday morning Karen Crane and Emily June Wong from Music Together of Davis lead our children in a fun, interactive musical group time. Every family is included in the Music Together program regardless of what days they attend.

Jewish values and holidays enrich our classroom curriculum and Shabbat is celebrated each Friday. The children learn about the Jewish holidays at their developmental level.

Rabbi Greg Wolfe joins the Gan Haverim children on Fridays to celebrate Shabbat as well as participating during holiday celebrations and visits to the Sanctuary.


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2010-10-04 23:10:34   My son has been at Gan Haverim for over a year now, and we couldn't be happier with it. The kids are of all backgrounds and personalities, yet they seem to be like a big family. It's got a wonderful, homey vibe with four of the coolest (and warmest!) teachers around. Thanks to Rhoda, Nina, Naomi and Ashley for all your patience and love for the kids. —edubin

2010-10-05 21:18:04   My daughter and son had have attended to Gan Haverim for over three years. They were happy to go there everyday. They were upset when there was no school because of Holiday or another reason. Preschool teachers were very friendly, skillful and patient with big sincere smile. Whole school looked like one big family. My kids learned English and Hebrew at the same time. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is seeking GOOD, QUALITY and SAFE education/play date atmosphere. —Oz

2010-10-13 15:27:36   Our daughter attended Gan Haverim during 2009-2010. She enjoyed the preschool and we were extremely happy with the schedule, curriculum and staff. מאוד מומלץ. הצוות מאוד נחמד ומאוד עוזר לילדים שלא דוברים אנגלית להתאקלם. אין יותר מדי דגש על יהדות, חוץ מקצת בחגים ובימי שישי. —MoranSegoli

Editorial note: According to this Hebrew to English translator, this translates as "Highly recommended. Very nice staff and very helpful for children who speak English and acclimating. Not too much emphasis on Judaism, except some holidays and on Fridays."

2010-10-16 21:42:09   I just have to chime in here, as it's nice to give kudos to folks who work really hard. The teachers here are fantastic and I am always impressed with the variety of interesting learning projects/toys/activities that they have. My son absolutely loves coming. —LoraBarrett

2010-10-26 11:29:10   My son has been attending Gan Haverim full program since May 2009 and we couldn't wish for a better pre-school to meet our family needs. The staff is experienced and calm (they just "deal" with life as it happens; part of a good pre-school environment IMO). More so, they LOVE children (sounds basic? this has not necessarily been my experience with other pre-schools in Davis). The program is versatile and dynamic and the atmosphere is warm, safe and happy. On more than a few mornings I wished I could just stay and spend the day in the school which feels more like a friend's home than go to work... —noasafra

2011-07-27 15:30:25   My daughter moved from one of the on-campus CDCs last year, and I couldn't be happier with the change. She hated going to the CDC and it made mornings a misery. She never brought home any artwork or anything else. It was hard to get a feel for her day or how much she did/did not participate. Now, she can't wait to get to school each morning, she brings home loads of beautiful, creative arts and crafts projects, and talks endlessly about what she ate, painted, played with and more. The staff are so kind and nurturing, not to mention creative, and they never hesitate to come up to me to tell me something cool that my daughter did that day. I can't recommend Gan Haverim enough! —shannahw

2011-07-29 13:01:43   My son just started at Gan Haverim and I could not be happier. I spent a lot of time checking out all the pre-schools in Davis and Gan Haverim over-ranked all of them in cleanliness, creativity, kindness, and energy. I can't say enough about the loving and caring teachers: Rhoda, Ashley, Nina, Megan, and others. Within a few short days, I could see that my son was starting to feel safe, loved, and valued at this wonderful school. My son appears to love this school and looks forward to going even though he now knows that mommy and daddy can't stay with him. This is huge for my son and I am very grateful to have found this loving, caring, creative, and nurturing environment for him. I highly recommend this school for pre-school aged children. —ShantalShamoiel

2012-05-25 04:32:33   My son started at Gan Haverim recently and he absolutely loves it. I had to increase our days from 3 to 5 because on his "off" days he would cry that he couldn't go to school. The environment is that of a family daycare - very warm, non-institutional. There are framed pictures of each child hanging on the wall. The director and teachers are kind, firm, and flexible. One of the teachers or the director gives me a report if something significant (e.g., a fall) has occurred during the day. Their approach is developmental and non-judgemental (i.e., similar to the DPNS philosophy). I feel confident leaving my child in their care, knowing that he will be safe and have fun. —SharonLevy

2013-07-10 14:17:58   Gan Haverim is a great place. My daughter attended this preschool for the last year. She was very happy to go there every day. The staff is excellent very warm and loving. The kids are very nice and friendly. We are highly recommending this preschool in all aspects. —Zahitf

2017-06-16 13:58:27   We've been with Gan Haverim for 7 months now and couldn't be happier with the experience. Davis has many strong options for childcare, but we are particularly happy here. What first sold me on GH was the parent night I attended before enrolling my son, and the atmosphere among the families and staff. The parents all seemed to genuinely enjoy each other and want to spend time together outside of school as well. Adult life makes that difficult, but I found it telling that the desire was there. I love that they have weekly visits from Rabbi Greg on Friday, and the Thursday Music Together classes. There are always multiple activities set up, even at early drop off, and I've found the teachers particularly warm. From a practical standpoint, I love the flexibility in day and hour arrangements, and the individual feedback that teachers provide. They obviously know and track each individual child, so it's easy to get feedback. And tuition is comparably less than some of the other facilities in Davis. —akatz

2017-08-10 13:45:24   Gan Haverim has been such a gift to our family with their compassion, flexibility, and creativity to help my two little ones thrive! —cdoyle

2017-08-15 12:31:39   Our son has attended Gan Haverim for nearly 2 years and we are very happy with the quality of teachers and type of preschool experience that it offers (play-based with an emphasis on social growth). The flexibility offered is great and the music program is exceptional. I checked out many of the high quality preschools in Davis and am still very happy with my choice for the preschool years. —elam