FAQs

PLAYC FAQs

What age does your child have to be to enroll in Alexa’s PLAYC?  Alexa’s PLAYC accepts children ages 18 months through the time when they become kindergarten- or transition-kindergarten eligible. If your child is enrolled in a transitional kindergarten, they are not able to attend Alexa’s PLAYC.

How much does it cost? The cost of the program depends on the classroom your child is enrolled in. Please contact our administrative assistant for specific costs.

Does San Diego Regional Center cover the cost of the program? Yes, SDRC will cover our toddler inclusion program for children at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. Please speak with your SDRC caseworker to be considered for enrollment. The SDRC does not fund our preschool inclusion program.

What are the hours for Alexa’s PLAYC?
Alexa’s PLAYC is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. We maintain a year-round schedule but close for major holidays and two staff training days per year.

Can my child come for a half day? Yes, children (without an autism spectrum disorder) can attend a half day, but tuition remains the same whether attending full days or half days.

What kind of educational background do your teachers have? For each of our teachers’ expertise, please visit “Our Team.”

What is the ratio of teachers to children?

  • Inclusion Toddler Classes
    Ages 18 to 36 months: 1:3 teacher to child ratio with a maximum of 12 children per class (including four children with an autism spectrum disorder).
  • Early Inclusion Preschool Classroom
    30 to 42 months: 1:4 teacher to child ratio with a maximum of 15 children per class (including five children with an autism spectrum disorder).
  • Inclusion Preschool Classes
    42 months to kindergarten eligible: 1:7 teacher to child ratio with a maximum of 20 children per class (including four children with an autism spectrum disorder).

What is an inclusion classroom? Inclusion means that children with special learning needs, in our case children with autism spectrum disorders, are enrolled in early childhood settings with same-aged peers without special needs.

Will my child benefit from enrollment in the inclusion classroom? There are more teachers available in the inclusion classrooms to support the needs of all the enrolled children. In addition, research shows that possible positive benefits for typically developing children enrolled in inclusion programs may be accelerated language development, increased self-esteem, advanced skills for getting along with others, better social skills and fewer disruptive behaviors.

Can I stay in the classroom when my child first starts and for how long? Families are encouraged to transition into the classroom, get their child comfortable with an activity and then say their goodbyes. We would prefer that drop-offs do not extend beyond 10 minutes so that each child adjusts to the daily routine. Each classroom has a viewing room, where parents are able to watch the classroom and their child’s adjustment. Parents may choose to have a shortened day to assist with this transition from caregivers.

Does my child need an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis to attend? For participation in our preschool inclusion program, children must have an autism spectrum diagnosis to be eligible. For our toddler inclusion program, children are not required to have a diagnosis but must be referred from the San Diego Regional Center. Children referred from the San Diego Regional Center are generally considered at risk for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There are specific criteria for typically developing children in order to be considered.

Can a child diagnosed with an ASD stay all day? No, unfortunately children with an autism spectrum disorder attend a half-day program.  Those hours are 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. or 2 -5:30 p.m. Should children with an autism spectrum disorder stay longer than these hours, there is a late fee that will be assigned.

Do the classrooms follow a standard educational program? Yes and no. Our highly trained teachers create specific lessons plans on a weekly basis that address all developmental areas. Lesson plans are developed based upon each child’s needs and may be adapted based upon updated developmental or clinical information discussed by the teaching team.

Do children in the preschool classes need to be potty trained? 
No. The teachers are skilled and patient in helping your child to become independent in this area.

Do the children have to take naps?
All children sleep or rest after lunch for one to two hours. We encourage you to bring a special blanket or stuffed animal for your child to rest with.

How do you manage undesirable behavior?
Positive guidance and modeling of appropriate behaviors help the children to gain inner controls for their own actions. All guidance is based on the developmental needs of the child. Redirection and constructive solution techniques are used by our skilled and caring teachers. If a child has a significant behavior issue, a teacher may meet with parents to develop a positive behavior plan to assist the child in being successful in the classroom. All children and staff will be protected and provided a safe environment.

What happens in case of a serious emergency?
We will call 9-1-1 in the event of critical illness or injury. A certified staff member will administer first aid or pediatric CPR. Parents will be contacted immediately. (We do not send children directly to Rady Children’s.)

Are the meals included?
Alexa’s PLAYC provides a morning and an afternoon snack. Parents must provide a lunch for their child(ren); however, we do provide milk. Notify the director and teachers of any food allergies. Food substitutions will be provided by parents. Snack menus are posted in the reception area.

Can someone other than myself pick up my child?
If your child is to be picked-up by another person other than the legal guardian, prior written notification is required. Parents should provide at least two names of persons authorized to pick up your child in case of illness or emergencies. A photo I.D. is required for anyone picking up a child. If either parent is not allowed to pick up a child, a court order must be in the child’s folder.

Does Alexa’s PLAYC provide drop-in care?
Drop-in care is available at Alexa’s PLAYC on a space-available basis. This service is only available to children already enrolled in Alexa’s PLAYC. The director, not the classroom teacher, must approve drop-in care.

Is the Alexa’s PLAYC closed on holidays?
Yes, we are closed on the major holidays. Full tuition is expected on the day/week in which a holiday occurs.