Meet Cara Day

A  message from Cara Day

My best and most favorite lifework is as a mother of five, now ages 8, 18, 20, 22, and 24.

Teaching began for me at age 4, with my dolls and willing friends. By age 10, the mother of a boy paid me $2 for teaching her son to read. In high school, I was pulled from class by the guidance counselors to speak to students in need, for impromptu peer coaching, such as with one boy who was ditching classes, and a girl with an unplanned pregnancy.

I started college at age 16, at San Diego State University. I’ll never forget the first day. Walking from my car by the old Peterson Gym to my very first college class, I said “Hi” to everyone I passed. No one said “hi” back. I stopped saying “hi” as I walked, but true to my nerd-dom, I loved every minute of college study, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as a Reading Specialist Credential.

After teaching elementary school for a few years and developing a program for families that caught the attention of the San Diego Council on Literacy, I moved out the classroom. The next 10 years were spent speaking and growing a private educational therapy and family coaching practice. Schools, hospitals, and literacy organizations invite me to speak to parents and teachers on topics relating to children and families.

Since 1996, my company, Day Prep, has been serving families and educators. Our team provides in-person services in San Diego, Seattle, and New York, and remotely without limitation. I’m up like toast every morning because I get to do what I love, training and supporting the Day Prep team and serving as a family coach in private practice.

Learn more about Day Prep to see if our services are right for you and your family.


When I look back over the past 24 months, all I can say is, ‘Thank You Cara.’ We retained Cara to help my grandson to become a better student. I made the mistake of thinking, ‘I’m hiring Cara to help our grandson get better grades.’ Boy, was I wrong!!! Cara takes a holistic approach to children. While grades are important, Cara wanted to improve our grandson’s self-esteem, and his attitude toward school, life, parents and, yes, grandparents. Cara insisted on making sure all levels of communication in my grandson’s life were working properly. That meant making sure all family members were involved in a healthy, supportive way. While we always thought my grandson was the best, Cara has helped mold his life into the person we all dream of calling Son or Grandson.

David Malcolm, grandparent of 14-year-old

The Choice Chart has created a peaceful environment in our home with less yelling and less lecturing. The time in the penalty definitely calms our kids down, and they are ready to join the family in a positive way.

Kristin, mother of two, ages 8 and 10

My child did not like school or his teacher. Now his confidence is high and he knows he can do it. Although our initial issues have been resolved, it has been 3 years and we still see Cara. It’s just part of what we do.

Lee Barnett, mother of 5th grader

And when I get to the end of the sentence, I do a paramount!

Kianna, age 4

Cara Day is a practical genius at teaching not only parents, but students and her fellow practitioners. She has revolutionary, yet proven methods that transform lives. Her parenting philosophy and methods are in-depth, yet practical, tangible, and immediately usable. A breath of fresh air.

Scott Barnett, San Diego Unified School District Board Trustee

I read to the bottom of the page. I just kept going and going and going and I didn’t even notice.

Colten, grade 2

As a mother of five children who already know how to read, I was reluctant to commit to a workshop series about reading and writing. I was surprised when the first 3-hour class ended and I felt like it had just started! I have learned so much. I already told my child’s first grade teacher that I think every parent should attend Cara’s workshops.

Clark Family

It is an understatement to say that Cara Day has changed my family’s life. In the first grade, my son was diagnosed with severe ADHD and an auditory processing disorder. From 1st thru 3rd grade, I paid for every possible tutoring to try to help him. In 4th grade, my son was struggling more then ever and he was failing several classes. My son was once a happy and social child, but not anymore. He started avoiding his friends, kept to himself and talked about hating school. Within weeks of working with Cara, my son was back to being the happy, engaged kid I knew. He started hanging out with his friends at school and was immediately doing better in school. Miss Day taught him techniques on how to study for his tests, organization of his work, and many other tools that allowed him to be successful. Eight months later, he is thriving and doing better then ever! He was being left to fall through the cracks, almost written off as not capable. Miss Day is about holding him to an extremely high standard and showing him how to reach it. He feels good about himself.

