General Info

Hours of operation, meals we serve and typical daily schedule.

Classrooms

Hungry Caterpillars, Busy Bees, Terrific Tigers, oh my!

Our Staff

Meet the wonderful individuals who will help your child grow.

General Info

The Center

The Occidental College Child Development Center is located on the campus of Occidental College. The Center serves families of Occidental employees, as well as families from the adjacent community. We are licensed to serve 45 children from 2-5 years of age.

Hours

The Center operates Monday through Friday, from 7:30am until 6:00pm. We are open 12 months, closing for Winter and Summer breaks, as well as Holidays, Staff In-service and Conference days.

Meals

Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack are served daily. Lunch is provided by Occidental College’s Dining Facility, and we try to provide a variety of healthful foods.

Our Day

We provide a balance of active and quiet activities, as well as a balance of individual, small group, and large group play experiences. We also strive to provide children with the ideal balance of structure and freedom/choice. Children have the opportunity to play in a multi-age group in the afternoons when groups combine for playtime. We try to minimize transitions and provide opportunities for building independence/self-help skills through daily activities, such as toileting, hand washing, and meal/snack time. Our typical day is as follows:

7:30-8:30am Organized Indoor Free Play
8:30-8:50am Breakfast
8:50-9:00am Movement / Dance
9:00-9:25am Group Time
9:25-10:30am Indoor Activities & Organized Free Play
10:30-11:30am Outdoor Activities & Organized Free Play
11:30am-12:30pm Lunchtime
12:30-2:30pm Naptime
2:30-3:00pm Afternoon Snack
3:00-6:00pm Outdoor Activities & Organized Free Play

 

7:30-8:30am Organized Indoor Free Play
8:30-8:50am Breakfast
8:50-9:00am Movement / Dance
9:00-9:25am Group Time
9:25-10:30am Indoor Activities & Organized Free Play
10:30-11:30am Outdoor Activities & Organized Free Play
11:30am-12:30pm Lunchtime
12:30-2:30pm Naptime
2:30-3:00pm Afternoon Snack
3:00-6:00pm Outdoor Activities & Organized Free Play

Classrooms

Hungry Caterpillars

Ages 2-3

Children in our youngest class are developing their autonomy/independence and their sense of identity as unique individuals. Children of this age are just beginning to understand and label their own emotions. Supportive, empathetic responses from adults help children learn to manage and understand their emotions and begin to understand the emotions of others. Children of this age have rapidly developing verbals/language skills, and teachers support them in learning to express themselves verbally. Children’s cognitive/intellectual abilities are rapidly developing as this age, as well, and their awareness of the world around them is blossoming. Hungry Caterpillars learn about functioning in a group of peers (probably for the first time), as well as learn about basic social rules and how to share a space and materials with peers. Children of this age are becoming interested in peers, observe and imitate other children, and may make simple attempts at playing together for short periods. Children’s motor (physical) skills really take off at this age. As children become much more adept and coordinated, this leads them to want to practice all of their new skills. Potty training is generally established during the course of the year in this age group.

Busy Bees

Ages 3-4

At this stage, children’s social development takes a leap forward. This is the age at which children truly begin to play together in earnest, one-on-one or in small groups. They are now able to act out pretend scenarios (role play/dramatic play) or build a block building together. They get tremendous enjoyment from peer interaction, and peer relationships start to take the center stage. Children’s attention spans and ability to sit and focus are increasing, meaning that they are able to deeply engage in play and participate in more in-depth, back and forth conversations. They are able to listen to peers and wait for a turn more easily. Children of this age still hit, grab or push, at times, but they learning to understand their emotions and use their words to express themselves. They are becoming more independent and capable, though they may also relish the chance to “play baby’ and revisit that time in their lives. They are eager to expand their understanding of the world around them and now can think in a somewhat less egocentric manner, with a growing interest in other people and their thoughts and feelings. The Busy Bees classroom bustles with joyful, purposeful activity and conversation.

Terrific Tigers

Ages 4-5

In our final year, children are solidifying learning and development in all areas (social, emotional, cognitive and physical), in preparation for the transition to Kindergarten. This preparation includes both fostering academic knowledge and skills (language, literacy, math, science, etc.), as well as fostering foundational non-academic skills, capacities and dispositions that will enable them to be ready to learn (focus, persistence, self-regulation, independence, social-emotional competence, etc.). Reading, writing, math, and other “academic” concepts are addressed through integrated, meaningful experiences and activities. We focus on integrating reading, writing, counting, measuring, and much more into our explorations of topics and activities that are of interest to children. Children of this age have a growing interest in writing, and we demonstrate for children the many ways that written language can help them to communicate and accomplish the things they want to, which harnesses children’s intrinsic (internal) motivation to learn to read and write. Children’s social interactions at this age become more sophisticated and satisfying. Children of this age regularly play in a cooperative manner, working together to accomplish a common goal. Children have developed much greater independence by this age and are capable of function quite autonomously. They enjoy age-appropriate “jobs” and feel competent when they are able to help grown ups, especially with tasks that have real meaning and make true contributions to others/the group. Emotionally, children of this age have become more aware of their feelings and those of others, as well as better able to deal with emotional upsets and disappointments. The Terrific Tigers are actively engaged in in-depth play and “work” and are developing into capable, competent individuals and learners.

