We believe that all children:
Grow and Develop in Their Own Individual Ways
In the first five years of life, children are growing and changing at a very rapid rate. They are growing physically, emotionally, socially, cognitively, and creatively. No two children develop in exactly the same manner or sequence, or at the same rate. Every child’s development proceeds in an individual fashion. To provide challenging and supportive experiences for each child, our staff becomes familiar with all aspects of each child’s specific developmental pattern.
Are to Be Accepted and Valued for Themselves
As children develop in their unique fashions, they each gain a sense of themselves. A positive self-image is essential if children are to feel confident, allowing them to reach out to the world and to others. To develop a positive self-image, children must feel that the important people in their lives (family, teachers, and peers) accept them and value their feelings and perceptions. Therefore, it is important to create an atmosphere where each individual is considered important and individual differences are viewed as unique contributions to the richness of life.
Need to Develop Trusting and Loving Relationship with the People Around Them
As children grow from infancy to early childhood, they depend on adults to meet their needs. The need for loving attention is one of the strongest needs of young children. In order to meet this need, it is necessary to have a high ratio of teachers and caregivers to children. It is also necessary for these teachers and caregivers to be sensitive, caring, and consistent in how they react to each child’s behavior. Thus, children can develop the ability to give and receive affection and understanding as they learn to trust themselves and others. The caring relationships that develop between teachers and children do not hamper the strong, primary bond between parents and children, but rather, reinforce each child’s developing capacity to trust and be involved with others.
Can Learn to Understand and Express Their Feelings in an Appropriate Manner
Children have many powerful emotions that they are unsure of and cannot always control. Sensitive, responsive adults can help children to recognize, label, express, and deal with these emotions in appropriate ways. In order to feel secure, children must know that their fear will be understood and acknowledged, their joy will be shared, their sadness will be respected, and their anger will be accepted while their inappropriate actions will be gently but firmly restrained.
Should Develop a Sense of Independence and Personal Responsibility
When children feel comfortable with themselves, their caregivers, and their surroundings, they are able to act independently, following their own interests. Provided with a secure environment and reasonable limits, children learn that their actions and behaviors have consequences for themselves and for those around them. Thus, a sense of personal responsibility begins to develop.
Should Have Ample Opportunities to Explore and Manipulate Their Environment While Developing Lanuage Skills
to Express Their Thoughts in Order to Learn About the World and How to Solve Problems
Children learn as they play. They use all of their senses to discover the world around them and their developing language to express their needs, joys and creative ideas. As they play, they develop and constantly revise their understanding of the world. A variety of experiences must be made available so they can choose activities that are interesting, challenging, safe, and satisfying to them as individuals. Teachers and caregivers must know each child well so that they can offer appropriate materials and challenges, support and expand on their questions and comments, and encourage them to try new tasks appropriate to their age. This approach supports each child in his/her unique discovery and learning process. Children also learn appropriate social skills when given the freedom to interact with others as they test out boundaries and interactions. Learning should be a joyful and exciting part of growing up.