Programs and Curriculum
The daily schedule is posted on the parent board and may change from time to time dependent on our program. All classrooms begin their day with a morning welcome circle: Infants will start with hellos and songs, while the toddlers on up with have an inclusive group circle time based on their developmental skills which may include language development, current events, music and movement. Preschoolers will also gain their daily concept and theme at circle time. The classes then continue with developmental growth activities such as art, pre reading, writing and math for our preschoolers, as well as our toddlers growing a sense of working together, learning their numbers and alphabet. All classes go outside daily and have a set meal and rest time. School age children when they arrive will have snack, homework and then outdoor and free play/activity with teachers and peers.
Programs and Curriculum
Sunshine and Stars provides programs focused on developmental programming and individually appropriate development. Children are cared for determined by their stage of development. The curriculum is implemented with attention to the children’s needs, interests and development. Our programs incorporate all areas of child development including cognitive, social, emotional, physical, language, arts and humanity, logical mathematics, physical-health, reading, writing, speaking and listening, science, social studies, self help skills and positive behavior. Community involvement and the environment are also key components of our programs. A written plan of daily activities and routines, including a time for free play and rest is established for each group. Our classroom plans are flexible to accommodate the needs of individual children and the dynamics of the group, though continuing the educational learning process. Daily activities promote the development of skills, social competence and self-esteem. Daily experiences recognize the child as an individual and gives the child choices of activities that respect personal privacy, lifestyle and cultural background. Lesson plans are theme based that correspond with seasons, holidays and other special events and learning themes. For Learning for Life experiences, our programs participate in local charitable events, and support charities, both local and beyond. Through collaborating with Youthwise Youth Programs, children learn about the significance of giving and being a part of their community.
Sunshine and Stars provides a full summer time program for ages toddler through school age. The summer program includes experiences in the natural environment, water play and exploration, wild life exploration, and more!! Children of Pre-K through school age can be involved in a full summer camp program! Sunshine and Stars is an affiliate of the American Camp Association, and all outdoor summer programs are outlined with standards of the ACA.
Our curriculum is based on developmentally appropriate practices that promote active play and learning in each classroom. We use in-house developed and published curriculum, and American sign language curriculum. Age appropriate PA Department of Education standards are used in our classrooms.
The curriculum for infants is focused on nurturing young children and their gaining knowledge of their environment. These children follow their own schedule for sleeping/eating/toileting, as directed by parents. The curriculum is filled with songs, stories/finger plays and individual play. Visual, multi-sensory, gaining knowledge of body movements and language development are all aspects of the infant group. Infants are provided stimulation by being held, rocked, talked to, played with and carried. Older infants will learn to gain self help skills and the center schedule to transition to the toddler room.
The curriculum for toddlers is based on gaining self help skills, and growing awareness of their world around them. Toddlers will learn how to feed themselves with utensils, drink from a cup and start with potty training. Through the daily schedule your toddler will develop working with peers and teachers and group development. Introduction to language, early writing skills, early cognitive skills and social skills will be provided. Daily exploration in music & movement, creativity & art and science is included in our curriculum for toddlers. We ask that pacifiers and bottles not be brought in once your child transitions to this room. They are learning to talk and acquire skills, these items hinder self help development skills.
The curriculum for emerging skills children is a transition between toddler stages and preschool skills stages. These children are given learning challenges at their own pace, lots of latitude to develop and explore and individual attention to transition into preschool skills. Growth in early math skills, writing and language skills, fine motor skills, gross motor refinement, music & movement, along with growth in social and self-help skills are all elements of the Emerging Skills curriculum.
Preschool and PreK-
The curriculum for this group is developed to provide all aspects of getting ready for kindergarten. Challenging, stimulating and meaningful hands on activities, geared to promote successful experiences for children are planned as a major part of the daily routine. The Prs/Prk curriculum utilizes thematic units to incorporate a variety of activities related to a theme, Literature is used as a basis for integrating units. Thematic units include related activities in art, music & movement, math, science, social studies, self help skills and language arts. All activities are developmentally appropriate and encourage the development of the whole child. Emergent curriculum techniques are used to develop units by the teaching team based on the current interests of the children. A balance of large and small group activities, planned environment to encourage and support active learning time. Large group activities include the introduction of basic concepts related to the daily/weekly themes. Small group activities are planned to meet the developmentally needs of each sub group. The free play periods incorporate the use of learning activity centers to meet the range of developmentally needs on the entire group. Careful planning and preparation of the play environment enhances the active learning components of the program.
Moving off to Kindergarten
Parents will be notified of Kindergarten registration in the school districts that we serve. Children will need to attend registration with their birth certificate and immunizations and any other papers your school district may need. We will provide information on transition tips as well. Contact your local district with additional questions.
The curriculum and structure in this classroom is focused on group relationships, current issues, community issues and environmental issues. The school age group participates in Youthwise programs as to be involved in community, social events and learning for life experiences.
Research shows that play is the foundation for learning. Our days are full of play through a variety of materials and hands on learning.
Our classrooms are set up with learning centers, which are hands on areas that children have use of during free choice and also during small and large group teacher directed time. Learning centers help to introduce themes, promote self help skills, reading, writing, math, social, and exploring the imagination.
While playing with peers and staff your child is encouraged to express their needs and wants, solve problems and work together.
All age groups will participate in walking field trips and the Preschool groups and older will take other field trips from time to time, to enhance features of a weekly theme. These special trips and activities will be outlined on your monthly calendar, and will be included in your weekly tuition coupon for permission and responsibility of any related activity fees.
PA Early Learning Standards
The Early Learning Standards were developed as a joint project of Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Department of Public Welfare as part of Governor Rendell's commitment to early childhood education and care. The Early Learning Standards are meant to guide the development of programs serving children birth to five years of age. Over 30 years of research confirms the foundational importance of early education and care for children’s school and life success. Learning areas include: Approaches to Learning, Arts and Humanities; Logical Mathematics; Partnerships; Personal-Social; Physical-Health;
Sunshine and Stars Centers participates in the Early Learning Standards initiative and provides curriculum based on these standards.