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Alexa’s PLAYC (Playful Learning Academy for Young Children) is an early education program offered through Rady Children’s Hospital’s Autism Discovery Institute in San Diego and Murrieta. Alexa’s PLAYC welcomes children ages 18 months to 5 years old. Our unique inclusion program is designed to integrate early education for typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder, providing young children with enriched learning experiences in the context of a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment. The program operates year round. Small class size and low child-to-teacher ratios ensure individual attention for all children.
Video: Why parents say Alexa’s PLAYC is the best place for little ones
Developmental Learning Philosophy
The philosophy of Alexa’s PLAYC is based on the belief that each child is a worthy individual endowed with unique capabilities and talents. A warm, loving environment, combined with well-trained and creative staff, stimulates a child’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development.
Our program strives to provide a unique learning environment for all children, including those with or at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. Through their interactions, we have the opportunity to instill acceptance of individual differences from an early age.
- We believe in a developmental learning philosophy in which learning is encouraged through play. Within the program’s daily schedule, each child has the opportunity to create, explore and learn problem-solving, social interaction and critical-thinking skills through self-initiated and teacher-supported activities.
- We believe parents are the most important adults in a child’s life and work to strengthen those relationships. Our program is intended to reduce stress for parents by encouraging them to become an integral part of our program. Together we can provide positive experiences for young children.
- We provide a world that is child-oriented and planned, so children can develop at a rate meeting their individual needs.
- We teach children to understand and accept each other and to resolve difficulties without feelings of anxiety or guilt. We develop each child’s positive self-concept through an environment designed to foster a sense of independence and responsibility.
- We provide an environment where the physical health and well-being of children are promoted and protected.
- Play-based Learning. The program is based on the philosophy that children learn best when they are having fun, so our teachers are specially trained to use the children’s natural interest in their environment as learning opportunities. The Alexa’s PLAYC curriculum, developed by an interdisciplinary team of experts, focuses on teaching developmentally appropriate communication, cognitive and social skills and fosters independence in daily living activities. A combination of developmentally appropriate programming and autism spectrum disorder-specific techniques provides excellent education for all children.
- Individualized Teaching. Our low child-to-teacher ratio enables us to meet the individual needs of each child in the program.
- Highly Trained Staff. Our highly trained staff ensures developmentally appropriate curriculum in a nurturing environment. As our team is the heart and soul of our philosophy, we employ and retain the best teachers in the field. We also support them with the necessary training and encourage them to continue to grow professionally.
- High Satisfaction. Parents report high satisfaction with the amount of individual attention their children receive.
- Excellent Outcomes. Research shows that over 60 percent of children with autism attending Alexa’s PLAYC are enrolled in regular education programs by elementary school. Typically developing children show excellent learning trajectories and higher than typical numbers of altruistic behaviors (random acts of kindness).
In the News
- Children with Autism Thrive at Alexa’s PLAYC at Rady Children’s, KFMB Channel 8, features Nora Camacho
- Doctors May Begin Prescribing Play for Young Children, 10news.com, features Andrea Wilson
Support Our Program
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