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The Cottages at Michaels Learning Center, Inc.

602 McIntosh Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34232

(941) 377-9700


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The Cottages is a High Quality Early Education Program nurturing children from six weeks through five years of age. We are an eco-friendly school, certified by the National Green School Coalition and a participant in the Look for the Stars program through the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Teacher-Led, Reggio-Emilia

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught Additional "Enrichment Classes" included with tuition: -Spanish Instruction: Our Spanish Teacher will give the children Spanish instruction (ages 1-5yrs) once a week. Each class, depending on your child’s age, will be 15 – 30 minutes long. The Spanish Teacher will work with the children sharing the language through fun and interactive stories, songs, labeling common objects and conversational Spanish. Teachers reinforce these songs and vocabulary in their circles and everyday life in school. -Movin' & Groovin'- Once a week your child will participate in Movin’ & Groovin’. We realize that during the early childhood years musical development is crucial to the child’s “whole” development. Playing, singing, and dancing to music will promote the child’s eye-hand coordination, as well as increase their fine and gross motor skills. Children who have had the opportunity to enjoy music during their early childhood years tend to perform better in reading and math in their primary education years. As well, these children typically have higher self-esteem and have better control of their bodies. The children will be offered a different music and movement activity to get them movin’ & groovin’ each week. -Story Stretchers: Each month your child will participate in Story Stretchers. The Cottages at Michaels Learning Center understands the importance of literacy. Our goal is to inspire in children a love of reading. We strive to make story telling magical, an adventure! A different book will be chosen each month and we will offer the children fun activities and lessons taken from the book.

From the Director:

Curriculum: Creative Curriculum , Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers, Kindness Curriculum (Character Education) Teaching Approach: Inspired by R.I.E. & Reggio Emilia Philosophy

Day in the Life

General School Mission


At The Cottages at Michaels Learning Center, our purpose is to provide a high quality early childhood education program for children Six weeks through Five years of age.


At The Cottages at Michaels Learning Center, our goal is to inspire a passion for learning in each child, through a progressive approach to early childhood education that values each child as a unique individual. We encourage children to be independent, self-confident and inquisitive. Our mission is to guide and challenge children so that they will emerge as independent, responsible, healthy, thoughtful and well-prepared adults. We strive to lay a foundation for children that will enable them to succeed in the years ahead, preparing them for their primary education years and beyond. We see in quality early childhood education the prospect for building a better society for the world of tomorrow.


At The Cottages at Michaels Learning Center, we understand that the well-being of your child is of the utmost importance to you. With that in mind, we are committed to providing your child with a safe, nurturing, stimulating, healthy and happy environment. We also understand that you want the very best education for your child and that is what The Cottages at Michaels Learning Center has to offer�?� the best and most comprehensive early childhood education available and it�??s affordable. We help to instill in your child a strong sense of self-worth by giving him or her opportunities to make choices, take risks, overcome challenges and develop an �??I can do it!�?? attitude. We teach your child that education is fun -- an adventure! The more knowledge your child has, the better equipped he or she is to excel scholastically and face the challenges that lie ahead.


At The Cottages at Michaels Learning Center, we provide a physically safe and emotionally secure environment, where children are nurtured, respected, and encouraged in a supportive, confidence-building atmosphere. Our center is designed to care for and educate your �??whole�?? child, offering opportunities for your child to explore and experiment with a variety of materials and experiences, while promoting your child�??s physical, emotional, intellectual, creative, and social development. Our program is based on respect and trust for children, valuing their authentic feelings and encouraging them to be active participants in their environment. Children are allowed the opportunity for real interactions with their environment and materials, inspiring them to explore and initiate their own learning. Through play experiences, children are supported in their efforts to make their own appropriate choices as well as respecting teachers, peers and classroom materials.


At The Cottages at Michaels Learning Center, we believe that children learn best through a curriculum that begins with an understanding of early childhood development and the play of young children. Our program uses The Creative Curriculum to assist in formulating goals and objectives when creating weekly lesson plans. As well, we are able to track your child�??s progress using The Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum assessment tool. The Creative Curriculum is a comprehensive curriculum, linked to an assessment system that fully meets the criteria for appropriateness and effectiveness. It addresses teachers�?? need to know what to teach and why and how children learn best. This curriculum allows for teachers to respond to the individual needs of their students. The curriculum specifies the literacy, math, science, social studies, arts and technology content to be taught based on published standards and is in line with the Florida School Readiness Performance Standards.

We also believe that children learn best when using an emergent curriculum, as children take the lead in their learning and curriculum goals and objectives are taught through individualized instruction based on each child�??s developmental level and knowledge. The curriculum consists of activities and projects that reflect the interests of the children. Teachers observe the spontaneous curiosity of the children in their care, and then guide them through activities, providing them with projects and a learning environment that reflect their pursuits. Children are expected to learn through trial and error and are considered equal learners. Their play and projects are documented in their portfolios, which contain assessments, photographs and records of their own words, allowing teachers and parents to follow each child's progress as well as help children see their actions as meaningful.

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school