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Starling Child Care

1784 Starling Drive
Richmond, VA 23229

(804) 346-2000


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Children learn best through play. It is crucial, however, that teachers set up the environment so it is rich in content and meaningful. Teachers must also guide children's learning through open-ended questions, materials, and activities.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Print-rich environments
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Math Manipulatives
Time & space more

More Information

  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Water Tables/Light Tables
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Weekly Music Lessons
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Real art books
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
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Indoor Swimming Pool
Other subjects taught Computers, languages, swimming, singing, dance.

From the Director:

Just as children learn in different ways, this program uses several approaches to teaching including teacher directed, child led, and station-based.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Upon enrollment, we meet with the parents to discuss their children's individual needs. Individual children's portfolios are kept documenting the children's progress. Periodic parent/teacher conferences and less-formal parent get-togethers are chances to discuss children's development both at school and at home. Individual plans are created and activities planned to promote learning to ensure each child develops to her fullest. Developmental testing is part of the curriculum.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The purpose of Starling International is to give parent's peace-of-mind. Its Philosophy is to be responsive to the needs of the children and the parents. And the Priorities of the center are to provide best practice early childhood in a diverse, International environment that is affordable to the community.

A Typical Day

The daily schedule is typically consistant each day revolving around Arrival Time Activities, Breakfast, Story Time, Outdoor Time, Work Time, Lunch, Nap, Arts & Crafts, Snack, Science, Computers and Departure. We practice The Creative Curriculum, a research based curriculum developed by Diane Trister Dodge.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent involvement in their children's development is key to a successful children's program. As a result, we have developed several communication channels for parents to pick and choose from. First we encourage brief informal morning or afternoon communication with the teacher while dropping off/picking up your child. Monthly newsletters and website updates keep parents informed about upcoming events. The center email is always available 24 hours a day. New families are encouraged to attend the Center Orientation, and existing families enjoy our numerous Family Get-togethers planned throughout the year. There are also opportunities for parents to volunteer in many different ways.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • 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
  • Voice Mail
  • 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

Whenever people start a new school or job, we have anxiety. It is no different for children. We suggest that you start the process off slowly. On the first day, leave your child for only an hour. The next day, two hours. The next day 1/2 day. And the fourth day, almost a full day...In time, your child will know that this is a safe place and that you'll be coming back.