Child's Day Curriculum Plan

Overview
Age appropriate skills and concepts form the core of our curriculum. Lead Teachers plan opportunities for practice of these skills and understanding of these concepts within themes based on the interests of the children. Hands-on activities enhance growth in social/emotional, physical, language and cognitive development.

Our Curriculum Philosophy
Our curriculum is guided by the fact that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn't just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in. In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all their senses: receiving information through touch, taste, smell, sight and sound experiences. In using real materials such as blocks and testing their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors and they notice relationships between things.

Play provides the foundation for academic or "school" learning. It is the preparation children need before they learn highly abstract symbols such as letters (which are symbols for sounds) and numbers (which are symbols for numeral concepts). Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum. Play is the work of young children.

The Center's Curriculum Goals

  • To create a setting in which children will find an abundance of opportunities for movement, exploration, and self-discovery according to individual needs, interests, and abilities.
  • To assist each child to grow to his fullest potential by recognizing each stage of development and fashioning an environment (i.e. curriculum, facilities, staff) designed to nurture and facilitate growth during each stage.
  • To help children achieve independence, self-discipline, social competence, self-knowledge, enthusiasm for learning, positive attitudes, intellectual growth, and an organized approach to problem solving.
  • To assist parents in understanding the developmental stage of their child, enabling them to contribute most effectively to the child's growth and enrichment.

Our curriculum identifies and focuses on the important developmental process of the children, which is individualized using assessments and parent input. The teachers have guidance from the program assessment plan regarding the types and frequency of methods to be used in assessing the children. When necessary, activities are modified to ensure that all children can share in the experiences. These independent plans will be integrated into the following classroom goals for each child:

Social/ Emotional

  • To develop strong bonds with people in their daily lives
  • To develop respect for people and things in their environment
  • To develop a strong sense of self worth and self confidence
  • To learn to identify a variety of emotions and express them pro-socially
  • To learn and practice successful conflict resolution skills

Cognitive

  • To observe the world around them and make discoveries
  • To build a foundation for academic success through continuous exploration of basic concepts
  • To acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, ask questions, and use words to describe their thoughts and feelings

Physical

  • Continuous increased coordination
  • Refinement of large and small muscle motor planning
  • Spatial awareness of their body in relation to objects and to others
  • Success with basic loco-motor skills

Language/Communication

  • To develop a large vocabulary for expression of ideas
  • To learn to interpret nonverbal communication
  • To effectively communicate personal needs or wants
  • To develop conversational skills including expression of ideas, listening, and comprehension

Curriculum Framework
Child's Day curriculum is based on the Emergent Curriculum model. This model allows the teachers to take their knowledge of child development stages and blend it with current interests of the children when creating their lesson plans and classroom goals. Emergent Curriculum acknowledges and supports the interests that emerge from the daily lives of the children. Interaction between teachers and children will contribute to ideas of study throughout the year. The activities that form the foundation for the units of study are prepared, organized, coordinated, and facilitated by the teachers.

Teachers use ongoing assessment to guide their curriculum planning in order to meet the individual needs and developmental objectives for the children. Teachers use many additional sources to inform the curriculum planning, including observations of the class dynamic, interactions of small groups, conversations with families, events the children have experienced, and individual assessments. The activities we plan for children, the way we organize the environment, select toys and materials, plan the daily schedule, interact and talk with children, are all designed with intention to accomplish the goals of our curriculum and give your child a successful start.

Working Collaboratively with Parents
Our curriculum works best when teachers and parents work together. Each of us has something valuable to contribute. Our teachers are formally trained in child development and early childhood education. We see how each child acts with other children and adults. We can assess what each child is learning and how he or she compares to other children.

Parents add the in-depth knowledge of their child. They know best the child's interests, fears, joys, patterns, and past. They are most familiar with the world the child is trying to understand. Parents know about the relationships between the members of the family, and have shared many of the child's experiences, from family events to trips to the doctor's office or the zoo. The family beliefs, languages, and traditions impact who your child is becoming. In many cases we incorporate this into the curriculum with parents' assistance.

We also see parents as the child's first and most important teacher. The home is each child's first and continual learning environment. Parents determine the family's daily routines. Significant research confirms that the way parents talk with their children makes a tremendous difference in how they think, how they feel about themselves, and the kind of person they will become.

Working together - We can do some of the same things at school that families do at home. The more consistency there is between parents and teachers, the more secure each child is likely to feel, and when children feel secure, they are more likely to explore, to experiment, and to learn.

Teaching Techniques
What we teach is not always obvious to the casual observer. We set the stage in order to guide children unobtrusively. Routine restrictions are few because we try to avoid regimentation. However, through adult guidance and association with their playmates, children are being prepared for self-control at a pace they can handle.

Children become aware of their own worth both as individuals and as members of their peer group, while learning to respect the rights of others and to conform to minor regulations. We attempt to maintain an atmosphere of freedom, friendliness and creativity. Adults can often stay in the background, ready to help if they are needed.

To improve communication with children we expect teachers to get down on their physical level. Kneeling, squatting, sitting in the child-sized chairs or sitting on the floor are very appropriate.