Mission & Philosophy

The Children’s Center at Caltech’s Mission and Guiding Principles

Mission Statement: To Nurture the natural curiosity of children as a foundation for life-long learning.

Guiding Principles:

  • Encourage critical thinking by incorporating STEM into everyday play.
  • Trust that children are active participants in the learning process.
  • Respect and care for each other and our surroundings.
  • Value diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Establish a happy environment that fosters creativity.


Web of TrustThe philosophy of the CCC has its basis in a humanistic view of the child as an individual learner within a community of learners. The aim of the program is to respond to the needs of every child as s/he develops awareness of the world and readiness for learning. Within a STEM based program, each group provides developmentally appropriate materials and activities for the whole child in the areas of social/emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development, while fostering a positive self-concept.

Following long-term and current research on how children learn, the Center offers planned and emergent activities where children are encouraged to explore their world, think critically, solve problems, ask questions, reflect, and work collectively with teachers and peers. Teachers nurture a sense of competence and self-worth in every child through appropriate levels of scaffolding. The emphasis is on active, hands-on learning with a balance of child-centered and adult-directed activities that addresses the needs of the whole child.