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First Step Children's Center

111 Fairmount Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 238-0880

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We are a play-based preschool which emphasizes language, cognitive skills, fine/gross motor skills, and social-emotional needs. Children are encouraged to participate in arts and crafts, cooking projects, story time, music, computer play (with adaptive computer educational software and hardware), and basic living skills such as feeding, toileting and appropriate peer interaction. Child initiated activities are also encouraged to provide the opportunity for your child to make choices, decisions and build leadership skills. A fully equipped child-safe playground is located on-site. Extracted from First Step Children's Center preschool 2005-2006 brochure.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
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
  • Grass area, 2 matted areas, large porch
Other subjects taught Structured activities: art, music, cooking. Circle time. Table time: games, small motor activities. Movement, dance, free time, dress up, playhouse, exploration.

From the Director:

In providing a comprehensive program for your child, not only are the developmental needs of the child considered, but also the cultural, linguistic and family dynamics. We care what parents want for their children, therefore we feel working as a partnership is beneficial. Regular parent/teacher meetings are held to discuss the child's current development issues and to review the child's activity curriculum. Extracted from First Step Children's Center preschool 2005-2006 brochure.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

First Step Children's Center is a warm, diverse, fully-integrated preschool program which serves non disabled and children with disabilities (which are funded for 4 hours per day with IEP's - Individual Education Plan for children over 3 years old - and IFSP's - Individual Family Service Plan for children under 3 years old).

Extracted from First Step Children's Center preschool 2005-2006 brochure.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

First Step Children's Center is committed to increasing the quality of life and enabling each child to learn and develop at their own rate toward their maximum potential.

It is the purpose of First Step Children's Center to serve the developmental needs of children and their families using a holistic approach of service delivery. It is designed to meet the needs of both children and their families.

The program works in all modalities to develop the total child. This is implemented through sequential comprehensive activities designed to promote development in cognitive, language, fine motor, gross motor, socialization, and self-help skills. Additionally, the cultural, linguistic and family dynamic needs must be taken into consideration.

The early years of a child's life are extremely important in formulating a child's positive self esteem. The fostering of this self-esteem requires emphasizing the child's strengths as well as accepting and integrating the child's linguistic and cultural family components. Working in a partnership with the family allows for the child to maximize his/her self-esteem in order to develop toward his/her full potential. The process of insuring the physical development and emotional growth must take into consideration the child's economic, health and nutritional needs. Providing for the assessment of these needs and offering the appropriate interventions must occur in order to serve the child in totality.

First Step Children's Center provides a child care center for children ages six weeks to kindergarten age, including children with and without developmental delays and/or disabilities. By totally integrating children with special needs alongside non-disabled children we emphasize the development of a non-biased value system. Careful planning takes place to provide for the specific needs of each child through the use of individual program plans and assessments. Each child is accepted as a valuable individual with strengths and needs. The program utilizes the child's assets in order to develop their overall growth in the areas of language, cognitive, fine motor, gross motor, social/emotional, and self-help skills. Daily lesson plans and activities are implemented targeting these developmental skills.

Extracted from First Step Children's Center preschool 2005-2006 brochure.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent potluck. Quarterly spring clean-up and fall spruce-up days. 1/2 day's involvement. Per phone conversation with staff.