We believe that the evolvement of social, emotional and cognitive skills are of considerable importance to a child’s overall development. For this reason, we have incorporated into our program: experiences, activities and learning methods that will allow children to expand, investigate and nourish these skills. Social interaction and play are primary factors to our philosophy. We view play as a prelude to the acquisition and understanding of developmental skills. We regard play as a very real and stimulative learning experience for children. Early Childhood research has proven that play is a very important factor to a child’s developmental needs. As often as possible, play will be incorporated into any learning experience that warrants this method of learning. A healthy social attitude is another of our goals. Teacher and child relations should be warm, supportive and attuned to the child’s needs. Teachers and children, alike, will be responsible for respecting the rights of others. Social interaction between all involved in the classroom situation should be a pleasurable experience: a give and take effort that will generate a healthy social development to all children.
In terms of emotional development, we strive to maintain a warm, secure and nourishing environment. We feel that the caregiver plays a critical role in the child’s emotional development. For this reason they are not chosen solely on the basis of professional merit. We strive to provide caregivers that are capable of developing a relationship with children. It is essential that the caregiver is sensitive and intuitive to the needs of children. One on one communication between caregiver and each individual child should be cultivated in an effort to make the day care experience a success for all involved.
Cognitive development will occur in a natural, non-stress atmosphere. At Care-A-Lot, we offer an environment designed to stimulate the child’s interest and curiosity. Investigative skills and creativity have a considerable effect on cognitive development. Activities and learning experiences are offered in an endeavor to foster, within the child, the urge to participate in a constructive and original way. Children do not develop at the same rate. Activities will be offered on this premise: Individual differences are expected and will be accomodated!
In an effort to appropriate each child as an individual, and in an effort to maximize successful encounters for all children, we have striven to structure our program to encase developmental needs at various developmental levels. In order to fix on children’s developmental needs, we have adapted the teachings and theory of Jean Piaget and his ‘Theory of Cognitive Development.'
Our program will also encompass the teachings of Erik Erikson and his ‘Theory of Psycho-Social Behavior.'
It is important that the security and comfortability of any classroom situation be maintained. In our effort to offer a secure environment to all children, the question of discipline method may arise. Our program will utilize positive discipline as a means of guarantying children’s emotional and social well-being. Positive discipline assures that a child is not punished emotionally, socially or physically. In our effort to promote prosocial behavior, we practice positive reinforcement and the offer of alternate activities. Explanations and examples of prosocial behaviors will serve as learning experiences to children. It is important that children incorporate unto themselves an understanding of their responsibility as to what happens to others. One child shall not be made to feel less than another child. A basic sense of fairness and an uninjured self-concept are major goals of our program. In this way, we hope to insure that children will develop a healthy respect for eachothers’ rights and a wholesome value system.
Success is the corner stone to self-concept, and all aspects of our program are designed to ascertain that children will achieve success and realize skill competence.
In an effort to escalate the successfulness of our program to all parties involved, we strongly urge parental involvement. It is our practice to offer Parent Workshops to interested parents. Workshops are an integral part of our program as they serve to better acquaint parent and teacher so that they may work together in an effort to meet the child’s developmental needs. Parent conferences, too, are held high on our list of priorities. It is imperative that parents touch base with a teacher so that individual needs and differences can be successfully accounted for and appropriated.
At CARE-A-LOT, we believe in children. We believe that they should be allowed to grow and develop at their own rate in a secure environment that is conducive to their well being and developmental needs. We emphatically believe in the importance of the preschool years on all aspects of a child’s overall development, and strive to produce a satisfying and stimulating daycare experience for each individual child and his inherent needs.
Each child is unique in his/her growth and development rates. Children posses an internal potential for learning. Interaction with a child directed environment can aide a child to internalize experiences by exploring the world around them. Social, emotional and cognitive needs can all be fostered by a sensitive and knowledgeable caregiver who is close at hand to assist the child to construct a sharp and clearer picture of reality.
