The Center offers programs for three different age groups:
The Clinton Early Learning Center is a child's domain where each child can develop his/her own sense of worth as well as nurture personal relationships. A basic goal of the Center is to provide the best possible group child-care environment, one which fosters the child's sense of curiosity and physical development through a large variety of activities and at the same time respects each child's needs for a balance of active and quiet play. Although not an educational facility in a school sense, the Center exposes children to basic concepts and provides the facilities, equipment and personnel necessary to pursue individual educational needs. Above all, the Center strives to make each child feel competent in his/her world by encouraging growth toward self-discipline. Within the context of the daily program, children are grouped according to age and need.
It is the goal of all programs to meet the needs of the children, rather than expecting children to adjust to a specific set, rigid program. All the programs begin with determining the developmental appropriateness, both age and individual, when setting goals and planning activities to include educational, social, emotional, and physical objectives.
The environment and program are carefully planned to meet the needs of young children for play, exploration, companionship, and individual attention. The program is flexible and it recognizes the importance of each as a distinct person, developing at his or her own pace. There is a dependable sequence of daily events and a clear orderliness in the arrangement of materials and equipment to help children gain confidence in themselves and in this new world beyond home. Simple routines are introduced in relaxed, unhurried ways. The program includes organized activities as well as freeplay indoors and out.
Teachers of all age groups design programs and objectives around the developmental needs of the age group they are working with. Teachers use a bi-weekly lesson plan as a tool to ensure that the developmental areas of cognition, social skills, language, science, creative arts, music, fine motor and gross motor skills are included in a daily schedule of circle time, project time, story, freeplay, outdoor activity, group activities and special events.
Teachers work to encourage active curiosity and enthusiasm for learning by providing opportunities to learn new information and develop problem solving skills. Programs provide a variety of activities and materials to stimulate the interest and curiosity of the children in each age group. Teachers provide learning activities and materials that are real and relevant to the lives of the children.
Teachers and programs work to promote cooperative social interaction. Teachers use the environment to help children develop the social skills needed to share space, equipment and attention. Teachers work toward helping all ages learn to accept decisions and necessary limits while making independent choices and discovering the joys of friendship.
Teachers provide an environment that will facilitate the development of positive self-esteem by respecting, accepting, and comforting children, regardless of the child's behavior. Teachers will provide a warm, nurturing environment where all children feel accepted. Teachers encourage each child to feel successful and proud of individual steps and accomplishments.
Teachers provide a balance of rest and active movement throughout the program day. Teachers provide outdoor experiences for children of all ages. Programs are designed to provide opportunities for children to use their growing bodies and develop skill and coordination.