Providing Quality Education for Children and Adults

From its inception in 1926, Mills College Children’s School (MCCS) has had the dual mission of providing quality education for both children and adults. To this day, we continue to hold that mission at our core, providing hands-on, experiential learning to the children across our programs, from  Infant/Toddler all the way up to 5th grade, as well as providing mentorship to student teachers from the School of Education doing their practicum in our classrooms. Inquiry is at the heart of our unique model and we support research at all levels, ranging from formal studies to student teacher curriculum projects to helping children investigate their own ideas and hypotheses.

In February 2000, state-of-the-art buildings were designed for the Children’s School with teaching and learning in mind. Facilities feature light-filled rooms, outdoor porches, expansive age-appropriate play areas, and an outdoor classroom. As part of Mills College, students have access to the campus’ athletics facilities, woods, trails, and open spaces, all in the heart of a vibrant, urban setting.

Our Mission

  • To provide high-quality, developmentally appropriate educational programs for children from infancy through fifth grade
  • To provide a clinical setting in which students preparing for careers in Early Childhood can participate in the application of theory into practice and develop the understanding of how practice informs theory
  • To facilitate educational research oppor­tunities that engage participants in the process of investigation, reflection, and documentation

Core Values

  • Constructivism/Constructionism: Children learn through interacting with the world around them, and the teacher’s role is to nurture that process and provide materials that support hands-on learning.
  • Social Learning: Teaching and learning occur in collaborative relationships with parents, teachers, faculty, and students.
  • Emotional Safety: Everyone learns best in a safe, supportive context with respect for a diversity of opinions and experiences.
  • Reflective/Reflexive Practice: At all levels–from discussions with our children to ongoing research by our student teachers, head teachers, and professors–we engage collaboratively, think critically and creatively, and share our learning with peers and the wider community.

Our Curriculum

  • With social justice at the core, children learn about the world around them and how they can make a difference.
  • Units of study integrate science, social studies, language arts, service learning, and design thinking.
  • Music, art, and physical education emphasize being a unique individual in the context of the group.
  • Because we nurture children’s social-emotional development, they learn to appreciate their own increasing sense of autonomy, belonging, and competence while simultaneously developing a strong sense of community.
  • Teachers design learning environments to reflect our philosophy at each developmental stage.

The Children’s School provides an exciting, rich, and accessible education for children and adults in a unique setting that offers access to the academic and artistic aspects of a college campus.