Classroom Environment

We follow an emergent curriculum model, which means that the teachers plan experiences based on the interests and developmental levels of the children. The teachers spend time observing the children and getting to know them as individuals. Then they will bring in materials and activities for the children to explore. The teachers document how the children are using the materials and make new plans based on the documentation and observations. Teachers at the CDC put a lot of thought and planning into meeting the children's social and emotional needs as well as preparing them for academic learning.

Infant

In the Infant program, the teacher's goal is to help the infants learn to trust and to form secure relationships with others. They strive to meet the children's needs promptly and respectfully, giving them a secure base from which to explore the world around them. Building strong partnerships between parents and teachers is particularly important for this age group, so open communication is crucial.To ensure an effective foundation for later development and success, infant experiences should be designed to meet the individual needs of each child. An individualized curriculum provides a way for teacher-caregivers to be intentional about the way they support development and learning in children.

Infant learning is also largely relationship and context dependent. The support and interactions of adult caregivers are critical to the growth and learning of these youngest children.

Our curriculum plans are individual based. Our primary goals are responsive caregiving and building secure attachments. We establish partnerships with parents that are visible to the child with gentle, predictable caregiving from consistent caregivers. We are learning the unique “language” of the child, and gratifying communication efforts through consistent responses. Once the infants’ primary needs have been met, they are able to fully engage in other important areas of development. We encourage curiosity and exploration as underlying traits upon which motor skills and cognitive functioning can be built, in the context of appropriate limits and expectations.

Children in the infant room sleep in cribs. Sheets made for these cribs are provided by the CDC.

The Child Development Center participates in the Child and Adult Food Care Program. Parents of infant children can choose to to use the milk or soy based formula the CDC provides or bring their own. Parents who are breast feeding can express milk or set up a schedule with the classroom teacher to come in to feed their child. The CDC provides age appropriate foods for infants. Ask for specifics at enrollment.

Toddlers

As children move into the Toddler program, the teachers continue to provide comfort and security as needed, but also encourage the children's growing need for indepedent exploration. The toddler teachers arrange the environment in a way that supports the children's need to practice many different ways of moving their bodies safely. They help the children begin to understand appropriate ways to express their emotions and encourage them to practice their blossoming communication skills.To ensure an effective foundation for later development and success, toddler experiences should be designed to meet the individual needs of each child. An individualized curriculum provides a way for teacher-caregivers to be intentional about the way they support development and learning in children.

Toddler learning is also largely relationship and context dependent. The support and interactions of adult caregivers are critical to the growth and learning of these young children.

We believe in learning based on play and center our lesson plans based on the children’s interest as well as group and individual goals. Activities are planned to enhance children’s learning in the areas of physical, cognitive, literacy, and social emotional development. The environment is arranged in order to allow children to have choices and to safely explore.

Toddlers are working very hard to learn appropriate social skills as they grow and develop. As children learn how to play and be together they are also learning how to handle conflicts such as others playing near them or with items they want. They are developing the skills to tell each other they do not like something. As they learn this it is natural to hit, kick, push, and bite. Though none of us like it when children do these things, as they learn boundaries, we have to remember this is age appropriate and with time they will gain a handle on all of these behaviors and stop using these ways of communication.

Children may bring in comfort items to school such as pacifiers, blankets, and stuffed animals. These items need to be age appropriate for the child, meaning no small parts that could pose a choking hazard. These items must be the same every day. By being the same all the children in the class begin to recognize whose comfort item is whose and there is less fighting over these valued items.

Children in the Toddler classrooms sleep on cots. Sheets and blankets made for these cots are provided by the CDC.

The Child Development Center participates in the Child and Adult Food Care Program. The CDC provides a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack for each child. If your child has a food allergy a healthcare provider will need to fill out a Special Diet Form. Ask at enrollment for more information.

Preschool

Children in the Preschool program continue to refine their social, emotional, and language development through large and small group times, as well as opportunities to freely choose their own activities. Through their classroom experiences, children practice problem solving and are introduced to basic concepts in the areas of math, literacy, science and social studies. They learn how to be responsible members of a community as they contribute to the classroom environment.Our classroom environment and curriculum are play based and centered around the interests of the children. Within the children’s play we incorporate academic skills such as literacy, language, pre-writing skills, mathematical concepts (numbers, colors, shapes comparisons, positional words), social and emotional development and appropriate social interactions.

We want to establish a trusting and open line of communication between home and school. We encourage parents to visit the classroom to play, read books, or have lunch with us.

We embrace direct interactions with our materials and environment. Dirt, mud, glue and paint are encountered almost daily. Please bring your child in “backyard play" clothes.

Children in the preschool classrooms sleep on cots. Sheets and blankets made for these cots are provided by the CDC.

The Child Development Center participates in the Child and Adult Food Care Program. The CDC provides a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack for each child. If your child has a food allergy, a healthcare provider will need to fill out a Special Diet Form. Ask at enrollment for more information.