Back to Saco Preschools

Southern Maine Children's Project

9 Flag Pond Road
Saco, ME 04074

(207) 602-6718


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

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

From the Director:

The children reveal their interests and their learning tasks through their free play and exploration of materials and physical environment. Teachers serve as resources for expanding children's ideas and building their exposure to meaningful experiences and activities.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

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

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • fundamental math thinking is a part of many activities and supported intentionally through cooking activities, sorting, ordering, categorizing, matching, and comparing
Time & space more

More Information

  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Building blocks
  • thoughts about yesterday, today, and tomorrow are always captured in work with memory of and planning of activities
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

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

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • dancing, singing, and making music together
Visual arts more

More Information

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

More Information

  • 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

From the Director:

The materials and physical environment invite learning about the natural world - animals, birds, and nature. Music is always woven into experience with musical instruments, music as a backdrop for activities, singing and dancing. Hands on art play is always happening to reflect children's expressions.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Every child is different, age is only a small indicator of possible developmental achievements. By observing the "work" children are drawn to, the developmental challenges they are experiencing become clear. We create a balance of activity periods that flow from focused, task oriented work to broader, gross motor expression of energy. The children demonstrate their learning tasks and we are skilled at introducing materials and activities that enable their success.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Developmentally appropriate curriculum driven by the children's interests and inclinations. Music, art, and the natural world are fundamental. Golden retriever therapy dog always with the group. Strong emphasis on partnership with parents to provide meaningful support for the children and their families as they grow.

A Typical Day

Arrival - free play, self-care, and job choice for the day
Toileting and snack
Special Activities
Social circle - greetings, songs, reading
Lunch together

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We document children's work daily through written notes and photographs. Monthly newsletters capture a full picture of group development and ideas for learning. We invite parents' to visit, and we consistently ask for their input for our understanding of their child's experience and learning needs at home. We provide trimester written reports that reflect comprehensive assessment of their child's growing abilities and interests.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We recognize that many children experience some separation anxiety as a normal part of development. To support the child's success at learning to confidently enter, engage, and say good-bye to parents, we work with parents to create a specific plan of behaviors for the adults - parents and teachers - to practice in anticipation of certain anxious behaviors the child present.