· Our Programs ·
Toddlers and Twos:
- Our primary focus with children ages 15 months through 35 months is to give them the tender loving care they need. Children this age are adapting to being away from their families for perhaps the first time. We believe in lots of individual attention for each child so we maintain low child to staff ratios.
We also emphasize the development of social skills at this young age. Once again, the children are just learning to be away from their primary caregivers, and are learning how to play and interact appropriately with the other children. We provide lots of room and opportunities for the children to explore – inside and outdoors. We focus on SAFETY as well as FUN. We keep enough materials so that the children do not compete excessively with each other for toys.
- We introduce “learning” activities such as: numbers, alphabet, colors, shapes, reading stories, drawing pictures, pretending, and physical activities as the children become developmentally ready for them. The teachers utilize the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines in planning their lessons based upon the children’s individual interests and needs. Our primary curriculum is the Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers. The teachers also have access to a wealth of other early childhood resources and ongoing professional development opportunities.
- For those ready for potty-training: we work with the families to form a partnership in this important endeavor.
Preschool: A.M. and P.M. Pre-K (for children three to five years of age)
- When children are about three, they start developing the cognitive, social, and emotional skills necessary to begin a more traditional preschool program. However, preschool-age children continue to need individual, caring attention. We plan our learning activities according to each child’s interests and needs. Our Pre-K classes are mixed ages 3-5: older students enjoy serving as mentors and role models; younger children feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. The children usually work individually or in small groups.
- Young children learn by doing. Our Pre-K classes have an emphasis on language and literacy to ensure that they are able to transition to kindergarten with the skills they need to be successful. We provide a variety of experiences to encourage our children to grow – socially, emotionally, physically, and creatively, as well as cognitively. The teachers utilize the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards in planning their lessons. Our primary curriculum is the Creative Curriculum. We utilize portfolio assessment for individualized planning and documentation of learning in each domain. The teachers incorporate the “Project Approach” several times per year. Second Step lessons are added frequently. Our preschool-age children are screened twice per year to determine any difficulties and to show growth in their learning. The preschool teachers also have access to many resources in our Staff Library and are provided professional growth experiences annually.
School-Age Program: (for children ages six/kdg. through twelve years of age)
- During the summer prior to entering Kindergarten, our fives are transitioned to a separate class in which we work on skills that they will need to be successful during their school careers. Once school starts, we provide transportation to and from several of the elementary schools in Rock Island.
- We also provide child care and enrichment for school-age children before and after school. Special activities and field trips are planned for the children during intersessions and when they have occasional days off from “Big School.”
- We offer a “Summer Camp” for children 6 to 12 years old. Activities include: group games, computer learning program, skating, park visits, art projects, softball/kickball, and many field trips throughout the community.
- We are in the process of incorporating a Nature Explore classroom into our outdoor environment to encourage our children to learn about the natural world in a familiar setting.
- Our staff are highly dedicated professionals, who receive special training on the developmental and educational needs of young children. We realize the importance of developing close ties with the family, and the primacy of the relationship that the child has with his/her family. Parent/Teacher conferences are held a minimum of twice per year, and parents or staff may schedule a conference whenever they feel one would be beneficial for their child.
- We communicate informally with families daily!