Get To Know Us
Our professional teaching staff at CCC are dedicated and responsive to children’s individual and group needs and work collaboratively with parents to develop a community of learners. WACC teachers, grounded by pedagogy of the inspiring schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, teachers will thoughtfully plan the classroom environments and a curriculum which is child-centered, emergent from children’s interests and rooted in a deep respect for the uniqueness of every child.
You will see teachers sitting and playing with children, observing and supporting their emerging social, physical and cognitive development. Curriculum is emergent and based on observations of the children’s interests, but this does not mean it is a free-for-all. Teachers will create planned environments resulting from a multitude of decisions made in conversation with the children and each other. Our work is built on relationships and the knowledge that each child and adult is full of potential that can be best realized in relation to others. We all crave acknowledgement, success and belonging. Our classrooms are safe and supportive places for the magical and challenging work of growing.
Materials for the classrooms are carefully chosen. They reflect our interest in providing environmentally safe materials, connecting children to the natural world and using upcycled materials and loose parts when possible. You may see many non-traditional toys, as we strive to allow the child to determine how a material is used rather than the toy prescribing a right and wrong usage. As an example, acorns can be used in the dramatic play area as food or money, in the block area as decorations on structures, or at a table activity as counting pieces. A piece of plastic broccoli, by contrast, is likely only used as broccoli.
The day includes balance for children. We balance time together and time focused on individual activities, larger group activities and small groups, big muscle exercise, rest time, and time for meals and snacks. Activities may be in the classroom or in one of the alternative destination spaces in the building. These times may involve listening to a story together, working independently with manipulatives, settling down for a nap with quiet music, or setting out for an adventure in the neighborhood.
Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio-Emilia approach, said “Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning and how to learn.” To learn more about the Reggio Emilia approach, visit the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) and translations into the American context.
At Campus Child Care, our philosophy is one based in relationships. This newest program will benefit from the sisterhood of the six existing Campus Child Care centers in relationship with one another, sharing best practice and learning from past experience. Across CCC, our highly qualified teachers partner with parents to provide a safe, joyful, and enriching environment for children. We welcome all children and families, providing a developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive curriculum to be sure that all children, families and staff feel fully understood, respected, and appreciated. An anti-bias education supports children’s learning about differences, unfairness, and how to be compassionate, active citizens.
CCC takes a developmental approach to children’s learning. Western Avenue Children’s Center will use the Reggio Emilia approach to inspire our practice. Reggio Emilia inspired centers think about all learning in a context of relationships, where what we learn and what we know is influenced by the relationships we build to the people, the environments and the materials that surround us. Teachers will work closely with parents to facilitate the transition between home and the center. Daily communication and a sense of trust between parents and staff are vital ingredients of center life. Curricular development is achieved through a process of observation, reflection and documentation of children’s work, drawing on information and feedback from parents, teachers, and the children themselves in the process. Children are encouraged to feel pride in their own achievements and to appreciate the accomplishments of others.
Why an Anti-Bias Approach?
Across CCC, we value the guidance of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the national board for early childhood programs and educators. NAEYC has published a number of resources, including a guiding text titled Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves (Derman-Sparks, Olsen). In this guiding text, a developmental continuum for young children developing an anti-bias mindset is laid out in four goals:
1. Identity -"I'm okay." (Children will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride and positive social identities.)
2. Diversity - "You're okay." (Children will express comfort and joy with human diversity; accurate language for human diversity; and deep, caring human connections.)
3. Justice - "That's not fair." (Children will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness and understand that unfairness hurts.)
4. Activism - "Let's change it." (Children will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.)