“We believe program quality must be monitored and evaluated to assure that the programs we provide meet the child care and early educational needs of the children and families we serve. The result of our systematic Quality Assurance Program is confidence in the programs we offer to children and their families.”
The quality assurance program at ECLC entails careful reviews of our program implementation by both ECLC management and child development/early childhood experts. The continual improvement and fine-tuning of our programs are the goals of our quality assurance program.
“We believe that the teaching team is the cornerstone of our philosophy. Members of the team are carefully selected, trained, and evaluated. Team Members are aware of the expectations for them and have input into their own professional training and development.”
Following a careful selection process, each staff member receives training before beginning to work in the classroom. Upon entering the classroom, training is done on a continual basis for all teachers. ECLC has carefully identified the skills and competencies teachers must have to meet the childcare and early educational needs of the children. The Director regularly observes the teachers and conducts feedback conferences to ensure the competence of each staff member.
“At ECLC we believe each child is a unique individual. Therefore, our programs are based on the individual social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of each child. We believe children are happy and secure when they have plenty of opportunities to succeed each day. Success breeds self-confidence, and self-confident children approach learning as fun and actively search for information and solutions to problems. As a result, they develop into well-rounded, capable adults. Much of what we do with children is designed to facilitate the development of self-confidence.”
“Because our programs are developmental, we believe that children’s interest and skills must guide our curriculum planning. Planning efforts respond to the direction of a child’s learning. We believe that the process of learning is more important than the content of learning. Because we focus on process learning, activities are designed to emphasize the experiences children are having rather than what results from activities. In other words, painting is more important than what is painted, building with blocks is more important than what is built. Helping children learn how to learn is what our programs are about.”
“We believe our center environments must be clean, safe, and well-planned. Our administrators and teaching staff are responsible for ensuring this environment.”
The Early Childhood Learning Center environment has been carefully planned for learning. Our furniture, playground equipment, toys, and educational items have been chosen for their fun, educational value and superior quality. We attractively decorate the center with cheerful prints and accessories to present a warm, friendly environment. Areas have been designed for children’s art so their creative work can be appreciated and become a source of pride to your child.
The Center director and the staff group children by family grouping and developmental levels. We provide activities and learning experiences geared especially to each child’s needs and abilities.
ECLC enjoys giving children the opportunity to learn about our community by providing recreational and educational field trips. These adventures are conducted regularly for school age and preschool children. In all cases, we need your signed transportation authorization, which we will retain in your child’s file which is part of the contract, financial policies, and authorizations. We also maintain records of where the children visit, who accompanied them on the tour and who hosted the event. You will be notified in advance of all scheduled field trips.
Our enrichment programs can add even more to your child’s overall development. They may include dance, gymnastics, swimming, baseball, and music. Children may be referred for extra services outside of ECLC as needed to provide optimal care for your child, such as physical assessment, speech and developmental testing. We welcome ideas from parents for services we might offer to fit their needs and busy work schedules. These services are optional for an additional fee.
“During the early childhood years, young children are learning to be in charge of themselves. We believe in consistent, understandable limits and in teachers who respond to inappropriate behavior with insight, sensitivity, and skill. When clear, consistent, and age-appropriate limits are present, children increasingly become responsible for themselves. When out-of-bounds behavior does occur, we believe it is important for children to understand why the behavior is inappropriate and how to modify it.”
At ECLC we work to prevent behavior problems by arranging the classroom so that children can work in small groups and have a choice of activities. This range of activities will give your child the freedom and ability to experience success and become self-directed. Teachers are also trained to skillfully direct behavior along appropriate channels.
Teachers establish predictable limits and help the children understand the consequences of their actions. For example, each child must learn that throwing a toy in anger may lead to injuries and that such behavior is inappropriate. Children are encouraged to verbalize their feelings, thus, learning to positively work through strong emotions.
