Early Childhood Education

If you want to watch children giggle at new discoveries, play together as they learn how to interact, and simply wonder as they watch bubbles float through the air, our Early Childhood (ECE) program is the place for you and your child. Our Reggio Emilia-inspired courses earned an "Exceptional" rating from the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).

The ACDS Early Childhood Education (ECE) program includes:

Children work independently or collaboratively with other children depending on what will help them thrive and learn during a specific activity. Our ECE specialist teachers guide the students using a hands-on multi-sensory approach -- we hear, we see, we say, we do. Children learn to work, play and share with others, developing interpersonal skills and confidence through a variety of engaging, stimulating, and fun classroom experiences.

Our ECE program, including Preschool and Junior Kindergarten, focuses on each child as an individual who is accepted and valued, while encouraging his or her development in small- and large-group learning activities. This curriculum is a play-based, Reggio Emilia-influenced, developmental program based on a sequence of skills that are designed to develop the whole child, emphasizing social, intellectual, emotional and physical growth.

In other words, our students get to be children and have fun while learning valuable skills to get them ready for kindergarten — and life.

The regular schedule is Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to noon, but extended day ECE is also available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. Extended day ECE is an opportunity for students to stay with their peer group and enjoy a meal together after class.

Following a rest period, children are invited to make a plan for their afternoon. They may choose to revisit a project they were working on in the morning or dive deeper into imaginative play, all in the comfort of their homeroom and big backyard.

Opportunities for mixed-level activities (combining Preschool and Junior Kindergarten students) invite a shift in social dynamics. Children who are usually reserved may exhibit more leadership skills; children who are always leaders may become the worker bees; and best of all, they continue to collaborate and have fun.

The ECE experience provides a strong foundation for future academic and social growth, introducing children to the stimulating, positive learning environment at ACDS.