Back to Hampton Preschools

Downtown Hampton Child Dev Ctr

1306 Thomas Street
Hampton, VA 23669

(757) 825-6200


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Children enjoy learning with a combination of curriculums. Creative Curriculum®, a hands-on program for infants through 5-year-olds that encourages children to learn through play. Doors to Discovery(TM), a literacy-based curriculum developed by the University of Virginia to help prepare the children for kindergarten. Al's Pals, an interactive program that uses puppets and songs to teach social and emotional skills. Growing with Mathematics, a core mathematics program for pre-kindergarten students.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Children practice writing in notebooks and on lined paper; but the focus remains on open-ended expression and much writing is also done on blank paper
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • activities through Growing with Mathematics curriculum
Time & space more

More Information

  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
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
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:

Learning through play is the core of our philosophy. During circle time, the teacher leads discussions, reads stories, leads songs and movements, and introduces information, but the children interact and respond throughout the lesson. There is a definite level of structure, to give the children consistency and boundaries and to reign in the general chaos that can arise in a group of unchecked preschoolers, but the atmosphere is casual and happy, and the children often don't even realize how much they are learning as they take part in the fun.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our mission is to nurture young children by providing affordable, quality preschool programs that develop the "whole child" and foster school readiness.

Our holistic program develops ALL children physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. We serve children from all backgrounds, income levels and abilities. From the developmentally advanced child to the one with delays, all children are given the attention and nurture they need to reach their potential. Children with special needs are included in classes with other children grouped by age.

A Typical Day

Creative, open-ended art
Music and movement
Toys and games, for small muscle development
Dramatic play
Enrichment activities, such as guest speakers and field trips
Problem solving
Language development
Literacy activities
Math and science
Outdoor exploration and play, for large muscle development
On-going opportunities for emotional and social growth