Frequently Asked Questions

For more details, you are invited to attend our Saturday Seminar on May 18 in the conference center in one of our center’s buildings at 455 Golden Gate Avenue from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
And visit our comprehensive Public Website at


Am I allowed to download the materials on this website?

Every item on this website and the entire website are protected by U.S. and international copyright. C5 Children’s School is the sole owner and copyright holder of this entire website and of all of the material on this website. No copying or downloading by any means is allowed without the express written permission by C5 Children’s School.


From where have you gathered your philosophy and practice guidelines?

A very brief introductory answer is: We are primarily influenced by the constructivist, social-constructivist, and systems thinking theories of John Dewy, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Jerome Bruner, Howard Gardner, Loris Malaguzzi, Carlina Rinaldi, and C5 Children’s School’s theory of Partnership with Children and Community of Learners that stem from the work of Richard and Patricia Schmuck. We use methods developed by the California Program for Infant Toddler Care and Magda Gerber’s RIE methods. We also draw inspiration from the world-renowned educators and preprimary schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and from others around the U.S. and the world who are also influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach to Early Childhood Education.


What size are your Learning Groups and your teacher to child ratios?

Our group sizes are: For infants, there are three children in a Learning group with one primary teacher. The ratio is 1:3. For toddlers, there are four children in a Learning group with one primary teacher. The ratio is 1:4. For Preschoolers and Pre-K children, there are 7 children in a Learning group with one primary teacher. The ratio is 1:7.

Who does all of the documentation that we find on this website?

C5 teachers do most all of it. Other staff members assist some in preparing it for this special posting on this Festival of Learning Website.           

How and when do they have time and the ability to do it?

Our teachers document via photographs and videos throughout the regular school days, throughout the school year while they are observing and facilitating children independently working on their interests and fascinations. The teachers are also each scheduled for a one hour work time every day. They do their planning and reporting during those work times on staff computers and, if necessary or desired, with the assistance of their colleagues, the Curriculum Specialist, Center Directors, and/or the Director of learning. The teachers produce way more material than we can post here, and much of it is placed daily on our Private Website, Connections, in sections for each learning group for parents to view every day.


What is an Emergent Curriculum?

A very brief introductory answer is: What comes from the children is the curriculum, including if they are infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or pre-k children. We are very attentive to all children’s inclinations, fascinations, interests, and enthusiasms in order to support their continued in-depth explorations of them and multi-dimensional expressions regarding them. In doing so, we make available a wide variety of rich resources for them to explore in their own way and in their own time.

What is an In-Depth Exploration?

A very brief introductory answer is: We facilitate children learning and applying multi-faceted inquiry attitudes and methods to pursue their interests. We support natural linking to resources and continuation as often and as long as an individual child or learning group wishes.

What is a Project Approach?

A very brief introductory answer is: In our case, it is a more or less open-ended exploration or expression that becomes more complicated and/or longer termed that can be considered a project. It often involves many components, including some forms of hypotheses, research, experimentation, outside resources, different kinds of effort, conclusions, reapplying learning to the continuing process, and some things satisfying and maybe, eventually, final.


How can I be involved in the C5 program is the San Francisco Bay Area?

Join us. Come to visit on a tour of our program. And, enroll your child in our school, or consider working with us as an employee at C5 Children’s school.

Refer others to us. Send others you know to us who might want to contribute to our ongoing efforts to bring the best possible learning and development to more children 

Donate to us. Make contributions of money, expertise, products, and services to our program. If you wish to donate money click here. If you want to contribute other things, contact us directly. See above for contact information.           

How can I be involved in using the C5 approach where I live and work?

Study our Public Website for an introduction to our approach.

Read some of the many materials offered by one of our major influences, Reggio Children Publishing.

Contact us for initial guidance or more involved consultation.