Pequeños Exploradores Spanish Immersion Daycare program is founded on a philosophy encompassing three principles: nurturing care, education, and childrens’ individuality and personal development.
To ensure nurturing care, our program believes that every child is deserving of a safe environment that promotes their learning with age-appropriate tools and modeling. The environment must not only be safe, but it must also inspire trust in our children. To achieve such an environment, our staff is actively striving to meet the needs of our children. We nurture our children’s learning in a safe environment, by providing play-areas that encourage the children to work as a community using family language. Periodically, we change our play-areas and materials so as to not allow for our childrens’ learning to stagnate. It is Pequeños Exploradores’ belief that our childrens’ desire to attend our daycare is driven by our changing of play-areas and materials in their safe learning environment, as it keeps their desire for learning stimulated.
The second principle within our program’s philosophy is education, which works in conjunction with nurturing care, as the safe environment we have created also stimulates a desire to learn within our children. Pequeños Exploradores believes that to provide a well rounded education, we must not only teach our children content knowledge (mathematics, literacy, and science) and motor skills, but situated learning as well. To achieve this goal, our program formulated our daily schedule to include both a “circle time”, which designates time for our children to learn content knowledge to prepare them for their next step in their academic journey, and a “free choice” to ensure our children are able to have situated learning opportunities. In “circle time”, our instructors use songs and dances, in addition to traditional teaching strategies, to keep our children engaged. During this time we also work on basic skills, such as the strengthening of gross and fine motor skills. In “free choice”, however, we provide our children the opportunity to explore their learning through play. In our program, learning through play consists of social interactions in dramatic play, table games, or art, which requires our children to take initiative in leading play in addition to problem solving if the situation arises. During this time our staff actively works on modeling good behaviors for our children to use as examples to emulate when their situations require it or when they are in need of self-regulation. By combining both styles of teaching, our program strives to provide the best possible educational experience for our children as we guide their learning in both English and Spanish.
The final principle of our philosophy is individuality and personal growth, which is a product of both nurturing care and education. Our program understands that children learn at their own pace, therefore, we strive to provide our children with all the tools they require to fuel their desires to learn. For Pequeños Exploradores, this means that we must assure our children feel seen and heard, by providing them one-on-one interactions and communication with our staff. When our children accomplish something, whether it as an academic or personal achievement, we praise the child so that they not only feel great about their accomplishments, but also feel inspired to achieve more. In addition, due to the community and environment we build with our children, their peers are also inspired to accomplish more in these situations. For our program, communication and community building is key for our staff to be able to measure each childs’ personal development, and to see how we can provide for their continued growth into further heights.
In conclusion, Pequeños Exploradores Spanish Immersion Daycare is founded on three principles: nurturing care, education, and individuality and personal growth. Each principle builds off one another, for our program we believe that to ensure our children with the best possible education, these principles are required.