Ready for another section of my Parent Handbook? We started with a description of how the Handbook is organized, then I shared the history of my child care program, our daily routine, and a family child care job description.
Next is a description of our curriculum. As with all parts of my child care policies that I’ve shared here, I request that out of professional courtesy and compliance to copyright laws you don’t copy any of my policies or take them for your own. You’re welcome to use them as a creative springboard when writing your own policies, or to borrow a word or short phrase here and there if you wish. Thank you.
My philosophy about curriculum has developed from many years spent reading many books, articles and journals, attending many conferences and workshops, participating in many discussions, trying out many systems, and spending many hours thinking about what I’d read, heard, discussed and tried.
Despite all my efforts, I didn’t find a curriculum that “fit” until I discovered the Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care. Not only does the Creative Curriculum system represent what I’ve been doing for years, it also provides the research and language to help me communicate to parents what we do all day – and why.
Here’s the Curriculum section of my Parent Handbook:
Learning and Curriculum
We believe that play-based learning is the most appropriate method of learning for children. Play is essential for all children’s well-being and development. New concepts, improved skills and enhanced comprehension come to children through play. Children’s senses help them experience the world around them, and their imaginations take them anywhere they want to go. Daily play at Amy & Kids Co. will offer a variety of experiences to enhance your child’s self-esteem and to enable your child to feel successful.
Our daily learning is based on the Creative Curriculum® for Family Child Care. The Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care embodies everything that I’ve been doing in my program for years, plus it provides additional resources for enhancing, assessing, and documenting the children’s learning.
The Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care is a play-based program that focuses on the learning environment rather than content. It is appropriate for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children, and preserves the special characteristics of a home-based environment.
The entire Creative Curriculum system is considered “best practice” and aligns closely with Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS), which address all the domains of a child’s learning and development from birth to first grade and corresponds with the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards.
The Creative Curriculum philosophy is that children should be allowed to grow at their own pace and to learn in ways that enable them to become confident in themselves as learners. The goals are to help children learn about themselves and the world around them and to encourage children to feel good about themselves and capable as learners. These mirror my own personal philosophy and goals.
Creative Curriculum® for Family Child Care emphasizes a responsive relationship between provider and child, and centers around a child care environment planned to promote children’s learning. Although some of our daily activities are teacher-directed, the majority of children’s development occurs during free play.
The child care environment plays an important role in children’s learning. The Creative Curriculum® program is based on a child care environment that is safe yet stimulating, and promotes functional play through carefully planned learning centers that interest children and invite their explorations.
Learning Centers are areas that provides children with toys, activities, and materials that are related by subject, purpose, or skill. When children play in learning centers they develop independence, practice decision making, and experience involvement in an activity. In addition, play in learning centers reinforces skills and concepts, and allows for individual learning goals to be met.
Since toys are the learning tools of children, the variety of toys available at Amy & Kids Co. are selected to promote children’s learning and development of language (books), large and small muscles (slides, puzzles and blocks), creativity (artwork), imagination (dress-up), self-help skills (dressing self) and cultural awareness (books and toys).
If you’re a family child care provider and haven’t looked into the Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care, I highly recommend it! Unlike many other curriculums, it celebrates the unique qualities and benefits of family child care instead of trying to turn us into little group centers.