Our program offers the best in balance with a structured schedule in a warm and friendly environment.
We operate within the confines of what is developmentally appropriate for young children, while affirming progress through various learning styles; visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Our program focuses on creating a well-rounded curriculum filled with language concepts, pre-science, pre-math and healthy physical fitness. Our number one goal is always the development of strong social skills in an emotionally safe environment.
Children in our preschool program are divided into individual classes: the Pals, the Friends and the Partners. These class groups meet in small groups for Circle Time, Focus and Outdoor play and overlap with one class for Art and Social play. All children join together for Morning Greeting and for Music Time.
Art is a mixed bag of fun, hands-on and creative expression. At CCCC Art activities are separate from crafts. Art is an opportunity to use a variety of tools and textures, various media for open ended creation. Crafts are sometimes offered during our Focus Time.
Circle Time is our language and vocabulary class time. Each class will greet, read and discuss the weekly theme and whatever words and concepts the children may bring to their teacher’s attention.
Focus is a program time developed so that teachers can clearly focus on a specific set of skills that are crucial. Therefore Focus varies widely from day to day and class to class: group games, following directions, memory to writing, cooking or fine motor skills. Focus activities will feel like games and projects but will teach: listening skills, pre-math, pre-reading large motor development and more. (Link to Focus Topics Page)
Social Play is our terminology for group ‘choice’ play.
We do not use the term “free play” as that implies no limits. Our environment has several centers for specific types of play including: blocks, fine motor manipulatives, dress-ups, coloring table/writing center, books, puzzles, practical life activities. These centers change and evolve throughout the year.
Indoor Social Play and Outdoor Social Play are opportunities offered throughout the course of the day, in balance with other program times. We limit each outdoor play time to about 20-30 minutes to better align our program with young children’s attention span.
In the warm weather months we will include various water activities; water play, splash pools and so forth. Children should be prepared for getting clothing wet and have a change of clothes or swim wear. We allow barefootin’ during these months and use it as another opportunity for understanding our bodies and the world…like, “the cement is hot and may be slippery.”
While music is alive and well at Caring Connection throughout the day, we have one special time right before lunch that we wind down, take this opportunity to wash up and join together in a combined community for music. Upbeat and fun, this is a happy ending to a morning preschool program, too.
“Move It!” – “Mix It/Mess It!” – “Do It!”
In the afternoon program at Caring Connection we have a thrilling set of activities that offer children (who have already been in care all day) new adventures and excitement. One of the differences between our morning and afternoon program is that afternoon is multi-age groups. In the AM program children have class time with their peers of generally similar age and development. In the afternoon, ages 2-5 are mingled, even when separated into their Carousel groups. This adds another element of social development, modeling and exchange between disparate ages. Older children can lead and younger children raise their expectations, within their personal limits.
Carousel operates with three concurrent activities that the children in small groups rotate through. One Carousel is “Move It!” a gross motor activity where teachers may do yoga, large motor group games or activities such as tumbling or dancing. The second Carousel is “Do It! Which takes a new look at small motor activities, such as weaving with paper or beading. Then the third Carousel is “Mix It/Mess It! True to its name this is a more art or science or sensory based activity from painting with flower petals to using eyedroppers and water color.
The brilliance of Carousel is that it makes for an exciting and interesting program as energies typically have fallen. This brings the interest of the children and teachers, alike up and creates a happy energy, renews and peaks interest right before their parent’s pick up.
Carousel also provides a stunningly exciting program for any child who attends for only an afternoon or PM program. We strive very hard at Caring Connection to provide more that ‘just day care’. We want children to be interested, learning and wondering through the entire day.
As the day comes to an end, we group up for a winding down time of Story Break before our final evening snack. This is a great opportunity to end outside play, clean up and settle down before the bulk of parents arrive.
Planned during later evening this allows a gathering of the few children left at school to enjoy some social time while waiting for their parent to arrive.