Charissa Kerr (408) 307-6721 call/text (please leave a voicemail and I will return your call)
Welcome! We are filled with joy and contentment that our career is to care for and teach children. A career in child development is, after parenting, one of the most influential and important jobs in the world because a child’s cognitive and emotional development is being created at the most significant levels between birth and eight-years old. We as caretakers, along with your parenting, are figuratively and literally shaping the minds (and hearts) of the next generation! Phew! The pressure is real, but we are prepared with experience, professional credentialing and education, and a passion for teaching and caring for children.
Our facility is located in the beautiful Willow Glen neighborhood in a family-friendly residential area. Our childcare program is learning-based, meaning that we combine the loving, family-style of childcare with developmentally-appropriate projects that are fun, interactive, varied, and engaging.
The below Directory of Content is a list of links will take you to the dedicated pages to learn about each aspect of our program. You can also call 408-307-6721 during regular business hours; messages are returned within one business day or sooner.
Directory of Content
- Mission Statement
- Philosophy on Early Childhood Education
- Teacher/Caregiver Bios and Facility Details
- Play Areas, Toys, and Relaxation
- Daily Schedules
- Monthly Learning Themes
- Art Calendar
- Special Learning Days
- Operating Calendar
- Lunch and Snack Menu
- Extracurriculars (Family Field Trips, Recess 101 and Sports, and more)
- Parent Communications and Child Assessments
- Academic Objectives and Teaching Methodologies
- Tuition Cost and Fees
- Safety, Health, and Quality Childcare Standards
- Special Needs and Considerations (includes Health Policy)
- Behavior Policy (includes reward and disciplinary methods)
- Screen Time and Technology Use Policy
- Clothing and Personal Property Policy
- General FAQs
- Enrollment Application, Tour and Interview, Registration, Wait List
Let’s look at an example of a typical day
Free Time and Montessori (8am-9am):
Parents usually bring their children any time between 8am and 8:45am. We ask that you be here no later than 8:45am in order to allow them to transition into the school day. It is also free time, so children can either play freely and work with Montessori materials.
This time is also reserved for family-friendly socializing. I do not rush parents out the door. Complimentary coffee and tea is served every morning along with an area for parents to socialize with each other or their children. Parents can chat with us or build Legos with their little one or read a story to their child before they leave. If you need to drop-off and immediately go, that is okay too!
CIRCLE TIME and MUSIC / THEATER (9am-9:30am):
At 9am, we sing our clean-up song to transition into Circle Time, gathering in our reading room. We begin with attendance and asking how everyone is (random topics are encouraged so all feel engaged and part of the group). We talk about our theme’s topic and activities for the day before reading a story that supports the monthly theme–both fiction, non-fiction, and sometimes chapter books. This is also a great time for interactive stories to help the children develop their reading comprehension and literacy. If the story does not have an interactive activity, we will do an additional learning game such as a scavenger hunt for letters, a color and shape bean bag game, or sorting game with rainbow bears.
Next we exit our reading area to go to the music and calendar area; this small walk and break help transition into the next activity and let out any “wiggles” for younger children with shorter attention spans. We combine pattern practice and counting by using our monthly calendar to keep track of the days–counting to the present day and then tracing that number with our sandpaper numbers. This “number of the day” is reenforced by writing it on our drawings and work throughout the day. After this, we talk about the pattern to enter for that day and then count the remaining days of the month. We also discuss any important dates like holidays and birthdays. This is a great foundation for understanding how we measure time!
For Music and Theater, we do a variety of activities like practice songs with corresponding movement, learn piano, play with a variety of musical instruments, dance, have show-and-tell, and reenact stories through performance.
NATURE-BASED LEARNING (NBL), SPORTS / RECESS 101, and OUTSIDE FREE PLAY (9:30am-10:05am):
On the first Monday of each week, I introduce a new set of sensory materials that rotate: kinetic sand with molding toys, dry sand with shovels and sand toys, water beads and/or water table manipulatives, rocks and natural materials with construction toys, and special holiday or theme-related materials relative to the monthly topic and/or weekly subtopic. Our water table also has rotating tools and materials each week and the children help with our vegetable, herb, and flower gardens.
