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Introduction

The Early Childhood Education Program believes that all children should be provided a nurturing, active, and challenging environment that encourages curiosity, active learning, values, problem solving, language development, and a positive self-image. To meet these goals, the teaching staff supports a hands-on environment by implementing specific learning centers throughout the classroom including: blocks, creative art, sensory/science, library, dramatic play, and manipulatives. The children are provided with a wide variety of materials at each center: Legos, puzzles, puppets, cooking equipment, crayons, markers, stickers, paper, glue, paint, dolls, dress-up clothes, play food, dishes, magnifying glasses, prisms, plants, animals, books, tapes, scissors, and math manipulatives.

To develop the curriculum, our program uses the following resources: California Department of Education's Prekindergarten Learning and Development Guidelines, California Department of Education Desired Results for Children and Families, the standards supported by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Scholastic Books' "Big Day" curriculum. The information gathered from these resources forms the major strands of our developmentally appropriate program: teaching strategies, socio-emotional development, language/literacy development, cognitive development, fine and large motor development, assessment of children, and parent-teacher relations. We designed our preschool curriculum to align with state standards and provide preschool students with a head start on their academic careers and social development.

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