A Distinct Approach
Goals of the Early Childhood Center (ECC)
Creative expression, personal responsibility and the development of personal identity are key goals for a lifetime of intellectual exploration, personal growth and social responsibility.
The ECC aims to:
provide a relaxed transition from home to school
provide an atmosphere in which children feel safe to ask questions
help children develop a positive sense of self and independence
extend and deepen each child’s understanding of the world around them
guide children toward positive relationships with peers and adults
teach acceptable outlets for emotions and the skills of communication
develop creativity through music, literature and the visual arts
develop cognitive skills (the ability to see relationships, to generalize, to arrange and rearrange information, and to think critically so as the child grows, he /she is able to synthesize new information and concepts)
The curriculum in the Early Childhood Center focuses on age-appropriate learning activities in the following areas to encourage social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth.
Curriculum is integrated and experiential and is based upon the children's needs and interests. Children are encouraged to think, reason, question, develop ideas, solve problems and experiment, as well as make choices and display independence.
The ECC’s curriculum helps develop important language, literacy and reasoning skills that prepare the child for more formal education in the primary grades. To the greatest extent, children learn these skills in the context of activities, projects and play.
In the Early Childhood Center (ECC), children learn together in a warm, spirited, caring, child-centered environment. Our campus-within-a-campus provides a safe, secure place for your children to thrive. The classrooms are arranged by learning areas or centers: blocks, dramatic play, manipulatives, language, math, science, art, sensory table, library, music center and writing. The daily schedule and routines include a balance of indoor and outdoor activity time.
The sound of children's laughter, the joy of discovery and a sense of pride in one's accomplishments are celebrated. Whether unearthing dinosaur bones buried in the sandbox, blending letter sounds to read a first word, navigating the challenges of friendship or learning to identify and express emotions, at La Jolla Country Day School, the intellectual, social and emotional life of each child is honored.
To support all stages of a child's development, a number of curriculum models are incorporated. Play is the work of the young child and is understood to be the primary means for learning. Our teachers take special care to prepare the environment and offer materials that encourage learning and exploration.
Teacher-directed instruction may be offered to the whole group, a small group or an individual child. These lessons may focus on math, early literacy, language and fine motor. Children experience music, library time, physical education and Spanish (junior kindergarten) with specialists every week.
To broaden children’s understanding of the world, themes are introduced. Using an integrated approach, children explore topics through language arts, dramatic play, social studies, math, science, music and art.
Thriving in high faculty retention, La Jolla Country Day School (LJCDS) recruits well-trained, experienced, degreed teachers who work in partnership with families for the duration of the school year. The lead and associate teachers provide learning environments for children that are safe, secure, accessible, organized, comfortable, predictable and consistent.
Teachers encourage, model and develop the process of active listening and clear communication. They prepare children to make thoughtful decisions, engage in responsible behavior and resolve conflicts. Similarities and differences are celebrated as each child's unique qualities are recognized and embraced.
Through diverse styles, interests and continuous professional development, the Early Childhood Center teachers inspire creativity and imagination.
They provide choices and encourage risk-taking opportunities in a safe, nurturing setting. Our teachers cultivate the gift of curiosity and provide tools to access information and knowledge.
The goal of the ECC is to provide each child an environment that offers developmentally appropriate activities to encourage social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth.