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Brookline School Staff Children's Center

490 Heath Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

(617) 730-2575

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

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

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  • Puzzles
  • Manipulatives of all sorts
Time & space more

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  • 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
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Songs are sung, music listened to throughout the day
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
Other subjects taught Social development is focused on in all of our classrooms. From the youngest children being encouraged to "use their words" to the preschoolers being supported in their efforts to both initiate play and cooperate during play, teachers focus on sending children to kindergarten able to enjoy and effectively negotiate a group setting.

From the Director:

Observation of children leads to theme-based curriculum in all of our rooms. Their interests as well as their developmental levels dictate activities offered and materials placed in the classroom. Curriculum is always hands-on, integrated, and open-ended. All areas of development are attended to in a classroom's development of a particular curriculum theme.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The quality of our teaching staff, our small group sizes, and our high student/teacher ratios allow us to provide individual attention to all of our children. We meet children where they are and support them in areas in which they need it.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Brookline Schools Staff Children's Center is a parent cooperative childcare center serving infants, toddlers and preschoolers of Brookline school employees and the Brookline area community. We value strong relationships among children, teachers and parents as a foundation for learning. Play is the basis of our program, through which children become skilled, joyful learners and confident individuals.

A Typical Day

All three classrooms start their day with a free play session. Activities in all areas of the classroom are presented and children direct themselves throughout the classroom throughout the morning.

A group snack time occurs midmorning followed by diapers/toileting. The older two classrooms have a structured, teacher-directed "circle" time towards late morning.

All groups get outside for walks, stroller/wagon rides, and playground play every morning.
Lunch is followed by a nap or "quiet time" in all three classrooms.

The afternoon session includes another presentation of a variety of activities during a free play session and, depending on the season, another outside period.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Most of our connection occurs daily when parents and teachers meet. In addition, parent/teacher conferences occur twice a year; progress reports in narrative form are presented at each conference.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

We have two visiting days (9:00 - 12:00) before the start of school. These days we invite families to come and spend time in the classroom and connect with their child's primary teacher.

A teacher will help make suggestions about a beginning of year schedule as well as good-bye routines that help with transitions. Developmental information about each child is shared so that teachers have a better sense of each child before he/she starts.