Our School Year Program is the perfect preschool environment to stimulate the intellectual, physical, and emotional growth of toddlers through four year olds. The School Year programs meet two or three days each week for three hours and we provide both morning and afternoon classes from August through June coinciding with the public school year. Class size is kept small and staff ratios high to ensure that each child gets the attention and care he or she needs. If you are looking for a great place for your toddler through preschooler to meet other children and interact in a stimulating and caring environment, our School Year Program may be just what you are looking for. Contact us by phone or email to arrange a visit, see our programs in person, and meet our staff.



TOTALLY TODDLERS

Our Toddler Program is designed for children ages 1.9 to 2.8 months.  Typically, our Toddlers are away from Mom and Dad and in a school setting for the first time.  Our goal is to provide a joyful, safe, engaging environment that helps each child move from the small society of the home to the still small but significantly larger society of other children and teachers.  Because children need plenty of individualized attention in making this transition, we maintain a high staff ratio of 1 teacher to every 2.7 children.


Daily Schedule: The toddlers’ daily schedule includes a mix of teacher-guided group activity and individual creative play in the different activity centers of the room.  At the start of the day, an art station lures even the most clinging child away from his or her parent and into the classroom.  (After all, what toddler can resist the messy pleasure of finger painting, molding play dough or gluing objects to paper?)  Once settled into the day, toddlers are given the opportunity to visit additional activity centers: more art, a sensory table, a listening/literature area, a comfortable couch, small motor manipulatives, a large block area, and plenty of imaginary play props.

Interactions with Peers: Toddlers are just beginning to enjoy the company of their peers, but figuring out how to interact in a group takes time.  For example, a child may join a small gathering around a teacher who is reading “Goodnight Moon,” but still pursue a personal agenda such as cradling a baby doll.  Our teachers respect such behavior from a toddler—the need to approach new situations in their own way—is entirely appropriate.  Teachers invite and encourage, but never force children to participate in group activities. 


Physical Play: Physical play is part of the daily schedule both indoors, in the common space, and outdoors on the playground.  Toddlers are just beginning to show signs of empathy, and the playground offers a natural place for them to develop this social sense.  When a child falls down, you may see a classmate gently give a pat on the back for comfort.  The playground is also a place to practice sharing skills.  We encourage children to take turns, and when arguments arise over toys teachers demonstrate how to “use words” rather than push or hit in expressing anger or frustration.


Lunch and Snack Time: Lunch and snack times are happy, social parts of the day when the children get a chance to practice self-help skills.  Toddlers love to try, but still need assistance with opening lunch boxes, pouring drinks, or putting straws in juice boxes.  Eating together is also a time to build social skills—learning to talk in turn, sitting at the table until the meal is through, pitching in to clean up together at the end.


Social Development: By year-end, our Toddlers are a well-established social group who have mastered an amazing number of skills.  They carry on conversations, show empathy for their peers, and play “with” rather than just “next” to friends.


Visits and Conferences: Visits are scheduled before the start of the year so that each child will have the opportunity to meet one or both of his/her teachers.  Two formal parent-teacher conferences are scheduled during the fall and spring.  Additional conference time can easily be arranged on an as-needed basis. 


CLICK HERE FOR TODDLER PROGRAM SCHEDULES, TUITION, AND APPLICATION


TERRIFIC THREES


Our Three’s Program is designed for children 2.9 to 3.8 years of age.  Our goal is for the Three’s to enter as mature toddlers and grow into eager preschoolers.  We maintain a small class size and high teacher ratio (1 teacher for 5 children) to allow for plenty of individualized attention to help the three’s master skills and develop a sense of independence. 


Exciting Discoveries: During the Three’s stage of development, children are filled with curiosity.  They run, full-speed, over to other children and happily dangle worms in front of their faces shouting, “Look, Look!”  The friends are delighted, and join in the adventure to look for and learn about worms.  Teachers ask many open-ended questions encouraging children to think and explore ideas, such as “Where do you think that worm lives and what does it eat?”  After watching, touching and talking with each other (and the teacher), the children will delight in greeting their parent at pick-up time with newfound facts about worms or other exciting discoveries.


