Cooperative Children's Center
We seek to provide an environment where teachers, parents and children work together to facilitate social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth. Our program philosophy is based on child development theory; our program and curriculum are planned and carried out based on a knowledge of how children grow, and what is to be expected – socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically at each stage of development. Our program is also age appropriate, which means teachers take into consideration the normal sequences of growth typical of children within an age group, when planning curriculum. Our program is individually appropriate in that we recognize each child as a unique person with individual patterns of growth, individual preferences for activities, and having different family backgrounds.
At the co-op, children have the freedom to explore their surroundings, to make choices, to communicate, and to resolve conflicts in a supportive climate, which nurtures self-esteem and celebrates diversity. Our concept of parent involvement builds community, ensures continuity between home and school, and offers opportunities to enhance parenting skills. Parents are welcome and encouraged to be at the center any time they are able. We value and nurture families with diverse lifestyles, cultures, and worldviews.
At the co-op learning is not imposed upon the child, as it can be in a teacher-centered classroom. Child development theorists indicate, and we agree, that young children learn naturally and enthusiastically in an environment offering a choice of activities created with children’s needs in mind, rather than adults’. We focus on the child forming positive and enjoyable associations while acquiring new skills and incorporating new information. It is important to us that each child feels safe in being unique and in performing the countless experiences that constitute their growth. We put an emphasis on social/emotional development because we feel it is a necessary foundation for all other learning.
In this time of great social pressure on young children to meet performance expectations, we feel it is important to preserve the experience of early childhood. This experience is critical to the well-rounded development of the child and their ultimate success—developmentally, academically and as an adult.