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Unitarian Universalist Early Education Cooperative

4027 East Lincoln Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

(602) 840-0746


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Co-op

From the Director:

We believe in learning through play. We believe that standards can be met in a play based environment with a balance of child initiated and adult led experiences.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • visiting teaching artist
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • visiting PE teacher
Other subjects taught Spanish is introduced in the 3's classroom and continues into PreK

From the Director:

Our formal adopted curriculum is Creative Curriculum which guides our physical space. Within this framework we meet the Arizona Early Learning Standards.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We celebrate every child for their unique strengths and abilities. We have no children who are behind, we believe all children excel and every child and family is different. It is our goal to take a child from where s/he is today and help them become who s/he will be tomorrow.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Unitarian Universalist Early Education Cooperative (UUEEC) is a non-profit parent participation preschool which operates within the covenant and operating principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix. This congregation, along with the member congregations of the UUA, affirms and promotes:
The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
We find quality early childhood education to be an excellent path to fulfill these principles.
Philosophy : Children
Our school is committed to a hands-on, child-initiated curriculum in which all aspects of a child's cognitive, social/emotional, linguistic, creative and physical development are promoted through developmentally appropriate practice. Each child is valued as a unique and capable individual. We establish a warm, flexible environment where children are encouraged to make their own choices, to be responsible for their own behavior and to respect the physical and spiritual space of others.
Philosophy : Parents
Parents receive support and guidance in the evolution of their parenting skills through monthly education classes, staff modeling of positive language and parenting techniques, and their own participation in the classroom. Informed parenting is fostered with the goal of instilling a life-long commitment to their children's education and overall development.

A Typical Day

Each class is uniquely different. Our 2's class is completely play based. As children move into the 3's class, they are introduced to a little more structure with the introduction of music and spanish. By the time children are ready to enter the PreK classroom they are ready for a program that offers a balance of child initiated and adult lead learning experiences in a play based evironment.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

The UUEEC accepts families into our program, not just the children. As such we are committed to building strong communication with parents. We publish a weekly email newsletter that keeps parents informed about what is happening at the school level. Teachers publish regular parent newsletters about classroom activities. Parents are required to co-op twice a month as part of our parent education program. Also they must attend monthly parent meetings that include parent education. Families are provided with opportunities to engage in playdates outside the school environment arranged by their classroom social coordinator. We have parent/teacher conference in all classrooms.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We believe that separation anxiety is a natural part of the developmental journey for some children. For this reason we feel its important to ease into new environments and allow children to build trust relationships with the new adults prior to parents leaving. To build trust relationships it is not appropriate for a parent to leave without telling a child they are going. We do however recognize that there will be children who never handle separation well and there will be a time when it is appropriate for parents to leave even if the child is upset. We work one on one with each family to ensure the timing of this is appropriate and that the child will not feel abandoned.