Tustin Community Preschool's philosophy is simple: The best way to prepare children for life and to become independent thinkers is to allow them to develop at their own pace through playtime and creative expression. We offer a hands-on approach in a developmental environment, nurturing all sides of the mind, body and spirit.
Because we recognize the importance of human development within the early childhood years, TCP's program is structured around helping each child reach their highest potential through the exploration of their natural abilities and curiosities.
Our mission is to provide an enriching and stimulating developmental preschool experience for young children through dedicated and committed parent participation.
What is a Co-Op? And Why a Co-Op?
A cooperative preschool, or "co-op", is one at which parents work as volunteers
on a rotating basis fulfilling jobs both in and out of the classroom.
Additionally, each parent takes on a job at the school to ensure that we maintain a fun, fully-enriching environment for our children. This can be anything from a board director position (Each year, the parents form a board of directors and are active in all decision-making at either the board or general membership level) to maintaining the classroom art area, to serving on a committee such as Curriculum or Ways & Means. For TCP to run smoothly, every parent's contribution and commitment is important. This is what drives the developmental enrichment program that we are committed to providing for all of our children. Finally, all parents participate in fundraising and event activities as needed.
What makes the ideal TCP working parent?
What does a parent participation program offer?
There is tremendous benefit in learning about how your child develops, how the educational process begins, and in being able to watch your child change and grow along with their friends.
TCP families create a community within the school, and we all work together to help nurture all of our children. Bonds of friendship and community are created quickly in this setting, providing both children AND parents with a supportive network of peers. We all share a common goal: to raise our kids in the developmentally enriching environment of which we all become a part. In other words, TCP becomes as much a learning experience for the parents as it does the child.
The Developmental Approach
The study of child development is the exploration of how children grow and develop naturally as they age from infancy to adulthood, reaching milestones at different stages of growth. Tustin Community Preschool takes that knowledge, through the experience and background of our teachers and director, and creates a program that takes into consideration the maturation process for each child's own level. So, rather than force a learning process that a child is not developmentally or chronologically ready to embrace, we instead encourage a learning process through thoughtful playtime, creative experiences and sensory discovery. By doing what is age-appropriate, your child will become confident and socially ready to handle life's next venture without losing their childhood. This type of "open-ended" learning will encourage your child to use their own amazing brain.
Our Director, Ms. Shelley Burnett
Shelley Burnett – lovingly referred to as Ms. Shelley, and known for her warmth and enthusiasm with children and parents alike – has been a part of the TCP family for many years. First, as a mother with two of her sons attending the preschool, and then in 1999, she joined the team as the Parent/Toddler Teacher. Ms. Shelley brings with her a background in child development and has been recognized by the State of California as Teacher of the Year in 2008. Along with her husband and their three adult sons, Shelley is a long-time resident of Tustin.
In 2013 she took on the role of Director and 3 Day Class Teacher. With fresh new ideas and a strong foundation in beloved TCP traditions, Ms. Shelley's passion for children and love for the school will take TCP into the next 50 years of playing to learn.
Our Teacher, Ms. Juliana Tabata
Juliana Tabata first joined TCP in 2007 as the mom of two sons who are now in "big school." Ms. Juliana then began teaching both our 2 Day Preschool class and our Parent/Toddler program in 2013. She holds a Bilingual Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, a Masters in education, and speaks five languages. Along with her many teaching credits, her love for play-based learning and the involved community of TCP, makes her a wonderful addition to our school.
With her joyful enthusiasm and contagious smile, Ms. Juliana is instrumental in helping our youngest students move into newfound independence with greater ease. Along with her husband and their two young sons, Juliana is a long-time Santa Ana resident.