- The ECLC provides children more time and opportunity:
- To feel good about themselves as capable, unique individuals.
- To engage in playful work.
- To grow in decision-making, problem-solving, and creative thinking.
- To express themselves through language, writing, movement, and use of materials and resources.
- To develop self-motivation, self-discipline, and self-direction toward purposeful activities.
- To foster a curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
- To enjoy age-appropriate activities for their own sake, not only as a preparation for the future.
The program is designed for all children who are ages 3-4 years old by September 15. Tuition scholarships are provided to allow the opportunity for all families to participate in a quality preschool experience. The program is free for a limited number of qualifying children. Qualifications include low income, special health needs, or family circumstances that make preschool experience especially desirable.
The Early Childhood Learning Center is dedicated to the developmental approach to early education and to meet the individual needs of young children. Our program emphasizes the whole child in a supportive environment, which encourages choices. We recognize that young children learn best through active involvement with their environment. Our program provides an environment for early learners that is spacious and allows free movement. Both inside and outside play areas are available for exploring. Music is used extensively to enhance language development. Many concrete learning materials are available and arranged on low, open shelves so that children can easily reach them. The children are allowed to exercise choice as a building block to decision-making and problem-solving strategies.
The ECLC uses the High/Scope Curriculum, which has several essential components:
Active Learning: The curriculum is based on the belief that children learn best through "active learning," direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. Children are encouraged to "construct" their own knowledge by pursuing their personal interests and goals, guided by trained adults who understand the importnt learning arrears for children in the preschool years. Active learning is central to all activities in the program.
Classroom Arrangement, Materials, and Equipment: The space and materials are carefully arranged to promote active learning. The classrooms are divided into "interest areas" organized around specific kinds of play, for example, block area, house area, book area, sand-and-water area, and art area.
Daily Routine:The daily routine provides for a variety of interactions between children and their peers and between children and adults. The routine is consistent, therefore children feel secure and in control as they plan, carry out, and review activities, thereby challenging their existing abilities.