As active participants in their own learning, children put tremendous effort into intellectual and emotional growth. This means they need to move, try on, taste, touch, manipulate and interact with their environment (which includes adults and peers). It also implies that caregivers and teachers focus on the process rather than the products of learning.
From our beginnings in 1978, the Center has regarded a child’s self-concept as a prerequisite for healthy development. Experienced and trained staff members provide nurturing, respectful, responsive care while providing programs that enhance learning through play. By “play” we mean the rich daily investigation, exploration and experimentation undertaken by children in the presence of adults who enhance activities and provide increasingly complex tasks as children develop. This child-centered, play-based “best practice” approach reflects current educational and psychological knowledge about how young children learn.
Arising naturally from our philosophy, our daily activities provide a balance of large and small motor play; indoor and outdoor play; and active and quiet play within a daily schedule providing predictability and consistency. Led by qualified staff, some with many years of longevity, the day contains activities such as art and music, language and emerging literacy, math and science, and large muscle play. Teachers gently but firmly provide guidance and limits as children learn to socialize with others. Rooms and spaces are designed to encourage feelings of safety, competence and comfort.