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Daisy Child Development Center

5016 Daisy Street
Oakland, CA 94619

(510) 531-6426


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We are truly a combination of the first two options above. We do have a routine, but encourage inquiry and choices throughout the children's day. We at Daisy believe in the emerging curriculum in which children's ideas and interests form a large part of our daily curriculum. We do have a routine in place, however, children are able to make their own choices and decisions which are appropriate. Most often, teachers are facilitators rather than directors of activities.

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
  • Blocks, pattern blocks (with boards), fraction cakes, large sandbox, math skills on paper also used...creating patterns using shapes
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
  • Children involved in composting, recycling, etc.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Music/movement instructor who comes once a week.
Visual arts more

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

More Information

  • 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 Several of the teachers work with children on the development of key vocabulary, in which children choose words that hold special meaning (power) for them. Over time, they learn to recognize these words and construct their own sentences from them.

From the Director:

Teachers are available to respond to children's questions, and specific materials which they may need (although most are always available at their level) are provided. Teachers also facilitate and do initiate some activities including cooking and other science explorations, woodworking, shadow/slide projector play, etc. We do believe in the emerging curriculum as previously mentioned (e.g. children's concerns, their ideas are supported, and curriculum plans can be adapted). Children need balance and consistency.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We look upon Daisy CDC as a small familial community that seeks to educate young children to be humane and sensitive individuals. At Daisy CDC, childhood is cherished in and of itself and children learn to live first and foremost like children, not as future adults.

Our challenge is to provide a climate for growth where children are encouraged and helped to understand their world through the full use of their senses, their feelings and their intellects. To this end, we base our learning theory on the following principles:

1) A child's self-image is the most important ingredient in the learning process. A child must perceive that his/her thoughts, feelings, emotions and being are significant and worthwhile. Through repeated tasks and activities with which a child experiences success, a sense of self-esteem and feeling of competence will breed further success and motivation for future learning.

2) Each child is unique in her/his intellect, emotions, skills and interests. No matter how similar in background or endowment of a group of children, as individuals they differ greatly, therefore, for educational experiences to be truly relevant, they must be adapted to the needs of each individual child. It is our role as educators to assess just where a child 'is', and provide a broad spectrum of learning experiences geared to challenge his/her mind and body and cultivate each child's curiosity and awareness of the world.

3) Play is vital to a child's learning. The way in which each child organizes and makes sense of the world is the medium for self-expression. To play is to invent, to hypothesize, to test and discover. It provides the most permanent and growth producing learning of cognitive concepts. Play functions to promote social values as well. Developing social sensitivity is often a slow, challenging process that involves learning to understand how to share, cooperate and empathize with others. Through play experiences, children learn to initiate and sustain relationships with others.

4) Children learn from each other. Sharing their personalities, talents, skills and abilities with children from many different cultural backgrounds helps them to understand the highest ideals of a pluralistic society. Working in the spirit of cooperation and building friendships within the multi-cultural school community helps children learn the day to day practices which leads to a comfortable, productive life among people of diversity in a global world.

A Typical Day

If a child arrives when the school opens, he/she is warmly welcomed. They have the opportunity to engage until breakfast (if they want to eat) in an activity of his/her choice.

After and hour, he/she moves outside where he/she can climb, ride trikes, paint, work with art material or clay or whatever he/she wishes. Children are busy interacting with peers, often involved in dramatic play, be it in the sandbox or climbing structure.

After another hour, all children move inside. Circle time occurs, and children may sing, dance, or listen to stories.

Work/play lasts about 45 minutes. Children draw from their own ideas, choose own materials and follow their own intellectual inclinations (i.e. they may choose to engage in teacher directed activities).

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent-teacher conferences once a year, open house, parent meeting, and parent education classes on site. Daisy will also do referrals if needed to specific agencies in the community. We also communicate on a daily basis with parents, both in person and in writing (teacher comments on a sign-in-out sheet). Also, whenever a parent feels the need to hold an informal conference, we accommodate this request. Every January, we hold a meeting with parents concerning kindergarten readiness and call in an education consultant. We also offer handouts and copies of an extensive research project a parent undertook (visits to many schools, searches on the web).

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


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Teachers and parents begin to talk to children who will be moving on ahead and throughout the months preceding the move. Our school has a special farewell celebration in honor of children leaving. After, they take part in a small drama which acts out a song symbolic of the transition they will be making.