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Children's Center at CalTech

286 S. Chester
Pasadena, CA 91106

(626) 395-6860


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Our approach is consistent with research based on longitudinal observation of young children, which indicates that they learn best through their senses, needing many opportunities to initiate learning on their own, and needing periods of choice that alternate with periods of guidance. By means of these 'age-appropriate academics,' a strong foundation is built for the kindergarten experience which will follow the years at the Center. Extracted from Children's Center at Caltech website at

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The philosophy of the Children's Center at Caltech has its basis in a humanistic view of the child as an independent and individual learner. The aim of the program is to respond to the needs of each child as s/he develops awareness of the world and readiness for learning. Each group provides developmentally appropriate materials and activities for children in the areas of social/emotional, intellectual and aesthetic growth and psychomotor development, while fostering a positive self-concept. Extracted from Children's Center at Caltech website at

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

There are many lines of communication available between staff and parents. Each family has a mailbox. Because each 'child' is assigned a classroom mailbox you may have multiple mailboxes in more than one classroom attended by your children. (Therefore you may receive multiple copies of announcements.) Please check your mailbox daily for information from Center staff. Individual Teacher mailboxes are also provided in each classroom, should you need to get a message to any classroom teacher. The office boxes in each classroom are supplied with paper and pencils and may be used to get a message to anyone in the office. In turn, you may receive messages from administrators in your family classroom mailbox. The bulletin boards in each classroom have news and information regarding events at the Center. A Newsletter is published each month and placed in each family's mailbox [and posted on the website]. Another source of information regarding the Children's Center is the CCC Web Page. arent-Teacher Conferences are held formally at least once a year with each family, and twice a year for new families. Informal conferences can be scheduled at any time by either parents or teacher. Daily, informal chats with teachers are highly encouraged, though the children's presence demands that these be brief. Extracted from the Children's Center at Caltech website at

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • 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
  • 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

Each child reacts differently to separation; and the frequency, intensity, and duration of distress will vary. Separation anxieties for both parents and children can be affected by a new environment, changes in routine, and problems at home. To help your child successfully adjust to the Center, we ask that you schedule at least one visit for both you and your child in the morning (between 7:30 a.m. and noon) or afternoon (between 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.). This first visit should be for at least 45 minutes. If possible, you should arrange with your child's Lead Teacher to visit several times with your child. For the younger children, the Bunnies and Dolphins, visits of increasing length will be arranged as needed to assure a smooth transition. Extracted from Children's Center at Caltech website at