Leafling Preschool and Childcare Center

Putting Children and Families First

About Leafling Preschool

We are a private, non-profit 501(c)3 preschool and childcare center dedicated to children and their families based in the State of Washington.


We are located at 14216 132nd Ave NE in Kirkland, WA, conveniently located next door to John Muir Elementary.

Mission Statement

Our mission at Leafling Preschool and Childcare Center is to provide excellent, reliable, high-quality childcare and education to the children and families we serve.

Contacting Leafling

You may visit our Contact Leafling page and fill in our form, or phone us during normal business hours at (425) 803-6000.

Our Goals

  • Provide a safe, inclusive, and healthy environment which nurtures each child’s social, physical, intellectual, and emotional growth
  • Offer a developmentally appropriate curriculum rich with learning opportunities, so that each child can fulfill his or her greatest potential
  • Structure the learning situation in such a way that each child’s creativity, enthusiasm, and excitement for learning is encouraged, developed, and supported.
  •  Continue to support diversity among our children, families, and employees
  • Promote partnership between our staff and our parents, in order that each child’s process toward becoming a successful life-long learner is fully supported
  • Demonstrate a level of professionalism as dedicated teachers and employees, reflecting our high standards and expectations for ourselves and our organization.


Our Team


Shayesteh Davanlou

Founder and Director, Leafling Preschool & Childcare Center

Shayesteh Davanlou is a Professor of Sociology and received her ECE degree from Lake Washington Technical College.

Prior to moving to Seattle, Shayesteh worked closely with developmentally disabled adults, providing therapy and both medical and emotional support. She has also worked closely with POWs in the international arena.

For seven years prior to opening Leafling Preschool and Childcare Center she ran a successful in-home childcare center.

She has worked with children and families as a teacher since 2000 and is strongly committed to providing high-quality childcare and building a strong sense of community among the children, families, and staff of Leafling Preschool and Childcare Center.

Maria Shira

Lead Teacher, Blossoms Classroom

Maria is the Blossoms teacher. She enjoys teaching because she gets to practice her passion, and loves to work with kids and learn along with them. She finds it inspiring to see the results of her skill-building curriculum. She puts an emphasis on the development of fine motor skills as well as social skills and building self-esteem. She has a degree for bilingual education and has the opportunity to teach for a total of 13 years.

Mina Hossine

Lead Teacher

Soraya Davanlou


Sory, also known as the Toddler Whisperer, recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest. She has previous experience working with young children, teaching yoga and meditation, and even ran her own fitness center in Iran. The children love to join her in aerobic workouts or basketball games on the playground, and often her mere presence in the classroom is enough to calm the wildest of toddlers.

Betsy Walker


Natalia Sanford

Assistant Director

Natalia has been employed with Leafling School since April 2016. Before becoming an assistant director at Leafling, she worked as an infant and toddler lead teacher at Bright Horizon’s for nine years. While working, Natalia got her CDA through Renton Technical College. She loves working with children and their capabilities never cease to amaze her. She is so happy to be a part of our team and will always do her best for every child who walks through our door. Natalia was born and raised in Russia, where she attended technical college and received her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and science in 1996. She looks forward to teaching lots of new things and making this experience as fun and enjoyable as possible.