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Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center
Respect For Children
program
Description | Philosophy | Curriculum | Waiting List

Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center: curriculum
Caregiving is the main curriculum at the Toddler Care Center. Consisting of diapering, dressing, napping and eating, daily caregiving routines are seen as important learning opportunities for focused one-to-one interactions with children. We encourage children to be active participants rather than passive objects during caregiving activities, and engage their full involvement, cooperation and participation. For example, the diaper change is considered a prime quality time. Children are encouraged to help; they lift their legs, help pull up their plastic pants, etc.

Our toddler-oriented environment was designed to reflect our philosophy. Our large, well-equipped facility is physically safe, cognitively challenging and emotionally nurturing. There are few structured activities; most of the activity is based on the child's freedom to choose what to do and when to do it, whether to play inside or out, with blocks or bikes, etc. While children are engaged in independent exploration, they experience basic trust to be initiators, problem solvers, explorers and learners. Our emphasis on uninterrupted playtimes and child-directed play reflects our belief that the young child does not need direct teaching to achieve states of development but learns best while freely exploring in a safe, carefully designed and predictable environment.

Young children are process oriented, it is the doing of the activity that interests them, rather then the end product. We believe it is in the doing of activity that children learn the most. With this in mind we provide activities for children that are open-ended and encourage creative experimentation within the boundaries of safety.

We strive to maintain a bias free learning environment. This is an environment in which the diversity of the world we live in is reflected in a way that does not exclude or stereotype anyone on the basis of skin color, ethnicity, gender roles and expectations, family configuration, age, class, or physical ability. It is an environment where diversity is reflected in the physical setting: where the walls, posters, books, materials, dolls, games, songs, and other teaching tools are carefully selected to acknowledge, accept and welcome the idea that each of us is different and that

differences are good. A bias-free learning environment introduces children to differences through positive experiences that can shape their attitudes for the rest of their lives.


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