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- Philosophy -

Our program is based on the following main concepts:

1. Child-Centered - our program is here to meet the real needs of children, allow them the freedom to be children, and put their physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being first. We believe children learn best through play and social interactions. Our main goals are to nurture children and help them learn to get along with their peers.

2. Problem Solving – our program strives to teach children to form positive relationships, resolve conflicts, learn self-discipline, and show respect for others. We see inappropriate or destructive behavior as a problem to be solved, primarily by the children involved and with the help of a teacher-facilitator.

Here are the major terms used in the problem solving approach:

Active listening interprets and reflects a child’s feelings. It lets children express and think through their problems and find their own solutions.

Negotiation teaches children to talk to each other about their problems, look for solutions, and resolve conflicts nonviolently.

Setting limits teaches children to stay within safe boundaries and learn self-control. Limits are based on safety, responsibility, and respect. We set limits with “I” messages, consequences, choices, information, and contingencies. Our last resort is “removing and sitting apart.”

Affirmations are the ways we make children feel important. Affirmations include positive “I” messages, reinforcement, noticing, strokes, and narrating.
The learning environment is built around the child’s need for nurturing relationships, safety, comfort, physical activity, emotional expression, social interaction, and intellectual stimulation. Whenever possible, we modify our environment and adapt it to meet children’s individual needs, instead of trying to adapt children to the environment.

3. Primary Caregivers - The children enrolled are assigned to a Primary Caregiver who provides both respectful and meaningful connections between our program and the child and his or her family.

The primary caregiver communicates regularly with families, performs all care giving routines, assists with assessments and documentation, and implements the curriculum according to the needs of the group.

The teachers work together as a team and are kept informed about all children.

Last updated: 8/7/2008 12:10:44 PM