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Sugar and Spice Center for Children (Oakland)

2238 Mariner Square Dr
Alameda, CA 94501

(510) 531-5810


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

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
  • Colored sorting toys that can be used for counting as well as working on colors
Time & space more

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

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • We have had an ant farm and a butterfly habitat
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • We have listening station with a tape recorder where children can listen to stories and music
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
  • 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
Other subjects taught Classes available for sign-up: Music, tumbling and other specialty classes will be offered depending on availability. Classes that require a fee will be added to your tuition statement and discussed with you in advance. Extracted from website 2/23/06

From the Director:

Subscribe to 'High/Scope' curriculum which is an 'active learning' educational approach. Introduction to High/Scope Approach: The High/Scope Child Observation Record (COR) for ages 2.5 to 6 is an evaluation instrument designed for use with children in early development settings, including preschool, daycare, and Head Start programs. The COR assessment instrument can be used by a trained observer while children are involved in normal program activities. Assessment is based upon observations of the child's behavior and activities in six developmental categories. The six categories included in the COR philosophy is: Initiatives, Social relations, Creative representation, Music and movement, Language and literacy, Logic and mathematics Because COR is an observational assessment tool, it is most appropriately used for child evaluation in daycare/classroom setting, where children can be observed initiating and participating in a wide variety of activities and behaviors. Extracted from Sugar&Spice parent handbook February 2006

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We strive to create a warm and loving environment in which children can discover the richness and joy of growing up. The SSCC staff believes in providing a warm and safe environment so each child can fully express themselves, in an atmosphere with the necessary tools for exploration and rich experiences. Our philosophy is rooted in the High/Scope program, originally developed in 1974 and used by accredited programs such as Head Start and many other outstanding programs located throughout Northern California. At SSCC, our philosophy also emphasizes a relaxing and nurturing environment, promoting personal self-confidence and mental growth. By promoting a positive self-image for each and every child, we hope to enhance and stimulate his or her development. We run a child-centered, play-based program, with each teacher taking a hands-on approach to learning. As a play-based program, we proudly offer a variety of play stations to support the idea 'children's work is their play.' Each age group is encouraged to participate in music, conversation, play and learning activities. We also encourage parents to stop in and visit us any time. You are welcome to come in and participate with your child, take part in the program, and even change a diaper or two. SSCC believes no day or night should go by without a hug or kiss from those who love you! SSCC accepts children of any race, nationality, creed or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally available to students at the school. Each and every child within our care will enjoy the rights and privileges of the school's program, without exception. We look forward to serving your needs and becoming a part of your child's life. Extracted from Parent handbook on website 2/23/06

A Typical Day

Morning Program 7:30 A.M. - 12 P.M. During this time children participate in structured group activities, inside activities, breakfast, outside play, stories, singing, and lunch. Each week a letter or number is chosen for a theme. During that week children may participate in various activities relating back to the letter or number of the week. For example, if 'R' is the letter of the week, students might eat raisins, participate in an 'R' activity such as running and practice the roar of a Lion. This educational philosophy is used in conjunction with 'Sesame Street' publications received from PBS. Sugar and Spice uses these publications for suggested educational activities surrounding children's programs found on PBS. Afternoon Program 1 P.M. - 6 P.M. The afternoon program is intended to be a more restful time for children. An afternoon nap is taken during this time along with outside or inside play, story time, class time, singing, and afternoon snack. An hour nap is scheduled in the early afternoon to allow children to wind down from morning activities. Non-sleepers may read books on their mats and rest quietly. Each sleeping area has lullabies, books, and special rest time toys. Please send a small blanket or any toy you feel will make your child more comfortable. Please be sure to label all items. Extracted from website 2/23/06

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

It Takes A Village Program: Families are able to sign up to make connections with other currently enrolled parents to set up play dates or simply have an opportunity to make new friends. Parent Communications and Child Management Welcome Meetings: An informational meeting will be scheduled after you have enrolled. When possible, we will schedule a one-on-one meeting. Additionally, an annual meeting will be held to welcome prospective parents to meet SSCC staff and current families enrolled in our program. Monthly Newsletter: Please consult our monthly newsletter to learn about upcoming events and new topics being introduced to your child. Teacher Conferences: Each child will have a parent-teacher conference every 12 months. Parents may feel free to request additional conferences to address any questions or concerns. Extracted from website 2/23/06

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

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

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • 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

Departure and arrival times can be a stressful time for both you and your child. A very normal reaction is for your child to cry, especially during the first few weeks of adjusting to a new place. Your child may or may not cry when you leave. If your child does cry please do not be alarmed. This is a normal occurrence often termed as separation anxiety. This anxiety should lessen as your child becomes accustomed to his/her new surroundings and realizes you will return. Extracted from website 2/23/06