BlueSkies Resources

Our Mission

BlueSkies for Children has, from its inception, considered its mission to have three parts:

  • High quality early childhood experiences for children in full-day care,
  • Comprehensive support for parents who are working and raising young children, and
  • Education and support for the teachers who are providing these services to children and families.

The quality of a child’s experience in an early childhood setting depends entirely on the ability of the teacher to provide age-appropriate experiences within the context of an authentic, caring, and compassionate relationship. BlueSkies can influence the quality of care for hundreds of young children by training and supporting teachers who work in early childhood settings, though it can only directly serve about one hundred children per year on site. This is why the third piece of the mission has always been teacher education programs, through a variety of different delivery systems.

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Recent Posts

The Process, Not the Product

The teacher sets out different colors of paint in several low dishes, then puts out a dish of rolling tools: a plastic pizza cutter, a small wheel off a plastic car, a small plastic paint roller, a large marble. Today the children can experiment with moving paint onto...

Stampede in the Nursery School

With a shriek of joy, five bundled-up children take off at a full run around the climber and back to the fence. It is a chilly day and most of the children are playing inside, so there is plenty of room to run without disrupting other children. The teacher watches the...

José Antonio Arce – A life well lived

Dear BlueSkies Families, We send this sad note regarding a wonderful alumni parent José Arce-Yee. José helped the school come into being 30 years ago as we were just starting.  He had a knack for helping non-profit start-ups and began many important programs in the...

Snapshot on a Rainy Day

Preschool teachers value “open-ended toys” like blocks and art materials because the children can use them to support whatever play they have in mind. This snapshot shows, however, that they can also often re-purpose specific equipment if the teacher will give them...

For Parents and Educators

Holiday Pleasures

One of the great pleasures of parenthood is sharing our holiday traditions with the next generation… but working parents today need to start with a dose of reality.  Perhaps our own memories of those traditions came out of a very different family structure, or from...

How to Give Meaningful Gifts to Young Children

As we approach the holidays, buying gifts for young children often becomes part of the fun of the season. This article offers information about how and why children play, and what equipment facilitates the creative play process for children at different ages. Through...

Daycare, a Refuge in the Holidays

Parents and teachers are eager to share cultural traditions with children – sometimes so eager that children end up with lots of disassociated ideas floating in their heads which they try hard to assimilate into their construct of the world. I fondly remember a...

Snapshot in the Playroom – Learning how to move

Janelle is 6 months old, doing just what a baby her age should be doing—pushing up, kicking, not quite mobile yet but definitely getting the idea. Today she is lying near a low round basket with a few balls in it; as she haphazardly bumps it with one hand it rocks and...

Banner April 2017 – Art and its auxiliary attributes

A quality education, by definition, enriches and expands thought processes beyond predictable, concrete memorization and reasoning into the abstract, creative realms, thus expanding knowledge and enriching one’s overall life experience. For example, bilingual people...

Adult Education History

In 1987 new licensing regulations required classes in Infant Toddler Development for teachers of children under three, but few such classes existed. BlueSkies (then known as Association of Children’s Services, or AOCS) received grants from the Clorox and Irvine foundations to create and teach Infant Toddler Care and Development classes on site. From 1987-2002 the Neighborhood Accreditation Center (NAC) allowed more than 3,000 center teachers and home providers to complete all their required classes for teacher licensing from the state, with accreditation through California State University of the East Bay Extended Education. Entry level classes were also taught in partnership with the City of Oakland Senior Asset program, certifying older citizens to start a new career in child care. If you took NAC classes and need transcripts, please contact Cal State East Bay.

Subsequent adult education has been offered through programs such as the Working With Play series, as funding permits. In this program, the entire teaching and program staff of eight child care centers attended full-day workshops at BlueSkies to learn more about supporting children’s learning through play. During the following three months, the centers received on-site coaching from a mentor teacher who helped them arrange their classrooms and yards and teach routines that would allow the children to be more self-directed in their play.