The goal of the curriculum is based on the idea that children learn through play and exploration. Achieving a balance between adult stimulation and independent exploration and discovery is how that goal is accomplished. Finding this balance revolves around the space in which the children occupy the equipment and opportunities offered, observations of individual children, and the expertise of the teacher. Children learn best from the activity or toy they choose. Because of this, the curriculum should offer the flexibility of addressing and respecting children’s immediate interests. An objective of the curriculum should be to create those “teachable moments” throughout the day whether exploring and learning on their own or by interacting with a teacher or peer.
Curriculum for infants should provide security, predictability, and the opportunity to explore safely and freely. Infants spend much of their first year testing their environment to see who they can trust to meet their needs. It is very important that these individuals, who infants learn to trust, remain available within a close proximity for that child. If this can happen, infants have the motivation to explore and experiment within their environment independently. The environment should offer experiences that challenge motor, social, cognitive, and language development. Sensory experiences are key at this early age for developing a sense of their environment and themselves.
Curriculum for toddlers should also provide predictability and security. Toddlers learn with their whole bodies. They like to explore with their hands, feet, mouth, and eyes. Toddlers need the opportunity to express their energy and curiosity in a positive and enriching environment. The emergence of self-awareness is critical during these years. Toddlers need a program that will promote a positive self-image and encourage a child’s natural desire to learn. They too need opportunities to enhance motor, social, cognitive, language and self help skills.
Curriculum for preschooler and Kindergarten children is derived from many sources such as the knowledge base of various disciplines, society, cultural, and children and parents’ desires. Since children learn best from the activity or theme they choose, it is most effective to let the children guide the curriculum. A talented teaching team uses careful observation and attention to pull the children's’ curiosities together in a cohesive and meaningful way. The daily schedule represents a balance of structure and freeplay comprised of developmentally appropriate activities designed to help each child toward independence and enhanced self-esteem. Our activities encourage children's’ awareness of the value of uniqueness and cultural diversity.
Curriculum is what happens with the child the entire time they are in out-of-home care. From diaper changes to a painting activity, the curriculum will address all areas of development and strive to meet the needs of the whole child.