My son is 3 years old and this is his first year at Lily's Garden Preschool. The reason we chose this school are: 1) my wife's company (Southern Edison Electric) analyzed the preschool within a 5 mile radius from our apartment and Lily's Garden was one of the top 3 preschools analyzed, and 2) my wife's three nieces attended Lily's Garden five years ago and loved it. Their parents (aka wife's cousins) are very accomplished and educated people who felt the program provided a nice balanced between academic, playtime, discipline, and tri-cultural education (English, Spanish, and Chinese). The owner of Lily's Garden are "Empty Nested Parents," their kids are grown and in Stanford or completed Stanford, therefore these kids at the school have became their "adopted children". What I noticed in observing the owners and their employees are that they treat the kids in a very loving and caring parental way. With the structure of the curriculum and nurturing, I am sure he will do well like his cousins who attended this program before him.
In comparing with my nephews from the Silicon Valley, Lily's Garden monthly cost are much less but for the same value. My sister is paying $2,100/month for each of her sons to attend their preschool.
The only problem with these types of private schools is the transition to a public school. Either you have to find a very advanced public school, skip your kids through advance placement, or keep the kid in an academic based private school, otherwise they will bored with the lessons. This was a problem with one of the nieces who graduated from Lily's Garden, the parents started her in so called "Blue Ribbon" Public School, but ended up transferring her to an academic based private school because the public school was too easy for her. This was the same problem when I came from Vietnam, I had already learned the equivalent of 4th grade math but was started in 1st grade. I got into so much trouble because I had finished my work and started goofing around with "the trouble makers". Thank God, I came out ok.
The decision in enrolling your kid in these programs are complex, but if you want your kid to continue this tri-cultural education based learning then Lily's Garden is a great program for your kid. By the way, apply early. Get on the waiting list a year before you plan your kid to attend these programs. Because Lily's Garden is well known in the community and have a long waiting list of approximately one year.
-Thinh Duy Mai