Curriculum & Assessment



What appears to adults as simple play time is actually work time for preschool children. Children are natural scientists AND THEY LEARN BEST THROUGH PLAY! They explore, examine, and investigate during their play experiences, while learning the social and emotional skills necessary for healthy development and successful human interaction. The “Play” at the CDC is PURPOSEFUL and environments are intentionally designed to facilitate independent purposeful play.

Lead Teacher engage in “Active – Evidence Based Curriculum Planning”, which incorporates approaches and concepts from multiple curriculum sources and frameworks such as: The California Preschool Foundations, The Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers (PITC). Most importantly we believe parents are the BEST resource in terms of children’s abilities and needs. Parents also help us determine what is culturally relevant to them and are valued contributors to curriculum development.

In essence, active curriculum planning offers children learning opportunities that are attuned to their developing abilities and connected with their experiences at home in their communities.

Curriculum is based on an understanding of child development and implemented in ways that are consistent with our core goals and values.

Weekly educational plans for children are based on established goals informed by individual assessment results and group trends. These educational plans are posted for parents each Monday. The scheduled “work day” is structured to allow the flexibility needed to meet the needs of the individual children and the class as a whole.

In affect we strongly believe in having a strong foundation in Child Development Theory and then complimenting this with elements of various early education curricula.



The goal of the Center is to ensure that all children are making progress in the domains of physical, cognitive and social-emotional development. We use the Desired Results Developmental Profile, a tool developed by the California Department of Education, Child Development Division, to assess the overall development of children across language, cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and health domains. A “Desired Results” are defined as conditions of well-being for children.

Children are assessed within 60 days of enrollment and every 6 months thereafter. Parents’ input is a necessary component of this assessment, and it is specifically used to assist in planning and conducting age and developmentally appropriate activities. The DRDP is a “Naturalistic Assessment” instrument that has been established as valid and reliable, and is completed over time. Therefore, it is important for children to attend regularly.

Sporadic attendance and/or enrollment for less than 10 hours per week make it difficult to capture the necessary data (via observations, anecdotal notes, photographs, work samples, etc.) that informs the teacher’s findings which are then documented on the DRDP. If a child is enrolled less than 10 hours per week (or regularly attends less than 10 hours per week), the Program will use a screening instrument to ensure no developmental delays or concerns go unnoticed.

Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) – Screening

The Center uses the Ages & Stages Questionnaire to screen for developmental delays in all areas. This developmental screening tool helps both the staff and parent determine if a more comprehensive, formal assessment is warranted for special education or early intervention services via the family’s Local Education Agency or Regional Center. The ASQ is NOT a comprehensive assessment.

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