Children's House
Orcas Island
Curriculum and Philosophy

 

Research supports our early education program relevance and its proven effectiveness. Early childhood development research shows the brain begins to develop much sooner than was earlier believed and that without sufficient mental stimulation children may fail to develop the synapses that facilitate learning throughout their lives. 

Our curriculum for toddlers and preschool children fosters their cognitive, social-emotional, physical and language development. We know that experiential learning in a safe, nurturing and respectful environment creates a vital foundation for life-long success.

Four key components outline our high-quality program:

  • a play-based curriculum
  • low teacher:child ratios
  • emphasis on family partnering
  • in step with current research

Play-based curriculum
Years of research on children’s learning and development document the many benefits of play. Children at play are actively involved in creating themes, exploring and establishing environments, solving problems and developing shared understandings.

 Low teacher:student ratios
One of the keys to our program’s success is employing a highly qualified teaching staff and maintaining a low teacher:child ratio. Statistics prove that children in classrooms with lower ratios are more likely to have positive interactions with caregivers, be properly supervised and engaged in positive activities. In addition, lower ratios are associated with enhanced verbal communication between caregivers and children, which fosters language development. Children who experience rich and extended conversations with adults early at home and in the school environment achieve greater academic success in their later years. Rich conversation has been shown to be critical to full literacy growth.

Because Children’s House is committed to maintaining low teacher:child ratios, children receive quality nurturing from attentive teachers. This means teachers are able to spend quality time individually with each child, making it easier to identify “red flags” in their development. Our Toddler Center is staffed at a ratio of 1:4, which exceeds the state’s maximum of 1:6 but meets the national standards set by NAEYC. The Preschool is staffed at a ratio of 1:6  (which exceeds the state’s maximum1:10 and even exceeds the best practice standard of 1:8 set by NAEYC.) This gives us more opportunity to work one-on-one with a child and time to assess their growth on an on-going basis.

We firmly believe the success of our students would be greatly diminished if they were in high-ratio child-care environments.

Family partnering
Maintaining a close and extended relationship with the family through planned conferences and home visits is a vital part of our early education philosophy. By partnering with the families, we are able to keep parents involved in our program.  According to the National Institute of Early Educational Research, one of the six essential indicators of a quality early learning program is “when parents are involved in all aspects of the program.” Such programs empower parents by involving them as partners with teachers in supporting their children's development. Most of the preschool programs found to have long-term benefits included home visits or emphasized parent involvement in other ways. The programs strengthened parents' ability to view their children as able, active learners and to support their children's development of a sense of control and of intellectual, social, and physical abilities.

In step with current research
Children’s House operates dynamically by reviewing, enhancing and adjusting curriculum and approaches as new research comes available. For example, Children’s House has long been a proponent of the aligning literacy curriculum from preschool through third grade. We are actively involved with the Washington State P-3 Alignment that places the foundations of literacy on a continuum of early learning based on sound research and a developmentally appropriate practice.

Our teachers and administrators are dedicated professionals and exceed the state’s requirements for continuing education. Read our staff profiles to learn more about these individuals.


ORCAS ISLAND CHILDREN'S HOUSE
36 Pea Patch Lane | Eastsound, Washington 98245 | 360.376.4744
Orcas Island Children's House is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, and all contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Content of this Web site © 2013 Orcas Island Children's House.