Honeybees – 12-18 months
Crickets - 18-24 months
Dragonflies - 24-30 months
Geckos - 30-36 months
Programs for our youngest children are based on the Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC), an internationally recognized standard of best practice. Most of our one year olds begin in the Honeybee room with a teacher who will stay with them until they go into a preschool class. This “continuity of care” allows children and teachers to build deep trusting relationships. With a secure emotional base, children are able to explore and learn. As children grow, they move into new environments…but the group and the teacher stay together.
Because small groups are important we divide our classes into “primary care groups” so that each child has a special teacher. We make routines: diaper changes, meals, even naps, meaningful learning times when children are with a known and loving caregiver.
Our daily schedule is built around the needs of individual children, with special emphasis on their growing physical and language skills. Visit our classrooms and you’ll see all types of projects...pretend play, cooking, painting, lots of books, music, dance….we do it all!
Our babies and young toddlers each have their own outdoor learning spaces. The two year olds share a lovely enclosed playground designed by our own teachers certified in “outdoor learning environments.” We are outside every day, and able to give our children wonderful experiences with nature.
Our three classrooms use the “Creative Curriculum”, an approach to planning for preschoolers that emphasizes a well-planned environment and includes all important learning dimensions: social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language.
The beauty of the preschool years is that all the things children need to learn can be acquired by studying topics that are truly interesting. We teach math when we go out and do a “tree tally”. Writing is practiced making signs for a block city. Vocabulary and language skills are nurtured by repeated experiences with books, including putting on the “play” of the story. Every day children have opportunities to do creative work, scientific exploration, sing, pretend and play outdoors. Projects that follow an idea from a simple thought provoking question might last for weeks and include visits to other places on campus or special guests. Examples of recent long term projects are:
Designing and making an embroidered tapestry
What is sculpture?
The leaves around us
Where the Wild Things Are
Our day is organized with a predictable schedule that includes small and large group work, breakfast, lunch, a rest/nap time and an afternoon snack.