Center Programs

The Center for Young Children and Families offers developmentally based programs designed to meet the needs of young children in small group, large group, and individual play times both indoors and outdoors.  Each program has a set of developmental goals, which are included in this handbook and posted in each classroom.

Language interaction is a strong component of each program.  Children are actively involved in storytelling, sensory experiences, dramatic play, problem-solving activities, music, and singing.  Teachers listen carefully and respectfully to children and encourage them to ask questions and develop new ways of thinking about the world.  Teachers and children enjoy many conversations through the course of the day.  Language is also emphasized as a way of expressing feelings in conflict situations.

Activities in each program are designed to help children develop understandings about reading and writing through daily experiences with written language.  Each classroom has a library of good children’s literature that is regularly replenished.  Children have opportunities to explore books and writing on their own and with the guidance of teachers.  Teachers read to children several times each day, in large groups, small groups, and individually.  Children and teachers talk about what they have read, engage in activities to extend their understanding of literature, and use written language for authentic purposes, such as signing their names on their artwork and writing notes to each other.  In the dramatic play areas in each classroom, children are able to experiment with how written language is used in a variety of different situations (in a restaurant, doctor’s office, pet store, etc.).  Writing materials and books are available for children at all times.

Children also have daily opportunities to practice important early mathematical skills and concepts such as counting, one-to-one correspondence, and estimating.  Teachers model for children how to use mathematics to solve simple, everyday problems, and give children opportunities to practice problem solving, such as determining how many napkins to place at the snack table.

Within each program, children are encouraged to develop a positive self-image, age appropriate self-help skills, and social skills in a variety of settings.  Through play, art, games, blocks, manipulatives, and sensory experiences, children gain a sense of self in relation to children and adults.

Each program posts a daily schedule for parents to review.  Special activities and events are noted in the Center hall area.  Parents are encouraged to observe and participate in the program whenever possible.

Commitment to cultrally relevant & anti-bias care and education

Our goal is to provide the educational conditions in which all children are able to value who they are and also promote each child’s comfort with and respect for differences in others.  We strive to provide a program that both assists children to function in their own cultural community and builds their competence in the culture of the larger society.  We foster each child’s ability to think critically about bias in all of its forms and to cultivate each child’s ability to stand up for her/himself and for others in the face of bias and to act as change makers in society.

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