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Program: Each semester Monday through Friday 7:30am to 5:30pm. Serves children ages 18 months through 5 years old.

Program Philosophy

According to the Michigan State Board of Education "Standards of Quality and Curriculum," early childhood education programs must develop a written philosophy based on: "An underlying theory or statement of fundamental beliefs which establishes a framework for program decisions and provides direction for goal setting and program implementation."

Washtenaw Community College Children's Center has developed a philosophy based on current theories and research in the field of early childhood education. Inherent in this philosophy is our dedication to ensuring a program that celebrates diversity by supporting and respecting cultural, racial, and religious differences. Parent participation at any level is encouraged and valued. A strong parent-center relationship is crucial to our success.

Classrooms activities and physical arrangement is contingent upon implementation of best practices derived from an in-depth knowledge of child development and development theories. As mandated by the State of Michigan Department of Human Services a language and literacy rich environment is provided to enhance all aspects of emergent language and literacy skills. This includes support for children who are learning English as a second language, as well as support for their parents.

Children use play, adult and peer interactions, imitation, motivation, and direct instruction as processes through which knowledge is acquired and social connections are made. Classrooms environments are designed and arranged in ways to allow for meaningful hands-on exploration, intense direct instruction, purposeful social interaction and behavioral intervention. Individualization is vital in all classrooms. We believe all children are capable and competent learners, have unique learning styles, and learn at their own pace. Teachers individualize curriculum and classrooms to inspire and challenge as well as allow for sequential successes.

Developmentally appropriate curriculum is planned, implemented and evaluated daily. To prepare children for future success early childhood educators must first meet the challenges of children at their current developmental level. To do this teachers implement an inquiry based and enriching curriculum. Therefore, teachers monitor progress and assess skills in order to match curriculum goals with current and future levels of achievement. Teachers use curriculum models focusing on all areas of development (cognitive, language, physical and social/emotional) to ensure children are provided with an academically solid program (reading, writing, math, and science activities) as well as a secure environment in which to practice social skills and appropriate expression of emotions.

We Believe Children Learn Best: We Provide:
In small class sizes Small class sizes with low child/teacher ratios
When given opportunities to work individually, in small groups, and in large groups Individual attention along with small and large group activities
If they acquire knowledge at their own rate A program with an emphasis on individual learning styles
When they are actively involved by using all their senses, manipulating and experimenting with a variety of materials and situations Opportunities to create, manipulate, and explore in a sensory rich environment
Through play to translate experience into understanding ,by exploring, observing, imitating and practicing A flexible schedule that allows time for to play, explore, observe, imitate, and practice
When they feel physically and emotionally safe and secure A safe, trusting and nurturing environment with positive role models and consistency of educated and trained teachers
When all areas of development are viewed as equally important and interrelated Curriculum that includes experiences to enrich and enhance cognitive, language, social, emotional, physical and creative development
When they feel a sense of achievement and self-worth Developmentally appropriate curriculum with built in successes and challenges
When engaged in self initiated as well as teacher directed activities and experiences A balance of child-initiated and teacher- directed activities
When teachers use language to enhance critical thinking, communication and problem solving, and teach English as a second language An emphasis on language development to enhance problem solving and critical thinking skills, and English as a second language
In a literacy and numeracy rich environment Curriculum that enhances reading and math skills
When children have time to interact socially with peers An environment sensitive to learners who are developing social skills

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