Caring Connection Children’s Center at J Street is licensed for 52 preschool children by the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing. We are located in a rented facility attached to the First United Methodist Church on 2100 J Street.
Our entrance in through the parking lot between 21st and 22nd streets, surrounded by a rainbow painted fence.The entrance to Caring Connection is through the security coded gate. Visitors will be greeted, however all enrolled parents will be given the code.
Our center is comprised of three large spaces. In the back classroom space is where our Transitioning Preschoolers have their class times. It houses our changing table, one of our bathrooms, the children’s cubby areas and nap mat storage. We have areas designed for the younger children in language arts, circle time, nature and science, math and building, dramatic play, and art…lots of room for art! Of course there is plenty of tiled space for prepared snacks and lunch.
In the downstairs, front classroom we’ve designed the space to be more age appealing to the preschool age class groups. In the front is also the Director’s office and teacher break room and adult bathrooms. For children we have ample space for art and eating lunches, snacks and breakfast. We have areas for dramatic play, language and reading, writing and math, building and manipulative play. There are carpeted spaces, large spaces and small spaces, floor play areas and table play areas. We strive to create unique environments so that children who choose to play alone have that opportunity and children who want to be social have space to do so.
Upstairs we have our prekindergarten classroom, the preschool kitchen and our Executive Director’s office and conference room. The upstairs classroom is saved for the eldest pre-K kids who get to use the stairs and elevators as a normal part of their daily program.
Our outdoor space is vast, we rarely have all children on the playground at one time. This allows enough space to run and play, but also well designed so that the teachers have great visual access of the children, for their safety.
In 2012, Julie Jenkins located this available space and re-licensed it as Caring Connection Children’s Center, Midtown Campus. In 2018, Caring Connection applied to add the additional upstairs classroom, bringing our entire space to 52! Julie’s goal was to create a natural, play space to inspire children to learn through curiosity, wonder and nature. On the older blacktop, we embellished the space with a dry creek bed. This has provided an amazing natural learning area for all types of science and safe waterplay, weather permitting. We did retain the large climbing structure and slide that is on a raised, padded area and surrounded it with a decomposed gravel path perfect for pulling a wagon or riding a trike.
The yard is dotted a variety of plants, banana trees to Japanese maples, herbs and flowers. Central to the playground is a custom created sand box shaped as a boat and lovely dock made of pallets. The one thing that we know is that the yard will continually change and transform.
Upstairs is our full kitchen where we prepare breakfast, lunch and three snacks. We do have a small capacity refrigerator and handy snacks for immediate needs, as well.
When at full capacity, we will operate with three class groups, sharing the two large classroom spaces and alternating the use of the indoor and outdoor spaces for the best development needs of the children.
The Midtown Classes
Our class groups are: The Buddies (2s), the Pals (3s), and the Friends (Older 3s), the Partners (4s) and the Leaders (4-5s). All of our age groups are based on development – not birthdays – so this is just a guideline for parents.
We happily accept children who are still in diapers and will work as a team with parents to assist in Independent Toileting. The Transitioning preschoolers, or the Buddies’ class will be limited to approximately 6-8 children who are younger and learning to use the toilet or are still being diapered.
The Pals’ class about 8 children and Friends’ class aims for 10-11 children, the Partners and Leaders will enroll 10-12 in each class, depending upon need. There are 5 parking spaces on the east side of the rainbow fence, designated as Preschool spaces. These are available for drop off.
Julie Jenkins devoted 30+ years to up leveling the way adults teach children about behavior. She put her philosophy into print in 2004 in Enlightened Discipline.