Marie and Joseph are amazing and have helped our child develop in to an amazing and emotion understanding child. We had a bad experience prior with a local private school and found Little Preschool on the Prairie. We were welcomed with open arms, understanding and compassion. While daughter attended this preschool we found she was more in tuned with her emotions and she came home full of happiness. Her overall demeanor changed and she blossomed at this school. We would highly recommend Little Preschool on the Prairie to anyone looking for an amazing play-based preschool for their child. Thank you Marie and Joseph for all you do!

Amy Heuer

Two of my children have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to attend Little Preschool on Prairie. This play based preschool encourages creativity, independence and helps children stretch their imagination while creating a fun and stimulating environment that promotes learning. In addition, my children learned valuable life skills here such as communication skills, teamwork, problem-solving skills and self-confidence. Marie’s good nature, kind heart and immense amount of patience is impressive. She is truly passionate about teaching and goes above and beyond to ensure that the children in her care are not only learning but are having fun doing it. She has vast knowledge of child development and extensive experience working with children who have both cognitive and developmental disabilities. Marie contributed greatly to my children’s development in their early years, especially to my daughter who had some early delays. Her expertise is unmeasurable. My children and I couldn’t have been happier with our experience at Little Preschool on Prairie, it was an ideal fit for my children. Teaching through play really allowed my kids to thrive and they looked forward to attending daily. This is by far the best preschool we have experienced, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for fun, play based learning.

Nicolee Jeter

Little Preschool on Prairie was such a special place of self discovery for my daughter. She quickly made friends, learned her boundaries and how to express them, her confidence grew, as well as her independence. Marie is a true family advocate, offers resources, and doesn’t shy away from challenging situations. Her demeanor around the children is always calm, gentle, and exudes confidence as she lets children discover their abilities and interests. Little Preschool on Prairie is wonderful for children to endlessly explore, all while being surrounded by loving adults that can guide them in their discoveries.

Courtney Perales

We absolutely loved Little Preschool on Prairie. My son had a speech delay the socializing & play based learning really engaged him which help his speech develop. This is a wonderful preschool for kids that are hyper and cannot sit still. It was amazing for us.

Krystle Von Dollen

Preschool for kids that are hyper and cannot sit still…

This is the absolute best preschool for children to love to learn and learn through play. Marie has so much patience and has designed her yard into a child’s oasis of fun! My daughter loved going to school and even though she usually was filthy dirty when I picked her up, I knew it was all worth it. She learned how to climb trees, swing independently at just under two years old, and cross the monkey bars. Children need to play more, and this is the best play-based preschool there is. They also learn academics, socialization, and appropriate behavior skills.

Becca Simmons-Thompson

Children need to play more…

My middle son was receiving services through the school district for anxiety, selective mutism and autism. He was completing his days but not thriving.

I began my search for something more in line of how I treat him at home.

We joined preschool on prairie and felt lucky to be a part of the preschool family for two years.

They respected my son even though he was well beyond the age to be potty trained and still in diapers, nonverbal, and anxious. They helped put my mind at ease and keep me up to date on his day and progress.

The staff gave me tools and encouragement for my whole family (my oldest son has autism as well) I felt extremely supported in my decision-making process for my kids.

The kids become very self-sufficient, problem solvers, creative and independent thinkers.

Cannot wait to send our third baby to preschool on prairie for her turn!


Kids become very self-sufficient, problem solvers…

Words cannot convey the gratitude my family has for Marie and her program. As the mother of two very prematurely born twin boys and a developmental psychologist, my threshold for what I was looking for in a daycare/educational program was quite high. Marie’s school more than met that threshold as I entrusted her with my children. Her approach is to dedicate herself, her staff and the school environment in its totality to the fostering of emotional, physical and academic development of the children in her care. She focuses on using positive reinforcement with consistent and firm boundaries that allowed my sons to feel not only safe in her care, loved but masterful and empowered to exercise their growing abilities. She uses the latest research to structure learning units and play time. For example, the playground area could one day offer treasure hunts for objects that educate, a sensory exploration of a “planet” another day or obstacle course. Marie more than once educated herself on a particular topic and then provided me with resources. For example, fine motor skill development and emotional modulation. An unexpected byproduct of Marie’s program is how she somehow created extended families between the parents and children. I have very close friendships as do my sons with other families that attended during the same time period. Marie is able to create a sense of community where children experience feeling loved and supported and in turn show those same emotions to their peers. I just do not have sufficient way to communicate what a wonderfully unique experience it is to attend Marie’s program for anyone fortunate to get a slot.
Muriel Yanez-Knoph

Words cannot convey the gratitude

My children have both attended Little Preschool on the Prairie. I cannot say enough wonderful things about everything about this preschool. From the play-based curriculum, to the staff, to the setup of the entire school. Owner, Marie Kelmis possesses a passion and knowledge for what she does that creates a positive synergistic effect to all children attending her school. She attends ongoing training and seminars pertaining to her field to learn more in order to benefit the children she serves.  Marie and her staff have given my children many tools and resources to help them resolve conflicts with other children, helped them to navigate through difficult and sometimes strong emotions and impulsivity, and allowed them to explore and express themselves through outdoor and child led play, pretend play…just to name a few.

