Frequently Asked questions (FAQ)

a. Submit all enrollment paperwork provided by MB and required by licensing.
b. Pay the deposit equivalent to a month of full-time tuition, annual materials fee, and one time registration fee

All children and staff are required to be up to date on immunizations.

a. All staff have been vaccinated.
b. We follow current SFDPH and CDC guidelines, please see here:

During the early childhood years, children are learning to be in charge of their own behavior. We believe in establishing consistent, easy-to-understand limits and in having teachers who respond to inappropriate behavior with insight, sensitivity, and skill. When clear, consistent and age appropriate limits are present; children increasingly become responsible for themselves. When out-of-bounds behaviors do occur, we believe it is important for children to understand why the behavior is inappropriate and how to modify it. We work to prevent behavior problems by arranging each classroom so that children work in small groups and have a choice of activities. The range of activities will give your child the freedom and ability to experience success and become self-directed.

Teachers are also trained to skillfully direct behavior along appropriate channels. Children are encouraged to verbalize their feelings to learn to positively work through strong emotions. Teachers act as role models and encourage children’s appropriate behaviors. Under no circumstances is corporal punishment permitted. Discipline will not be associated with food, rest or toileting. We believe that it is our responsibility to provide children with positive guidance and in our experience, most children will respond well to our approach. In the event that a child does not respond, we will notify the parents and work closely with them to develop a plan to help the child gain self-control and a positive attitude toward their peers and teachers. Should the child’s continued negative behavior put themselves, their peers or their teachers at risk for physical harm or, if the child damages Center property, we reserve the right to ask the parent to withdraw the child from the Center. While we understand the developmental tendencies of children to experiment with inappropriate language to shock others, withdrawal may also be requested for those children who are verbally abusive, including the repeated use of inappropriate language with other families consider offensive.

Yes, you will still need to pay to hold your spot while your family is away on vacation.

Our teacher’s are required to undergo a Caregiver Background Check as mandated by the state of California. Employees must submit their fingerprints to see if they have a history of crime.

Teachers are required to have at least 12 early childhood education (ECE) units or willing to take classes. If a teacher currently does not have any ECE units, they are considered teacher’s aides and must be under the supervision of a fully qualified teacher. All employees are required to submit immunization records and undergo a health screening including a TB test.

Teachers must also get their CPR and First-Aid certification, complete mandated reporter training and pest management training, and ensure that they stay-up-to-date.

Administrators, such as the director and assistant director, are required to take the Health, Safety, Nutrition, and Lead Poisoning Prevention trainings.

It is the policy of Meaningful Beginnings to immediately attempt to contact either the parent or authorized representative when a child is sick or injured. All children must have a signed and completed Emergency form that is kept in the classroom’s emergency binder and the child’s file. The form contains the following information:

● Parent’s phone numbers (personal and/or work)
● An authorized person who can respond during an emergency
● Physician’s information
● Authorized persons who may pick-up the child from the center
● A statement authorizing Meaningful Beginnings to seek emergency medical treatment when the parent or authorized person is not present

In case of a Medical Emergency

If a child is seriously injured or has a seizure, Meaningful Beginnings staff will follow CPR/First-Aid procedure and contact 911.

In case of Fire

Fire drills are practiced monthly to help staff and children be prepared in case of an actual emergency. When the alarm sounds, children evacuate the classroom and building with their teachers. Infants are placed in cribs while toddlers walk with their teachers. A copy of each center’s evacuation plan is posted on the parent bulletin board and in the classrooms.

In case of an Earthquake

Children and staff also practice earthquake drills regularly. When they feel the ground shaking, they must stop, cover, and hold on. Staff are encouraged to model calmness to children and to refrain from trying to catch falling objects to prevent injury to themselves. If it becomes necessary to evacuate the center, staff will follow the emergency evacuation plan.

Emergency supplies are located close to the front of the building for easy access during an evacuation.

Payments are made through our Brightwheel app. Tuition is collected one month in advance.

Yes, we post pictures and log activities through the Brightwheel app throughout the day.

Our Taraval location we offers infant care for children ages 6 weeks to 24 months and toddler care for children 24 months to 36 months. The Laguna Honda location offers infant and toddler care as well as a preschool program for children ages 33 months to 5 years.

At Meaningful Beginnings, we believe that children are naturally curious and motivated to learn and explore. They are capable of acting on their curiosities to understand and make-meaning of their environment and the people in them. Children are competent problem solvers who learn from doing. That is why it is important to observe children closely and give them opportunities to expand their interests through a supportive and appropriately challenging environment.

