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College of Alameda Children's Center

555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway
Alameda, CA 94501

(510) 748-2381


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

The goals of the program are to offer high quality Centers that permit the children to discover and learn, to become decision makers and problem solvers, and to feel good about themselves. For the children to develop themselves in the areas of cognition (thinking), language arts (talking), literacy (reading), social/emotional (relationships) and physical development (moving and doing). Other program goals are: To develop a positive self-image and healthy concept. To maintain individual creativity while learning to work cooperatively with others. To encourage social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth through daily interaction with adults and children other than family members. To meet the adult needs of the parents whenever possible.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • computer, child's sign in books, name/word cards, intentional writing materials in areas other than the writing area
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • blocks, science activities, counting and sorting activities, measuring, estimating, cooking
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • cooking, plant growing
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
  • fieldtrips
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • listening center and computer games with music
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • indoor and outdoor art experiences
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
  • large lawn, multiple climbing structures, dramatic play area, art opportunities, obstacle courses
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

The curriculum that the Peralta Community College District Childrens' Centers is using is called Creative Curriculum. The Creative Curriculum is designed to be a blueprint for our teachers to plan and implement a developmentally appropriate program for your children while introducing them to topics that are interesting to them. The teachers provide support to the children through planned activities and activities that emerge through the children's interest and play. The teachers support the learning through conversation and some instruction. The instruction is through doing and conversation, not drill. <br><br>The Creative Curriculum is based on different Child Development theorists and current research as to how children learn. The curriculum also takes into account individual interests and uniqueness, gender, temperament, learning styles, life experiences, culture, special needs and second language learners--the many different aspects that every child brings into the classroom. Teachers are trained to recognize these aspects of each child and welcome them into the classroom. <br><br>The Creative Curriculum was chosen for the Peralta Community College District Childrens' Centers for many reasons. Creative Curriculum is being taught by the Child Development Department at Merritt College to students who are interested in Early Childhood Education and related fields. It is a thorough curriculum that supports the children in meeting the Desired Results, which are mandated by the California Department of Education, Child Development Department. The Creative Curriculum also encourages our teachers to individualize and make the learning experiences relevant to the children in the classroom. The Creative Curriculum has different components that are interrelated to support each child in his/her learning and development. Throughout Creative Curriculum, the family and the teachers collaborate in establishing a successful foundation for the each child to best prepare him/herself for future learning.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Each child in the classroom is assessed individually and his/her individual strengths and areas needing development are taken into consideration. Teachers plan for groups as well as the indiviual children in the classroom. The teachers are very aware of all the children and plan activities to challenge and support continued learning opportunities.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Children's' Center Program provides an educationally sound, developmentally valid model that accepts children as active learners who learn best from activities and experiences they plan out and carry out themselves. We believe that parents and staff are partners in the development of children. At the Center we foster this by providing them the support and the environment in which to do these activities and experiences. At home, parents provide them support through activities such as having discussions with them, reading to them, taking them places and sharing culture and traditions.

A Typical Day

In the early morning, the children and family members are welcomed into the program. The children are invited to work with materials in the classroom, and there is also breakfast available. The rest of the morning is spent in group time, individual and small group play activities, planned teacher facilitated activities, story telling, and outdoor play. <p>
A nutritious hot lunch is served in a family style manner, and teachers sit with the children enjoying the meal. <p>
After lunch is nap time. When the children are awake, they can play with quiet materials, allowing their classmates time to rest. When nap time has ended, there is a snack and an opportunity to play outside, and then there are late afternoon activities in the classroom.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Our program has at least 2 parent/teacher conferences per program year. The first one is within the first 60 days of your child's first day in the program. The teacher will share with you what we have determined to be your child's strengths and areas needing development. During the conference, the teacher will share what will be done in the classroom and what you can do at home to support this development.

Throughout the program year, there are monthly parent meetings. They are governed by parents and there is a large parent education component. Nutrition, child development, child behavior, community resources and guest speakers are all part of these meetings.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

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

Modes of Communication

  • Phone Calls
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

Each child is treated as an individual. If the child is having a difficult time, the teacher will provide the comfort the child needs and reassures the child that the parent will return.