The primary goals of Early Childhood I (preschool) and II (pre-K) are for the children to comfortably be able to separate from the home environment, function effectively as members of a group within a warm, secure classroom and gain a sense of developmentally appropriate independence. At the same time, academic instruction takes place in ways that are engaging and playful for young children.
Inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, children can choose from a wide variety of materials, activities and equipment. Developed by preschool educators in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia, this philosophy of teaching, learning and advocacy for children includes observing what children know, what they are curious about and what challenges them. Teachers record these observations to reflect on developmentally appropriate ways to help children expand their academic and social potentials.
During much of the program, they are able to work and play individually or in small, informal groups while being provided with concrete learning activities focusing on materials and people relevant to their own life experiences. Ample opportunities are also given to learn and apply skills in a meaningful context as children build comfort with language and literacy, number concepts and the understanding of new information about the world in which they live.