Frequently Asked Questions
What are the ages of the children served?
The Child Development Center is licensed to enroll approximately 48 children between the ages of 2-1/2 to 5 years old.
What are the program hours of operation and where is the Center located?
The Child Development Center is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 am – 5 pm.
The Center is located in Building 33 on the north-east side of the campus of College of San Mateo, overlooking the Bay.
Is the Child Development Center open all year?
During the Fall and Spring semesters, the Center follows the College of San Mateo calendar and serves children on the days college classes are in session. During summer, the Center is open for the first six weeks of College’s summer session.
Who is eligible to enroll their children in the Child Development Center?
Low-income student-parents who meet the eligibility guidelines set by California Dept. of Education’s Child Development Division are given priority. Eligibility for subsidized child care is determined based on the family’s gross monthly income in relation to family size and their need for child care based on class schedule, study time, and hours of employment. Student-parents who do not qualify for subsidized child care and College of San Mateo staff and faculty may also enroll and pay a full tuition fee as space is available.
Are meals offered?
Breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack are provided at no extra charge and meals meet all state and federal nutritional guidelines.
Are children required to be potty trained?
Children do not have to be toilet trained before enrolling. The staff views toilet learning as a shared process between the parent and child. When a child is ready, parents and teachers work in partnership to encourage and motivate the child to use the toilet instead of hurrying or pressuring which often leads to unnecessary power struggles.
Does the Child Development Center staff have training?
The coordinator has a master's degree in child Development and the master teachers have bachelor degrees. All staff, including the teachers and associate teachers, are fully credentialed by the California State Commission on Teacher Credentialing in accordance with the Child Development Permit Matrix. The goal of the program is to recruit and retain staff from ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse backgrounds to reflect the cultures and home languages of the children and families served.
What is the program philosophy?
The Child Development Center’s environment is designed to reflect the belief that children deserve to be surrounded by natural beauty, comfort, and meaningful relationships and that childhood is truly a time to be treasured. We believe family members are the most significant people in children’s lives and the staff strives to respect and support the diverse values of the families enrolled for the benefit of each child. Creating a family-centered place where there is a genuine sense of belonging and where original thinking and imaginative responses are encouraged means children become enthusiastic about their school experience at an early age and develop the disposition to become life-long learners.
What is the classroom curriculum?
The Center includes a rich stimulating classroom environment where a variety of age-appropriate learning experiences are offered. Recognizing that each child’s development has its own rhythm, the staff plans a curriculum that meets the individual needs of children, is developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive. In the children’s classrooms, engaging learning experiences in literacy, math, science, music, art, and dramatic play are offered to foster children’s social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and creative development. In addition, the Center’s spacious outdoor environment is rich in opportunities for learning through motor and sensory activities, nature study, and gardening.
How can parents participate in the program?
Working in partnership with families to build a strong sense of community is a primary goal of the program. There are a variety of ways parents and extended family members can be involved. Families are welcome to come to the Center anytime during the day to share in the planning and implementation of the classroom curriculum or they can just drop in, relax, and enjoy spending time with the children and staff. Each year, a Parent Advisory Committee is organized and members are encouraged to provide input on program policies, learn about campus and community resources, and plan social occasions and special events to benefit children and families. A monthly series of parenting seminars are offered on topics related to child rearing and a weekly parent support group is available so parents have an opportunity to discuss issues and receive information and support in a group setting.