For the children enrolled in the children’s program, the focus is on promoting optimum physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development. The program is planned to offer children hands-on experiences based on their developmental levels. These experiences are implemented through the medium of play and are based upon the theory that children construct knowledge from interacting with objects and people in their environment, and from reflecting upon and organizing those experiences. This occurs optimally when their physical needs are well met and they feel emotionally secure. Because children are such active participants in learning, the program makes every effort to support children′s initiative and autonomy by giving many opportunities each day to make decisions and to exchange points of view with others.
The encouragement of socialization skills and a positive self-concept are important goals and are promoted through helping the child gain control over how feelings are expressed and by assisting the child in learning acceptable ways of dealing with and expressing strong feelings. Additional goals focus on helping the child to develop intellectual curiosity, skills in observing, problem solving and learning through his or her own efforts; these goals are accomplished by providing a balanced program that includes both teacher-directed and self-selected activities. The environment of the children′s center is such that each child is encouraged to actively participate in the learning process.