Comprehensive proposal for the development of an early childhood education program Do you realize how important the first few years of your child’s life are? We at Lighthouse Learning Academy understand how important these years are. The early years are when the foundation for your child’s life is being implemented. That is why at Lighthouse Learning Academy we provide programs from ages 6 weeks through 12 years old.
Our Early Care program services infants from 6 weeks through 24 months. This program is designed to make sure that each child’s physical and developmental needs are met.
Daily schedules are adjusted to meet each child’s sleeping and eating patterns. At the appropriate time, toddlers are introduced to different concepts and skills that will help them as they prepare to move to the next program. Our Preschool program serves children from the age of 2 through 5 years of age. Each age group will be divided into classrooms. Once the child is 4 years of age (by September 1st), he/she will enter our stated funded Pre-K program. Each class will use a theme based curriculum designed to introduce concepts and skills based on each child’s age and development.
Daily schedules will be designed with a balance of teacher-directed and child-directed activities. Lighthouse Learning Academy understands that we serve a community that works various and long hours. We gladly provide before and after school care for families that require assistance. During the after school program we provide various activities and projects to enhance life skills as well as, an established time for children to do homework and tutoring is also available if your child needs help.
Transportation services are available to and from local elementary schools. Lighthouse Learning Academy hopes to make getting to and from work less strenuous for working parents by providing the operating hours of 5:30 am to 6:30 pm. Being that we set out to service our community, the vision of Lighthouse Learning Academy is to make it possible for all children, youth, and families to reach their potential in a safe, nurturing, and affordable environment.
Our mission at Lighthouse Learning Academy is to afford children with the premier quality early care and education, to serve as an accommodating system and source for families, strengthening the communities that we serve, and to work interchangeable with other networks and services to make certain that high quality preschool education remains safe and affordable for all families. We believe that from infancy, and through the school years, we are helping to chart a successful outcome for our children.
We work with parents from pregnancy to make sure that their children are placed in a compassionate, encouraging, and nurturing environment. We offer a curriculum that focuses on all of the developmental domains, and an age specific method that helps children move forward from one milestone to the next in a way that has been confirmed to establish a strong basis for lifelong learning. We believe that there is a vital link between these values and the ongoing commitment of our staff.
Therefore, our staff is encouraged and supported as they further their educational understanding of early childhood education. Lighthouse Learning Academy staff members serve as coaches and mentors to each other; enabling them to share ideas, experiences, and up to the minute knowledge of new research, policies and best practices. In addition, we provide on going skill set training for staff through meetings, newsletters, and state specified trainings.
We do our best to provide parents with resources pertaining to high quality health and dental care, as well as nutrition, cognitively stimulating home environments, access to services, strong social connections, and safety precautions for children. New parents, or parents that are new to our neighborhoods, can rely on us for information and support during life’s transitions. Lighthouse Learning Academy is one of the strongest advocates for children and families in the area that we serve. We are aware of the responsibilities that we have to our families and children to be a voice for affordable, high quality preschool services.
We take pride in working with local support agencies, legislatures, and school systems to provide safe, strong, and constant services for children from birth through the school years. We take pride in our parents, our staff, and the valuable chance that we have to be a part of your child’s development. The influence that we can have as partners for children is beyond measure. At Lighthouse Learning Academy we think that all children have a right to respect, in spite of their skill levels.
We provide an environment that is safe yet thought-provoking, and a curriculum that challenges them through creativity and learning through play. Consequently, our program supports the following philosophy about children and their growth: 1. Each child has a unique learning style, learns at a different pace, by different methods and at different ages of maturation. 2. A positive attitude develops in children, who can fulfill their goals, complete tasks on their own, and work with others and receive positive feelings from others. 3.
Children learn self-discipline through understanding, commitment, and reinforcement. 4. Children gain their independence by being allowed to do things for themselves as they are capable of, but keeping in mind new skills. In a safe, caring, respectful environment, children have the greatest chance to grow and develop. Such a setting should be the basis of all childcare programs. We, as educators, should do our best to create an environment that is rewarding, inspiring and supporting of all possible learning and growing opportunities.
