Philosophy of Early Childhood Education at Adelphi

The educational philosophy of the Academy and its Early Childhood Development Program is child-centered. Activities in the classrooms, playrooms and Labs are directed and guided to encourage personal growth within a social, and therefore structured, context. Growth and learning – physical, social, emotional, moral and intellectual – are determined by the readiness of the child and the encouragement of the group and teachers. Activities are designed to develop children’s self-esteem and positive feelings towards others as children enter a larger social unit outside the family.

Learning is activity-based as the children explore and discover together, and individually, the enlarging world they increasingly perceive around them. Toys, games music, arts, crafts, books and manipulative materials are chosen to spur curiosity and gain confidence for the child in mastering defined tasks.

Goals and Curriculum

The program is structured to help the whole child develop in various areas as he or she is ready. Central to development at this stage is the encouragement and shaping of positive feelings about oneself and social skills with others. Positive attitudes toward “a place called school” are most important, as a child experiences joy and success in discovering, examining and understanding an increasingly complex world.

Emotional and social skills necessary for learning in a structured environment, and practicing constructive habits that foster reasonable behavior and self-control, are encouraged by modeling and teacher reinforcement. Positive qualities and skills such as cooperating, helping and sharing are fostered.

Children select many of their own activities from a variety of learning opportunities such as dramatic play, building blocks, animals, plants and nature, crayons and paints, songs, stories, music, puzzles, games, books and other materials for both quiet and active play in both groups as well as by oneself.

Language development is especially enhanced by the children being able to see how reading and writing are useful to people, and how people can find pleasure and learn by listening, reading and talking with others. Special trips outside the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten facilities, having snacks and lunches with other children, playing in our playground, acting out in dramatic play or simply talking with the other children provide regular opportunities for developing positive attitudes, values and habits in a structured but informal way.

The rhythm of the day is balanced by active and quiet activities and play, with the time focused on a single activity moderated throughout the year during this time of rapid growth for the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten children.

Entrance Age, School Years and Length of Day

Entrance age to the Pre-Kindergarten Program begins at three (3.0) to four point nine (4.9) years of age. Entrance age to the Kindergarten Program begins at four point nine (4.9).

The Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten follows the same calendar as the Lower School with the program beginning the first week after Labor Day in September and ending the second week in June. Normal school and national holidays are observed.

To accommodate most parents/guardians seeking a Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten experience for their children, the formal program begins at 8:20 a.m. and ends at 3:20 p.m. Children should arrive at the Academy between 8:00 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. Before School Care (7:00 a.m. – 8:20 a.m.) as well as an After-School Enrichment Program (3:20 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) are available depending on parent/guardian interest.