Dr. Montessori believed that the first three years of life are the most fundamental in the development of human beings and their potential. In the Young Children's Community, children between the ages of fifteen months and three years interact in a beautiful space specially prepared to meet their needs. It is a nurturing environment where motor coordination, independence and oral language are cultivated.
Under the guidance of one teacher and two assistants, children participate joyfully in purposeful tasks, such as slicing bananas or tending the garden. The environment is rich in opportunities to move with balance and control as well as lessons in art and music. The child's development of self-confidence and understanding that he or she is part of a community are fostered. The children work together at tasks such as setting the table for snack or dressing for the outdoors. They gather as a community to play musical instruments, sing nursery rhymes or listen to stories. The Young Children's Community has two one-way windows, which allow parents to observe the class at work and play, and enjoys its own protected playground designed for toddlers. One of the YCC's most delightful features is that one of the classroom assistants speaks to the children exclusively in Spanish.
Once the child has shown the readiness, usually around age 3, he or she moves into the Primary Program.
The curricular work of the Young Children’s Community (YCC) falls into six main areas: Practical Life, Language Development, Control of Movement, Music, Art, and Self-Care. Additionally, we offer both our children and their parents support with important early activities such as eating, dressing and toileting. Parents attending parent-infant classes receive infancy and toddler advice before and during their child's time in the YCC.
Practical Life work includes activities such as spooning, pouring, folding, scrubbing, polishing, cloth washing, food preparation, hand washing and table setting. The environment and the adults foster Control of Movement through carrying exercises and the processes of bringing materials to one’s table and returning it safely to the shelf. The environment is rich in Oral Language, with teachers and children engaging in frequent conversation. Rhymes, poems, stories and songs abound. Children learn a wide range of classified vocabulary by sorting and organizing objects and pictures into various categories. Sound games are enjoyed. In addition to daily rhymes and singing, children learn to experience rhythms using a variety of percussion instruments. Art materials for coloring, painting, pasting, cutting and molding are presented. Music of famous composers and art works of famous artists are featured periodically. Children learn to care for plants and to garden. Self-Care exercises such as undressing and dressing, toileting and hand washing are integral parts of every morning’s work. Children play and further develop their large motor movements in the outdoors, and they learn to live together for four or five mornings a week as a community of respectful and caring individuals.
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