Our Explorers

Emerald Heart girls and boys range from 2.9 to 5 years of age. Some have experienced daycare or preschool while others are new to being away from their parents. They are potty trained. Emerald Heart kids enjoy being outdoors, which is a good thing, because we spend a lot of time in the forest!


Emerald Heart's class size is minimum of 7 and maximum of 9. This means our two teachers can give plenty of individualized attention and care for each and every child. 

Our Program Dates and Times

Monday - Wednesday

9am - 2pm


Monday - Wednesday

2pm - 5pm

We have limited spots available for for fall 2020 on a first come first serve basis.

2020-2021 Program Fees


*includes supplies fee



$12/hr per child

Our Teachers

Lead Teacher

Taira Restar

Assistant Teacher

Mercedes MacCallister

Taira Restar, our lead teacher, has a masters degree in movement-based education and is a registered somatic movement therapist. She is a certified Breakthrough Parenting instructor. 


Taira was introduced to Waldorf education through a handmade doll. She sensed something deeply nourishing and began an embodied inquiry into Waldorf education. It was an easy fit! She and her family were already living a lifestyle that was in harmony with Waldorf values, including respect of and love for Nature.


For the 12 years that her daughter attended Waldorf schools, Taira enthusiastically embraced being a Waldorf parent—participating in school life and seasonal festivals. 


With the help of mentors, she opened Playgarden, a Waldorf-styled preschool program, which flourished for nearly 10 years. She is a friend to many of her former preschool students and their parents. 


In more recent years, Taira's primary focus has been as a life design coach for women. Throughout this new career, Taira has continued to work with children.


She has taught creative dance and art to children and families in a variety of settings, including Huckleberry Forest preschool program, Cascade Canyon and San Domenico High School. She offered FamiliesDancing!, the first movement-based family workshops at San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art.

In summer 2019, Taira was invited by a group of parents to open Emerald Heart. Soon Mercedes MacCallister joined in. Emerald Heart was born! 


Taira and Mercedes make a wonderful team--each bringing a different set of skills and interests to their students.

Mercedes is an early childhood educator, who has an easy natural way with children. For example, she knows just the right thing to say and do when a child is hurt or sad. 


In her role as assistant teacher at Emerald Heart, she brings a deep respect for childhood and for children.


Mercedes is generous and giving. She delights the children with her surprises of simple treats such as seasonal fruits, homemade play dough and classroom decorations. 


She is the mother of a daughter, Bailey, and a son, Colton. She was born and raised in Marin.