Back to Barkhamsted Preschools

The Pleasant Valley Children's Center

PO Box 132
Barkhamsted, CT 06063

(860) 738-3211


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"PVCC is dedicated to nurturing "The Whole Child", their language, social, emotional and physical development. Our curriculum emphasizes pro-social skills, creativity and positive self-esteem through a variety of loosely structured play and teacher-directed activities such as Circle Time, Music & Movement and Science & Nature. Our teachers have a clear understanding of childhood development and can guide children and counsel parents accordingly.
We are small by design, allowing us to maintain a child-to-teacher ratio of never more than 8 to 1. This means children receive lots of individual attention and everyone can get to know each other well. The center has one large main room which we have broken up into smaller cozy spaces to create a variety of play areas, a play kitchen, a block corner, art table, reading area, water or bead table and a table for using small manipulatives. We have a variety of small classroom pets throughout the year such as: goldfish, butterflies, and visiting frogs and salamanders. The center also has a full kitchen that teachers and parents use for preparing snacks, special baking projects or making such things as play dough. Cooking with the children is an important part of our curriculum.
This arrangement creates a safe, relaxed and enriching environment that is "Family Friendly." We want our children to feel relaxed, but we also help parents feel relaxed too. In practical terms, this means many small things, we are flexible. For instance, we do not require children to be toilet trained before entering preschool. Experience shows that children achieve developmental milestones with gentle encouragement in a relaxed and supportive environment focusing on success rather than failure. Moving outside, PVCC has a fenced-in playground with a large sandbox area, climbing equipment and ample room to run around and play with outdoor toys. Daily activities are often connected to the community and the simple activities of daily life such as, visiting the post office, fire department, local hospital or town hall. We take several field trips beyond the local area during the school year to an apple orchard, pumpkin patch or other places of interest. Parents will be asked to volunteer to drive for some of these trips. Parents who have a special field of interest or whose workplace would make a good field trip destination are invited to suggest these to the teacher.
The seasons and the changes they bring also determine our activities such as, using colored fall leaves or flowers in the spring for crafts help small children make order in their minds of the changes going on around them and how everything in their world fits together. Children may use their "Free-Play" time for this kind of special activity that teachers have arranged for the day or may simply play with the other children and toys of their choice."
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"Our daily routine usually (with some variation) follows this general pattern:
9:00a.m. Children arrive
9:00a.m - 10:00a.m Free play followed by clean up time
10:15a.m. - 10:40a.m. Circle time for stories, songs and discussions
10:40a.m. Hand washing followed by snack time
11:00a.m. Story time, music & movement
11:30a.m. Outside play time
12:00p.m. Parents pick up children"
Excerpted from the preschool's website