Infant And Toddler Care

At Kai Ming, our Early Head Start program is designed to meet the unique needs of infants and toddlers ages 3 months to 3 years. Our high quality infant and toddler classrooms, and our highly qualified teaching staff, provide loving, nurturing, and responsive environments for our youngest children, in partnership with their families. Our services are free or low cost for eligible families.

Our Curriculum

At Kai Ming, we utilize the Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos, and we follow the approach of the Program for Infant and Toddler Care (PITC). Both of these promote relationship based care, and focus on following the individual needs and interests of each child. Relationships with the family are equally as important as relationships with each child, and our staff welcome the engagement of families in the classroom.

Our curriculum supports the development of children in all areas of development, including social-emotional, language, cognition, and physical development.

Play-Based Learning and Development

At Kai Ming, we believe that children learn through play and everyday experiences. We build on the interests of the children, creating opportunities for exploration and learning as they play. As children grow and develop, they are encouraged to take responsibility for their own belongings and needs, as appropriate for their age and developmental level.

In our program, you will see:

  • Age-appropriate activities individualized for each child
  • Emerging language and literacy
  • Sensory and motor development
  • Toilet training (when children are developmentally ready)
  • Safe spaces for learning
  • Self confidence and independence experienced through routines
  • Inquiry, observation, and play
  • Self expression through arts, music, and movement
  • Culturally appropriate activities and experiences
  • High quality teacher-child interactions, leading to warm, nurturing relationships
  • Nutritious meals and snacks

Environment Rating Scale

Each year, Kai Ming uses Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) and Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) to evaluate and identify areas of improvement in the classroom environment, including program quality aspects such as Personal Routine and Care, Interactions, and Program Structure.

Teacher-Child Ratios

  • 1:3 for infants (age 3-18 months)
  • 1:4 for toddlers (age 18 months-3 years)

Quality Teachers and Staff

  • Our teachers have the required degrees and credentials to work with young children. They have a knowledge of child development and the ability to adapt for the varying needs of each age and stage.
  • Low teacher-child ratios foster quality interactions between staff and students, and allow each child to receive individual attention.
  • We welcome diversity among our staff. The language that our students speak at home is reflected in our staffing.

Staff Professional Development

Kai Ming staff continue to grow and develop their professional knowledge and skills after starting their positions at Kai Ming, through regular training, coaching, and other professional development opportunities. There are required training mandated by the state and federal funding contracts. Each staff member has an annual professional development plan that aims to help them grow professionally and personally. Talent and career development advice is available through our Learning and Development Department.

Parent Committee

Parent Committees provide an opportunity for parents/guardians to become involved and participate in program decision-making, including decisions regarding their child’s education. Head Start parents and staff work together to determine the kinds of education and learning experiences provided at the center. During the Parent Committee meetings, parents initiate suggestions and ideas, plan and organize center activities, and make suggestions regarding the curriculum or other services at the center. Parents may also provide information about activities and events in the community, serving as a community link between the program and the community. Parent Committees also elect their Center Representatives to the Policy Council.

Family Support

  • The Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework (PFCE) is a guide to learning how family engagement promotes positive, enduring change for children, families, and communities.
  • Kai Ming uses a strength-based approach to build relationships with families and support goal setting for family success. The strength-based approach takes into account the individual but also the environment.
  • A Family Advocate in each center supports family needs including housing, health, educational, parenting, mental health, community resources, and more.

Community Involvement

Kai Ming partners with different community agencies to bring resources and referrals to support children and their families. Head Start is required to partner with the Local Education Agency on serving children with disabilities through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Kai Ming also partners with Golden Gate Resource Center (GGRC), SFUSD, SFSU Nursing Program, RAMs for mental health consultation, Magic toothbrush, and many other agencies.

Inclusion and Mental Health

  • Kai Ming accommodates children with special needs, developmental delays, behavioral and mental health issues.
  • We promote children's developing capacity to express and regulate emotions, form trusting relationships, explore, and learn.
  • We partner with the United School District and community partners to adapt instruction and provide the supportive services that the student needs.
  • We support the mental health of all of our children, families, and staff.

Health, Nutrition and Safety

We offer nutritious meals and snacks for children at school, and health screenings to ensure that children are healthy and ready to learn.

  • Nutrition Program: California Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP)
    • Multicultural menu
    • Accommodating food allergies
  • Child health screenings and referral services
  • Education and resources for parents and family
  • Promote children’s health and safety in the centers and at home

The Home-School Connection

We partner with families and parents and empower their roles as the first teachers of their children. Parents are engaged in making decisions for their children's learning, classroom curriculum, and program operations. Policy Council and Parent Committees play an important part in being the advocates for their families, the program, and the community.

Our educational approach respects and incorporates the culture, language, and ethnic values of each child.

Contact us for information today!

To schedule an in-person or virtual appointment:

Kai Ming Main Office | 415-982-4777 | | 933 Howard St. | San Francisco, CA 94103 |