Why accreditation is important

According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a high quality early childhood program provides a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of young children.  The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research.  

An accredited program means that you should see:

  • Frequent, positive, and warm interactions among teachers and children.
  • planned learning activities appropriate to a child’s age and development.
  • specially trained teachers, who participate ongoing professional development.
  • enough adults to respond to individual children.
  • many varied age-appropriate materials
  • respect for cultural diversity.
  • a healthy and safe environment for adults and children.
  • inclusive environments.
  • nutritious snacks.
  • regular, two-way communication with families who are welcome visitors at all times.
  • effective administration.
  • ongoing, systematic evaluation.

So what is accreditation?  It’s a comprehensive process of internal self-study, invited external professional review to verify compliance with the Criteria for High Quality Early Childhood Programs, and been found to be in substantial compliance with the Criteria.  Accreditation is valid for five years.  It is a long process with lots of paperwork and site visits/inspections.  We’re very proud of our accreditation.

Come check out our campus and see if our program is a good fit for you!

 

 

September in the 3’s and 4’s Classes

What could be more important to our preschoolers than the friends who share our space, our campus, and what’s around us?  These are the things we’ll begin exploring in September. We’ll start with our rooms and materials then head outside for a look at our playground and sports court.  MWF will extend their exploration to our “campus” and finally our “neighborhood.” — Marlene Hall, Director

September in the 2’s Class

The focus of the two year old class in September will be on relationships and learning how to be in school. We will work on separating from parents and caregivers, learning each other’s names, and starting with fun preschool projects like watercolor painting and finger painting for a gentle, loving start to school.

Ready, Set, Preschool!

Getting Ready for PreschoolAs summer winds down and school approaches, your family may be full of excitement, apprehension, or both.  Whether a new or returning family, here are things you can do to get your preschooler off to a great start.

 

Talk it up, and check it out together.

Kick off the preschool year with the parent-child orientation.  It’s a great time to explore the classrooms, help your child find their cubby, and highlight activities you know your child will enjoy.  Take the time to introduce yourself and your child to other parents and children.

 

Be prepared.

Preschoolers are active!  A typical school day may include climbing, running, painting, sand and water play.  Dress your child in play clothes that can get dirty and allow ease of movement. Closed toe shoes with a good sole allow children to explore the play yard safely.  You might also pack a spare set of clothes, diapers and wipes to tuck in your cubby or your child’s backpack.

 

Have an exit strategy.

Establishing a routine can help make your child’s transition to preschool easier.  Upon arrival, you might share a story together, or discuss the day’s activities. Help your child engage in a favorite activity (play dough, anyone?) or join friends in play.  While every child separates at their own pace, it’s best to avoid a long goodbye. A quick hug, kiss, and farewell should be followed by your exit. Teachers will be ready to step in and help your child through the transition.  Children are sensitive to our emotions so if you are the one having trouble separating, make a plan to meet a friend for coffee (or a boo-hoo breakfast) but keep a cheerful goodbye for your preschooler.

 

Ask the right questions!

If you ask your preschooler how their school day was, it will most certainly be answered with one word- good.  Asking specific questions will help your child recall their day, and give you a better picture of how they spent their time at school.  Great questions might include: What did you play with inside? Did you make a project? How did you make it? What did you play outside?  Were other children playing that too? Do you remember their names? What story did you hear today? Did you sing any songs? What did you eat at snack?  Who sat at your table today? Thoughtful questions can be a nice way to reconnect with your child after school.

 

The preschool years are full of growth and wonder.  We look forward to sharing this special time with your family.

 

What is a Co-Op preschool?

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Parent working as a co-op parent

The preschool is a place where a child learns through play, by exploring his or her environment alone, with a peer group. Many challenging and stimulating experiences and opportunities are available. Here the child is free to explore and to make choices of activities and friends.

The Cooperative part (Co-Op) provides an opportunity for families to gain the satisfactions of seeing their children grow within the preschool setting and of sharing in their learning and growth experiences. Families learn the values of the activities within the preschool program and that it is through play that the child learns, explores, and communicates his or her understanding of themselves and others.

The school also has an on-going program of family and parent education. This includes speakers at membership meetings, access to a parent education library, and conferences with the Director.

A cooperative is not an inexpensive way to provide a child with a preschool experience. What is not paid in fees is more than made up in time and energy. Our families give a lot of themselves and therefore get a lot in return. By providing your experience and expertise to your child’s school experience, you enrich everyone’s school experience.

Preschool Co-Op parents are given the opportunity to work in the classroom- supporting the teaching staff, helping to keep children safe, and helping to direct activities. You’ll be working in the classroom several times each month. You’ll also help with the extracurricular activities, like special holiday events. You’ll also be required to help with our one mandatory fundraising event, the Pancake Breakfast, and with maintenance on the facilities, either through clean up during a co-op session, or a once a year maintenance work day.

