What is the focus/curriculum of your programs?
Our curriculum is based on child development and research of best practices for children and families. Our daily plans emerge from the interests of the children so the activities will vary. The mix of activities allows children the freedom to make choices throughout the day. A typical day includes activity centers that include building, creative expression, dramatic play, reading, small manipulatives, large group gatherings, small group work, meals and snacks, and rest time for full-day programs. There is a focus on developing a life-long love of learning and building a strong foundation for development of skills necessary for future learning such as communication, problem solving, questioning, and collaboration.
What kind of qualifications does the staff have?
Teachers have professional preparation in early childhood education, child development, or elementary education and regularly participate in ongoing professional development.
All of the Pre-K staff meet or exceed the requirements for NAEYC Accreditation.
Is there an academic focus? Do they play all day?
We promote hands-on exploration and manipulation of materials in a safe, cooperative, and challenging environment. Research tells us that this is how children learn best. We plan for the different levels of play and use topics that children are interested in to introduce letter and numbers. Through research we know that rote memorization and worksheets are not how young children learn best and therefore are not used in our programs. Learning takes place each day. There is an Archive Binder in each classroom that provides parents with information and photos which document the activities happening in the classroom and the learning outcomes. The teachers also help to make the learning visible through emails, conversations, newsletters and by posting documentation.
Do the children play outside?
The classes go outside whenever possible, depending on the weather of course. We look at the outdoors as an extension of our classrooms.
How do you discipline the children?
We view mistakes as learning opportunities and young children are expected to make mistakes. Children make choices and are responsible for their decisions. We address situations as they arise and on an individual basis. Our goal is to help the children develop self-control and make positive choices for the right reasons.
What is the Reggio Philosophy all about?
Reggio Emilia is a region in Northern Italy. Several years ago a study was conducted on the best preschools in the world and Reggio’s preschools were ranked at the top of the list. Understandably much interest followed the study. The approach focuses on children’s thoughts, ideas and interests. Children are viewed as competent and strong individuals. We utilize these practices in our work with children. Much of our research and professional development focuses on better understanding their principles. Please view our approach page for more information.
Do you celebrate holidays?
We are not a holiday or theme driven program. Keeping that in mind, we believe that celebrations can enrich classroom experiences. All families are encouraged to share their unique traditions and customs with the class. Again each classroom is different and ideas are taken from children’s interests.
Do children have access to computers or other technology?
Our preschool teachers are provided with iPads to support their work with documenting children's work and growth and to support instruction. Young children are growing up in a technology rich world and need opportunities to develop early "technology-handling skills". We provide opportunities for children to explore digital cameras, keyboards, telephones and other technology which typically takes place in the house area. Teachers also use their iPads and computers to access high quality interactive media to support children's learning. These tools are used in moderation and always with the support of a teacher.