An encouraging learning environment is provided through a well design physical environment, the instructional materials, equipment, relationships established between everyone, and daily routines. It is in this environment that each child’s growth takes place. The basis for creating learning environments that promotes growth comes from the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC’s) philosophy of child development and learning that contains developmentally appropriate practice.
A developmentally appropriate learning environment: (1) Provides learning centers that encourage mixing of multiple content areas, the library should contain a variety of books such as big books, picture books, books with words for teacher to read, books covering a wide range of topics, headsets with audiotapes; in blocks there will be large unit blocks, hollow blocks, different types of vehicles, pencil, paper and books related to construction. 2) Provides both active and quiet activities, the library should be an area for children wanting to read alone or quietly listen to a book read by the teacher or enjoy music through head sets; while the block area promotes lots of movement to complete projects. (3)
Provides materials that encourage awareness and knowledge of diversity through books about different cultures, as well as dolls of different races, and musical instruments from a variety of cultures. (4) Ensures that children have easy access to materials. 5) Makes sure that there are plenty of materials available. (6) Offers children the chances for isolated and group play in view of an adult. (7) Makes sure that there is adequate space for individual, small- and large-group experiences, both inside and outside. (8) Displays classroom materials and children’s art at children’s eye level. (9) Promotes literacy in the environment through a variety of sources for print and audio. The infant room through the 4 year old room will be comprised of teachers that are highly qualified.
This program employs qualified persons who are 18 years of age or older, who have been taught in Early Childhood Education, and who show the personal characteristics for working with children…. Employees working with school-age children have been trained in early childhood, child development, or a related field. The amount of schooling will vary depending on the level of responsibility of the position. Employees of a large group of children should have at least a CDA or an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. The Pre-K classrooms will have a Lead Teacher and an Assistant Teacher.
The Lead Teacher will be required to possess a two- or four-year degree in the early childhood field. All assistant teachers must possess at least a CDA. Teaching is full of many responsibilities, roles, and challenges. As an early childhood educator, you will be required to wear many hats. As a teacher, you should be prepared to be flexible. It is important to remember that your job description may change if you are needed in other areas to fill in. Early childhood teachers assist learning by providing activities and materials that children find appealing.
By supplying a developmentally appropriate environment, interesting materials, and time to explore, and play, children find learning easy and fun! Teachers have to communicate with many people throughout the day, ranging from parents to administrators, as well as the children. Early childhood teachers must be ready to communicate with all of these people. You should feel at ease opening up, asking questions, and sharing your experiences. Paperwork, lesson planning, preparing materials and the environment, require teachers to have strong management skills.
Managing a classroom requires organizational skills, and commitment. There are many balloons floating in the air and it is your task to keep them up! Discipline is the guidance, encouragement, and support that adults use to influence children. Appropriate discipline helps children learn how to interact and develop self-control. The staff at Lighthouse Learning Academy understands these concepts and uses the following discipline strategies: First and most importantly, the staff creates a positive and safe environment in which all competencies can be fostered and where there is little opportunity for misbehavior.
Secondly, teachers always model appropriate behavior, both verbal and non-verbal, including body language. Teachers set limits, which reflect realistic expectations for the age and development of each child. When there is conflict between children, teachers will utilize Dan Gartrell’s Five Finger Formula. The five finger formula involves five steps. The first step is to cool everyone down. No one can negotiate when they are upset. The second step involves having everyone involved to agree what the conflict is about. Thirdly, you would want to involve everyone in coming up with possible solutions to the problem.
Fourth, you would want every to agree on the solution. And finally, you must try out the solution that everyone agreed upon. This technique teaches children how to solve problems on their own. If these strategies are not successful, a child may be removed from the group and guided to a quite area with an independent activity. If your child continues to have problems, we will contact you. We will do our best to work with you to correct the behavior issues. If there is still no change in the behavior, a short suspension may be used at the judgment of the director.
If a child is not adapting or benefiting from our program, we reserve the right to disenroll the child from the program, also at the discretion of the programs director. Communication between the parent and the caregiver is important to having a successful child care arrangement. After an adjustment period, your child should be able to make the move from home to child care fairly easily. The staff will be providing support to you by discussing your child’s progress and will recognize the parent as the primary caregiver.
