Back to Oakland Preschools


6009 Colby Street
Oakland, CA 94618

(510) 601-6526


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

OPERATING PRINCIPLES: * Learning through play - helping to develop confidence,independence, socialization skills and self-esteem. * Incidental learning - creating meaningful lessons from everyday occurrences. * Positive discipline - teaching self discipline and responsibility. * Understanding temperament - knowing the effects temperament has on action. * Confronting aggression - teaching self-control and problem solving. * Developmental-interactive approach- recognizing social,emotional, cognitive and physical milestones. * Illness prevention - limiting exposure to disease and emphasis on health and hygiene. * Supportive environment - providing a setting which stimulates growth and is developmentally appropriate. * Flexible scheduling - to be responsive to your routine, schedule and commitments. * Customized program - accommodating individual, temperamental and potty learning needs. * Parental and involvement - keeping you informed and involved with your child's development. * Quality, value and affordable - to provide your child with a valuable, quality experience, for an affordable price.

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
  • Extensive writing tools
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Measuring utensils
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
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Capoeira
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
  • Yoga classes twice a month
Other subjects taught We teach sign language, Spanish, Polish and Hugarian.

From the Director:

Curriculum: The best learning experiences for children happen when children choose what they want to do. This is called free or self-directed play and is how the children at Giggles spend a good portion of their day. Through play children explore their world, find out how to get along with others, test their skills and muscles, try out new ideas, and feel competent enough to try different activities. Curiosity. Self-esteem. Language. Problem solving. Mathematics. Cooperation. Endurance. These are just a few of the many kinds of learning experiences involved in play. Your observations of your own children's play will soon confirm how much they are learning. Giggles curriculum is designed to allow ample time for play while encouraging 'incidental learning' which responds immediately to the interests of the child. A typical day involves the combination of play, 'incidental learning' and the curriculum described below. Participation in every activity is optional; therefore, each child decides how he/she will spend his/her day. Monthly Theme Projects: A different theme is highlighted each month involving dramatic play, math, science and art. Projects associated with the theme are scheduled throughout the week. Examples of recent themes include: The Family; All About Me; Reptiles; Outer Space; Animals; The Environment; Transportation; Insects; Pets; Plants; Birds and The Ocean. Weekly Activities Share Day: Monday - Monday is Share Day at Giggles. We ask you to limit the toys brought from home to this one day and bring the suggested share item as indicated on the monthly calendar. A special snugly toy brought everyday is an exception to this rule. Toys brought on days other than Monday will be sent home with the parent. Spanish and Sign Language: Tuesday - Spanish and sign language are scheduled on Tuesday. Storytime at the Rockridge Library and Trips to the Park: Wednesday - The first and third Wednesday of the Month a group of 4 and 5 year olds go to story time at the Rockridge library from 10:30 - 11:00. Different children are taken each week based on listening skills and their ability to walk to and from the library. The second and fourth Wednesdays of the Month the 4 and 5 year olds go to the park (weather permitting) Nature Walks: Wednesday - Wednesdays the 2 and 3 year olds go on nature walks and to the Circle park around the corner at 61st Street. Cooking: Thursday - Thursday is cooking day. We make everyhing from playdoh to pizza. As with every activity children interested are included on a rotational basis. Music and Drumming: Friday - Music and drumming are scheduled on Friday from 10:30 - 11:30. This is a dynamic, exciting way of teaching and learning based on the developmental readiness of the child. The process involves a sequential layering of skills and concepts designed to build success for every child. Understanding beat and rhythm develops through the use of movement activities. The development of singing in-tune comes from hearing the song sung within the child's range, joining in the singing, and by isolating the intervals in songs. Circle Time: Every day at approximately 11:00AM and 4:00PM we have Circle Time. It is a time when all the children are brought together to sing a variety of songs, discuss the activities of the day and review important information. A different topic is reviewed each day: Monday - Share Day Tuesday - Spanish and Sign Language Wednesday - Safety Rules Thursday - Fire Drills (Stop, Drop, Roll) Friday - Earthquake Drills Disaster Drills take place during October and April to ensure staff and children understand the procedures to be followed in case of a disaster. Outdoor Activities and Physical Education: Exercise classes, Movement, Outdoor Adventures, Dramatic Play, Nature walks and trips to the park complement the large and diverse outdoor play area. Children are afforded the opportunity to participate in gross motor or fine motor activities while being outdoors in the fresh air on a daily basis, regardless of the weather.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Each child is worked with to meet their individual needs and not compared to the other children.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Giggles is committed to providing your child the highest standards of quality child care. We offer a safe, stimulating and individually-paced enfironment; loving, quality care; friendship and respect. We believe a crucial aspect of an excellent nurturing environment is the responsiveness to individual needs of the child insofar as this is possible and desirable.

