Nurturing Curiosity and Creativity
At Country Club Methodist Child Development Center (CCMCDC) we strive to provide a safe, loving environment as well as a progressive education for infants, toddlers, and preschool age children. Our highly-qualified staff implements a constructive, play-based curriculum where students learn in social context and from real experiences. We believe learning should stem from the children’s interests and that real life learning experiences are most appropriate for young learners. Authentic interactions with nature, community members, and families support our philosophy of learning through play
We are a Reggio Emilia-inspired center. What does that mean, exactly? For us, it means respecting and nurturing the curiosity and creativity of children. It means that we see play as the most effective vehicle for learning in the early years and strive to help children become creative thinkers. All of our classrooms offer children a rich variety of open-ended art projects, sensory experiences, building explorations, pretend play props, and more. We also see nature as a rich tool for learning and prioritize outdoor play as part of our daily schedule. Our teachers see themselves as facilitators and co-learners, exploring and learning along with the children.
We value our classroom environments as an essential element of children’s learning, so all of our classrooms are infused with natural wooden furniture, open-ended materials, lamps, and cozy elements to make them feel home-like and to inspire exploration.
Although we do include conventional toys in our classrooms, many of our materials are what we call “loose parts,” open-ended materials that can be used in many different ways. We believe that incorporating loose parts into our classrooms encourages creative thinking and leaves space for children to express their own ideas and learning.
We also utilize the Project Approach, which is an in depth exploration of a topic that is relevant to students and promotes inquiry-based learning. This means that our teachers carefully observe the children in their class to determine their interests and document what questions they are asking. Then the class explores these questions through hands-on learning experiences, real life materials, and visits from experts. Throughout the course of the project, children express their ideas and learning through a variety of art mediums and the teachers document their ideas and learning on an ongoing basis.
Hands on learning is messy! We know that sensory-rich experiences that engage all our senses are vital for brain development in these early years, so at CCMCDC we encourage children to immerse themselves in learning experiences. This means that children freely explore mud, paint, shaving cream, and other sensory experiences. Your child may not always come home clean, but we promise that any mess is evidence of their whole-hearted engagement in learning!
Learning Made Visible
Being Reggio-inspired also means that we value, document, and celebrate children’s questions, interests, and ideas. You can find evidence of this in the bulletin boards in our hallways and in our classrooms, where we share samples of the children’s work, samples of their own words as they talk about what they have learned and experienced, and photos of children at work to show the progression of learning. We also share photos and learning stories with parents on a daily basis through the Brightwheel app.
Country Club United Methodist Church is a neighborhood church which seeks to inspire the spiritual growth of its community. Likewise, our child development center seeks to inspire spirituality in our students. This is achieved in the form of prayers before meals and snacks, books and discussions to teach moral values, and interactions between the students and church members. All faiths are welcome.