Welcome to C5 Children’s School!

Family, Staff, and Culture All of our families and staff members join in recognizing and engaging daily with our marvelous diversity. We welcome and are proud of all the differences represented by children, parents, and staff including their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and other unique qualities. This diversity is celebrated and a source of continued powerful learning, skill building, and learning group cohesion through special programs, such as the Summer Book & Box, Winter Cultural Highlights, Family Food Experiences, Fall Family Festival, and Festival of Learning. We also explore many aspects of those issues with children in the natural course of examining daily life and learning throughout the year as part of our emergent curriculum. We believe in robust equity for all.

Our Mission is to facilitate young children’s optimal development and learning in a safe, supportive, and enriched environment.

Our Goal is to provide leadership and innovation for learning of the highest quality to our enrolled children and their families and to the Early Care and Education community.  We aspire to demonstrate how our view of children and our work with them to be highly capable and caring learners, critical thinkers, and community members leads to their success now and later in school and life.

Our Philosophy of learning and development is influenced by the constructivist and social-constructivist learning theories of John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Jerome Bruner. Other influences are from the work of Howard Gardner; Reggio Emilia’s Loris Malaguzzi and Carlina Rinaldi; and C5 Children’s School’s approaches of “Partnership with Children,” “Partnership with Parents,” and “Community of Learners.” Our Community of Learners approach stems from the group process and organization development work and writings of Richard and Patricia Schmuck. We are also influenced by the methods developed by the Program for Infant-Toddler Care (PITC), which is a collaboration of the West-Ed Laboratory for Educational Research and Development and Magda Gerber’s Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE).

Our Inspiration is drawn in part from the educators and preprimary schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and from others from around the U.S. and the world who are also influenced by progressive, social-constructivist approaches to Early Care and Education. Our faculty regularly participates in conferences and activities conducted by the North American Reggio Alliance and by other progressive schools in the USA and abroad.

Our Children are six weeks old to 5.9 years old. We serve them and their families in our world-renowned program. They are our co-equal partners in learning and development and receive our deep respect and dedication in all aspects of our work and our organization. We collaborate with them to maintain an atmosphere that is joyful, exciting, caring, aesthetic, compelling, and rich with creativity, surprises, shared successes, and the promise of great possibilities.

Our Staff facilitates individual and group development by supporting stimulating learning experiences, environments, materials, tools, and equipment that foster physical growth, emotional well-being, social relationships, creativity, and intellectual development based on children’s interests and fascinations via an emergent curriculum and an approach that features in-depth explorations and projects.

Centers, Classrooms, and Ages of Children

SFPUC Building Center – 525 Golden Gate Avenue

Babbling Brook Classroom, 2—9 months

Sea Shore Classroom, 9–18 months

Bayshore Classroom, 18–24 months

Mighty Oak Classroom, 2–3.5 years

Redwood Classroom, 3–5.9 years

California State Building Center – 455 Golden Gate Avenue

Bay Classroom, 18 months–2.5years

Pacific Classroom, 18 months–2.5 years

Cable Car Classroom, 2.5–3.5 years

Golden Gate Classroom, 3–5.9years

San Francisco Permit Building Center – 49 South Van Ness

Pyramid Classroom, 18 months–2.5years

Dome Classroom, 18 months–2.5 years

Tower Classroom, 2.5–5.9 years

Hours – Our hours of operation at all centers are currently 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There may be exceptions during the pandemic.

Identity and History – C5 is a nonprofit, public service, membership organization, founded in 1985. We now have the capacity to serve 214 children from six weeks old to 5.9 years old at three sites in the San Francisco Civic Center Area. One of our centers is located in a California state office building complex at 455 Golden Gate Avenue. Another is located in the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters at 525 Golden Gate Avenue. The third, a new center in the new San Francisco Permit Building is located at 49 South Van Ness. It will open soon for enrollment. Two sites are across the street from the majestic San Francisco City Hall and two blocks away from the Main Branch Public Library, Asian Art Museum, Symphony, Ballet, Herbst Theatre, and the Opera. The third site is only seven blocks away.

Our Jelly Person Logo It was drawn by an almost three year-old child at C5 as part of her interest in sea creatures during an ocean project that the children chose to study and represent in various media.

They worked on the project each day for weeks; created a 6×12 foot three-dimensional mural of the ocean replete with creatures and water levels; discovered the abyss; studied dozens of ocean animals and learned their names; and, had visitors to the classroom with their full equipment, including an open water swimmer, a surfer, and a dry-suit scuba diver. The children drew many of the sea creatures, constructed prototype jellyfish and other animals from various materials, and made a 6×6 foot multimedia thank you collage of the ocean for the visitors that included many of the elements that they learned over the previous few weeks and representations of the visitors to the classroom in it.

We see the logo as indicative of the power of children’s ability to explore and express themselves in great depth and breadth and in ways that can often exceed adult expectations.

The logo also conveys our respect for the wide range of diversity of the children and families in our infant, toddler, preschool, pre-k program. It also represents our roots in the San Francisco Bay area, including all of the maritime elements!

We believe that there is no better way to simply and powerfully represent C5 Children’s School.

C5 uses our copyrighted Jelly Person logo as a trademark on all of our official business and program communications and on clothing and other products that are available for purchase by families and friends of C5 in support of our vision, values, and goals for optimal learning and development for children, families, community members, and early childhood professionals everywhere.

Join Us – You and your child are welcome to join our caring and thriving community where children learn and develop optimally through expert nurturing, diverse explorations, and rich expressions that result in comprehensive learning facilitated by our highly trained educators.

Communications – We encourage you to examine and discuss with us our comprehensive array of communications with you and your family members and our leading-edge family and community participation programs.

Explore – We invite you to explore the rest of our website and to contact us if you have any additional questions or if you wish to sign up for an interview and tour. Video interviews and virtual tours are available during the pandemic.

To learn more about what C5 has to offer your child and family, contact us today!