Our developmental-interactive approach to childcare allows your child to pursue his/her own path at his/her own speed while receiving encouragement and supervision from our trained and experienced staff. Your childs' individual progress will be monitored and shared with you on a regular basis.

Our goal is to provide the highest quality child-directed and family-centered childcare. Child-directed refers to the philosophy that in the preschool years a child's work needs to be self-directed play. Family-centered means that both the child and family are important and should be provided support and understanding.

A Typical Day

A Day at Giggles:

7:30 - 9:30 - arrival self-initiated free play/storytime/art

8:30 - 9:00 - breakfast served

9:30 -10:30 - morning snack, self-initiated free play (outside/inside), monthly theme projects and nature walks, diaper changing & potty time

10:30 - 11:00 - group time with children divided into 3 groups based on
kindergarten start dates (September 2006/2007/2008) kindergarten readiness
(2006 graduates) skill development (2007 and 2008 graduates)

11:00 - 11:30 - circle time daily activity: Monday - share day/show and
Tuesday - Spanish/ sign language Wednesday - nature walks (2 & 3 year olds) - storytime at the library (4 & 5 year olds)
Thursday - cooking
Friday - music class - two classes
(10:30 - 11:00 and 11:00 - 11:30)

11:30 - 12:00 - lunch - children bring their own lunches

12:00 - 12:30 - nap preparation for full day nappers/storytime

12:30 a.m. session ends/ pick-up time for a.m. children

p.m. session begins/ drop off time for p.m. children

12:30 - 2:30 - nap time - for children whose parents prefer naps preschool program (non nappers): free play, theme projects, walks to the park, kindergarten readiness

2:30 - 3:00 - wake up/afternoon snack-children bring from home

3:00 - 5:30 - afternoon circletime monthly theme projects/ art/storytime,
self-initiated free play/art (outside/inside) skill development and kindergarten readiness

5:30 - (afternoon) session ends/pick-up/daily report

5:45 - 6:00 - full day session ends/pick-up/ daily report

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent Communication:

We use a variety of methods to communicate with parents. Email has proven to be the method of choice by most parents. One file box containing a folder labeled with your child's first name is kept by the sign-in book in the front playroom. A second file box is kept in the outside Art Room containing artwork completed outside. Any communications, flyers, information sheets, artwork, etc. that are to go home will be placed in your child's folder(s). It is the parent's responsibility to check the folders on a daily basis.

We strive to maintain good communication with parents by way of daily updates at pick-up time, email and notices placed in the folders.

A parent bulleten board keeps parents informed of the monthly and daily activities offered to their children.

Good parent-teacher communication is essential to a happy, productive preschool experience.

Parents and staff working together provide the most complete picture of the child, and the most consistent environment for growth.

We hold parent-teacher conferences during the school year to exchange information concerning the child's abilities, needs and progress. The staff is always available for additional conferences at the parent's request throughout the school year.

Annual meetings are scheduled to share information with parents pertaining to the application process and Kindergarten options.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Email
  • 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
  • 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

We provide parents with the following information:

Your Child's First Day at School - Welcome to Giggles Preschool! The first day of school is an exciting milestone in your child's life. Your child is embarking on a journey that will lead them on many roads of discovery and learning. We're here to provide your child with a secure and educational environment designed to help him/her develop into an independent and confident person. As wonderful as this new experience may be, it can also be quite stressful for the young child. New situations and change can, at times, be unsettling for all of us. For many children this may be their first experience of separation from parents or care givers at home. It is common for even the most outgoing child to be anxious the first day of school.

We have provided a few suggestions for assisting your child during this time. Remember, the preschool staff will be available to provide support and assistance; making your child's first school days happy days.

1. Prepare you child for the new school experience by explaining what to expect. Answer all questions directly and honestly. 

2. Convey a positive attitude. Young children are aware of your feelings. Your enthusiasm will assure the child that school can be a fun and exciting place.

3. Establish a routine involving both the night before a school day as well as morning preparation. Rituals and routines will add predictability and are comforting in unfamiliar situations.

4. Bring something from home. This is acceptable and often reassuring in helping the child with the initial adjustment to school. This item may be a treasured blanket or even a photo from home.

5. Clearly state to your child where you will be and when you will return. It may also be helpful to discuss what will happen when you are reunited.

6. Maintain a clear good-bye routine. This may include warning the child you are leaving in 3 minutes, a kiss and hug, or a wave from the window. Once you tell your child you are leaving, it is important to follow through. Extending the good-bye with 'Ok just one more kiss, and then I really have to go.' tends to heighten anxiety rather than relieve it. Avoid sneaking out, this seems to encourage children to become less trusting and makes the second day of school even harder.

Again, please know, we are here to help make the first day of school a happy transition and we look forward to an exciting and fun year.

We maintian very small groups and flexibility to accommodate individual needs.