Preschool Profile: The Kids Place of Marin
April 26, 2011Posted by pamela |
The Kid’s Place is a Reggio-inspired school based in Corte Madera, with new campuses in Novato and San Anselmo. Their Corte Madera location is located just off Highway 101 at 50 El Camino Drive. The year-round Corte Madera campus offers infant, toddler, preschool and pre-kindergarten programs. Interested? Make sure you attend the Corte Madera open house on May 26, 2011.
We asked the staff at the Kid's Place in Corte Madera to tells us about the programs offered at their campus. For more information on the Kid's Place, visit www.kidsplaceofmarin.com.
Please describe your school’s educational philosophy. What’s it all about?
The Kid’s Place emphasizes artistic expression, fosters creativity, and follows the interests of the children to develop project-based curriculum. We also incorporate the best ideas from diverse childhood developmental philosophies to create a well-rounded program. We believe that children learn through play, and that a play-based program will develop a lifelong love of school and of learning.
We develop our curriculum based on the interests of the children and incorporate academics into these themes to ensure learning is always fun. Examples of infant and toddler projects are Texture, Scents, the Peak-a-Boo Project, Bubbles, Big Trucks, Music, and Animals. Preschool and pre-kindergartens have explored Deer, the Shark Wedding, Birds, Rabbits, Community Heroes, Books, Beds and Performance Arts.
What does a typical day at your school look like?
Infants and their parents set the infant’s schedule! We strive to match your parenting style to ensure continuity of care. During their “free play” time children (based on age and ability) can paint (we start this at 3 months!), explore, build and destroy, listen to stories, dance, play musical instruments, climb, experience texture and scents and go on walks. Our classroom is active and vibrant!
Toddlers are very busy. The only time they are required to sit is when they are eating. They continue to build and expand on the Infant room activities. Their environments: the classroom, attached yard and large toddler playground, are structured to enhance these experiences, minimize conflict, encourage exploration and meet developmental needs.
The preschool and pre-kindergarten classes are structured to allow children ample time in small and large group teacher led and child initiated activities. Our day begins with free play and art activities. A dance party signals our transition to circle time. Circle time is where we come together as a group and set the tone of the day. We greet each other, share our thoughts, sing, listen to and act out stories and unite as a group. Small group/project and free play follows snack time. This is the time we divide the students into groups based on their strengths, areas that need strengthening or social dynamics. Some children will engage in project work, focusing on literacy and numeracy while others will explore language development and problem solving. Or, everyone may engage in a large group art project.
We see our playground as an extension of our classrooms. Interwoven with our climbing structures, sandboxes, and slides are reading and painting nooks, sensory gardens, quiet spots, and dramatic play areas.
At the end of the day, children feel good about what they have accomplished and look forward to returning the next.
What programs does your school offer?
Our curriculum includes language development, social and emotional development (including table manners!) pre-reading skills and math readiness, problem solving, art, music, drama, cooking, small/large muscle, organic gardening and discovery. We offer music class once a week. Children have the opportunity to sign up for dance and movement, soccer, gymnastics and martial arts.
For parents we offer “Parents' Nights Out”, open house nights, weekend BBQs (in the summer) and many, many children’s performances.
Our director is certified in Triple P: the Positive Parenting Program.
What is the process for admissions?
To schedule a tour, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Nancy at (415) 927-0498. Tours are given weekly. Our application is online at kidsplaceofmarin.com. Application must be submitted with a $50 non-refundable application fee. Acceptance or wait list letters are sent via email. If accepted, we require a deposit of two weeks tuition prior to you child beginning school.
Children may attend 2–5 days a week.
The Infant program is an all day program. You may drop your child off any time after 7 am and pick up any time before 6 pm. All other classes may chose between a 3.5-hour, 6-hour or “all day” program.
How many students does your school have?
Our infant program has no more than 12 infants at any time. (4 full time teachers)
Our toddler option program has no more than 12 toddlers at any time (2 full time teachers and one part time teacher)
The preschool class has no more than 16 children at any time. (2 full time teachers and one part time teacher)
The pre-kindergarten class has no more than 17 children at any time. (2 full time teachers)
What makes your school special?
We value the individual child. At Kid’s Place our intimate classroom settings make it possible for our teachers to embrace as many moments of individual child explorations as possible. Our daily schedule focuses towards the child and their creativity. If children are deeply engaged in a magical land of dramatic play, if their block building has hit its ultimate peak, or if their painting just spattered all over their face to an entirely new level of excitement... clean up, snack, nap, or whatever happens to be next in our day can wait. We feel honoring that moment and experience that child is having is more value than what a clock dictates.
Preschool is where imagination soars. At our school, pretend play is cherished, creativity is embraced, and learning is experienced. One of my most favorite images in my mind of a classroom was looking over at the literacy table and seeing three children picking and gluing letters onto a piece of paper spelling out their names and words. Each child, while doing the same thing, was expressing their individuality... from being in their pajamas because they didn't feel like getting dressed that day, sitting next to a friend wearing a full sparkle "princess dress," to another friend whose hands were covered in glue sticking and unsticking them together to watch what was happening. At The Kid's Place, that individuality is acknowledged, welcomed, and adapted into our classroom and curriculum with open arms.