At Learn And Explore, we believe that children learn through play. We use the Creative Curriculum framework which supports our belief that young children learn best when the classroom environment is child-centered with a focus on interest areas. Research shows that exploratory and creative activities that young children initiate themselves, is the primary way they develop concepts and understanding about the world.
Play provides benefits for cognitive, physical, social/emotional, and language development. Play helps children develop the skills necessary for critical thinking and leadership. Play is how children solve problems and feel good about their ability to learn.
To provide these benefits, play must be consciously facilitated by skilled teachers, who are well-trained in observing children and in understanding how play contributes to children’s mastery of concepts and skills. The teacher’s role is to facilitate and support an environment that sets the stage for active learning – with real, concrete experiences. As children explore their environment, teachers will listen for children’s emerging ideas about their discoveries. Children’s ideas are expanded on through meaningful interactions with other children and adults. Some experience may evolve into short-term activities or into long-term projects generated from teacher’s observations and/or the children’s different needs and interests.
The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the active learner. Care is taken to accommodate the child’s different developmental levels, needs, and interests. Our program involves learning through discovery and play. This includes the activities and experiences that take place in the classroom, and more importantly, the relationships that form between children, their peers, and their teachers. Additionally, we focus on the process of learning. For example, the act of constructing a building or the manipulation of art materials is more important than the final product. Ultimately, it is the process where learning occurs, not in the end product.
Teacher quality if one of the most powerful influences on a child’s developmental success. We prioritize that our teachers are high-quality, extremely knowledgeable, professional, and caring. To ensure teachers are successful in their classroom, we provide continuous professional development opportunities and coaching. All of our teachers meet or exceed the NYS Education and Health Department requirements.
CURRICULUM & DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION
Our curriculum includes an explicit and clear focus on developmental and academic content areas. Our goal and objectives are fully aligned with state early learning standards, and are integrated into each and every one of the comprehensive collection of resources that make up the curriculum. Most importantly, the curriculum offers daily opportunities that enable teachers to quickly and easily adapt activities to make them more or less challenging, giving teachers the ability to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every learner.
A modern, comfortable, and multi-sensory stimulating learning environment is created to support the development needs of the child. Space is divided into interest areas for children who want to explore, make things, experiment, and pursue their own interests. Separate interest areas with varied materials offer children a range of clear choices. Areas devoted to books, art activities, or toys and games provide several choices for quite activities. Areas set aside for dramatic play, block building, or musical activities provide choices for active engagement.
It all starts with the fact that all personnel and staff have undergone a full background check. It continues with the fact that all of our entry/exit doors remain locked at all times. These doors open only by “individualized key-code access” – meaning the person entering the facility has been given a unique key-code and approved for entry. Going a step further, the administrative office is right off the main lobby – enabling the Education Director and assistant director to monitor all those who come and go from the building. We have internal camera viewing in each classroom, hallway, stairwell, and entry/exits points, ensuring the ultimate safety for children to be viewed by management and parents at any time in the parent viewing space. The playground is fully fenced in – ensuring our safety measures extend beyond our physical building.