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Creative Curriculum

Our philosophy

We have chosen The Creative Curriculum® for infants, toddlers and preschoolers based on its developmentally appropriate approach to learning.  The philosophy behind The Creative Curriculum® is that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn’t just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in.

In their early years, children explore the world by using their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling, and looking).  In using real materials such as blocks and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes and colors, and they notice relationships between things.  Play provides the foundation for academic or “school” learning.  It is the preparation children need before they learn highly abstract symbols such as letters and numbers.

The Goals of Our Curriculum

The most important goal of our early childhood curriculum is to help children become enthusiastic learners.  This means encouraging children to be active and creative explores who are not afraid to try out their ideas and to think their own thoughts.  Our goal s is to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive learners.

We’re teaching them how to learn, not just in preschool, but all through their lives.  We’re allowing them to learn at their own pace and in the ways that are best for them.  We’re giving them good habits and attitudes, particularly a positive sense of self esteem, which will make a difference throughout their lives.

Our curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development:

Social-emotional: To help children feel comfortable in school, make friends, take pride in their work, develop independence and self-control, and have a positive attitude toward life.

Cognitive: To help children become confident learners by letting them try out their own ideas and experience success, and by helping them acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, ask questions, and use words to describe their ideas, observations, and feelings.

Physical: To help children increase their large and small muscle skills and feel confident about what their bodies can do.

Language: To help children learn the skills that are essential for children’s success in school and life and the confidence to express their thoughts and feelings through language.

Literacy: To help children become aware of print and words around them, and give them the ability to explore books and written materials.

Mathematics: To help children gain the confidence in early math skills that will help with later school reading and math achievement.

Science & Technology: To help children become natural investigators and providing the opportunities to explore science concepts around them.

Social Studies: To help children learn how to be researchers, critical thinkers, active members of a classroom community, and experts on topics related to everyday life.

Arts: To help children realize their creative potential and support other areas of learning and development.

Teaching Strategies Gold

In recent years, a growing body of research has offered new and powerful insight into the importance of early learning and its relationship to school and success in later life.   Along with using The Creative Curriculum® to structure the classroom and the lesson plans we also use Teaching Strategies Gold™ Assessment Tool.  These two pieces work together to help teachers plan and implement quality lesson plans that focus on areas of development that are appropriate for each classroom and age.  Three times a year the teachers will be assessing the children based on 36 objectives that cover all the areas of development listed above.  Assessment is based off daily observations of everyday activities in the classroom.  It is intended to be used to help guide and structure lesson plans and instruction and give parents feedback about how their child is doing while at Hills & Dales.  Assessment will be completed in the fall, winter and spring.  At each checkpoint, your child’s teacher will provide a copy of their process report.  At fall and spring checkpoints we will also offer conferences for all classrooms, where parents and sit down and meet with their child’s teacher.

Enrollment Policy

Enrollment is open to children 6 weeks of age through 18 years of age. Hills & Dales maintains a nondiscriminatory policy whereby children are admitted regardless of race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, or disability.

Before a child is enrolled at Hills & Dales we will schedule a pre-enrollment conference to go over all the completed paperwork, an orientation of the center, along with meeting your child’s teacher. This meeting must be set up no later than 1 week prior to start date. The following forms are required at the pre-enrollment conference.

 Completed enrollment packet

 Up-to-date physical form

 Up-to-date immunization record

 Emergency contact information

 Food Program application and enrollment form

 Child’s Permanent Contracted Scheduled Hours

 Copy of the child’s birth certificate (enrolling in Voluntary Four year old preschool only)

 $150.00 non-refundable deposit**

**Upon registration, a one-time non-refundable deposit of $150.00 is required to guarantee your spot at Hills & Dales Childcare Center. When a two-week notice is given, the deposit will go toward your final payments in childcare. No cash refunds will be given. If the child does not attend the last two weeks, this deposit is forfeited to Hills & Dales.

To change any information in the child’s file, fill out an add/change information form found by the office. All information must be written, signed and dated by the parents to be authorized.

Waiting List and Enrollment Priority

If immediate enrollment cannot be confirmed, you will have the option to place your child on a waiting list. No deposit is required to be placed on the waiting list. Once a spot opens up, we will contact the first person on the waiting list and offer the spot. If you would no longer like to be on our waiting list, please contact us and we will remove you from our list. Currently enrolled families and employees will have priority on our waiting list.

Security

Hills & Dales goes to extra lengths to make sure the children in our care are safe.  When entering Hills & Dales you will come to a locked door.  Only parents/guardians and authorized persons are allowed in our building.  Parents/guardians and other authorized persons will be given a special code which allows them to enter into our center.  This code also checks your child in and out for the day.  We welcome and encourage you as parents/guardians to come and participate in our daily activities, as you are your child’s first teacher.  Parents/guardians may add people to the authorized pick up list by filling out an add/change information form found by the office.  All authorized pickups need to be notified ahead of time with a written note signed by the parents/guardians.  Any person not recognized by the staff will be asked to show their picture identification card to check if they are an authorized pick up.

Food Program

The Hills & Dales Childcare Center is a participant of the Child and Adult Care Food Program.  Meals are available at no separate charge to children who are enrolled at the Childcare Center and are provided without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.