Our Campuses

Growing Place operates two centers in Santa Monica with separate admissions processes

Serves children 2½ – 5 years

The Ocean Park campus has four classrooms each made up of 18-22 students with the following teacher to student ratios, age groups, and monthly tuition rates:

  • Fees

    • $650 Annual Material Fee
    • $1200 Non-refundable Enrollment Fee
    • $75 Non-refundable Application Fee
      (waived if applying for tuition assistance)

    Tuition Assistance is available to qualifying families, click here.

Serves children 3 months – 5 years

The Marine Park campus has three classrooms with the following teacher to child ratios, age groups, and monthly tuition rates:

  • Fees

    • $650 Annual Material Fee
    • $1200 Non-refundable Enrollment Fee
    • $75 Non-refundable Application Fee
      (waived if applying for tuition assistance)

    Tuition Assistance is available to qualifying families, click here.

Growing Place Marine Park Campus is generously subsidized through a grant from the City of Santa Monica to provide quality infant/toddler child care and support low-income families in Santa Monica with child care.

Therefore, we give enrollment consideration in the following order of priority:

  • City of Santa Monica full time employees
  • Santa Monica Residents full-time working, low income Santa Monica families that qualify for Tuition Assistance (see application)
  • All other applicants

We encourage all interested applicants to apply.

Growing Place has been selected to be the operator of Santa Monica College’s new Early Childhood Lab School, slated to open in 2019.

For more information and developments please visit Santa Monica College’s website: http://www2.smc.edu/planning/labschool/

Flow Of Our Day

Arrival and Greeting Time

This is the period for learning about trust. Children take their cues from the adults that the campus is a safe and interesting place to be. A team of teachers, all of whom will develop close relationships with your child, can support your child’s movement into the group after saying goodbye.

Our core learning hours are from 9:00-11:30

Small group work is based on interests and skills of the children. Teachers use this time to observe, document, and sustain learning by using intentional language to help the children understand the process of their learning. Teachers make careful observations and ask questions that stimulate thinking about how else ideas might be expressed. New materials may be presented as a provocation to a new approach, idea etc. Our teachers help children focus on the process of learning, rather than a product. Children who are not working directly in a small group choose activities in the classroom centers where they learn to work and play together. Children may weave in and out of small group work throughout the year.

Meals, Transitions and

Rest Time

The goals of these times are to help children be independent in meeting their physical needs and to enjoy the pleasures of eating and socializing with peers again in small groups. Young children need to learn to self-regulate and self-nurture. Sleeping at school, hand washing, toileting, and managing their own snack and lunch promote these behaviors. Parents provide nutritious lunches with appropriate portions for young children to manage.

Outside Exploration Time

Outdoor play provides an opportunity for children to learn the important skill of getting along in a group. For example, waiting for a turn on a tricycle can be a frustrating experience, but it also provides an opportunity to use words to ask for a turn and figure out that there are lots of other interesting choices while you wait.

Children learn to take risks and challenge themselves physically on the large motor play equipment. The sandbox, garden, art materials, and other equipment outside are designed to promote playing together. Outside activities can be as big and exuberant, or as quiet, as a child wants them to be. The teachers in this setting model extensively how to use words to solve problems and work with the children to encourage co-operative play.

Reuniting with Parents

A successful reconnection between children and parents is the goal of this period. The teachers work hard to create positive experiences for children and parents. All have worked hard and face the evening ahead. The staff will offer the children a quiet indoor activity so that each child may leave the group without having a large cleanup job. This is an opportunity for parents to reconnect with their child, show interest in their play, and read the documentation that provides glimpses of the life of the classroom.

Parents may pick their child up at any time in our day. Our centers close promptly at 6:00pm. 

We follow a general flow of the day that is engaging for the development of very young children

Encompassing learning domains such as

  • social-emotional
  • language
  • physical & cognitive

However, each child has his/her own schedule for sleep, eating and diaper changes – it is authentic to each child’s tempo and developmental stage.

We are a child development center focused on the educational component of the day, we do not allow drop-offs between the hours of 11:30-2:30. This policy is strictly enforced.