Our Philosophy & Curriculum
All classrooms utilize a curriculum called Teaching Strategies Gold. The resultant lesson planning is based on the interests and developmental needs of children in each class, as observed by their teacher. Teaching Strategies Gold allows staff to incorporate developmental milestones that are important to each child's development with areas that excite your child. All rooms—with the exception of the Red Room—have well developed and inviting "Interest Areas." These include large motor, small motor, science, water table, literacy, dramatic play/housekeeping, blocks and manipulatives. The philosophy of the child care center is:
- to meet each child's developmental needs through the use of a proven curriculum
- to facilitate social-emotional learning through formal and informal means
- to provide experiences that will enrich their lives and expand their horizons
- to provide experiences that reflect and respect the family's culture
- to communicate frequently with parents and family members and to forge a positive child/teacher relationship
- to model problem solving and conflict resolution for children and to encourage them to use these skills in interactions with others
You are welcome to visit the child care center at any time during the day and to participate with your child in scheduled field trips or other classroom activities. For the older children, these field trips may include such things as involvement in the Old Town School of Folk Music, the Chicago Children's Museum, and other age appropriate venues as they become available. All children benefit from exposure to the world at large, as long as the exposure and experience are in line with their developmental ability to engage in an activity. For younger children, this might mean a walk to the Fire Station or to the mailbox to mail their teacher a letter. For infants, a buggy ride around the neighborhood provides much opportunity for language development as their teacher speaks to them about the things that they see as they go.
All classrooms adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services regarding the number of children in each classroom as well as the number of staff. Teacher—child ratios are generally higher than required and are as follows:
- Red Room (infants aged 6 weeks to approx 15/18 months)—one teacher to three children
- Green Room (toddlers aged 15/18 months to 36 months)—one teacher to four children
- Blue Room (3 years to 5 years of age)—one teacher to six children
Children remain in their assigned classroom until their age and availability in the receiving classroom indicate that it is appropriate to transition the child. Transitions from one classroom to another are done thoughtfully and slowly so that the child has ample time to adjust and to form a relationship with new caregivers.
Children in the red room are assigned an "attachment caregiver" during their stay. This staff person will interact more frequently and will know your child better than another teacher. The hope is that the child and teacher will form a meaningful and close relationship, and that the child will be securely attached to the teacher in the absence of his/her parents. Since there is no change possible outside the confines of a trusting relationship, this relationship with the attachment caregiver would also facilitate the child's growth and development.