My children truly came out of her program more self-aware, self-regulated, and ready for the next step of their school timeline than I had ever anticipated. In my opinion, this is the number one choice of preschools in Paso Robles. I am forever grateful for all the lessons, fun, and experiences my children gained at this school. Marie and her staff are all so kind, understanding, knowledgeable, and truly stellar leaders to tiny humans that I have met.


More self-aware, self-regulated, and ready for the next step…

We my daughter and I have had an AMAZING Experience at the LITTLE PRESCHOOL ON PRAIRIE . She has learned so much and really come out of her shell. She has been working on small motor skills such as scissors, eyedroppers, play-do and lots of other fun and creative activities. She also worked on her communication with other by playing with the other kids, playing in the mud, creating all kinds of projects and just sitting and enjoying lunch!! Marie is exceptional at communicating the needs and desires of the patients and child, helping to achieve the goals of each child.

Thank you so much for a great experience!!!


Learned so much and really come out of her shell

Marie Kelmis and the other teachers at the Little Preschool on Prairie were totally inspirational to both my kids. Marie broke through with my son who has Autism. To finally break his fear of going to bathroom, something that as parents could not get him to do. It was glorious day. They encouraged Gabby to never be afraid to get dirty. Such an amazing place and I recommend it highly!

Heath Dunn

They encouraged Gabby to never be afraid to get dirty

Marie and her staff are absolutely wonderful. This was the first and only preschool we looked into for our daughter, and we instantly knew it would be the right fit for us. My daughter loved it so much that we decided to have our younger son start attending as soon as he was old enough. They both had a great time learning and playing, it was sometimes hard getting them to leave! Marie makes learning fun, hands on and interactive. They made friends easily as there was always a good assortment of ages there. And most importantly, we always felt comfortable leaving our children in Marie’s care, because she and all of her staff are kind, patient and competent. I would recommend Marie’s preschool to any family who is searching for one.

Nick and Kirsten Streamland

Makes learning fun, hands on and interactive…

Our family loves Little Preschool on the Prairie!!!  The program is play based, child-centered, activities are child led and developmentally appropriate, and there is a large focus on social and emotional development and skills.  The director, Marie, is loving, patient, and extremely knowledgeable about early child development.  Both of my older children love attending school there and our family has made lasting friendships within the school’s community.

As a parent, I appreciate the opportunities the children have for working on fine and gross motor skills, sensory integration, and problem solving all through play and fun. My son loves building and playing with loose parts and my daughter loves painting and making mud pies at school. Little Preschool on Prairie is a true gem and we look forward to bringing our youngest once she is old enough.


Nicole B

Little Preschool on Prairie is a true gem

My twins attended Little Preschool on Prairie for close to 3 years and loved it the whole time! Marie is so patient and great with the kids and truly cares about each of them!  My favorite thing about this preschool is how Marie is able to recognize and meet the individual needs of the students. She lets the kids be kids and have fun while still teaching them. They started TK in the fall and are thriving! They have a genuine love of learning and they are well adjusted and get along great with the other kids. I am so thankful for the foundation they received at Little Preschool on Prairie!


Ability to recognize and meet the individual needs of the students…


To whom it may concern,

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation. My son & daughter attended Little Preschool on Prairie for over 3 years. During this time, Marie & Joseph exceeded my expectations for what a daycare could offer. They offer a structured, loving, fun, natural place for children to spend their day. Among all the things I love, the thing that sticks out would be their ability to teach the children how to communicate. Whether it be through sign language, “using their words” to talk out arguments between the kids and explaining emotions so the children can relate & understand. This was a huge tool for my little guy as he continued to kindergarten. I also really appreciate the way they help the kids transition into the “next step”. Separation, crib to cot at naps, diapers to potty training, preschool setting, circle time, trying new foods, offering new games and projects as they are ready. Joseph is great at capturing these moments on camera!

They plan lots of great activities for the kids. Among the amazing back yard, my son loved the different sensory tables, balancing, climbing, & running challenges, music time, painting, reading chairs, bug collecting & especially…the water tables and the MUD. The kids are presented with lots of activities that other places would not even think about. Marie is not afraid to let the kids explore & create & get dirty or wet.

