"She was able to socially interact with children older than her which was a huge positive for her development skills - she even learned to recognize sign language!" ~Melissa
Child Care Curriculum
I believe that children should be allowed to learn and grow at their own pace, and that a child-centered, play-based curriculum is the most appropriate and effective method of learning for children.
Child Care Curriculum Philosophy
My goals for children's learning is for them to become independent, self-confident, and enthusiastic learners for life, developing strong self-esteem and positive attitudes toward exploration and learning so they're not afraid to try out new ideas or make mistakes.
I follow The Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care because it embodies everything I've been doing in my program for years, and helps fulfill my learning goals for the children.
Child Care Curriculum Components
Many people think of teacher planned activities when they think of "curriculum," but a good child care curriculum is so much more! In addition to planned activities, a good child care curriculum is child-centered, promotes learning through play, provides appropriate materials and toys, considers the child care environment a third teacher, and nurtures close relationships between children and teacher and among the children.
A child-centered child care curriculum is constantly changing to help teachers support children's learning. Teachers observe the children to discover each child's needs, strengths, interests and previously learned knowledge and skills, then use this information to plan new experiences and daily activities for each child. This kind of intentional teaching is one hallmark of a good child care curriculum.
Play-Based Child Care Curriculum
The Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care is a play-based curriculum that emphasizes a warm, responsive relationship between provider and child and a rich educational environment. The majority of children's learning and development occurs spontaneously during child-led free play.
The Creative Curriculum supports age-appropriate play-based learning for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children while preserving the special characteristics of a home-style learning environment. It also offers a variety of additional resources for enhancing, assessing, and documenting the children's learning.
Child Care Curriculum for School Readiness
Despite the recent "push-down" of academics to younger and younger children, studies show that play is the best way for children to learn.
The play-based Creative Curriculum system is considered "best practice" in the field of early childhood care and education. It aligns closely with Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS), which address all the domains of a child's learning and development from birth to first grade, and corresponds with the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards, and the Common Core.
The Environment as Child Care Curriculum
The child care environment plays an integral role in facilitating children's learning. New concepts, improved skills and enhanced comprehension come to children while playing in a rich educational environment. Children’s senses help them explore the world around them, and their imaginations take them anywhere they want to go.
The Creative Curriculum features a child-centered home learning environment that is safe yet stimulating, where children learn spontaneously in carefully planned learning centers. A learning center is an area that provides children with activities and materials that are related by subject or purpose, such as a dramatic play/housekeeping area, sensory table, block corner, reading nook, etc. High quality learning centers are interesting to children, promote learning through play, and invite children to explore and develop at their own level.
Toys in the Child Care Curriculum
Toys are often called the "learning tools" of children. While playing with toys, children learn about themselves, the world around them, and other people. Toys foster children's learning by helping them:
- Figure out how things work.
- Test new thoughts and ideas.
- Develop small muscle control.
- Use their imagination.
- Develop problem-solving skills.
- Practice cooperating with others.
- Strengthen verbal and negotiation skills.
The toys available at Amy & Kids Co. are selected to promote children's learning and development of language (books), large and small muscles (slides, puzzles and blocks), creativity (artwork), imagination (dress-up), self-help skills (dressing self) and cultural awareness (books and toys).
See the Child Care Curriculum in Action