A tour of the center is a vital part of the orientation process. It is at this time when you will meet the staff members that will be responsible for educating your child as well as view the classroom environment. We suggest that you bring your child along so that, he/she can become familiar with the teacher and the classroom. A tour can be arranged at anytime, just call to set up a scheduled time or just drop in. Our staff welcomes you with open arms. Lighthouse Learning Academy will distribute monthly newsletters so that you will be aware of what is happening with our program.
The newsletter will inform you of the themes that will be introduced to your child each month. It will also detail ways in which you can assist the program, as well as upcoming events. Teachers may opt to send home either weekly or a monthly newsletter, keeping you aware of the happenings in the classroom. Through newsletters we are able to keep you updated of the programs effort to make sure that your child’s light shines. Assessment is the method of collecting data about children in order to determine where they are developmentally and to make decisions about their education.
Teachers obtain useful data about children’s skills, and progress by observing, documenting, and reviewing children’s work over time. Ongoing assessment that happens in the context of classroom activities can provide an accurate and fair picture of the children’s abilities and progress. The purposes for assessment in programs for young children are: instructional planning and communicating with parents. This helps to determine, what are the child’s strengths, needs, and learning processes, as well as how is this child doing, and how will this child’s instruction and guidance be planned?
Another purpose is identification of children with special needs. This allows for assessing whether the child’s needs can be met in the program and if not, how does this program need to be adapted, or what program is required? The third purpose is program evaluation and accountability. This assessment allows for assessing whether the program, as now implemented, is meeting its goals and objectives? One of the assessment techniques that we use is the student portfolio. The portfolio is a system for the collection of the child’s work.
Work samples are products of children’s work that mirrors situations in the learning environment, rather than manufactured instructional situations. The collection of work samples along with the recorded observations of children’s interactions and comments shows the child’s progress over time and in a variety of settings. The key to the use of information collected through this approach is the teacher’s knowledge of child development and skill as an observer. Parent conferences will provide you with the opportunity to discuss and learn about your child’s portfolio and how it is used in assessing your child’s development.
Observations will also be used as an assessment tool. Observations can be an assessment tool used while a child is playing usually in his/her natural environment. The observer is able to see the interactions between the children as well as noting speech and language, and motor skills. Lighthouse Learning Academy wants to make sure that your child will receive the individualized attention that they deserve, so we have established groupings of children for care which comply with the following staff ratios for every age group.
For infants to one and a half year olds, the teacher-child ratio will be 3 to 6 infants for 1 teacher. There is a maximum of twelve infants in one room. If there are more than six infants, another teacher will be placed in the classroom. For one year olds that are walking, the ratio will be 1 teacher to 8 children, with a limit not to exceed sixteen children. For two year olds, the ratio will be 1 teacher to every ten toddlers, with no more than twenty in the classroom. For the three year old classroom, the ratio will be 1 teacher for every 15 children, with no more than thirty.
And in the four year old room as well as the pre-k program, the ratio is 1 teacher to eighteen children. In the pre-k program there are always two teachers. Children may be mixed in age groups only during early morning arrivals and late afternoon times of departure. When mixing age groups, you must go by the staff: child ratio and group size based upon the age of the youngest child in the group. During rest time the staff: child ratio may be doubled the number of children as long as there is one staff member in the classroom. Lighthouse Learning Academy prides itself on providing a safe learning environment for your child.
But we know that accidents and injuries will occur. If an accident occurs at our center, we will follow the following guidelines depending on the severity of the injury. First and foremost, our staff and teachers are trained to apply first aid to minor injuries such as cuts, scrapes, and bruises. The director will report to you at the end of the day or during the day based on the nature of the injury. If your child is seriously injured and it requires medical attention, you will be notified immediately and emergency personnel will be contacted.
In cases where you child has to be taken to the emergency room, we require you to sign an authorization form so that we may act during your absence. This form is provided in your enrollment package.
References Decker, C. A. , Decker, J. R. , Freeman, N. K. , ; Knopf, H. T. (2009). Planning and administering early childhood programs (9th ed. ). Columbus: Pearson. Gartrell, Dan. Guidance Matters. March 2006, retrieved on October 16, 2010 from http://www. naeyc. org/files/yc/file/200603/GuidanceBTJ. pdf