Through the years, my son’s language disability was discovered, and Marie & Joseph were more than willing to be an active participant to help us with this. Because Marie continues her education as a teacher, she has a wealth of knowledge & is always up to date with current techniques.

All the kids respect, trust & love Marie & Joseph. They are firm, kind, gentle, & respectful towards the kids. I believe following through is the key to discipline, they prove it.

I am a very hands on parent & although I had to work & leave my children every day, I still enjoyed hearing about his day. Not only do Marie & Joseph note the basics (eat, sleep, poop) but they recall boo-boo’s, arguments, funny answers, & his overall mood. We will never forget all they have taught us.

Marie & Joseph are very special & we are very blessed to have them in all our lives. We will miss all the friends as well & their great families. Little Preschool on Prairie has been a wonderful chapter in our lives! I continue to recommend them in the highest regard!

Delani Mastagni

Mother of 2

A structured, loving, fun, natural place for children to spend their day…

As a single working mother I wanted my 3 year not just to be in a daycare, I wanted her to be able to learn, laugh, play, explore new things with structure and encouragement . This is what I found at Little Preschool on Prairie. My daughter truly enjoyed going to school here where she learned songs that she would sing at home such as ABC’s and prayer songs and many more with a smile on her little face. This is important to me as a mother because kids love to sing and educational songs are a necessary for Kindergarten and prayer songs because we are a christian family that puts God first. She would come home with paint or mud in her hair and i would ask her “did you have fun today” and she would say “yes mom, fun and paint, and friends” So not only was she learning but having fun as well. I was working on potty training with my daughter and they helped her along and now she if fully potty trained. This is a big plus. I also loved the fact that i can go on Facebook and see pictures of her exploring and having fun with all the kids. The time that my 3 year old was attending Little Preschool on Prairie I had seen a big difference in my daughter such as attitude, respect for others, wanting to help more,be independent and explore more, due to the nurturing and encouraging environment they provided. Family and friends noticed a difference. Even when their was not school she still ask to go and when she was going back. She was extremely excited every morning to get ready and go to school. I would recommend to every one I know to take their children here. Grandmother approved!

Grandmother Approved!

My family has been part of the Little Preschool on Prairie family since my now seven year old daughter was 16 months old. Marie, Joseph, and Wendy were more than what we asked for.

They provide a fun, safe, loving environment where children thrive. Having had two children, one an alumni and one a current student, I have seen many children beginning their first days, shy and uncertain then bloom. They will race their parents to the door, unable to wait the start of their day.

Marie truly loves what she does and she she is a firm believer in learning through play which can be seen by the sand/mud area, water area, balance logs, and (yeah, someone still has them) climbing tree that has been affectionately named, Nessie.

This is not a place for Sunday best. I have picked up my daughter covered in mud and once or twice, covered in paint. My son’s feet grew accustomed to dirt, mud, and balance beams. And they learn. Both my children have surprised me with what they learned and they learned more than just academics. They learned patience, compassion and cooperation. How Little Preschool on Prairie does it, I have no idea but I am so thankful that I found them.

The Paulsen Family

We were so very fortunate to find Little Preschool on Prairie. Our daughter started attending Little Preschool on Prairie when she was two and a half years old. She was struggling with increased seizure activity and prescription side effects. With the guidance, support, and love from Marie and Wendy she flourished and made huge developmental growth! She learned how to make good choices, express herself, work with a group, and become more independent. Marie kept a close watch for signs of seizures and made sure to keep us involved with what was going on. She goes above and beyond to ensure the safety and well being of all the kids in her care. As a parent, you have to trust the person who is caring for your child. At Little Preschool on Prairie we always knew our daughter was in the best care.

Each child learns and responds differently. Marie’s extensive knowledge in child development enables her to offer each child what they require to learn and develop to their fullest. No other facility comes close to offering what Little Preschool on Prairie does. The majority of the day is spent outside where the the children choose the activity they want to be involved in and are encouraged to explore, be creative, and learn by play. Every area of the facility is set up to help develop fine and gross motor skills, social development, and cognitive development. There are new activities set up in morning, as well as individual and group projects available during the day to keep each child engaged and involved. And just as important, children are able to make choices. It is so important for them, and all of us, to learn how to make good choices! Besides the amazing gift of helping your child develop mentally,  they also have an outdoor classroom and absolutely fabulous outdoor play area where each child can physically and socially develop in group and individual activity. Our daughter really enjoyed playing in the mud kitchen, painting, going on the swings and the monkey bars, as well as pretend play. We all want to give our children the best. Little Preschool on Prairie does just that. They are dedicated to continued learning, growing, and evolving the facility to best serve the children. The superior facility and loving staff create a safe environment for your child to learn and grow. I recommend Little Preschool on Prairie to anyone with a preschool aged child!

