Our program is rooted in a deep respect for children’s brilliance, curiosities, capacities, and agency. Children are complex thinkers who are always learning as they construct knowledge about the world around them. Through play, children make sense of the world and express their knowledge and identities. We start our work with children by valuing their unique knowledge, experiences, and inquisitiveness throughout our environment, interactions, and curriculum. Our work is also based on the belief that children learn in multiple ways, shaped by their social, cultural and linguistic experiences.
As teachers and staff, we have the privilege of joining children as they wonder and learn about the world. Building trusting, respectful and caring relationships with children is at the heart of our work. Our philosophy is that teachers must meet children where they are, and this begins with learning about their curiosities, passions, and experiences from their homes and communities. This study of children means that our observations and interactions follow the lead of children, allowing teachers to better understand their emerging curiosities as they unfold. This understanding allows teachers to plan curriculum guided by these curiosities. In this sense, our teachers and staff view themselves as always learning from and with children.
Our program’s philosophy is also guided by the belief that children’s identities and knowledge are deeply rooted in their families. We believe that we can best support children by building trusting and collaborative partnerships with the families we serve. These partnerships involve ongoing communication, working together to meet children’s needs, and developing inclusive activities and programs for all families.
Our Spanish bilingual classroom is also guided by the CYC’s philosophy. The work of this classroom is guided by our belief that it is a child’s right to learn in their home language as language is connected to our identities, heritage and community practices, and to the way we know the world. Throughout our program, children’s home languages will be integrated into the curriculum and environment as much as possible. However, in our bilingual Spanish program there is an explicit focus on developing children’s emerging and multiple Spanish language practices. When young children are given access to a curriculum and environment that fosters learning in their home language, they will develop the language and literacy skills to flourish as bilingual children.