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Beginnings II

521 Wall Street
Seattle, WA 98121

(206) 448-6556


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Our goal is to create a safe, responsive, child-oriented environment. We believe in treating children with dignity and respect. Children’s play is their work, and our role is to facilitate their play. (excerpted from Parent Handbook) Our program is based on developmentally-appropriate expectations. We make available a diverse and flexible range of activities, including dramatic play, art projects, sensory tables, nature study, music, cooking and language games, as well as safety lessons, exercise and science. Our curriculum and environment are also planned so that conflict can be minimized. We try to minimize activities that require “taking turns.” Teachers do not grade or otherwise competitively evaluate the things that children make or do. Praise is given equally and abundantly. The aim is confidence for all, in an atmosphere that mixes guidance, caring, and challenge. We want to help children feel confident in their growing independence, to become aware of and excited by their own development. In the toddler and preschool rooms, daily activities are planned for the week according to a theme. In addition, children go outside on a daily basis, weather permitting. (Excerpted from website and Parent Hanbook)

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We at Beginnings believe strongly in the need to foster individual growth and self-esteem for every child. We openly welcome children of all backgrounds, of all national, ethnic, religious, and physical identities. It is our belief that a good child care Center is both a cooperative community and a home, in idea and in reality. It is a place where children feel cared for and secure, and where parents can feel relaxed, supported and involved. It is a place where individual respect and dignity are assured.

The particular needs of each child and each family are a priority. We strive to maintain an atmosphere of emotional trust and respect of open communication at many levels, and at the same time, a physical environment in which cognitive, physical and social development are all richly interwoven. This is made possible by a staff of teachers that comprise our greatest asset.

We are committed to the idea of parental involvement and have made available a range of possibilities for such involvement. Parents are encouraged to voice their ideas and concerns, and to participate directly in the life and health of the Center. Beginnings is a cooperative Center; therefore, parental involvement is strongly encouraged. (Excerpted from website and Parent Hanbook)

A Typical Day

Schedules for each age group are routine, but flexible. A sample day for toddlers and preschoolers might consist of the following:

-7:00 - 9:00 a.m.: Arrival; breakfast; free-choice activities; open mixing of age groups

-9:00 - 9:30 a.m.: Divide into age groups; circle time activities

-9:30 - 10:30 a.m.: Snack; special project; center choices

-10:30 - Noon: Outside time for toddlers; preschoolers may go outside or continue self-interest activity

-Noon - 1:00 p.m.: Lunch

-1:00 - 2:45 p.m.: Nap/quiet time; free choice activities made available for quiet non-nappers and those who wake early

-3:00 - 3:45 p.m.: Circle; Snack; free choice and special/self-interest activities

-3:45 - 5:00 p.m.: Outside time for all

-5:00 - 6:00 p.m.: Return inside; self-interest activities for preschoolers; free-choice for toddlers

(Excerpted from website)

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • 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
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school