"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
The routine for the infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners are constructed to prepare each group for the next program. The infants’ routine prepares them for the toddlers’ program and the toddlers’ routine prepares them to go on to the preschool program. Each group’s routine is more complex. Within the routines are ample opportunities for individualized teaching and programming. Children are introduced to learning at their level and activities are developmentally appropriate. Teachers are actively involved, encouraging and opening new vistas of ideas and materials in their own unique way.
Infant & Young Toddlers
Infants and young toddlers grow and change rapidly and are sensitive to their environments. Their programs provide a nurturing environment sensitive to their needs. As their development and growth is predictable, it is used as a basis for designing activities.
Even with these ages, the daily routine is maintained in order to assist in organizing their environment, encouraging self-help skills, and establishing feelings of positive self-esteem.
In addition to the routine, feeding, diapering, nap time, and play time, teachers diaper infants, checking every child every two hours to see if they need to be changed and do so whenever necessary. Diapering provides a time for adult-child interaction. This social time allows for imitation, smiles, vocalizing, and turn-taking play. Motor activities are also combined with changing time. Infants and young toddlers are dressed appropriately to ensure mobility and sensory stimulation.
Babies are bottle fed by teachers to also ensure positive adult-infant interaction. Bottles are never propped up nor given to babies in their cribs. The young toddlers, capable of holding their own bottle, sit while drinking. Children do not walk around the classroom with bottles. Knowledge of the baby’s schedule, understanding the infant’s cues, and information from parents, determine when the teacher feeds the child. The young toddler classroom, eat lunch and snack together as well as nap on cots at the same time.
Cribs are only used for sleeping. When babies are awake their time is spent on the floor moving, crawling, climbing, reaching, and interacting with people and materials. The young toddlers explore and discover in various learning areas in their classroom. Learning and play occur throughout the day and a variety of opportunities are provided that are developmentally appropriate. Play may be in small groups, adult-child play, or moments for the child to be alone. When possible, infants and young toddlers experience outside play.
Toddler and Preschooler
The routine for toddlers and preschoolers is similar except that the toddler’s activities are shorter and less complex than for the preschooler.
While maintaining the organization of the daily routine schedule, youngsters are provided with tasks and activities that encourage language development, learn readiness skills to prepare them for school problems, learn about their world through creative play, develop their large and fine motor skills, develop thinking and problem-solving abilities, and optimally develop emotionally and socially. Because of the predictability and consistency in the child’s environment, students feel comfortable with making decisions, expressing their feelings, learning new concepts and discovering information about their world.
The “plan-do-review” program continues during Yellow Brick Road’s kindergarten. As with all of our programs, kindergarten teachers are early childhood educators and children participate in small teacher child ratios.
The full day curriculum provides the excitement of the learning centers that include the following: language arts, science, problem-solving, computer, mathematics, block, art, and pretend areas. By utilizing a multi-sensory approach, children are provided the appropriate combination of child-directed activities and directed instruction in math, reading readiness, social sciences, and creative arts.
Extended care is available for kindergarten.