The goals of our program encompass the formation of socialization skills, the structure of a sturdy emotional base and the internalization of knowledge, all in a secure, non-stress, child-oriented environment. The formation of socialization skills shall be afforded by interaction of children with children in a secure and interesting environment. Caregivers will be present in as non-restrictive a way as possible to promote harmony and cooperativeness in the classroom. Games, group experiences and activities designed to bring children together shall be offered in an effort to foster the birth and evolution of socialization skills. Children need to grow and develop at their own rate in a nurturing environment. In the classroom situation, it is the caregiver’s responsibility to meet and satisfy children’s emotional needs. Learning experiences shall all be offered to be in accordance with children’s individual abilities. By experiencing success, children can develop a strong and healthy self-concept. A caregiver who is affectionate and accepting and sensitive to children’ needs will help them to form a sturdy emotional base. The environment shall be constructed in such a way as to encourage exploration and allow children to utilize investigative skills in an effort to internalize problem solving techniques and knowledge.
Teachers will offer various activities to the children and they will choose which they prefer to partake in. Children will not be forced to participate in any one activity. Teachers will be non-restrictive participants and only interfere when necessary to set limits and keep harmony in the classroom.
Both structured and informal activities shall be offered by the teacher. The teachers’ role will depend on the activity being presented. In a structured science experiment, for example, the teacher will organize the activity and supervise the carrying out of activities. This will be necessary to insure safety, and to initiate an understanding of process. In an art activity, the teacher may set out the materials and allow children to finish the activity in their own way, her role - merely that of an on-looker.
Language as a tool to promote the child’s descriptive skills, understanding of language, speaking vocabulary, to explain feelings and to help social interaction. Stories, group times, dramatic play, puppetry will be integral parts of this program. All curriculum activities shall be designed to foster and improve language skills and self-expression.
The art program shall include a variety of interesting activities to be carried out by the child in his own way. Children will be allowed to develop their own individual creativeness. New and novel materials, a comfortable, non-restrictive environment and an enthusiastic teacher shall all contribute to the child’s artistic independence and success. These will all be attempted in an effort to strengthen self-concept and to emphasize the child’s ability to think and act on his own individual thoughts and ideas.
The recognition of numbers, quantity comparisons, shapes, one-to-one correspondence and all related mathematics activities shall be achieved through the use of concrete materials, experimentation and the child’s own exploration. Teachers shall present activities that will be in conjunction with children’s individual developmental levels.
Science shall be offered in an effort to accentuate to the children the relationships that exist in the world around them. Physical experimentation will be a significant portion of this program. Other activities will include: manipulation of new and novel materials, introduction of simple science equipment, weather charts, nature walks, field trips, etc. Children will experiment with and experience the relationships that exist in the world around them.
Music shall be offered in an effort to encourage the practice of socialization skills. Rhythm activities, the manipulation and introduction to musical instruments, singing, dancing, circle participation, will all be a part of this program. Music activities will be designed to promote interaction and relaxation: a comfortable getting together and getting to know one another experience.
Education of the five senses will be an integral part of the total Educational Program. Utilizing the five senses will help children to internalize knowledge as they explore and experience their surroundings.
Computers are offered in an attempt to teach children the basic fundamentals of the new technology that is rapidly growing around us. Our center has purchased software programs that are age appropriate for each classroom. The children will learn fundamental keyboard tasks, as well as working with a ‘mouse.’ Such concepts as colors and shapes and letters and numbers are an integral part of all of our software programs. Creativity skills can be exercised with other software programs that allow children to create their own stories and pictures. These can be printed out and sent home as a special project.
A portion of each day will be set aside to give children the opportunity to exercise their bodies. According to seasonal temperatures, children will have free time outside in the playground, or inside on various other large motor equipment. This is a very important opportunity for children to release pent - up energies and emotions.