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The Joy Picus Child Development Center

111 E First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 978-0026

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We use the Creative Curriculum in our Preschool Classrooms. Our curriculum focuses on a wide variety of developmentally appropriate activities that support children’s language, social-emotional, cognitive and physical growth through play. The curriculum grows out of the children’s interests and abilitites. We encourage active learning through play, exploration and interactions. Children are individually challenged to further develop their fine and gross motor, math, creative, cognitive and science skills through activities such as lacing, classification, numeration and block play.

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
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
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
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
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

We encourage language by reading books to children, individually as well as in a large group, throughout their everyday routine. Furthermore, staff support language development through singing and language-extension that increases children’s language skills. Reading- readiness centers around activities that include left-to-right seriation, transcription (putting children’s thoughts and language into written words) and labeling of classroom materials. Autonomy and social-emotional growth is encouraged through self-help skills (pouring, self-serving etc.), decision-making processes, sensory play and the ability to engage in small and large group activities. The Joy Picus Child Development Center curriculum promotes individual growth and overall development through challenging, but not overly demanding, activities. All the activities are planned by the staff with the children’s age, individual abilities and interests in mind. Children will be consistently praised and applauded for their attempts and efforts throughout their daily routine. Many times parents would like their children to “learn” instead of “just play”. Our program offers children a variety of learning opportunities through play with materials that challenge children’s individual development and maximize their learning potential. Teachers in our program are trained to help children acquire a variety of skills through consistent interactions during these “play times”.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Joy Picus CDC provides an environment that promotes self-esteem and a sense of fundamental worth of each child and staff member. We recognize individuality, and maintain a supportive setting for the needs of both the children and staff. At the same time, we see children as an integral part of the community based on an understanding of others and a respect for diversity. We provide activities and experiences to develop your child’s sense of relationship to the local and global communities in which they participate. We strive to maintain a balance between the uniqueness and social identity of each child.

The Joy Picus CDC addresses the needs of the whole child by providing opportunities in the interrelated areas of physical, social, language, emotional, cognitive and moral growth. Play is highly valued. We encourage children to explore, experiment, ask questions, initiate activities and solve problems in ways that are appropriate to their age and stage of development. Children learn best when they are motivated by their own curiosity and innate desire to discover, know and understand. We stress a cooperative approach and nurture creativity. While we allow your child a wide range of experiences and opportunities to explore their environment, we make sure your child feels stimulated but not threatened by excessive expectations. Most importantly, we try to make your child feel at ease, comfortable and secure in a nurturing setting in order to maximize their learning potential.
We provide a multiracial, multicultural environment that encourages a variety of experiences appropriate to the children’s diverse backgrounds. The program is gender neutral in that children participate in a variety of experiences that do not limit their interests and competencies on the basis of gender. Children with special needs are welcome in the Joy Picus CDC if the center’s environment is judged to be beneficial to the optimum development of the child.

A Typical Day

6:30-7:30 Welcome and Morning Snack (Provided by parents)
7:30-8:45 Interest Areas (twice a week outside Activities)
8:45-9:00 Clean Up/PottyTime/Wash Hands
9:00-9:20 Breakfast Family Style
9:20-9:30 Clean Up/Wash Hands
9:30-10:00 Circle Time (includes: calendar, story, discussion)
10:00-10:35 Activities
10:35-10:45 Clean Up /Potty Time/ Mats
10:45-11:30 Outside Time
11:30-12:00 Lunch Family Style
12:00-12:15 Clean Up/Potty Time/Wash Hands
12:15-2:30 Nap Time
2:30-2:45 Wake up/ Put nap items away/Potty Time/Wash Hands
2:45-3:00 Snack Time Family Style
3:00-3:20 Story/Music and Movement/End of the day discussion
3:20-3:45 Continue projects from morning
3:45-4:45 Interest Areas
4:45-5:00 Late Afternoon Snack/Potty Time/Wash Hands
5:00-6:00 Outside Time


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on