ECP Philosophy

ecp_block_structEach child is born with curiosity and a desire to learn, and each child has his or her own strengths, learning style, and rhythm. We work to get to know the kids, then challenge them to advance according to their individual needs, not according to group norms.

When children are allowed to make meaningful choices they gradually learn to make good decisions and take charge of their own learning. Learning is deepest when kids are interested and engaged. We build our curriculum into the classroom environment where kids choose from learning centers, activities and projects that provide a rich variety of active, open-ended experiences. ecp_legoThese give hands-on exposure to topics such as math, language, geography, art, and science. Materials are arranged in an accessible way to help children learn to work independently and responsibly. As teachers, we are there to support, encourage, inspire, observe, challenge, and guide the children as needed.

Young children learn best through an active exploration of the world using their bodies and all of their senses. Play is a child’s work! We provide long, uninterrupted blocks of time and a rich, varied environment to stimulate creative, imaginative, and active play experiences. We play and explore nature outside year round, and enjoy music, movement, and active games in the gym and dance room.

ecp_group_gameDeveloping self-regulation, self-expression, emotional resilience, and positive social relationships are primary goals during the early childhood years. Children learn to be contributing members of society as they participate in a harmonious community of learners. We work to establish a safe learning atmosphere where the children build supportive relationships with adult caregivers, where the feelings of others are respected, risk-taking is supported, and problem solving is accomplished as a group. We also use enjoyable rituals such as family meetings, songs, and reading together to build a sense of belonging and camaraderie. We support and encourage positive behaviors. When inappropriate behaviors occur, we apply limits firmly and consistently, making sure the child understands why his/her behavior is inappropriate and giving logical consequences. We provide abundant opportunities for social interaction coupled with appropriate guidance to build empathy, communication skills, as well as problem solving and conflict resolution strategies.

ecp_theme_par2It is never too early for children to experience topics in depth, make connections between the disciplines, gain an appreciation for cultural diversity, and learn to view problems from multiple perspectives. We often organize our curriculum around themes and projects, striving to engage the children in authentic work on important topics. We also read and discuss books with the children that address themes such as community, cultural awareness, tolerance, and caring for one another. Despite all of these serious goals, though, we also manage to have a whole lot of serious fun!