Infant Program: 6 weeks to 12 months
In the Infant Program, infant capacities, natural rhythms, and feelings are respected and protected in three ways. First, the physical space is safe, unrestricted, and interesting to the children. Special attention is given to children's developing interests, therefore, toys and equipment are chosen accordingly. In an attempt to provide an unrestricted environment, we avoid using equipment such as "Johnny-Jump-Up's," exersaucers, and wind-upswings, which tend to limit a child's movements. Second, a child's natural body rhythms are respected. Each infant is recognized as an individual with his/her own schedule which changes as the infant grows and develops, and caregivers in the infant program strive to respond to each infant's needs as they arise. Infants are hugged, rocked, sung to, fed, changed, and able to rest according to their own needs. Third, caregivers support the expression of all emotions by validating and acknowledging the feelings that a child experiences.
Additionally, we believe infants' relationships with adults shape their development and help form a foundation of trust and security. Since the most important relationship in a child's life is his or her parent(s), they are considered their child's primary caregivers. Caregivers will look to parents for information and suggestions to best provide care for their child. At the same time, the children develop relationships with the program caregivers, which is considered healthy for a child's growth and development. Children are encouraged to bond naturally and form attachments to all caregivers in the program.
Younger Toddler Program: 12 to 24 months
Our younger toddler program provides care for up to eight toddlers a day with at least two caregivers present at all times. The Younger Toddler room is unique in that the children enter as dependent older infants and leave as independent toddlers. At the start of the academic year, we follow the children's schedules of eating and napping. As the children grow physically and socially, we change to one basic toddler schedule, which everyone follows. We strongly believe in the importance of following the children's leads, paying special attention to each child's level of development with recognition of his/her individuality. Children are encouraged to make their own decisions where appropriate and problem solve whenever possible. The caregivers act as facilitators, modeling language development, appropriate social interactions and providing activities and materials that encourage exploration and discovery on the part of the children.
When deciding what activities to offer each week we consider each child's interests. We seek to develop a curriculum that emphasizes not only content, but more importantly, the process of learning. We carefully observe your child's interests, questions and concerns. We strive to provide concrete, hands-on learning experiences for the children to explore in their own way. This allows them opportunities to create new foundations of knowledge. With their reflections from those experiences, our goal is to design new activities to challenge their thinking.
Older Toddler Program: 2 to 3 years
Our older toddler program cares for up to nine children a day with at least 2 caregivers at all times. Our caregivers provide a variety of activities based on the children's interests, questions asked and learning style. We emphasize learning and creativity through concrete, hands-on learning opportunities, as well as through songs, finger plays, movement activities and manipulatives. We also have a series of movement activities to foster motor abilities and following directions. As the children ask questions and show interest in the world around them, multiple opportunities are given in order to allow the children to study and practice their new knowledge. Special attention is given to each child's level of development, with recognition of his/her individuality. We consider active involvement of the children in all phases of their growth and learning essential to the quality of their overall experience at the Center. Children are encouraged to make their own decisions (etc. choosing which area of the classroom in which to play, deciding on how to do an activity) and problem solving when appropriate. In the Older Toddler program, the children all follow the same schedule allowing for many chances to work on their blossoming social development.
Preschool Program: 3 to 5 years
There are up to sixteen children a day with two caregivers at all times in our preschool program. A child's day is balanced between free play and independent choices as well as structure and routine, which encourages children's developing sense of independence. Basing our curriculum on the children's interests, we are able to design themes that are planned in lengthy blocks of time, allowing full exploration of a subject by using the theme in all areas of the program. The children also work in small groups with the same caregiver. The small groups allow for individually focused interactions that allow for fuller exploration into. Our aim is to provide an environment and program that will encourage a child's independence and confidence and enjoyment of learning to help them prepare for kindergarten.
We strive to make our environment warm, comfortable, and safe so all children feel welcome. As preschoolers are learning to be more independent, we strive to encourage their blossoming independence by balancing the day with free play and independent choices as well as structure and routine. Free play and independent choices allow the children to make decisions about where and what they would like to play. We also encourage them to help in preparing snacks, cleaning up after play times, unpacking and packing their lunch boxes and preparing their nap spaces. Regular routine and structure is important in a preschooler's day as it prepares them for the flow of the day. By knowing what to expect, children can spend more time learning and enjoying their program. We strive for personal independencies. It is empowering to know you can do it yourself!