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What age does my 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 transitional kindergarten-eligible.

How much does it cost? 

The cost of the program depends on the classroom your child is enrolled in. Please contact us for specific costs.

Will the San Diego Regional Center (SDRC) or Inland Regional Center (IRC) cover the cost of the program?

Yes, SDRC and IRC cover our toddler program for children at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. SDRC and IRC do not fund our preschool program. Various private insurance plans will cover some or all tuition for students who are in our preschool program with an autism diagnosis.

What is the process for enrolling in the Alexa’s PLAYC program?

When an opening becomes available, each child will participate in a screening with an Alexa’s PLAYC team member. This generally entails direct testing with the child, parent interviews, as well as an observation with other children in the classroom setting.

What skills are important for a child to possess in order to benefit from the Alexa’s PLAYC program?

Children who benefit from the Alexa’s PLAYC program can function somewhat independently in the group setting. We have found that children with very significant behavior concerns or children who require more one-to-one support make more progress in an in-home setting.

When do students exit the program?

At the end of the toddler program, children are assessed to determine the best next placement for the child. If it is determined that the Alexa’s PLAYC preschool program is a good fit for the child and his/her family, funding will be explored. If secured, the child will be enrolled in the preschool program until he/she reaches kindergarten age. Students also may exit the toddler program when it is determined that one-on-one intervention is needed and that the classroom setting is not the best option.

What are the hours for Alexa’s PLAYC?

Our San Diego location is open from 8:00 am-5:30 pm

Our Murrieta location is open from 7:00 am-5:30 pm

What is the attendance policy? 

Children attend Alexa’s PLAYC Monday through Friday. Consistent attendance is essential for our student’s success in the program. We ask that parents notify administration and their child’s teacher of any planned or unexpected absences.

Can my child come for a half day?

Children with or at risk of an autism spectrum disorder may ONLY attend a half-day program. At our San Diego site, children with typical development must enroll in the full-day program but can attend half days. However, tuition for children enrolled in the full-day program will remain the same whether they attend full or half days. To get all the benefits of our program, we do encourage our students to attend full days. At our Murrieta site, some part-time schedule options are available. Please call the front desk for more information.

What kind of educational background do your teachers have?

All staff members hold a bachelor’s degree relevant to their work here at Alexa’s PLAYC. Our team has extensive experience, including working in school settings, 1 on 1 intervention, parenting classes, and much more. More about 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 with same-aged peers without special needs.

Will my typically developing child benefit from enrollment in an inclusion classroom?

There are more teachers available in inclusion classrooms to support the needs of all children. In addition, research shows that there are many positive benefits for typically developing children enrolled in our inclusion program.  All of our students quickly gain language skills, 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 if needed.

If my child’s development has not been typical, do they need an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis to attend? 

For our toddler program, children are not required to have a diagnosis but must be referred from the San Diego Regional Center or, for Alexa’s PLAYC Murrieta, Inland Regional Center. Children referred from the Regional Centers are generally considered at risk for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To be eligible for our preschool inclusion program, children must have an autism spectrum diagnosis..

Can a child diagnosed with ASD attend the full-day program? 

No, children with an autism spectrum disorder attend a half-day program, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. or 2:00 -5:30 p.m. Should children with an autism spectrum disorder stay longer than these hours, a late fee will be charged.

Do the classrooms follow a standard educational program?

Our highly trained teachers create specific lesson plans on a weekly basis that address all developmental areas. Lesson plans are based on each child’s needs and may be adapted based on updated developmental or clinical information.

Is a child required to be toilet trained? 

No, toilet training is part of developing independence. Alexa’s PLAYC will help with toilet training when the parents and child are ready to start that transition.

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 are children disciplined?

Our positive guidance policies and procedures help children learn appropriate behaviors. Children are presented with positive models of acceptable behavior and the behavior guidance standards are based upon the developmental needs of each child. Proactive strategies are utilized such as redirection, high engagement, and constructive solution techniques as well as positive reinforcement. 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.

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 Hospital

Are meals provided?

Parents must provide a lunch for their child(ren). Alexa’s PLAYC provides a morning and an afternoon snack. The director and teachers need to be notified of any food allergies. If accommodations need to be made, food substitutions will be provided by parents. Snack menus are posted in the reception area and each classroom. A copy of the menu is available upon request.

Can someone other than me pick up my child?

If your child is to be picked up by someone other than the legal guardian, prior written notification is required. Parents will be asked to provide names of persons authorized to pick up 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 on file.

Are immunizations required?

Yes, children must be current on their immunizations.

Is Alexa’s PLAYC closed on holidays?

Yes, we are closed on the major holidays. Full tuition is expected for the day/week in which a holiday occurs.