Teachers act as role models and employ ample praise for appropriate behavior. Our staff all take a discipline/communication class entitled, “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, And Listen So Kids Will Talk.” This is also open to parents.
ECLC staff uses the 1-2-3 magic, which consists of a child receiving three warnings; after the third warning, a consequence is given (the consequence is age and situational appropriate). The consequence can range from a time out to a work job being off limits to a child.
Time out is a chair or quiet place away from the other children. Time out time is based on one-minute per year of child and in relation to what the time out is for.
ECLC staff will talk with the child after time out or when a consequence is given to then help the child verbalize the problem and/or reason for the time out or consequence. Drawing of pictures or writing of words sometimes helps the child to put into perspective what is happening.
How Parents Can Help
“We believe parents are the most significant adults in a child’s life. We do everything possible to insure parents’ involvement with our programs. Developing methods for keeping communication flowing freely is an important part of each staff member’s responsibility.”
ECLC aims to be supportive of your parenting role and supplement the development of your child’s future in a most positive and professional way. We realize that many parents feel some anxiety when leaving their child at the childcare center, and that this is a normal part of the adjustment process. If you feel anxious about your decision, your child may sense this and have a harder time adjusting. ECLC will be a wonderland of excitement and fun when you emphasize the positive aspects of meeting new friends and experiencing new situations. Please feel free to discuss any concerns you may have with your Center Director and Head Teacher at any time.
Some children seem to have no difficulty in adapting to new situations and experiences, while others take longer periods to accept new surroundings and new people. Much of the grief and anxiety expressed at first is a good way to get feelings out in the open. We find that the concern ends soon after your child enters his/her classroom and becomes involved in the day’s activities. Often, a readjustment may occur after a long weekend or vacation. Your continuing positive attitude will facilitate any such transitions.
A daily time of sharing your child’s experiences at ECLC and his/her feelings toward playmates and adults will strengthen the parental bond and an acceptance of the separation. Keeping ECLC’s monthly calendar in a place where activities can be easily referred to will facilitate these interactions.
You may want to prepare a special area, wall, or bulletin board for the display of your child’s artwork. Featuring only one or two pieces at a time and then filing them away will make each one special. As your child grows older, he/she may be willing to part with some, but let him/her decide. Each piece of artwork is a part of your child and should be accepted and treated with respect.
Encourage your child to express creativity in art work by comments such as, “I think that’s an interesting design;” “You must have worked hard on that;” or, “You must have had lots of fun doing that.” Talking about colors, shapes, design, lines, and curves will help your child understand many basic concepts. Try to avoid making value judgments or labeling (i.e. “That’s a good or bad flower.”), or asking, “What is it?” It doesn’t have to be anything! You might want to ask, “Would you like to tell me about your picture?” but do not be disappointed if he/she does not want to talk about it. Remember that children do not see things as adults do and it is the process or “the doing” that is important, not the product or end result.
If your child has an upsetting experience, such as the death of a pet or an illness in the family, please let us know. We want to help your child work out difficulties through play, art, or sympathetic conversation. Your child’s total development is important to us all.
After the first few days of adjustment to the classroom, we ask that your child leave toys at home since they may get broken. Also, children are less likely to want to share personal possessions. Security items, however, such as blankets, are encouraged at nap time since they help children feel more comfortable and secure.
Every fall and spring, you will have a formal opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher as we schedule parent-teacher conferences. This will give you an additional chance to discuss in depth your child’s program, his/her progress, and any concerns you may have. Conferences are scheduled before a child moves to the next room and/or as needed.
Parents are given an evaluation form to fill out each spring. Your feedback is useful in helping us make ECLC the best it can be!
Parent Observation Program
Parents are encouraged to spend time in the classroom observing the program. Scheduling an observation a few weeks after your child has enrolled will allow you an opportunity to see how well your child has adjusted to the program and will enable us to answer any questions you might have after spending some time in our Center. ECLC has an open door policy where parents may visit at any time.