Tracey Turgeon, mother of two, grades 5 and 3

Where to begin? At the beginning. Starting school in the fall for Gabriel was not something he typically looked forward to. That is, until we were blessed with the introduction to Cara Day. We had known Cara for many years, but did not know she was in private practice and could be the one to give the confidence and enthusiasm for learning which Gabriel desperately needed. Cara was highly recommended by our cousin, Dan Malcolm. She had been working with his son, Zachary, and he couldn’t say enough about the positive changes in Zachary and his attitude towards school and himself. Cara has been able to do the same and much more for our family. Not only has she guided Gabriel to self-discipline, but also to us helped him to use positive affirmations and kindness. She challenges him and gives him actual tools he can use at a difficult moment. She is always available to have conversations, meetings and provide helpful counseling for Gabriel’s best interest. Her ability to effectively teach organizational skills has helped Gabriel to prioritize the school work which will be used throughout his life. A new level of confidence and pride has been given to Gabriel through the guidance of Cara Day. We will be forever grateful. We look forward to his future in high school and college and know that Cara will always be with us for help and guidance.

Annie Malcolm, grandmother to Gabriel, age 15

The Day Prep writing clinic Sienna attended this summer has paid off in spades. Her teacher is impressed with how Sienna structures her writing. It’s just fantastic this year for her. She has a newfound confidence.

Heather Steer, mother of two, ages 8 and 10

Jackson: “Do you know what math’s full name is?”
Miss Day: “No … what is it?”
Jackson: “Mathematics.”

Jackson, age 7

My family started working with Cara in 2012. She came highly recommended by my two close friends. We hired her because we were having problems with my eldest son’s ability to sit and do work independently, slowly and correctly. We saw Jackson’s reading and comprehension improve almost immediately. We also saw Miss Day giving him the tools to work independently. She now works with all three of my children, and she also works with me! Giving me fast and simple tools to help my kids not only with their schoolwork but with behavior issues that arrive with young children. I honestly don’t know where we would be without Cara. She came at a time when we felt helpless. I now know that we can jump over any hurdle with her help and the tools we have learned.

Marjaneh, La Jolla, mother of 3

My family started using the Choice Chart over a year ago. The Choice Chart gives the kids an understanding that even as children they have “a job” in our family, which is to be a cooperative member of it. The adults are counting on them, and the kids, and pets, are counting on the adults. Each night my children would put their sticker on the chart depending on whether they had made supporting choices throughout the day. The kids know the choice is theirs and they know what to expect now if they make a choice that doesn’t support our family. We celebrate with a monthly dinner at home so we can recognize their choices.

Steve B., Father of 2, ages 7 and 9

As a school administrator, it is sometimes difficult to get my staff or parent groups to listen, even when the information is important. When Cara speaks, you can hear a pin drop! Her presentations are dynamic and full of great information — motivating parents to action. About 54 people attended the first workshop. By the last class, 75 or so were coming — fathers, grandparents. It was wonderful.

Elementary Principal, San Diego County

My son was 5. His kindergarten school year started out well even though he did not begin the year reading. The teacher seemed happy with his progress and I was thrilled with how much he seemed to be learning. His report card reflected this positive beginning. Without warning, his teacher stated at our parent-teacher conference at the end of the year, your son “needs intensive tutoring”. “He’s just not getting it,” she said. My husband and I were blindsided. Kindergarten was too early for a child to be struggling. Did he have a learning disability? Was he dyslexic? We had our son evaluated by a very reputable, independent, learning center. Their recommendation was tutoring four hours a day, five days a week through the summer. I knew our son needed help, but 20 hours a week for 12 weeks? For a kindergartner? I didn’t know where to turn. Cara came highly recommended and suggested tutoring 30 minutes, twice a week, to achieve the desired result. Her standard is to have the child read at least two years above grade level, no matter what grade they are in. My husband and I decided to send our son to Cara. She met with him twice a week during the summer. Each time my son went to Cara he was greeted warmly at her beautiful center and she made him feel welcome. Cara was always so patient and positive. She equipped our son with skills to read and he progressed very rapidly. When it was time to leave, he had a smile on his face as he chose a prize from the treasure box. We read Cara’s recommended books and did what she asked us to do at home, even though she said it was ok if we didn’t have time. I saw progress within a few weeks. After three months, Cara and I had a parent meeting to discuss my son’s progress. When she showed me where he started and where he was in just 3 months, I cried. I was so relieved. My son was a confident reader in the first grade and enjoys reading today, in 5th grade. How amazing with the right teacher, tools and approach! I am forever grateful to Cara!

My daughter was accepted to two of the most prestigious private schools in the area. Thank you, Cara, for all your efforts with the test, essay, and interview preparation!

Chris B., father of two, grades 5 and 7

We loved the Happy Kids class. You’re a fantastic communicator and your way will go far.

James, dad of two

Loved the class. I’m fascinated and want to learn more. Please let me know of upcoming workshops.

Nichole, mom of four


We address the whole child – as an individual, within a school community, and as a member of an important family – your family.