Great Beginnings is licensed to provide care for 57 children per day. Families have the option of choosing from our half day or full day program. We offer a mixed age group with children from ages two to five years combined in one classroom. The younger children are able to learn from their older peers. The older children are given the opportunity to nurture and be role models for the younger ones.
Our daily routine combines self directed explorations during free choice times with more structured, teacher led, small group time. The times listed below are approximate and we generally give ourselves 15 minutes leeway in either direction.
Arrival and Free Choice Classroom Explorations
As children arrive in the morning, parents assist them in putting their belongings into their cubbies and washing their hands at the sinks. Children are able to choose from a variety of activities available throughout the classroom. Activities and explorations are planned in each of the learning centers within the classroom; science center, dramatic play, block area and art center. In addition to activities in the learning centers, children can also choose from a variety of table activities. The table activities change regularly based on the teachers’ observations of the children’s interests.
Classroom Clean Up, Transition to Outside
Everyone participates in putting toys and activities away and cleaning up the classroom in preparation for outside time.
9:30 to 10:00
Outside Free Choice
This is a free choice time where children can choose from a variety of outside activities. It may include riding tricycles, playing basketball or soccer, digging with shovels, building structures with the waffle blocks, or playing on the climbing structure. Teachers also provide a variety of table activities during this time.
10:00 to 11:30
Snack and Small Group Time
During Small Group Time, children are divided into three groups, The Butterflies, The Ladybugs, and The Bumble Bees. Both the child’s age and developmental level are taken into consideration for group placement. Each group has two teachers that plan and implement curriculum based on their observations of the children’s interests and developmental needs.
11:00 to 12:00
Outside Free Choice and Large Group Activity
During this Outside Time teachers plan a large group activity. It could be something like parachute play, dancing, or an obstacle course. The children are invited to join in, but are not required to participate. They can choose to engage in the other available outdoor activities.
12:00 to 12:30
Children transition from outside time, wash their hands and sit down for lunch. Parents provide lunch each day. We have a microwave that the teachers can use to heat lunch items if needed.
12:30 to 3:00
Transitions and Rest Time
Children enrolled in our half day program are picked up at 12:30. Children who are enrolled in the full day program clean up their lunch plates and transition to rest time. Generally everyone is on their cots and ready for rest time by 1:00. Teachers move around the classroom, rubbing children’s backs, assisting them in settling down and going to sleep. Children who do not fall asleep are given quiet activities at their cots, or are invited into the art studio for quiet activities while the rest of their friends are sleeping. As the children wake up, they can go into the art studio or outside so that others can wake up in their own time.
3:00 to 3:30
Transition and Afternoon Snack
Children who are still sleeping at 3:00 are gently awoken so they can be ready for afternoon snack at 3:30. On most afternoons snack is served outside.
3:30 to 5:00
Departures and Free Choice
After snack time children may choose to participate in free choice activities outside or to work in the art studio. Teachers provide a variety of table activities and interest activities during this time.
"The environment at Great Beginnings is very creative and nurturing. I genuinely feel that the staff members care about teaching little ones and take pride in what they do."