Our Curriculum

Our teachers work together to create curriculum that augment seasons, holidays, events, ideas. They post a weekly event calendar to let parents know what their children will be doing that week. Curriculum can include reading stories, art projects, cooking projects. In the summer, mid-June through mid-August, we have the Bernice & Joe Summer Camp during which we do most of our curriculum activities outdoors.

While our general philosophy is to have all age groups interact and play with each other, we do work with small groups of children, as in Circle Time, as do our outside teachers.

Basic Information

HOURS: Open 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
AGES ACCEPTED: 2 years to 5 years
FEES: For current rates, please call us at (510) 638-3529

Full Time enrollment

  • We consider full-time any schedule over 31 hours per week.
  • You will have access to all hours that we are open.

Part Time enrollment

  • A.M. block is from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • P.M. block is from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • We charge a minimum daily rate of either an a.m. block or a p.m. block of time. Any extra time is charged at the hourly rate.
  • We require a minimum of 2 separate days per week.
  • If space permits, we can accommodate most part time schedules.

We offer a sibling discount of 5% per child if each child has an equal schedule. If unequal schedules, we apply a 10% discount to the lesser schedule and no discount for the other child.

OPTIONAL FEES: We have three outside teachers, for gym, music, and Spanish. Each is a separate charge. For their current rates, again, call us.

Circle Time

Circle Time is a group time in which the children are divided into two groups according to age (usually six to eight to a group). Two teachers work with the older group and two teachers work with the younger group in age appropriate activities. We have a Circle Time before the morning snack and one before lunch.

Circle Time activities can include Share Time (Show and Tell), reading stories, finger play songs, exercises, musical instruments, cognitive games.

Reading

As we believe reading to children to be vital in all areas of learning, we read every day from books in our extensive library of over 2,500 titles. We read to children in open free play periods as well as in Circle Time. Books are readily available in every play room for children to choose and read at will.

Art & Science

For art, we have art materials readily available at all times, inside and outside, for free expression. We also do directed art projects around themes and holidays. And the children help make the playdough we use here.

We encourage scientific curiosity by having kids plant seeds in the Spring, do magnets play, work with color filters, watch tadpoles turn into frogs. We also observe caterpillars turn into cocoons turn into butterflies which we all help to release.

Outside Teachers

These teachers bring their own equipment and set their own curriculum.

Gym
(Fitness in Transit)
on Mondays, various instructors under the guidance of director, Heather Baer.
Spanish on Wednesdays, instructor is Margarita Patel.
Music on Thursdays, instructor is Laura Sherman.

Schedule

While events generally occur in the order shown, the scheduled times are subject to change, for example, we modify our morning schedule to allow our outside teachers to do their work.

Outdoor free play depends on the weather. On mildly showery days, some children can choose to go outside in raincoats and boots. On very rainy days, we have indoor free play.

Morning Block

8:00 Open
8:00 to 10:00 Indoor free play

Teacher directed activities
9:00 to 10:00 Gym class (Mon) Music class (Thurs)

9:30 to 10:00 Toileting/diaper changing/Indoor clean-up
10:00 to 10:30 Circle Time/Prepare A.M. snack
10:00 to 11:00 Spanish class (Wed)
10:30 to 10:45 A.M. snack time
10:45 to 12:00 Outdoor free play/Clean-up after snack/Outdoor clean-up
12:00 to 12:30 Indoor free play/Toileting/diaper changing/Lunch preparation (until 12:45)
12:30 to 12:45 Circle Time/Share time
12:45 to 1:00 Lunch time
At 1:00 p.m., the morning kids get picked up.

Afternoon Block

1:00 to 1:30 Prepare nap mats and blankets/Clean-up after lunch
1:30 to 3:00 Nap (or quiet) time
3:00 to 4:00 Indoor free-play/Toileting/diaper changing/Pick up nap mats and blankets/Prepare P.M. snack
4:00 to 4:15 P.M. snack time
4:15 to 5:30 Outdoor free play
5:30 Closed
Between 3:00 and 5:30, the afternoon kids get picked up.

Parent Involvement

While we do not require parents to volunteer here, we have been fortunate to have a high degree of parent involvement over the years. Some parents volunteer during the day, like helping children plant the garden, or musically inclined parents have given mini-concerts. Others drive and monitor during field trips. Some parents help with projects on the weekends, like weather-proof our play structures or re-organize our library.

At the beginning of the school year, we have a get-together to acquaint new enrollees and their parents with current ones. In mid-May, parent volunteers help organize our major fundraiser/party for the year, starting with our 20-year Anniversary Party. The event features a live band, yummy pot-luck food, face painting, and a silent auction. Money from the fundraisers have contributed to many capital improvements over the years.

So, there are many ways for parents to participate, if you wish. Parent volunteers add immeasurably to their children’s experiences here and help build a sense of community.