Our program planning is based on the needs and interests of children. Their developmental stages and capacities are considered and each day provides opportunities for all children to develop those skills. We are trained to consider the developmental appropriateness of our program; we often use the terms “developmentally appropriate” and “child centered”. Commonly used in a high quality program, the following definitions explain:
Developmentally appropriate practice is a program set up for children to have adequate activities, time and playing experiences that are appropriate and stimulating for the children to engage in based on the child’s developmental level. Consideration is given to the individual needs of each child zeroing in what they need to reach their goals. Developmentally appropriate practices are based on knowledge of age-level guidelines, individual interest, needs and cultural responsiveness; knowledge of the social and cultural contexts in which children live.
A child-centered program is when caregivers or teachers provide an environment based on the individual needs of the children to promote a child’s development: physical, emotional, intellectual, language, creative and social developmental needs. It is a nurturing environment and allows children to learn through play and express themselves rather than providing training in the form of a set curriculum. This is achieved by ensuring children are given choices, large blocks of time to play and opportunities to participate in small groups.
We are committed to following the guidelines of a high quality program and meet or exceed all Licensing and Accreditation Standards.
We appreciate and value parents’ suggestions and input to our program; attempts will be made to incorporate their suggestions. However, it is at the discretion of the Director and staff to evaluate the ability of these suggestions meeting the program standards. For example, “crafts” are not considered to be a developmentally appropriate activity in our program so parents should avoid bringing kits of that nature or anticipate that the kits will be disassembled so the children can build what they want with them. At no time is a child told what or how to make anything. If parents wish to donate supplies they are very welcome to supply materials that are open-ended encouraging child decision-making and creativity.
The staff work hard at preparing a developmentally appropriate program for the children to meet the needs and interests while respecting their limitations each week. In addition to their interactions with children, program planning is considered the most important aspect to a staff member’s position. The program is posted for parents to view and parents are welcome to ask the staff any questions. Communications will be shared with families of things the children have been doing and information related to our program. Please keep in mind that what is actually planned in advance can often change based on what the children’s interests are. We are flexible in meeting their needs.
We respect and value each family’s individual preferences and opinions on holidays. The intensity of such practice is too exhausting, chaotic and inappropriate for the children in our program. The program will include activities reflecting certain times of the year dependent, again, on the interests of the children. If your family is feeling uncomfortable with what the center is planning please inform the Director or address it upon registration in advance. Any information shared will be valuable in ensuring our program is able to meet the needs of everyone equally. Our goal is to ensure there is respect for all families’ opinions while ensuring we are meeting the needs of all our families.