Depending on the interest of the children and developing gross-motor areas, we have a variety of group games and sports that we practice each day. This could be catch, basketball, bike riding, hide-and-seek, tag, soccer, or other such games.
The rest of this period is free play / Recess 101! Children are learning valuable social skills as they negotiate play, space, and safety. They also learn conflict resolution, how to ask for help, how to play with peers, and create personal enrichment through enjoyable play. There are also “quiet” relaxing areas to rest or have calmer play.
We end this period with enough time to tidy outside, line-up, and then go in to wash hands and use the bathroom before morning snack.
STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math) / Literacy period (10:30am):
After morning snack, 10:15am-10:30am, we have a STEM project or activity related to our monthly theme and weekly topic. This could be baking pumpkin bread or making Halloween slime in October, going for a nature walk to collect fallen leaves in November, or building a space station and learning about the moon in December. The majority of activities are project based, but we also include daily opportunity for learning how to use school tools such as pencils, scissors, glue, markers, and reviewing numbers/letters. Children also have supervised use of math and literacy applications and devices that help with technology learning.
Free Time / Montessori / Reggio Emilia (11am-12:10pm)
If we were doing a STEM project outside, we would continue to stay outside until about 11:45am, otherwise children can use Montessori materials, have free play, or work on personal interest projects during this period until lunch time at 12:10pm.
Arts and Crafts / Literacy period (12:30pm):
After lunch, we finish our academics for the day with arts and crafts. I include both process-style activities that foster creativity and self-discovery and also model-style art projects to help children with following 2-3 step instructions for kindergarten prep. Children will work with a wide variety of materials and mediums that will range from coloring books to 3D work with clay. We have art themes each month to emphasize this breadth of skills and have plenty of fun projects for fine-motor and artistic development. Classroom tool use is a critical part of this period as they practice using glue sticks, paint brushes, scissors, pencils, crayons and markers, glitter, beads, pompoms, clay, cloth, and so much more! We have a lot of color mixing activities as well as children learn how to mix and create colors, shades, and tints.
Self-Directed Quiet Reading (1pm-1:15pm)
Rest mats with blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals are set up in our quiet reading area as children select books to look through and “read” to themselves. We have our own collection that rotates each month in addition to over 40-50 new theme books from the library each month!
Afternoon Stories and Nap time (1:15pm-3pm):
If we are not doing a chapter book that month, each child gets to select a story for the teacher to read.
Curtains are then closed, calm and low music played as children are tucked in. Children are not forced to sleep, though it is encouraged. If children do not wish to sleep, they may sit or lay quietly on their mat to rest. Children over five-years-old may have quiet table activities in another room during this time.
We provide crib sheets to put over the 2-inch rest mats and individual blankets and pillow cases for each child. Children may bring a special blanket and/or animal to cuddle with during rest time. Sheets, blankets, and pillow cases are used by the same child each week and are laundered here once a week (unscented and dye free detergent is used).
Afternoon Snack, Montessori / Reggio-Emilia, Nature-based Learning, and Free Play (3pm-5pm):
Curtains are opened and children are free to wake up on their own. Snack is offered and they can work with Montessori materials indoors, work on personal projects, or have free play inside until everyone is awake, then we all can go outside to play. Children can also bring their snack outside to eat if they like.
Educational Show and End of Day pick-up (5pm-5:30pm):
At 5pm, we come inside and children have the option to play or watch an educational show such as Sesame Street or Bubble Guppies. Parents typically pick up their children between 5:00pm and 5:30pm–allowing time for their child to show them any displayed work they’ve done, to look through their child’s work folder for take-home flyers and finished work, or to chat with me about their child’s day.