D. Cooper

When my husband and I started looking into preschool for our first born son Declan, we were so overwhelmed. A friend of mine took me to the open house for Little Preschool on the Prairie and the decision was made. Observing the way Miss Marie & Miss Wendy went about teaching the kids through way of play and interaction was something I knew our son needed. They teach the kids to experiment with their surroundings (while being safe), how to use their words and communicate their feelings without being physical (we all know how difficult that is for a preschooler) and let them be creative and use their imagination all while learning the essentials needed to head off the kindergarten. When it is time for my second son to go to preschool, there is no other choice…he WILL be going to Little Preschool on the Prairie Preschool.

Brenna Brady

My son’s experience at Little Preschool has been life-changing and life-giving.  He feels listened too, loved and safe.  Their style of school allows kids to be kids and to explore the world. There is a section of the outside play area called, “loose parts” where my son can work with his friends and build things out of crates and tubing and using their own imagination create a whole new world.  There was a time that all the kids wanted to push big trucks around and they brought in more dirt one weekend and made an amazing space for the kids to push the trucks around in.  As a parent, I love that at this preschool playing and learning go hand and hand.  There is no doubt that the teachers love what they are doing and care for all the kids at the preschool. Seriously, we love Little Preschool on Prairie!

Amy Boggs

I am so grateful we found Little Preschool on Prairie! My daughter is getting an opportunity to socialize and learn body awareness and skills that will help her grow into adulthood in a safe, organized environment surrounded by a community that fosters love and independence. There has been a positive change in her attitude and language. She’s a much better playmate with her sister and I love all of her cute little songs she comes home singing!

Breanna MayerPhelps

Little Preschool on Prairie is a wonderful place for our son. Marie and Wendy are so empathetic and patient with the kids.  They both inspire me to be a better mom.  I truly feel that they treat each child as an individual and foster all the children’s budding personalities. I love that the kids are able to explore outside and engage in a variety of activities they are interested in. Our son has learned how to interact with others respectfully and use his words to tell others how he feels. I can’t imagine having him anywhere else. And when our younger son is old enough he will go there too! We love Little Preschool!

Lacey Akins

My son Wyatt went to Little Preschool on Prairie from age 15 month to four years old. The only reason we left was that their times had changed from full time to half time, which did not align with our work schedules.

Wyatt loved it there! And so did we. It was like sending your kid to stay with your favorite aunt at her house. The environment was so loving and warm and inviting. It is very hard to leave your 15 month old with someone else – but he was so happy there and I just knew he was in good and safe hands. I especially liked the amount of time he got to play and spend outdoors, get dirty, sensory games and enjoy being a child while still learning and experiencing new things. I truly believe we should let our kids be kids as long as possible, let them play outdoors, climb a tree, get muddy and wet and get paint in their hair. And he had all this and more at Mrs Marie’s. And while he played, he also learned how to count and sing songs, he learned some sign language and how to get along with other kids, how to use the potty and to listen to his friends and the teacher during story times.

Little Preschool on Prairie offers a well rounded, and oh so loving environment for your kids. I’m feeling very blessed that my son Wyatt got to spend his first years of daycare here. Mrs Marie and Mr Joseph will always be part of our family!

Sarah Palt

My daughter attended Little Preschool on Prairie from January – June 2016. During that time, we saw our previously shy, clingy daughter blossom into a confident, imaginative and more playful child. We watched as she transformed from being unsure of herself and her involvement in activities to coming up with her own games and involving other children. It thrilled us to see her running around barefoot and dirty, making friends and looking forward to going to school each day. She also had fun learning and particularly enjoyed practicing phonics at home. Marie and Wendy did a terrific job preparing her both socially and academically for TK.  We couldn’t have been happier with our choice in a preschool, I only wish she had gotten more time there.

Sarah Y

Little Preschool was a wonderful experience, not only for my son who attended, but for our entire family.  Playing and being outside is what my son lives for and that’s exactly what you do at Little Preschool on Prairie! Marie has a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience that both my son and I benefited from. She always took time to answer questions, offer suggestions, and point me in the right direction when I needed help with sensory processing issues, potty training, and anything else I could think of. Both Marie and Wendy have a genuine love for little ones and it shows in everything they do. Their play based approach to learning honors what it truly means to be young and celebrates the growth and development that occurs naturally through play.  Little Preschool is a fantastic preschool that provides a fun and safe environment to play, grow, learn, and most importantly, be a child.

Wesla Pahler