Our Philosophy

Janet Gillian founded CCNS in 1962. She felt that the existing preschools were too regimented and focused on academic learning. Janet Gillian’s concept for the school was to foster what she termed “readiness”. “Readiness” means learning how to develop healthy relationships with others, operate appropriately within the school structure, and respond to new situations as they occur. “Readiness” stresses broad-based experiences and new encounters upon which new abilities can be built. It focuses on exposure to diverse art projects and stories, different people, novel social situations, and enriching field trips. The hope is to foster curiosity as well as to teach children how to share, get along with others, and express themselves verbally.

The school’s educational philosophy emphasizes developmentally appropriate experiential learning rather than formal academics. Children are encouraged to manipulate, experiment with and discuss materials and concepts that directly relate to their own lives. Peer and adult interaction in these activities enhances the development of social skills. Play is instrumental in socialization. Class field trips provide the opportunity for children to further explore their environment -from school and neighborhood to the city and its natural surroundings.

As Janet Gillian’s founding ideas were cemented into practice at CCNS, the school was established as a non-profit and the following mission, vision, and values were outlined. These principles remain a guiding force in our community and practice as early childhood educators.

Further Reading

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play
The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story
It’s Never “Just Play”!
A New Push for Play-Based Learning: Why Districts Say It’s Leading to More Engaged Students, Collaborative Classmates … and Better Grades


Mission, Vision & Values

Our Mission Statement

Together, we are dedicated to fostering happy, socially engaged, independent thinking children through a teacher and parent supported community.

Our Vision

We envision a community where children are valued, parents are involved, and early childhood education is the foundation for lifelong learning.

Our Values

  • Experiential Learning: Learning while doing and playing. Giving children, parents, and teachers opportunities to learn through shared experiences.
  • Trust: Give the benefit of the doubt, have honest intent, and a reliance on our community.
  • Participation: To be actively involved in the CCNS community through classroom activity, committee work, co-oping, social events, maintenance, and supporting children, teachers, and other participants.