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Childhood Education Proposal
Location: Anywhere, America
Family Childcare & Preschool Center
Hours: 7am -- 7pm
Ages Served: Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers from 2 to 6
EcoCare is a complete family-supportive facility designed to build learning and growing resiliency into the children and parents we serve. Children who are resilient have self-control and self-regulation, which will allow them to learn and use learning skills as they move into a formal classroom setting. We believe this will enable the children to be comfortable in their natural explorations while at the same time being equipped to handle the frustrations that come with taking in new ideas, knowledge and the acceptance of learning in general. Our unique approach achieves its appeal by using recognized learning approaches and integrating them into a safe setting where environmental awareness and respect always point to a better future for all.
EcoCare Vision Statement: Encouraging resiliency in children is at least part of the goal of just about every child care or early learning program. Doing so is thought to best prepare them for later life and school success, in particular during this period when there is a great deal of emphasis on students meeting established patterns of learning success.
At EcoCare, a new type of mixed family care and preschool setting, proposes to nurture more from the first learning experiences of our children and families. We believe it is possible to utilized accepted standards of care and learning while linking achievement to a wide-range of local, community and experiential healthy and sustainable settings. The children and families will find themselves completely emerged in a green world of delightful learning opportunities that promote control and understanding and then grow the joy of being part of the world around them (Pramling Samuelson, 2008).
Mission Statement: EcoCare is fully committed to ensuring that our children and families feel comfortable with the care and attention they receive. For this reason we have established our mission statement in a way that is measurable and yet that promises to & #8230;
Provide high-quality, developmentally appropriate child care in a compassionate, supportive and encouraging environment.
Create a nonjudgmental environment for children, their families and our employees and support staff so that communication can flow freely.
Serve as a resource to the families, employees and the community on issues related to parenting, learning and the green world around us.
Provide a play-based, resiliency curriculum where children are safe to express themselves, explore their environment and experiment as they progress toward formal educational readiness.
Educational & Development Philosophy: Our basic child development theory is like contemporary thinking about sustainability. We believe that the best methods seek not just to include one approach but to pull together in a systematic way the best of all that humanity, nature and socialization have to offer -- a hybrid approach that seeks to blend the values of childhood learning and respect for nature. As such, we have taken elements of what EcoCare is trying to do from the philosophies of both Kohlerg and Piaget (Oswalt, n.d.).
Kohlberg emphasizes the idea of moral development. From even the earliest of ages (but mostly from the toddler years), children start to make concrete determinations of what is right and what is wrong. He says that they move progressively from "preconventional" understandings, which come about by the direct consequences of what one does, to conventional and then to postconventional appreciation and acting. Conventional growth centers on following the rules at least because by doing so one won't get hurt. Only later in postconventional stages do the ideas of right and wrong get grounded in specific value sets.
Even the most resilient of children start by being hands-on. They learn from doing. We recognize this for our youngest of children and start letting them associate the best rewards as being those that help them but that also help nature and other people around them. We believe that this will enable them to solidify their actions into similar practices later when they understand more about the environment around them. Of course, their early sustainable thoughts and actions are pretty simple. But we believe these early habits will grow as they engage in gardening, play in the earth, visit places where greenery and the planet are celebrated and develop true values that respect the resources about them.
As great of a foundation for learning that this is, it would not be complete without also including Piaget's four operational stages. The youngest of our children are treated to wonderful abundances of sensorimotor involvements. They learn to feel, touch and experience from the very beginning quality and respectful activities that they can later add moral values to. While we are aware that our children are only up to six years, we believe we are giving them the solid foundation as they grow into better logic, abstract thinking and the kind of symbolism that will enable them to value what they learned in our place. We feel that by enveloping them early on with the right senses and stimuli, they will be ready for these advancements as they move to public or private schools where formal learning and test preparations begin and as they get ready to become more moral.
Curriculum Model: The curriculum will be different for the infants and the toddlers and for those who participate in preschool activities. Below are summaries of the highlights of what will happen for and with the infants and toddlers. We then offer a sample of what will occur for the early learning needs of the older children who are about four years of age.
1. Discovery Time for Infants: Each child will have their own schedule, and staff will accommodate those. There will be a lot of dialogue and interaction centering on nurturing and comforting the children, feeding and diapering, reading, singing songs, listening to what they have to and letting them experience the basic green and environmental toys that will surround them.
2. Toddler Time: A good deal of effort will focus on greeting the children, doing basic health checks and making the children comfortable as the parent transitions away. Breakfast and bathrooming will follow. Indoor and Outdoor self-selected activities and group snacks will be the major part of the morning. Within this experience, we will allow them to have the choice of some gardening, building and even gaming experiences that are Earth friendly and that encourage team interactions. Napping and another period with guided skills learning will happen in the afternoon as the children start to get ready for departure.
3. Pre-School Time: The following is a sample daily schedule.
6:30 to 7:30 Greet Children & Breakfast 12:00 to 12:30 Lunch
7:30 to 8:00 Inside Free Play 12:30 to 2:30 Nap/rest
8:00 to 9:00 Outside Play 2:00 to 3:00 Inside play
9:00 to 9:15 Welcome Circle (sing, read, review plans) 3:00 to 3:15 Snack
9:15 to 9:30 Morning Snack 3:15 to 4:15 Outside play
9:30 to 10:15 Inside Play, Structured activities 4:15 to 4:30 Circle talking
10:15 to 10:30 Circle to Review activities 4:30 to 5:30 Inside activities
10:30 to 11:00 Special Project 5:30 to 6:30 Outside fun
11:00 to 12:00 Outside Fun
As discussed in the philosophy section, we focus heavily on sensorimotor expectations and individualized needs. As the children get older, they start becoming more involved in formal structures (such as Circle Reviews). All children are routinely surrounded by play materials that are sustainable, green and tied to their natural origins. Staff is provided ways to explore these, and the facility is itself sustainable to the greatest extent possible.
Site, Classroom and Playgrounds: "Being Green" in Eco Care will often not be noticeable to the children or their parents. Instead, we expect them to learn by example and the repeated comfort of interacting with symbols of green sustainability. We will showcase our philosophy as we use energy efficient appliances and windows, have toilets that don't flush away too much water, recycled paper and more; even the storage shelving will be made from recycled wood and the children will learn what that means. These exposures and a variety of learning excursions will help the children respect the world around them (White Hutchinson, 2011). Once we are able to do so we would like to hook up with a local farm so that we can teach the children where our food comes from and how we help our community by buying locally grown produce.
Each age level will have a designated area, and there will be separate spaces for learning, eating and outdoor activities (both exercise and learning). Each child will have about 36 to 40 square feet of indoor space and double that amount of exterior space that we identify as gardening, play or learning areas (Boschee, 1998). The different rooms allow for napping or awake cycles. The rooms will also be available for some disciplinary or self-directed activities, as required. Children will be encouraged to be around staff operations (such as getting food ready)…[continue]
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