At CreArt we believe that Early Childhood Education builds the foundation for a life long learning process; and we strive to hep children and families in every step of the way.
CreArt is a childcare center that operates year-round offering full childcare services and exemplary education opportunities for children ranging from 0 to 5 years of age. We strive to provide optimal learning through play experiences and exploration of environment and resources. We focus on allures of development including socio-emotional, physical, and cognitive development, as well as language and health habits.
- Build and cultivate caring relationships with and among children, families, staff and community
- Respect and support each child’s uniqueness by embracing and honoring diversity
- Foster each child’s development of social, emotional, physical, motor, language and thinking competences
- Develop professionally through on-going training and education for teachers and staff
We believe that teaching and learning occur through hands-on experience – moving from concrete experiences to more abstract learning concepts. The school’s collaborative and playful environment promotes cognitive development, creative thinking, and physical growth. It also supports social and emotional development, language and communication skills through positive relationships and interactions with teachers, peers, families, and the community.
- Children best learn through active exploration and hands-on experience. We trust that learning occurs when children are exposed to a stimulating, secure, and caring environment that balances both play and educational experiences in an eclectic approach to teaching.
- Each child has different developmental needs and learning styles; children need to be free to learn and develop at his or her own pace.
- Children will learn attitudes and values that allow them to approach learning with delight and enthusiasm; we support a positive self-concept and help children develop self-esteem.
Family and Community
- Family and community play a crucial role in a child’s education, and we will strive to build collaborative relationships with families, providing volunteering opportunities, encouraging parent participation in family events, school-family field trips.
- We hope children and families will make life-long friendships and together create a community of learners.
At CreArt we believe that families and early childhood educators have the responsibility and essential role in supporting raising tomorrow’s conscious adults so actions of discrimination of all sorts are no longer acceptable. Therefore, we are committed to embrace all children, families, and staff to create a community of openness and mutual respect.
We will use developmentally appropriate practices centered on our schools values and principles to support our children to understand, respect and embrace differences, and to act against bias and unfairness. We will use the four goals of anti-bias education to help each child to learn, develop and strengthen each of the following:
Goal 1 – Identity – I Love Myself!
Help and support each child to develop self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identity.
Goal 2 – Diversity – I Love You!
Help and support each child to feel comfort and joy with human diversity; teach them to use accurate language for human differences; support them on developing deep, caring, human connections.
Goal 3 – Justice – That is Not Fair!
Help and support each child to recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
Goal 4 – Action – I’m going to tell!
Help and support each child to demonstrate empowerment and give them skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
Values We Cultivate
At CreArt We Cultivate
Play, Explore and Learn!
Through play experiences, interactions with teachers and peers, and through exploration with different play materials, kids discover their own ways of learning. CreArt teachers, through observation and inquiry, help children advance in their knowledge by scaffolding their learning process while learning from them and with them. Our collaborative and playful environment fosters children’s exploration and creative thinking, and supports social and emotional development.
Art is used as a teaching device, as well as a fun way to play. Freedom with art supplies encourages using the imagination and is also a good release for emotions and develops hand-eye coordination.
Literacy & Language Development includes time set aside in groups for show and tell, discussions about different subjects, flannel board stories, and most importantly, reading books. We will teach, support, and encourage foreign languages at our school through books, songs, and puppet play. This exposure helps children become familiar with different sounds and words, which may facilitate future foreign language acquisition.
Dramatic Play through the use of puppets, dress up clothes, blocks, and various props, encourages free expression and also allows the imagination to surface and blossom.
Games & Social Activities as a group are highly encouraged in our classroom. Games and group activities help children learn from each other and teach children how to cooperate with one another, learning patience and respect as they take turns.
Math is taught through our “Growing with Math” curriculum, which uses books, songs, and all sorts or materials that children play, explore and learn with while having fun. Math is also explored in activities throughout the day, for example, counting how many crackers were eaten at snack time. Other math games include identifying shapes, measuring, sorting and comparisons.
Science ideas that are simple to adults often are magical to the young preschooler. Exploring with books, toys and materials, children are introduced to meteorology, biology, chemistry and physics in very simple forms.
Music is used as an important teaching tool. It is easy to remember the rules at school when singing a song to remind the children what to do next. Music activities include activity tapes or CDs to help children to listen and follow directions. Anything can be taught through music.
Physical Development is included through using large muscle play on our outside area and playground.
Gardening encourages children to appreciate nature and the world around them while learning how things grow and having fun working with soil and water. Everything we grow at school will be used for childrens’ snacks or shared with them to take home; children are also fascinated by the chance to help prepare what we grow in cooking activities.
Cooking is included in our curriculum. Besides learning about the major food groups and healthy nutrition, children are more likely to eat something they have made. This is also a good time to encourage math and science through measuring and mixing.
Family & Community
We believe that education goes beyond the classroom doors to include families and the surrounding community. Families play an important role in our program, and we strongly encourage parent teacher exchange and parent involvement through volunteering in the classroom, parent working days, and school events when possible.
To enrich children’s school experience and teach about supporting community, CreArt will invite families to participate in their children’s school activities. They are invited to come in and share aspects of their culture, including family customs, story telling, book reading, teaching a song, etc. By doing so, families not only help their child/children develop a sense of community, but also support and contribute to the growth and development of all children.
Meet the Director
Patricia Van Der Beek
CreArt founder, Owner and Program Director
Hi, I’m Patricia Van Der Beek and I have the honor and privilege of serving children and families in our community. I have dedicated over 10 years of study to the field of child development, early childhood education, and early childhood administration in order to pursue my dream: a high quality preschool program where teachers and staff love and value each child as a unique individual and strive to develop their passion for learning by bringing joy into the early years of their education. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and a certificate in school administration/supervision in my native Brazil. In the U.S., I earned a Certificate in Child Development Administration from City College of San Francisco, a Master’s Degree in Education with concentration in Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University, and a Certificate in Business Administration from University of California Berkeley Extension. I have over fifteen years of experience working with young children. Six years were specifically dedicated to working as a teacher in preschool programs both in Brazil and in the U. S. before opening my own program in October, 2015. I’m often taking college classes in Early Childhood Education and child development as well as professional development classes to fulfill my biggest passion, which is education of young children. My second biggest passion is learning languages. I’m fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish. My husband, Jared, is an acupuncturist and physical therapist. In 2019 we became a family of three, and we welcomed to this beautiful world, our first baby girl, Helena. We live in Marin and love to be outdoors. As a family, we share the passion of traveling together. We also love woodwork, and together we created several pieces for our classrooms and outdoor area.