WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OUR EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM?
Our early childhood program will provide a safe, nurturing environment and promote the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of your child. You should anticipate:
- Positive, warm interactions among teachers, children, and parents
- Planned learning activities appropriate to each child’s age and developmental stage
- Hands-on experiences developed around children’s interests in center-based learning classrooms
- Regular, two-way communication between teachers and families
- Specially trained teachers and administrators involved in on-going professional development
First Presbyterian Preschool offers early childcare services to children ages 6 weeks – 5 years of age. Our early childhood program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Early childhood programs accredited by the NAEYC Academy have voluntarily undergone a comprehensive process of internal self-study and improvement and met all 10 of the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. NAEYC Accreditation is the mark of quality education and care provided in programs for young children. Less than 10% of all childcare centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition. For more information visit the NAEYC's website.
Child-Centered, Play-Based Learning
Our classrooms are designed to provide children with opportunities for intellectual discovery through “play.” Classrooms are intentionally arranged in learning centers to promote children’s intrinsic curiosity while producing measureable outcomes. Although not exhaustive, the following centers are typically found in your child’s class environment:
Reading Center: develop print awareness; recognize letters and sounds; improve comprehension; reinforce sight words
Math/Science Center: group, sort, classify objects; estimate, weigh, measure; learn about numbers; enhance cognitive skills; predict outcomes; discover/explore; draw conclusions from observations
Art/Writing Center: develop fine motor skills; engage in creative expression/imagination; improve hand-eye coordination; communicate ideas
Puzzle Center: develop spatial concepts; practice problem solving
Block Center: develop spatial concepts; engage in cooperative play; improve gross motor skills; exercise imagination; experiment with balance
Music/Listening Center: develop rhythm; express ideas; improve listening skills; learn about other cultures; expand vocabulary; use pre-reading skills; make connections between stories and illustrations
Home Living Center: develop communication skills; play cooperatively; enhance imagination; explore real life situations
Library Center: practice independent reading strategies; expand vocabulary; learn to take care of books; expand vocabulary
Bible Curriculum: God Loves Me: The Bible in 52 Storybooks
Our Bible Curriculum is a series of fifty-two Bible Storybooks complete with follow-up activities, a CD of songs, and a program guide. The goals of God Loves Me are to:
foster in young children an eagerness to learn about God
acquaint children with Bible stories, especially those that focus on Jesus
provide little ones with a warm and nurturing place to learn about God’s love from people who model it for them
Academic Curricula: Teaching Strategies
In our program, we use a system of ongoing assessment that answers your questions. Teaching Strategies GOLD® online helps us plan for each child and ensure that every child is making progress. We know how important these early years are to children’s success in school and in life. Like you, we want to do everything we can to give your child a strong foundation for lifelong learning
First Class Pre-K: State-Funded Education for 4-year old children
For the past two years, 54 of our 4-year old students have been able to receive 6 ½ hours of Pre-K instruction at no cost to parents. This is made possible by grant funds received through the State of Alabama’s Office of School Readiness. This state-funded Pre-K program allows the Preschool to provide high-quality, early childhood services that will help prepare children for school success and lifelong learning. Through hands-on exploration and discovery, children develop confidence and critical thinking skills in a developmentally appropriate, content-rich learning environment.
While the aforementioned curricula serve as a framework, teachers incorporate other learning experiences into the preschool environment based on children’s developmental needs and interests. Every attempt is also made for all learning activities to be responsive to the values, beliefs, language and culture of each family represented in the classroom.
Summer Camp: Grades K – 3rd
Our child-centered camp environment is specifically designed for children in grades Kindergarten through 3rd. Academic enrichment (science, math, reading, social studies), Bible exploration, field trips, Vacation Bible School, and sport activities are but a few of the experiences students receive while being nurtured and engaged daily by Early Childhood Staff.