We believe that the goal of early childhood education is to help children develop skills and dispositions that enable them to become successful, life-long learners. Additionally, we believe that social and emotional competence, is essential to children’s well-being and success in school and in life.
We are committed to implementing “developmentally appropriate practice” in our classrooms. This means that we teach in ways that match the way children develop and learn. To do this well, we need to keep abreast of current findings in child development and educational research. Our staff is therefore committed to maintaining its professional growth and development through ongoing training and education. We achieve this through membership in two leading early childhood professional associations, maintaining subscriptions to leading educational journals, participating in in-service training days, going on field visits and continuing our ongoing site training through our local early childhood training agency.
In setting up our classrooms, we bear in mind that the physical environment of the classroom affects how children feel and behave. Preschool children like to have choices, to explore, and to do things on their own. They also work better in small groups and in well-defined areas. With this knowledge of child development in mind, our preschool classrooms are divided into different Interest Areas including blocks, dramatic play, toys and games, sand and water, art, and library. Everything in the classroom has a designated place. Furniture, equipment, and storage are all labeled. Labels and displays are at eye level for children.
We also maintain consistent daily schedules in our classrooms for our boys. The consistency of the schedules and the predictability of the routines help children to feel safe and secure, and more in control of their lives. Consistent routines also help children to become more independent and self-directed.
We view challenging behavior as a normal part of developing self-control and we respond by teaching, or helping to develop, self-control and social competence. We do this by building a relationship with each child, helping children to make friends, developing rules for the classroom, teaching social problem-solving skills, and responding with firm limit-setting to challenging behaviors.