At the Los Alamitos Child Development Center we believe that children are naturally curious and learn through their unique interests. Teachers work together to observe, guide, support and document children’s play to provide children with a program that is suited to their interests and developmental needs. Through the emergent curriculum, children are engaged in activities that foster literacy, numeracy, communication, social, emotional and physical development. Our goal is to teach children how to become critical thinkers, problem solvers and provide them with the skills necessary for success in school, while providing quality, nurturing programs. When fully engaged in a play-based program, children are enthusiastic about learning which helps to build a foundation for life-long learning.


Emergent Curriculum
Through documentation and keen observation, learning opportunities “emerge” and an integrated curriculum is created based on the interests and ideas of the child or youth. Emergent curriculum through project work allows the opening to explore these areas of interest in detail. By exploring projects of personal interest in great detail, there is an excitement in the learning process. This enthusiasm for knowledge, combined with the ability to experience project work in detail, will foster a predisposition for “life-long” learning.

To learn more about Emergent Curriculum, click here: Emergent Curriculum

The Image of the Child
We view every child as strong, capable, independent, curious, and full of imagination. We empower children to think, question, investigate, explore, and help navigate the journey of learning. Children have preparedness, potential, curiosity; interest in relationships, in constructing their own learning, and in negotiating with everything the environment brings to them.

The Role of Parents
Parents are an essential component of the program; a competent and active part of their child’s ongoing learning experience. They are not considered consumers but co-responsible partners in order to support the needs and interests of their child. We encourage parents to participate in project work, special events, and in the program.

The Role of the Teacher
Teachers, program leaders and children are partners in learning. By listening, observing, and documenting children’s work, we are equipped to guide children’s learning and enrichment experiences.

The Role of Environment
The environment of the school (its classrooms, common spaces, and playground) is viewed as the “third teacher.” The environment should be a reflection of the children, teachers, and parents who live and learn there. It should be thoughtful, imaginative, enticing, and respect the image of the child.

The Power of Documentation
Transcriptions of children’s remarks and discussions, photographs of their activity, video, written word, displays and other representations of their thinking and learning are traces that are carefully studied. Children have an electronic portfolio filled with their ideas, inspirations, discoveries,  and reflections.