Our Program Philosophy at Toddle Inn
At Toddle Inn we believe in supporting the growth and development of children in a safe, engaging, and nurturing environment. Our educators guide the development of important skills through intentional teaching practices that meet the needs of the whole child. A responsive, play-based, curriculum connects children to the world around them and encourages children to wonder, gain confidence, explore interests, and discover a love of learning.
We focus on the process vs. product with regard to children’s learning, understanding that for children to learn we must first create a safe and welcoming environment. Each time children switch programs the teachers spend time building relationships and assuring the children feel comfortable, safe, and supported as they adjust to a new room. When children have their basic needs fulfilled – such as food, water, rest, and warmth – they then look for safety and a sense of belonging. When children transition to a new classroom extra time is spent in fostering attachment and supporting these needs which allows teachers to later incorporate play-based academic, cognitive, and social learning experiences. Classroom routines are intentionally constructed to allow children to practice self-regulation and emotional literacy.
We allow children to explore materials through play and provide multiple opportunities for children to repeat and expand on their day-to-day activities. This process-based approach to learning helps develop confidence, competency, and mastery as children grow. As children discover many ways to explore their activities, teachers are able to closely observe children’s questions, ideas, and evidence of growth and development. With these observations, teachers can plan to further the learning taking place by introducing new materials or co-constructing new experiences with children. In all classrooms, art experiences are process oriented and clearly show the child’s involvement in the activity. Craft projects, for our preschool programs, are intentionally planned to help build specific motor skills and are a way for children to practice following directions; however, these do not replace art activities and are not considered to be “art projects”.