We believe in providing an environment that meets the developmental needs of the individual child. We also believe that children learn best in a play-based environment where they can select from a variety of open-ended materials and experiences to enhance their physical, cognitive, and social and emotional skills.
The learning environment includes a balance of teacher-guided and child-initiated experiences in art, music and movement, dramatic play, language development, reading and writing readiness, motor development, mathematics, science, and multi-cultural awareness. We encourage and support active, hands-on learning through exploration, manipulation, and critical thinking.
We believe children are to be respected and treated with courtesy, dignity, patience and compassion. It is through the child’s relationship with the environment, materials, and others that they learn respect, self-regulation, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and compassion. Believing that parents are a child’s first and most important teacher, we work to support and partner with families in their child’s development.
Relationships with others are at the center of young children’s lives
When teachers build strong relationships with children and their families, it fosters the child’s social-emotional development and their ability to engage in healthy relationships with other children and adults, environments and materials.
Play is at the heart of young children’s explorations and engagement in learning
When play is valued, children’s interests, creativity, and self-expression are encouraged. It provides a context for thinking, building knowledge, solving problems and increasing social skills.
Learning engages children in every possible way
When teachers understand the domains of child development, their teaching strategies for one domain can be connected with learning in other domains. Integrated curriculum planning allows the teacher to be responsive to the child’s entire learning experience.
Effective curriculum planning occurs when teachers are intentional in their efforts to support it
When teachers mindfully observe the children, they discover the children’s interests and can offer experiences that are meaningful and give children the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school and life.
Family and community partnerships create meaningful connections
When teachers have strong connections with families, it demonstrates respect for the family’s expectations and goals for their child. Connections with the larger community allow the program to become an advocate for children and become a resource for others and make use of resources within the community.
Individualization of learning includes all children
When teachers recognize and adapt to each child’s individual development, they create a classroom that is inclusive and welcoming to all students.
Responsiveness to culture and language supports children’s learning
When teachers value and support the cultural history, beliefs, values, and language of children and families, it creates a learning environment that is culturally rich and supportive of a diverse population.
Preschool teachers are professionals, who need time for planning and reflection to enhance their teaching
When programs encourage intentional teaching, they allow time for teachers, to both individually and as a team, reflect on children’s learning and plan strategies for their progress.
We value and support the cultural history, beliefs, values, and language of children and families, it creates a learning environment that is culturally rich and supportive of a diverse population. We welcome children of varying abilities and needs, which includes children with special needs.
We are considered a private pay institution, but provide subsidized services for families that meet economic and need qualifications. The CDC receives funding from the California Department of Education / Child Development Division and CCAMPIS. These funds are available for both CSUDH campus members and community members.
We believe that children and adults benefit from collaboration with resources from our campus and community. The Child Development faculty shares their expertise through professional development training, research and observation. Their support helps us remain current in theory and practice.
The various departments on the campus provide learning experiences for the children – field trips to the library, walks to the sculpture garden for group time, science observations of nature habitats at CSUDH. Clubs, organizations and volunteers participate in projects with the children and staff to enhance the program.
Family household economic levels are low to middle. Demographics information last updated in October 2018.