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San Jose Day Nursery

405 South 10th Street
San Jose, CA 95112

(408) 288-9667


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

"As you can imagine, the Nursery has had many children pass through our doors over the years. It would be difficult to identify any one story as completely representative of the San Jose Day Nursery. We are a community of many cultures, backgrounds, and experiences - all of which enrich the overall environment for our children. Our staff, volunteers, and many supporters also reflect this diverse range, everyone bringing something new to enliven the mix. This variety is entirely appropriate, given our location in one of the country's most diverse neighborhoods. Like a multi-colored quilt or mosaic, our individual viewpoints combine to create a masterful work of art. Over the Nursery's 87-year history, we have watched many bright, happy children develop into even brighter, content, mature adults. Some have visited the Nursery, and stayed with us for the long haul, returning to work on staff and help the next generation of children. In this section, we will share a few stories with you, to present just some of the many experiences that have become part of the fabric of the Nursery. As you look through these eyes, we hope you will experience the magic of the San Jose Day Nursery, and understand why this is such a special place." Extracted from

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

From the Director:

"Our Mission & Approach Our mission is to contribute to the development of children and their families by providing high quality childcare, preschool education, and support and training for parents. The 175 children in our programs each year range from infants of six weeks to children of school age. The dedicated volunteers who founded the Nursery in 1916 cared for children day and night, doing all the cooking and laundry themselves and relying on donated equipment, coal, and other supplies. That tradition of community support continues today, enabling the Nursery to serve families of all economic groups with a sliding scale of fees. Under Board mandate to maintain a Nursery census of families from all financial circumstances, the center pursues the strategy of attractive, high-quality programs with financial aid, supporting families whose incomes meet Low Income definitions. Seventy-seven percent of participating families in our infant and preschool programs are subsidized by the Nursery's multiple source funding. Our diversified funding base includes parents' fees, individual gifts, special events, and United Way, foundation, and corporate grants." Extracted from

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

"The Nursery cares for children with emotional, social, behavioral, and physical special needs through classroom mainstreaming. Experienced staff and group sizes averaging 12 children per classroom facilitate positive interaction and limit distractions that are so debilitating to special needs children. Collaboration with Children and Youth Services of Palo Alto provides professional observation, guidance, and counseling to teachers and parents working with these children." Extracted from

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Located in downtown San Jose since 1916, San Jose Day Nursery is committed to providing a fundamental learning curriculum and excellent child care services for the young children of the community.

San Jose Day Nursery believes that all children deserve access to caring educational programs that provide for their cognitive and emotional development and stimulate growth that contributes to satisfying and productive lives.

We believe that parents have a right to know that their children are being cared for in a safe, nurturing, enlightened environment that respects the uniqueness and the rich cultural heritage of each child. Further, where our children are concerned, lack of financial resources should not be a barrier to obtaining superior childcare services and excellent educational programs.

San Jose Day Nursery is open to families of all income levels and provides subsidized care to those needing assistance.

Demonstrated Experience
Founded in 1916 and located at our present site since 1936, the Nursery is committed to meeting the dynamic needs, expectations, and hopes of parents residing in the Central and East San Jose community and/or working downtown.

In a complex community environment, the Nursery seeks a staff and Board who possess a diversity of skills and heritages, empathy and relativity in family relations, and leadership in the conduct of programs and agency management.

The Nursery enjoys exceptional staff stability - an important contributor to program quality, effective communication, and the establishment of trusting relationships. All teaching staff are specifically trained in child development. The essential combination of specialized education and experience serves as the source of the expertise necessary to cope with the intricate issues of our children and families.

In addition to this extensive training, eight staff members (six teachers and two administrators) are multilingual. Fluency in Mandarin, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Spanish facilitate initial child and adult adjustment and foster continuing communications and understanding."

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A Typical Day

"Our three- and four-year-olds build skills that prepare them for the social experience and learning opportunities of their elementary years.

Our well-qualified teachers work with over 100 children annually, assisting each child in building self-esteem and developing essential skills for a successful start in school."

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Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

"We help parents build strong families that foster the health and growth of the children by providing teacher-parent conferences, workshops, and on-site family counseling.

Cognitive development is not the only challenge confronting parents as they seek to meet the needs of their families. The effects of poverty, lack of education and employment opportunities, homelessness, and adolescent parenthood impose additional requirements on classroom expertise and sensitivity.

If the Nursery is committed to long-lasting positive child development, it must assist parents to overcome these barriers to parental health, competency, and self esteem.

Our staff is in a unique position to provide support to the parents of our children. Relationships developed over years, even generations, and renewed daily, enable the Nursery to establish trust with all family members. When child development problems occur, Nursery staff can share their knowledge and create a problem-solving partnership. This involvement can make a difference in family futures and enable children to resume positive growth."

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