Our program is based upon the developmentally appropriate teaching strategies recommended by the National Association of the Education of Young Children. The teachers strive to provide a warm, nurturing environment that enhances the children’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. The program is designed to be both age appropriate and individually appropriate. Our activities and materials are open ended to encourage each child’s creative thinking and problem solving skills. Teachers emphasize and facilitate the development of positive social skills by providing many opportunities to cooperate, help others, negotiate, empathize, and talk through problems.
Through theme-based learning our curriculum focuses on 5 developmental areas:
- Cognitive: Learning through play, crafts, dramatic play and circle time activities. Children acquire skills in language, communication, problem-solving and memory.
- Gross motor: Inside movement activities and outside play help to develop large muscle coordination, balance, and self-awareness.
- Fine motor skills: Various art activities, manipulative play and writing center choices help build and strengthen eye-hand coordination, writing and cutting skills. Our emphasis is on the process rather than the finished products.
- Social and Emotional: building great selfesteem, positive attitudes, and the ability to function in a group as well as form relationships, help to build independence and confidence.
- Sensory: All children have different learning styles. “Hands-on” and messy play provide important experiences in using our senses in an integrated fashion. In addition to our school year program, we also offer exciting summer sessions that include many themes and activities, especially emphasizing outdoor play.
We have recently adopted using the Reggio Emilia approach. The Reggio Emilia described as student-centered, the program is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery through a self-guided curriculum. At its core is an assumption that children form their own personality during early years of development and are endowed with “a hundred languages”, through which they can express their ideas. The aim of the Reggio approach is to teach how to use these symbolic languages .