Our Curriculum

Our staff members are enthusiastic, passionate, and dedicated to working with children.  Our distinguished curriculum and NAEYC accredited program utilizes a variety of age-appropriate activities that are incorporated into daily classroom activities that support development for your child at every level by using varied materials and equipment.  The curriculum components serve a balance between quiet and active activities as well as indoor and outdoor activities.  Our classrooms and activity areas are both teacher directed and child initiated, thus encouraging exploration, independence, and decision making abilities for children.  Our teachers develop exciting and stimulating age-appropriate activities that are developmentally suitable and meet each child’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive needs. The curriculum usually revolves around a chosen theme that has educational, social, cultural and emotional value. We strive to include enrichment activities that extend our students knowledge and understanding of the world outside the classroom.


Curriculum Components

Circle Time
Is where children start their day and the classroom teacher reviews daily activities with the children.  Circle time gives children the opportunity to participate, interact, and socialize with others in a group setting.  Activities in a group encourage children to help others, cooperate with others, and share with others.  During this time children will sing songs, play games, learn calendar skills, learn weekly theme, participate in show and tell, as others.

Motor Skills Development
Children will participate in activities that will assist in developing both gross and fine motor skills.  Gross motor skills refer to the movements of the large muscles of the body.  Large motor skills will consist of learning to walk, crawl, roll, jump, climb, clap, grasp, push, pull, catch, throw, hop, among others.  Fine motor skills require the movement of small muscles that are usually in coordination with the eyes such as hand-eye coordination.  Fine motor skills will include coloring, drawing, turning pages in a book, proper holding and use of scissors, pencils, crayons, can cut following lines, stays in lines when coloring, tracing letters and numbers, etc.

Manipulatives
Children learn to develop associations by using physical involvement and senses.  Manipulative play will build on organizational skills such as matching, sorting, counting, shape recognition, comparing, building and classifying.

Math and Science
Children will learn to develop their math and science skills through a variety of activities.  Math will include recognizing numbers, shapes and colors.  Children will also focus on counting, patterns, sequencing, money, time and measurement, and addition and subtraction.  Math skills will be exercised through applications such as puzzles, games, among others.  Science will include learning through simple experiments and observations such as planting and trying to grow items, weather observations and cooking.

Language Development
To encourage language and literacy children will participate in activities that support and strengthen language development.  Activities will include reading time, recognizing and forming letters, storytelling, learning about opposites, learning their first and last name, etc.

Infants will be exposed to baby sign language and preschoolers will learn Spanish for a foreign language. Our Spanish program is taught by a Futura Language Professional.

Sensory Development
To encourage sensory stimulation children will participate in a variety of hands-on activities to develop touch, sound and sight senses.  Sensory experiences will include squeezing, feeling, listening, touching and textures.

Music
Your child will be exposed to music, song, and dance for teaching basic skills such as counting, numbers and letters, language skills, and large motor skills.  Music may also be used during quiet times throughout the day. Children in our toddler and preschool classrooms will have a designated time when they will be exposed to various musical instruments, song and dance, and music literacy.

Our music program is a Kindermusik program that incorporates early literacy and language in music.  We offer three levels to accommodate our toddler and preschool classroom developmental needs.  The music program will incorporate instruments, stories, activities and more!

Arts and Crafts
Children will participate in an arts and crafts session and the majority of the projects will be focused around the holidays and theme units.  Creative arts and crafts projects allow your child to discover, express and stimulate his/her creativity.  Projects will encourage the child to be more open in looking for ways to make things work and be resourceful, focus on a certain task until they have completed it, socialize with others by interacting with other children, and learn to share if they need to use a particular tool for their project.  Additionally, your child will develop confidence when finishing a task.

Self-help Skills
Staff will stimulate problem solving and self-help skills by encouraging your child to learn independence through positive directive and providing opportunities to do things for themselves.  To help children learn to do things for themselves self-help skills may include cleaning up toys, learning to tie shoes, keeping the room clean, potty training, hand washing, getting on indoor and outdoor clothing, learning the use of buttons, zippers, etc.  Dramatic and practical life activities help children to learn to do things for themselves, promote and give children a sense of accomplishment and encourage positive self-esteem.

Free Play
Children choose to participate in interest areas.  Unstructured play is an important concept that encourages children to construct, manipulate and explore the world around them.  Free play promotes healthy child development by allowing kids to use their creativity, develop their imagination, and build confidence and independence by practicing decision making skills.

Technology
Next Steps Learning Center uses technology to extend learning beyond the classroom. We have an on-site technology center that introduces children to computers. We are currently reviewing and updating our technology curriculum to incorporate tablets in our classrooms.