Zoe’s Tender Years Child Care will provide children and their families with an exceptional early learning experience within a supportive and caring environment.
We acknowledge the work of the children, teachers and the community in the Northern Region of Italy called Reggio Emilia. This innovative approach to a European model of education in which it has inspired educators all over the world for more than 40 years. This system has its own distinctive set of philosophical and pedagogical hypothesis and methods of child care organization. Children along with their teachers engage in short and long term projects, collaboratively designed by both team teachers and children. We encourage children to explore their interest in the environment and through observations, documentation and communication; teachers are able to co-construct and research topics that are of interest to children. Through the “hundred languages” or the modes of expression, children represent their work through, drawings, paintings, clay sculptures, music and movement, collage, and dramatic play. This approach to learning integrates all the learning domains, which include language, mathematics, science, art, music, and dramatic arts.
Our reflections of the Reggio Emilia Philosophy to early education will focus on key principles. We believe in a strong image of the child in which we encourage children to be their own constructors of learning experience. Children are also seen as potential investigators, researchers and competent learners.
Like the schools in Reggio Emilia, the teacher’s responsibility is to form a circle of relationships. Teachers work with one another, with the children, with the parents, to form a “mutual community of learners”. This means that the children’s learning becomes a shared responsibility. Communicating with children means listening carefully to their ideas and participating with them in conversation and documenting their experiences and ideas. Communicating with other team teachers and other staff involves serious collaboration at every level, for example discussing the observations of the children, interpreting, documenting, and making progettazione, (projection) to have negotiations with children about their experiences that could take them into any direction.
The childcare and the classrooms play a very important part of the children’s daily experiences. It sends different non-verbal messages of what is happening in certain spaces. Our environment creates the concept of a third teacher, another crucial principle in this philosophy. Together with the teachers and the children we create a welcoming environment to all who visit. We acknowledge the importance of work, respect for children, self-esteem, teamwork, and self-gratification in the program.
The curriculum is based on time; we have a continous flow in the day, which allows for flexibility during any unnecessary transitions that could interrupt children during work and discovery times. We do follow snack, lunch, and rest times. Indoor and outdoor curriculum will be based on the flow of the day. We respect children’s work; therefore teachers know that learning takes time and practice.