Our Philosophy

We believe that the primary value a child care program must embrace is providing the quality of loving that is critical to a child's well-being. At the CEC, this value permeates all aspects of our environment, programs, and interactions with adults and other children. With this at the center of the CEC, we have developed a description of what constitutes loving values and behavior:

  • Accepting children as they are, valuing their uniqueness.
  • Assisting children to perceive their world holistically, recognizing the connection and interdependence among all things, valuing uniqueness and diversity.
  • Nurturing and accepting children through interactions and that demonstrate respect, compassion and genuine care for each individual.
  • Maintaining a secure environment through provision of clear, consistent limits for behavior and by explanations of behavior and events.
  • Encouraging children to develop increasing and age-appropriate levels of self-sufficiency through taking responsibility for themselves, their actions, and their environment.
  • Encouraging clear communication, verbal expression of feelings, sensitivity to others' needs and attunement with one's own needs.
  • Modeling loving behavior in our interpersonal relations, and encouraging children to do the same.
  • Through immersion in outdoor environments, children and adults build the foundation for a holistic connection to the natural world.

For more information about the CEC and our values, read our Initiating Principles, created upon our founding in 1979.


At the CEC, we believe that open communication is the foundation of a harmonious child care program. Please make use of our willingness to listen by communicating your needs and concerns as they arise. Each of your child's Lead Teachers and all the Directors are the persons directly responsible for the operation of the CEC and have the training and experience to answer your questions and solve any problems that may arise. Because we truly care about your concerns for your children, we have found that when such concerns arise, a scheduled conference time works best for sharing between parent and teacher. If you desire a conference, please schedule one with your child's teacher. Additionally, you may request a Director's presence. Or, if the need arises, you may schedule a conference with a Director alone. We are here to meet your needs concerning you and your children. Please don't hesitate to make use of our services.

In addition, the CEC regularly communicates with parents through emails. The Infant-Toddler and Preschool Programs as well as the Cooperative Preschool at Caltech receive the THIS WEEK bulletin every Tuesday. The School-Age Program families receive a monthly e-newsletter the first Wednesday of every month.

In addition, for parents in the Infant-Toddler, Preschool, and the Cooperative Preschool Programs, there are also routinely scheduled Parent Meetings and Discussions which allow parents the opportunity to learn more about child development and the curriculum occurring in their child’s room, as well as gathering together with other parents to talk about children’s issues.