Our Staff

Laura

Program Director

“My hope is for all children to emerge from childhood as whole and emotionally healthy, as open and trusting, and as joyful and free to be authentically themselves as possible.” – Self

Laura has been in the Early Childhood Education field for 24 years, with 19 years of experience in program administration. She’s getting her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Cal State Northridge. Laura joined the team at the Oxy CDC in May 2017. She loves the fact that the small, tight-knit community at the CDC allows her to be a part of children’s daily school experience, to work closely with and support parents, and to actively collaborate with teachers in creating a dynamic, excellent Preschool program. She loves working with the incredible group of educators at the CDC and is grateful to be part of the Oxy community.


Kathy

Terrific Tigers Teacher

“A wonderful teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.” – Author Unknown

Kathy has been in the Early Childhood teaching field for more than 25 years. Kathy has been a teacher at the Oxy CDC for 22 years. Her career started with owning a Preschool with her mother. She has a B.A. in Child Development, with a minor in Psychology, from Cal State Northridge. What she loves about teaching is seeing the joy in children’s faces each and every day and witnessing that children come ready and willing to investigate and play.


Laura (Lala)

Hungry Caterpillars Teacher

“Children want the same thing we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained, and delighted.” – Dr. Seuss

Laura has been at the Oxy CDC for 24 years. She started as a Teacher’s Assistant and fell in love with working with all the age groups. She decided that being an early childhood teacher was her calling. Laura is very grateful for having had wonderful mentors in her past, and she continues to learn from her co-workers who have the same passion for our future. Laura is the proud mother of two daughters. She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies from Cal State Long Beach.


Marcy

Hungry Caterpillars Teacher

“Play is the highest form of research”. – Albert Einstein

Marcy has worked at the Oxy CDC for the past 24 years.  She is the proud mother of two young men. For Marcy, the most rewarding part of working with young children is hearing the excitement in their voices or seeing the gleam in their eyes when they have accomplished a task independently.


Melissa

Busy Bees Teacher

“Play is the work of childhood.” – Jean Piaget

Melissa has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for 7 years. She joined the CDC staff in August 2018. The education of young children has been an integral part of her personal and professional life. Melissa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. She is grateful to be a part of molding young children’s lives. She believes that, as our society continues to evolve, it is important to prepare children for life beyond preschool by teaching them life skills through meaningful play.


Robin

Busy Bees Teacher

“Observe and listen to children because when they ask “why?” they are not simply asking for the answer from you. They are requesting the courage to find a collection of possible answers.” – Loris Malaguzzi

Robin has been working at the Oxy CDC for 14 years. Her passion for working with children was sparked 20 years ago, when she became a student assistant at a Child Development Center during college. She enjoys watching the children’s faces light up as they explore the world around them. She believes children have a voice and have the ability to learn more than we can imagine. She balances her life between being a devoted mom to two children and a dedicated teacher.


Rochelle

Terrific Tigers Teacher

“The true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves.” – Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Rochelle has been a Preschool Teacher for 9 years. She found her true passion for teaching through working in the play-based approach. This is where she practiced and learned to love emergent curriculum and discovered her strength in teaching through the arts. Rochelle chose this career because she wants to make a significant impact on the lives of young children. Rochelle loves working with young children because love is reciprocated, their world is always new, and they keep her rejuvenated. She is currently a student at Glendale Community College and will obtain her Associate’s Degree in Child Development in 2019.


Sonia

Busy Bees Teacher

 “The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.” – Bill Beattie

Sonia has been teaching in the Early Childhood field for 7 years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development from Cal Poly Pomona.


Sophia (Sophie)

Teacher’s Assistant

“A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.” – Author Unknown

Sophie has been working with the Oxy CDC for four years. She is working toward earning an Associate’s Degree in Child Development at Pasadena City College.


Wan

Teacher’s Assistant

“The Oxy CDC is my ‘second home away from home’. I love watching and being with the children. It keeps me young.” – Self

Wan has been in the field of Education for 43 years, having taught elementary school for the first 35 years of her career. She has been a Teacher’s Assistant at the Oxy CDC for the past 8 years. Wan has a B.A. in Education, as well as a California Teaching Credential.