Developing Independence: Three’s occasionally test both adults and peers as they struggle to master skills and gain independence.  On a given day you may hear a loud scream of frustration from a child as juice is spilled from a small pitcher.  Often, a friend will step in to offer help, perhaps by pouring, while the other child holds the cup.  Teachers understand that children learn by doing, and support children’s developing independence by providing opportunities for them to dress, use the bathroom, wash and help each other.


Finding Their Own Way: Teachers make sure that the children have plenty of uninterrupted time so that they can choose the activities that interest them. Three year olds are not always comfortable in large group activities, so the teachers allow them the choice to enter and leave the group at their own will.  Teachers encourage them to practice and perfect newly developing skills through creative, dramatic and physical play.  Throughout the classroom are art activities, a discovery table, a sensory table, a listening/literature area, a comfortable couch, small motor manipulatives, a large building block area, and plenty of imaginary play props.  Indoor and outdoor play are also part of the day. 


Visits and Conferences: Visits are scheduled before the start of the year so that each child will have the opportunity to meet one or both of his/her teachers.  Two formal parent-teacher conferences are scheduled during the fall and spring.  Additional conference time can easily be arranged on an as-needed basis. 


CLICK HERE FOR THREES PROGRAM SCHEDULES, TUITION, AND APPLICATION


FUNTASTIC FOURS


The preschool years are a leap to independence, and also socialization: children attending our Preschool often form friendships that last for many years.  Life in our Preschool is learning to respect others, taking care of oneself and using equipment wisely and respectfully.  To children and teachers, it is a time for sharing.   Because children need plenty of individualized attention we maintain a high staff ratio of 1 teacher to every 6.5 children.

Sharing Experiences: The typical preschool day begins with a meeting—a time when classmates bond.  Children listen to new ideas, share science experiences, read graphs, and compose class stories.  They empathize with each other.  “My brother won’t let me play with his friend,” moans one child.  “Mine won’t either,” commiserates another.  The children speak willingly about their feelings and laugh together.


New Discoveries: As they move from their all-class meeting to smaller groups, the children choose activities: exploring math materials; testing magnets; building with blocks; working at the art table to create sculptures and collages out of tissue papers, popsicle sticks, alphabet stamps and beautiful papers and paints.  While they are working, the teachers move around the room introducing a science experiment, a new game, puzzle or story book.  The children join in a group cleanup, and when the room is back together they enjoy a private “reading time,” or sit together and listen to a story. 


Movement and Play: At outdoor play every day, children develop their gross motor skills while participating in jump rope games, kickball, running and climbing.  They have weekly music and movement experiences with specialist teachers. 


Lunch and Laughter: Children eat lunch at school. They have fun while they are learning the value of socializing with friends and teachers in a relaxed setting.  They sit in small groups and share ideas and experiences.  Children delight in seeing a friend at their table, or across the room, holding up the same juice box, or fruit or sandwich bread!  Teachers eat with the children and encourage them to speak one at a time and to “Chew with their mouths closed.”  There is much laughter and also opportunity for reading and mathematics readiness: reading labels and counting the items in their lunch boxes.  They talk about “more,” “less,” and “the same.”  It is a happy time.


Opportunities to Learn: In our Preschool, discoveries happen, children make friends, conflicts become opportunities to learn negotiating skills, and fantasy play helps children deal with the outside world. 


Visits and Conferences: Visits are scheduled before the start of the year so that each child will have the opportunity to meet one or both of his/her teachers.  Two formal parent-teacher conferences are scheduled during the fall and spring.  Additional conference time can easily be arranged on an as-needed basis. 


Preschool classes follow the Westport Public School calendar for vacations and holidays.  Children may attend five mornings 8:45 to 12:30 (extended day option available) or five full days (8:45AM to 3:15PM).



CLICK HERE FOR FOURS PROGRAM SCHEDULES, TUITION, AND APPLICATION