Grace’s Mission Statement:

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Children Learning Through Play

At Grace Cooperative Preschool we encourage learning through play, which allows children to develop social skills and build self-esteem. This provides them with a solid foundation for future learning experiences. As a cooperative, we are actively involved in our children’s learning experiences and provide a supportive environment for children, parents, and families. In our inclusive atmosphere children are a valued part of the community and contribute even at a young age.

Summer Park Playdates

Please come and meet fellow parents in a low pressure, fun, relaxed atmosphere.  We always have a board member there to greet you and answer any questions you might have.

All park playdates are from 9:30am to 11:30am.

Tuesday, June 12th- Livorna Park at Livorna Rd & Miranda Avenue, Alamo, CA 94507

Wednesday, June 2oth- Hap Magee Park at 1025 La Gonda Way, Danville, CA 94526 (Bring a change of clothes!  There’s a water feature here!)

Thursday, June 28th- Rudgear Park at 2261 Dapplegray Ln, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Friday, July 6th- Oak Hill Park at 3005 Stone Valley Rd, Danville, CA 94526 (Bring a change of clothes!  There’s a water feature here!)

Thursday, July 12th- Walden Park at 2628 Oak Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Tuesday, July 17th- Arbolado Park at Arbolado Dr & Doncaster Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Wednesday, July 25th- Civic Park at 1375 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Tuesday, July 31st- Livorna Park at Livorna Rd & Miranda Avenue, Alamo, CA 94507

Wednesday, August 8th- Civic Park at 1375 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Thursday, August 16-  Hap Magee Park at 1025 La Gonda Way, Danville, CA 94526 (Bring a change of clothes!  There’s a water feature here!)

Friday, August 24th- Pleasant Hill Park at 147 Gregory Ln, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

 

Come play with us!

Summer Play Dates

Please come and meet fellow parents in a low pressure, fun, relaxed atmosphere.  We always have a board member there to greet you and answer any questions you might have.

All park playdates are from 9:30am to 11:30am.

Tuesday, June 12th- Livorna Park at Livorna Rd & Miranda Avenue, Alamo, CA 94507

Wednesday, June 2oth- Hap Magee Park at 1025 La Gonda Way, Danville, CA 94526 (Bring a change of clothes!  There’s a water feature here!)

Thursday, June 28th- Rudgear Park at 2261 Dapplegray Ln, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Friday, July 6th- Oak Hill Park at 3005 Stone Valley Rd, Danville, CA 94526 (Bring a change of clothes!  There’s a water feature here!)

Thursday, July 12th- Walden Park at 2628 Oak Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Tuesday, July 17th- Arbolado Park at Arbolado Dr & Doncaster Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Wednesday, July 25th- Civic Park at 1375 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Tuesday, July 31st- Livorna Park at Livorna Rd & Miranda Avenue, Alamo, CA 94507

Wednesday, August 8th- Civic Park at 1375 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Thursday, August 16-  Hap Magee Park at 1025 La Gonda Way, Danville, CA 94526 (Bring a change of clothes!  There’s a water feature here!)

Friday, August 24th- Pleasant Hill Park at 147 Gregory Ln, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a happy holiday with their families and friends! 12311192_10153740927814938_7013681779783666123_n

Fall Food Drive for Food Bank of Contra Costa!

Let’s Shift Into High Gear For Our Holiday Food Drive!
Our annual food drive for the Contra Costa Food Bank kicked off on November 2 and will run until our winter break.

Why give to the Food Bank?

Because we can make a difference!  The Contra Costa and Solano County Food Bank feeds 188,000 people a month.  One out of four beneficiaries are children.  

What food items should I donate?

One great idea is to involve our kids in the process and let them pick out some of their favorite non-perishable food items.  

Most needed items listed on the Food Bank website:

Canned meat, fish & soups
Canned ready to eat meals
Canned vegetables & tomato products
Peanut butter (plastic container)
Iron rich cereal (45% or more of daily value)
100% Fruit juice (48 oz. or less plastic bottles)
Canned fruit (in juice)
Dry beans (any type)
Enriched rice or pasta
Powdered milk

Let’s fill those Food Bank donation boxes and show our kids that we care!

– Gina Gabriel (MWF) & Saher Beg (TTH), FBCCS-LogoFamily and Community Needs Coordinators

East Bay Mini Maker Faire 2015

Looking for a fun and educational family outing this weekend? The East Bay Mini Maker Faire is this Sunday! Featuring both established and emerging local “makers,” the East Bay Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration featuring rockets and robots, digital fabrication, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music and local food, and educational workshops and installations.

Where: Park Day School and Studio One Art Center, 360 42nd St., Oakland (entrance at 42nd and Opal)

When: Sunday, Oct. 18   10 am – 5 pm

Admission: Advanced Prices – Child: $13, Adult: $17 (good through midnight on 10/17); Day-of “Door” Prices – Child: $15, Adult: $20

For further information, go to: https://ebmakerfaire.wordpress.com/

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