With this in mind, Meaningful Beginnings utilizes different curriculum approaches to suit the uniqueness of each child. In the emergent curriculum process, teachers provide experiences and activities based on the children’s interests, strengths, needs, and lived experiences. Learning opportunities that are meaningful to children encourages them to fully participate and contribute to the learning process. The emergent curriculum requires gathering observations from daily activities, inquiring about experiences outside of school, and asking for children’s perspectives on what they are learning. Activities and projects may only be a one-time experience or may expand to weeks of learning depending on the group’s interest.

We are also inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach that believes children show understanding of the world in many different ways. They communicate and express themselves through art, language, music, dancing, writing, and many others. Teachers are co-learners and they learn alongside children through their observations of the activities and provision of support and guidance. Teachers seek to find out what children know, what they want to learn about, and what challenges them.

Whereas the Reggio Emilia approach focuses on collaborative learning and views teachers as partners and guides in learning, the Montessori approach focuses on independent learning where the teacher is considered a director. The teacher has both passive and active roles in the children’s learning: passive in allowing children to explore and focus without interruption and active in their interactions with children and the environment. The space is set-up with learning stations where children can autonomously choose an activity to engage in based on their interests.

In the Waldorf approach, children learn by engaging their head, heart, and hands. By providing different activities that focus on academics, arts, movement, nature, and practical skills, children learn by thinking, feeling, and doing. This approach emphasizes teaching children how to think, not what to think. Along with an environment that feels home-like, children are encouraged to deepen their understanding of a topic that they are interested in with the assistance of trusted educators. Mindfulness is also at the heart of the Waldorf approach, where children consciously think of their feelings, thoughts, and sensations and to focus on what is important to them at the moment.

Above all these approaches, Meaningful Beginnings views the family and community as important partners in the development and education of young children. With constant open communication, we are able to learn from the experiences and perspectives of children in relation to the members of their family and broader community. We encourage children and families to share who they are with our MB community and to respectfully interact and take the perspective of the other members of our multicultural community. We are proud of our diversity, not just in the families and children that we serve, but also in the staff that we employ whose experiences and backgrounds also form an important part of our learning approaches.

We follow California licensing standards for teacher to child ratios:

● Infant Program – 1 teacher to 4 children
● Toddler Program – 1 teacher to 6 children
● Preschool Program – 1 teacher to 12 children

Yes, the deposit is refundable at the end of your time with Meaningful Beginnings if your child starts care.

Our drop-off time is between 7:30AM to 9:30AM. If you have a scheduled doctor’s appointment in the morning, please let us know in advance so we can be prepared to check-in and transition your child to the classroom.

Your childs’ development is important to us. We try our best to not terminate families, however, if any of the below are experienced, those are ground rules for termination.

a. Failure to comply with this Agreement, the Parent Handbook, or any other policies established by Meaningful Beginnings;
b. Behavior or actions by a parent or child that disrupt the positive, respectful environment of the day care or effectively make other children, families, or staff uncomfortable;
c. Destructive, hurtful or disruptive behavior of a child that persists even with parent cooperation in stopping the behavior, this includes negative naptime behavior, violent or disrespectful behavior (spitting, hitting, kicking, and biting) and/or uncontrollable, persistent temper tantrums;
d. Non-Payment of childcare fees or persistently late payment of fees;
e. Failure to show up for 5 days in a row without any communication;
f. Failure to complete required forms;
g. Inability to meet the child’s needs without additional staff; or
h. Habitual lateness in picking up your child.

If we do have to terminate your family, we will take these following steps and work together with you for a smooth transition out.

1. Verbal warnings / communicate issues via email.
2. When and if the decision is made, we will give written notice of termination.
3. We will help support the transition out by referring nannies, babysitters, etc.
4. Two weeks’ time will be given for your family to find new care for your child/ren unless otherwise agreed upon.

Meaningful Beginnings observes the following holidays:

● New Year’s Day
● Martin Luther King Jr. Day
● Lunar New Year
● President’s Day
● Memorial Day
● Independence Day
● Labor Day
● Veteran’s Day
● Thanksgiving (and the Friday after)
● Christmas (closed the last 2 weeks of the year)

Additionally, we are closed for professional development one day each quarter (4 days total) and one week in the summer. A calendar of school closures are provided to the families at least 30 days before the school year starts. If a change needs to be made, we will notify families 30 days in advance.

Emily Pham

Infant Teacher

My name is Emily and I am an infant teacher. My aim with this position is to learn how children develop as unique individuals and learn how to support their holistic growth. I am currently a student at San Francisco
State University majoring in Child and Adolescent Development. With this experience, I am hoping to get a sense on whether I want to continue to work in the classroom or if I want to learn the administrative side of education. The experience of working directly with children is gratifying and I wish to create a safe space for children to explore with all of their senses as they develop their own personalities. I hope to be able to help build a strong foundation so that the children can have the confidence and ability to express themselves.