While in our care, children are treated with respect and dignity. They are deeply valued and given the opportunity to grow at their own pace. We believe that children are curious, eager to learn and explore, competent and resourceful, and full of wonder and delight. At Crescent Park children are listened to and their work is valued. Children’s needs are met by responsive adults who encourage them to participate actively in solving their own problems whenever possible. At Crescent Park we believe that children are capable; we do nothing for the child that the child can do for him or herself. We respect the child’s right to choose his or her own learning journey, yet we provide them with consistency, clearly defined limits and developmentally appropriate expectations.
Most importantly, children are given time to play, to enjoy, and to discover in a rich family style environment where children ages 18 months through six learn and grow together. We deeply value the social, emotional and cognitive learning that children experience when they are grouped in a family setting. In this setting their work takes on new meaning. Here, we believe that the “work” of the young child is to play and that it is the natural medium used by young children of all ages to consolidate every kind of learning. When children are given time to play, each child experiences being the creator - they put their ideas into action. They make things happen and enjoy a sense of mastery. Play gives opportunities for deep exploration of meaningful subjects, promotes questions, teaches problem solving skills and nourishes expression, creativity and wonder.
Child-directed play is predicated upon adults being available and responsive, but not intrusive. We emphasize good observation skills, offer guidance, build trust, and give support and encouragement whenever possible. We take our cues from the children, and endeavor to enhance the environment to expand their emerging interests. By carefully watching and listening to the wonderings, observations and theories of the children, we work with them to explore what is meaningful and discover new ways of thinking and questioning. By documenting their experiences, we provide support for developing long term memory and provide a reflective tool for their invaluable work.
We also believe that small group experiences are vital to a healthy learning community and contribute to a sense of identity and security for all children. They are provided mid-day for peer groups to meet with their primary teacher and to engage in teacher facilitated or child initiated activities. Teachers may have group meetings to discuss in-depth projects or may provoke new ideas incorporating drama, music, movement, math, science, technology, literature and creative art experiences. We strive to motivate each child to reach beyond his/her present knowledge and skills, to exercise initiative, to transform the experience of falling into the joy of learning!