The Mount Carmel Early Childhood Center is a contemporary, value-inspired community with programs for 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds where collaboration, exploration and play are encouraged to foster a child’s natural creativity and develop a lifelong love of learning.
Young children are eager learners – during their preschool years they learn more than any other time of life! Play is the natural way children learn at this age. Through play, they construct knowledge by trying out new ideas, exploring and discovering. Through play they learn about and make sense of their world. Through play friendships are formed.
STARTING SCHOOL: At Mount Carmel we begin building our community even before our children enter the classroom, connecting family and school. A typical school year begins with a visit to each child’s home by the teaching team. During the home visits, children welcome their new teachers into their own familiar, safe environment, building trusting relationships that help with their separation from parents or caregivers. For the 2021 school year, each family invited the teachers into their home via ZOOM and then individually visited the classrooms with their parent to meet the teachers in person and see the classroom. A gradual start to the school year follows with our “phase-in” period, which is tailored to the development and needs of each child, helping them confidently ease into their newfound independence in the classroom.
CURRICULUM: At Mount Carmel, each child’s curiosity and creativity are nurtured as they actively explore their environment. In bright, beautiful and recently renovated surroundings, children will experiment with a variety of open-ended materials and engage in large and small group activities with teachers, friends, and on their own. As children’s interests emerge, teachers encourage them to delve more deeply, allowing their interests to guide the curriculum and determine the themes and projects explored.
Rather than a teacher-directed study of “concepts in isolation” (letter of the week, color of the day, etc.) our teachers integrate these concepts in child-centered themes or projects. Activities related to these themes support the learning of foundational skills and meet State Standards in math, language and literacy, science, and social studies in a more meaningful way.
The daily schedule is predictable but not rigid. It is organized with appropriate periods of active and quiet time. Extended time periods throughout the day allow the children to become deeply involved in activities of their choice. By examining real life experiences in their community, and engaging in hands-on activities, children make sense of their world and are empowered as learners. The children at Mount Carmel, their families and their teachers work together to create a community of lifelong learners.
A Typical Daily Class Schedule:
- 8:30 – 10:00 – Arrival and Free Play: Children explore and engage in activities such as dramatic play, block building, art experiences, exploring books, cooking, manipulative play, and the sensory table.)
- 10:00 – 10:15 – Morning Circle: Children gather to sing songs, listen to stories, talk about plans for the day.
- 10:15 – 10:45 – Snack: A social time when children make connections with one another based on the foods that they enjoy. Snack is provided by families.
- 10:45 – 12:15 – Outdoor: Children go out to the courtyard to run around and explore sand/water, blocks/dramatic play, ball play and engage in gross motor activities.
- 12:15 – 12:30 – Circle/Half Day children dismiss: Sharing of the morning’s activities and “goodbyes” are said to the Half Day children; Full Day children transition to lunch.
- 12:30 – 1:00 – Lunch: Full Day children sit together and enjoy their lunches sent from home.
- 1:00 – 1:15 – Quiet play: Specific table toys and art materials are explored.
- 1:15 – 2:15 – Rest time
- 2:15 – 2:30 – Snack
- 2:30 – 2:55 – Outdoor/gym play
- 2:55 – 3:00 – Circle/Full Day children dismiss: Singing songs, listening to stories and discussion of the day’s events.