The Preschool Program is designed for children from 2 1/2 to 6 years old. The purpose of the Preschool program is twofold: to provide a safe, creative learning environment for young children and to provide a practicum site for students enrolled in the two year Child Development Program.
Philosophy and Goals
We believe in the importance of the development of the whole child. The inter-related aspects of development we focus on are: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development. In our program we help the child grow in independence, social skills, motor skills, self-esteem, self-control, thinking and reasoning skills, motor skills and language ability. We believe that our goals will help the child develop a positive self-concept: a good feeling about himself and the world.
Staff and Group Size
The 2 1/2 year old group has a maximum of 16 children, the 3 year-old group has a maximum of 18 children, and the 4/5-year-old-group, 24 children. Each of the groups has full-time teachers who have credentials ranging from the Associate Degree in Child Development through the Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. The full-time teachers are assisted by part-time Co-op students and by students in the "Human Growth and Development" lab and the "Methods in Preschool Education" lab. With the students in the classroom, the adult-child ration ranges from 1:5 to 1:7. The professional staff members understand the importance of the early years and know how to plan a good educational program for young children.
The daily schedule includes free play, learning center activities, circle times and large motor activities both indoors and outdoors. The learning center activities are based on such themes as Community Helpers, Home and Family, Water and Transportation. Some of the learning centers available to the children are art, dramatic play, math, science, manipulative, music, water and blocks. The schedule in each classroom balances active and quiet time, free play and structured activities, social and individual times. The exact timing of activities is determined by the developmental needs of the group.
The children have breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack at the center. A resting or napping time is provided for each child who is here after lunch.