WCCC’s Early Childhood Program provides a safe, secure, and nurturing environment for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, and a curriculum that addresses all areas of a child’s development – physical, social, emotional, and cognitive. We believe that children learn best through active exploration and interactions with adults, other children, and materials. Children’s needs change as they grow and each room is organized to reflect these developmental differences.
The Early Childhood Program is open Monday-Friday from 7:30am-5:45pm for twelve months of the year. Parents set hours for their own children. Typically children are dropped off between 7:30am-10:00am and picked up between 2:30pm-5:44pm. The ECP calendar and Parent Handbook can be found by clicking on the Early Childhood Program tab and selecting Policies.
In Infant One and Infant Two, the schedules are as varied as the infants themselves.
In our Green and Blue toddler rooms, we provide time and space for the children to explore with all their senses as they learn to use their rapidly developing physical and verbal skills.
In our Purple, Yellow and Orange preschool rooms, we provide a wide range of activities and experiences that promote confidence in developing skills, an enthusiasm for learning, and a sense of the importance of making independent choices and connecting with others.
In our Nature Classroom, children have more learning opportunities outside on the wonderful Wellesley College campus and in our extensive outdoor play areas. In addition to typical pre-k skills, we focus on learning about the nature world and being custodians of the earth.
In general, children are placed into each of our eight classrooms by chronological age. Because we believe in the importance of establishing strong relationships among children, teachers, and families, all children remain in the same room for the entire year. Each child has a “primary teacher” who begins the process of communication with a home/school visit, writes regular notes during the year, keeps track of each child’s development, and meets with parents for conferences each year.
Classroom age divisions:
- Infant One: ages 3 to 7/8 months in September
- Infant Two: ages 7/8 to 15 months in September
- Green Room: ages 15 to 26 months in September
- Blue Room: ages 22 months to 2 years, 8 months in September
- Purple Room: ages 2 years, 9 months to 3 years, 7 months in September
- Yellow Room: ages approximately 3 years, 7 months to 4 years in September
- Orange Room: ages approximately 4 years to 5 years in September
- Nature Room:ages approximately 4 years to 5 years in September
Some tenets of the Early Childhood Program include:
- Building a community (classroom community, parent community)
- Emergent Curriculum: through observation, discover the interests of the children and investigate (What do we know about a topic? What do we want to learn about a topic? What have we learned about a topic?)
- Play-based Learning: teachers extend learning by asking questions like “What if…”
- Ongoing work on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
- Process versus Product art philosophy
- No bad weather, only bad clothes–we go outside in all weather!
- Social problem solving skills focus
- Foster respect and kindness
- Building up coping skills, perseverance, independence
- Finding the joy
- Develop a sense of wonder
- Strive to create life-long learners!