Head Start program’s education philosophy is based on a solid foundation of research that shows that early childhood is a stage of life in which children are most receptive for learning. In keeping with this philosophy, we use the Creative Curriculum, a widely known and respected curriculum that closely aligns with Head Start National Performance Standards as well as State of Connecticut Goals and Benchmarks. Creative Curriculum is based on the idea that children need to be taught in ways that match the way they develop and learn. This is known as developmentally appropriate practice, and it is at the root of the curriculum. The program’s goals in using this curriculum are as follows:
TVCCA classrooms are prepared to reflect the curriculum that we use. Interest areas are available for children to learn in including blocks, dramatic play, toys and games, art, library, discovery, sand and water, music and movement, cooking, computers and outdoors. Children are provided with opportunities to engage in individual, small group or large group activities. Developmentally appropriate materials are available that are challenging, yet offer opportunities for success. Children are helped to express their feelings and organize their thinking and their use of words, both in spontaneous and structured language experiences. The children may be helped to work toward the recognition of symbols, numbers and letters based on each child’s individual level. Throughout the day children are given opportunities to solve problems, initiate activities, explore, experiment, question, and gain mastery of skills through learning by doing.In our classrooms, teachers continue to build on their understanding of individual children by ongoing observation and assessment, which enables them to plan appropriate strategies and activities to meet the children’s needs. Additionally, a developmental screening and a social/emotional health screening are completed on every child in order to determine an initial baseline of skills and strengths and plan accordingly.