What are your hours of operation?
7:30am-6:00pm Monday – Friday
What if I want to take the summer off, do I still have to pay tuition?
Yes. Our tuition contracts are based on annual tuition. For the convenience of our families, we accept the tuition in monthly payments. Tuition for the year is due, regardless of your child’s attendance.
Do you offer sibling discounts?
No, we do not offer sibling discounts.
Do you offer tuition assistance?
Yes, to qualifying families. Please see our section on Tuition Assistance for more details.
What are your vacation days and holidays?
We are closed: 2 weeks in the winter, 1 week in the spring, and 1 week in the summer. Additionally, we we are closed the standard legal holidays and have a total of 6 professional development days reserved for our staff when the school is closed.
How many children do you serve?
Marine Park = 51 Ocean Park = 82
What is the educational background of your teachers?
Teachers at The Growing Place have a minimum of a BA degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development or a BA in related field and 12 ECE units. In addition, our teachers and assistants generally have two years of experience working with young children and families. We also require all of our teachers to complete the Reggio Approach to Teaching course at the college level.
Is your staff trained in CPR and First Aid?
Yes, all of our staff is trained annually in CPR and First Aid. We will close our program early (at 5:00pm) one day to accommodate this training for our staff.
What is your sick child policy?
We request all children are in good health and able to participate in group care. If a child becomes ill, we will notify a parent immediately and request that the child be 24-hour fever-, diarrhea-, vomit-free to return to school. This policy is in the best interest of all children, parents and staff to minimize contamination.
Are you accredited?
Yes, The Growing Place is accredited with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We have maintained our accreditation with NAEYC since 1989.
Do you have an emergency plan?
Each site has a disaster plan in place and posted in each classroom and space throughout the centers. Fire and earthquake drills are held monthly to practice evacuation procedures with children and staff so all are familiar with the process, where to go, and their roles.
Do you do any fundraising?
The Growing Place has 3 fundraising events throughout the year to support our program. Annual Giving participation from all of our families, several community members and businesses helps to close the gap between tuition and our program expenses. We host an annual Teacher Appreciation Celebration and Silent Auction where proceeds support our teacher education fund. Dino Fair is our annual carnival that supports our Tuition Assistance Fund.
How do you help children transition into your program?
We gradually introduce new children to the program so that each child becomes comfortable at school while building trusting relationships with his/her teachers and environment. We require parents to spend the time necessary in the first three days with their child to help with the transition to school. This often requires arranging in advance to take time off of work to support your child’s transition. During these three days, we ask parents to participate in different parts of our day. We may also suggest play-dates with a peer so that children can bridge a relationship from home to school. Each family has an intake meeting with their child’s teacher, and a detailed transition calendar, authentic to the child, is created.
How do parents receive information?
Parents receive information in several ways: twice a year, parents conference with their child’s teacher to discuss each child’s progress and create goals together. Parents also receive a monthly email from their child’s teacher to continue the dialogue from the conference. Monthly, our teachers post reflection pages and documentation panels in the classroom and on our blog. They also blog monthly to our parent community. In addition, we host four Parent & Teacher Dialogues to discuss the on-going learning investigations of the children.
Do you offer extra programs?
We offer a music program and a movement program for children in our program. These programs are sustained through the generous donations to our Annual Giving Campaign, and are subject to funding availability. Parents in our upper rooms (Star, TK and Palm Room) may also sign their child up for Broadway Gym for an additional fee.
Do you offer any parenting classes?
Yes, The Growing Place offers a parenting series for a nominal fee. We also offer parent panel discussions related to Kindergarten topics. We partner with Family Services of Santa Monica and host a Reflective Parenting course.
How do you work with challenging behaviors?
Children need limits in order to feel secure about themselves and their environment. Our approach to discipline is to see it as an opportunity for problem solving. When children have a dispute, we use “talking chairs”, a technique where children learn to solve their own problems with support from an adult. Teachers are actively engaged with children, listening to them, modeling appropriate skills, and helping them to see the alternatives and consequences to their behavior. Corporal punishment, isolation and harsh words are not part of our philosophy.