SouthSide’s Early Childhood Programs
SouthSide provides a nurturing, educational and individualized program for children from six weeks old to pre-kindergarten.
With three age groupings guided by the same philosophy and curriculum, we provide continuous care in an accredited center from infancy to preschool graduation. Children may enter the program at any age (under 5), depending on availability. Center hours are from 7:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., year round.
- Our infant and toddler program promotes the healthy development of children during the first three years of life. The infant/toddler classrooms have one teacher for every four children, with a maximum of eight children per classroom.
- Our two’s program accommodates children from 24 to 35 months. This program, also with a one to four ratio, promotes the development of toddlers, emphasizing language and social development, as well as the acquisition of essential cognitive and motor skills for continued achievement in preschool and beyond.
- Our preschool program for ages three through five maintains a teacher:child ratio of one to ten and a maximum group size of 20 in mixed age groups. This program engages children in joyful learning through play with the objective of developing creative problem-solving, strong social skills and curiosity. Ultimately, the goal for preschoolers is to graduate with all the skills needed for success in kindergarten and beyond.
Family Support and Involvement
At SouthSide, families – however they are defined for our children – are our partners in their education, social development and healthy growth.
We strongly encourage family participation in Center activities, classroom volunteering, special events and field trips. Family members are welcome to visit the Center at any time. We have four structured meetings with each family during each year: fall home visit, late fall family-teacher conference, spring home visit and late spring family-teacher conference. Several special events organized by staff and families bring the entire Center together. Our summer picnic and Thanksgiving Dinner are popular highlights of the year. We also support our families in meeting their own unique needs and to improve their quality of life.
When a child enrolls at SouthSide, our Family and Community Services staff is available to work with the primary adult in the family to establish his or her own goals: for example, to get a better job, continue education, save money for a home, or learn a new skill. We then help find the resources and assistance needed to make that a reality, relying on our extensive network of community partners. Families also work with staff to create agendas for monthly family meetings, organize mothers’ support groups, and plan special events for fathers. All family meetings are conducted in English and Spanish.