The Early Learning Centers curriculum is guided by the California Preschool Learning Foundations and Frameworks. These State guidelines outline key knowledge and skills that most children can achieve when provided with the kinds of interactions, instruction, and environments that research has shown to promote early learning and development. The foundations can provide early childhood educators, parents, and the public with a clear understanding of the wide range of knowledge and skills that preschool children typically attain when given the benefits of a high-quality preschool program.
The Early Learning Centers curriculum focuses on collaboration, decision-making, negotiation, and the development of physical and cognitive skills. Activities revolve around the children’s interests and ideas with time for children to explore at their own pace. Their experience develops skills for continuous learning.
As preschoolers’ bodies develop over time, the areas in their brains that control movement continue to mature, thus enabling them to perform gross-motor skills such as running, jumping, throwing, climbing, kicking, skipping, and fine-motor skills such as stringing beads, drawing, and cutting with scissors. In the preschool classrooms and out on the playground, children engage in all sorts of physical activities which help them learn, grow, and play.
During the preschool years, children are beginning to develop and learn new skills through play. Play encourages all the important areas of development, especially cognitive development. Cognitive development refers to reasoning, thinking and understanding. Cognitive development is important for knowledge growth. In preschool, children are learning questioning, spatial relationships, problem-solving, imitation, memory, number sense, classification, and symbolic play. In the early learning classrooms, children will develop an increased attention span, understand cause and effect, learn to ask questions, and more.
Your child must weigh the impact of their choice on both themself and others. It is through making choices that he or she learns about hurting or helping others, and gains important relationship and problem-solving skills. Will she share a new toy with a friend? Or will he keep it all to himself? Preschool often marks a time when children are transitioning to a formal school setting, and in doing so, they are starting to make decisions based on their own interests.
Negotiation involves empathy and compromise and children who learn to negotiate acquire and learn the importance of these abilities. When adults teach children to negotiate with them, as well as with other children, it helps enhance their confidence, self-esteem, empathy and social relationship skills. In the classroom, children will learn to negotiate, take turns, and participate in play with children of their age group.
Art exploration helps children with the development of motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision-making, risk-taking, and inventiveness. The arts provide challenges for learners at all levels. Art can connect students with their own culture as well as with the wider world. In the early learning classrooms, children will engage in chalk art, water art, collaging, painting, and even create 3-D art.
Language and Literacy
Language is one of the most crucial tools that children acquire, one that is essential for cognitive development, reading achievement, and overall school performance, as well as for social relations. It allows people to share a society’s achievements and history and the deepest emotions. In our classrooms, children enjoy books, a language rich environment, storytime, activities to enhance skills in reading and writing, and much more.