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Union Congregational Weekday Nursery School

176 Cooper Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07043

(973) 744-9069


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Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Union Congregational Nursery School provides a developmentally appropriate curriculum. In the past 10 years UCWNS has been inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. This Approach, developed in schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, has impacted early childhood education in the United States and around the world. We believe that children learn best through their play. Learning is an interactive process. Our environment is prepared for children to learn through active, hands-on exploration and interaction with other children, adults, and materials. Our curriculum is sensitive to individual differences and is committed to learning based on first hand experiences.
Our work with the children focuses on four areas of the child's development. Those areas include social, emotional, physical and cognitive. Social development grows as children begin to make friendships, cooperate on projects, and share roles in the housekeeping area. Emotional development is important as each child tries new activities, accepts responsibilities for his/her own actions, and understands the many facets of ones feelings. The physical development, both large and small motor, grows as children use equipment both outdoors and indoors and as they use the variety of classroom materials from hammers to pegs. Cognitive development, or how one thinks, is strengthened as new information, materials and experiences are presented to children on a daily basis.
Our classrooms are set up in distinct interest areas. Young 3 classrooms are simpler and have fewer interest areas. As the children become older, the classroom is more complex and has a greater variety of interest areas. The areas found in the classrooms include block, art, housekeeping/dramatic play, small manipulative toys, library, woodworking, science & nature, writing, computer, and music. Children develop decision making skills and initiative as they make choices about materials that they will use."
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"Work time, Small-group time, Large-group time, Outside/Gym time, Transition times, Snacks and Meals."
Excerpted from the preschool's website

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school