Welcome to Apple Tree Developmental Home Day Care & Preschool Program. By introducing you to my program, I want to answer the following questions for you:
1. How does this program differ from other programs?
2. Why will it benefit my child to be in this program as opposed to a center-based one?
3.What will my child learn and how will he learn it?
4. What is included in my child's day and how will I be kept informed and involved?
To begin. The credentials I have gained over the years as an early childhood educator are unique among home day care providers. In addition to holding an advanced degree in Child Development, I have worked more than ten years as a center Director and preschool teacher. My program here is an Accredited level 5 program and a two time finalist in the Governor's Quality Care Awards. My program was a Michigan winner of this award in 2001. I believe these credentials make me unique among home-based care providers in this area.
Because I have worked so many years running large center-based programs, I have seen the benefits as well as disadvantages of this type of program. Before beginning my home business, I had to ask myself "Can I truly take the best aspects of a center and combine them with the best aspects of a home program?" I knew that I could. I have found the best aspects of a center-based program to be:
1. structured, age-appropriate activities and learning materials
2. a learn-through-play philosophy which specialists agree is how young children learn best
3. daily use of raw materials (sand,water,clay) to explore hands-on
4. a combination of teacher-directed and child-centered activities
5. a thematic approach which offers a basic framework for a preschool curriculum
6. an experienced early childhood teacher who is flexible and understands what "truly teachable moments" are
7. periodic developmental assessments for each child to monitor progress and milestones
8. positive relationships with parents through many modes of communication
The best aspects of a home preschool program (not just a daycare) include:
1. developing a close and secure relationship with one consistent caregiver (for both the child AND the parent!)
2. a small group of six children with mostly same-aged peers
3. many supervised opportunities for each child to develop pro-social skills
4. constant individual attention for each child to focus on areas of need
5. less rigidity in certain routines
6. a cozy home-like environment
Now, if I can take all of these things and put them together in one program that offers children choices of playspaces, guidance in decision making, individual attention to foster specific skills that the child needs....then a home-based preschool program can be every bit as beneficial as a center-based one! And maybe even MORE beneficial! And I think so!
The goals of the preschool program are to introduce opportunities to foster growth in skills based on where your child is currently at. Activities must be "tailored" to your child, as all children learn at thier own pace and are at different levels with different skills. It is my job to learn where your child is at and go from there. If, for example, your child needs some extra help with eye/hand skills...then I will involve him in extra activities which develop this skill such as computer, cutting, lacing, doh, etc. Before your child is ready for kindergarten, my program will offer activities geared towards that readiness and through a thematic approach provide experiences in:
social / pro-social
large and small motor
Through these activities, your child will develop and learn:
cooperation group skills follow directions
nurturance turn taking manners
focus on task attention span self-esteem
listen for cues decision making problem-solving
observation imagination spatial concepts
basic letters counting 1-to-1 correspondence
shapes colors seriation
sequencing matching rhythm
pre-reading pre-writing memory skills
language skills eye/hand skills sensory exploration
And so much more!!!!!!!
How will your child learn all of this???????
Your child will learn all of these skills through the components incorporated each day in the Apple Tree Developmental Preschool Program. These components include:
1. Outside play year round with many choices of equipment, both large and small motor.
2. Group time each day which involves the daily calendar, fingerplays and songs, stories and games.
3. "Show & Tell" each week and other opportunities for creative expression.
4. Daily choices of art and sensory activities.
5. Family-style relationships and interactions.
6. Computer time, group and individual projects and consistent guidance in pro-social behavior.
7. Appropriate behavior guidance, limit setting and redirecting offered in a loving, positive and gentle manner with respect for the child as an individual with feelings that s/he has every right to feel. Learning to express these feelings in a positive or appropriate way is a stepping stone to maturity.
You will know how your child is doing each day by:
1. One on one personal correspondence with me.
2. Monthly newsletters and program calendars.
3. Daily reports on your child's day, goals met and things to work on.
4. Weekly photo cards to let you see what your child has been up to!
5. Occasional emails with photos if you wish to receive them.
6. Twice yearly developmental assessments (Ages and Stages) which will note skills mastered and skills being introduced.
The benefit of a smaller group of peers close in age means that I can work one-on-one with your child in a more intense manner than a center-based teacher might be able to do while handling a group of 20 children or more.
I have brought my classroom into my home and your child will be at or above the level of the center-based preschooled child upon entering Kindergarten.
This is what is different about this program. This is not just a "daycare" program. Many home based programs will tell you that they offer preschool activities....but very few can
match and meet the goals of such a program like a degreed preschool teacher can.