We believe children learn best through meaningful play and that is why Little Learners has chosen to use the Creative Curriculum model for our learning environments. The Creative Curriculum’s center-based room arrangement encourages play-based learning experiences, creative expression, problem solving, and social interaction.
We believe that child care learning environments affect children’s behaviors as well as their development and learning progress. Therefore our classrooms are organized into interest areas designed to support social, emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development. These interest areas are:
- Dramatic Play
- Library (Literacy)
- Music and Movement
- Sand and Water
- Toys and Games
Child Care Learning
Given that several child care interest areas are available simultaneously, children self-select one and has the freedom to move between areas during large blocks of time throughout the day. Each interest area provides opportunities to support the children’s total development.
Social and emotional, or affective, development is supported as they play and interact with other children and adults, and also when they successfully achieve their goals and demonstrate competence with their self-selected activities. Their cognitive and language development is supported as they gain experience and knowledge through interaction and conversation with others and by active engagement with objects and materials. Being that active engagement often requires the use of the senses, as well as, manual manipulation of things, the children’s physical development is enhanced.
Since preschool interest areas include a wide range of materials and equipment, they are flexible enough to support children at different levels of development and provide successful learning experiences for typically developing children as well as children with development delays and those who are cognitively advanced
Infant & Toddler Child Care
Our Infant and toddler environments have areas designated for custodial needs such as eating, sleeping, diapering and/or toileting that are incorporated into the classroom. Classrooms for infants and toddlers are arranged to be functional while still being warm and welcoming for the children and their families.
Teachers personalize their interactions with children based on each child’s temperament, developmental needs, and family preferences. Although classrooms for infants and toddlers are not arranged in well-defined interest areas as are preschool-age classrooms, teachers still provide opportunities for children to explore with their senses; imitate and pretend; share songs, read stories, and play with toys.
Dodge, D., Rudick, S., & Berke, K. (2006). The Creative Curriculum for infants, toddlers, & twos (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Teaching Strategies.
Dodge, D., Colker, L. & Heroman, C. (2011). The Creative Curriculum for Preschool (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Teaching Strategies.