INFANTS maintain their own schedules, and we accommodate their individual feeding, sleeping, and eating routines. Beyond maintenance care taking, we know that babies need close physical and emotional comfort and security. We also believe that attachment through positive, encouraging verbal interaction is extreme- ly important for infants right from the beginning. As babies get older we concentrate on helping them develop the motor skills they need to progress towards walking, playing with toys and play equipment, and self-feeding. Music and finger-plays are part of everyday activities along with lots of smiles, hugs, and kisses!
TODDLER development, which extends roughly to age three, continues with an emphasis on building relationships, trust, self identity, and working towards independence. The curricula are designed with both predictable routines and child initiated play times to allow the comfort of structure as well as the freedom to explore and learn. Potty training with accompanying self-help skills becomes a major learning activity at about 24-30 months. Not only does being toilet trained give a child great satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, it allows a child to have more control over his/her own body. Eating skills and learning to enjoy a social mealtime are also a focus at this age. Being successful at this stage prepares a child for increased social and cognitive development when moving into the preschool program.
PRESCHOOL AND PREKINDERGARTEN at the three-year-old level is a program structured around the child’s gaining more independence, social skills, and knowledge about the world through play activities. The play environment is set up to support this by providing the child with many different “mini-centers” to allow the child freedom to choose and pursue child initiated activities with the teacher as facilitator. Small and large group times are scheduled to introduce new ideas, concepts, or skills, and to sing and play games as a group. Art and music are part of every day. The social skill building in the preschool allows more collaborative project-oriented activities that integrate all areas of learning. “Emergent curriculum” uses the ideas and interests of the children for thematic material. Using skilled observations, teachers provide the structure, organization and resources for children to pursue their interests and achieve their goals. We strive to provide a rich, creative and encouraging environment that supports a child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. We do not feel children should be pressured to learn in any “one” way or to have unreasonable expectations placed on them. Instead, we want to provide children with as much exposure and opportunity to learn as they are ready for and to make learning fun and their day positive.
(Excerpted from Online Parent Handbook)