This is truly a "child-centered" program – our son can’t wait to go to "school" and doesn’t want to leave when the day is over!
The Discovery Center offers both full day and half day preschool programs. The children within each classroom form a multi-age group ranging in age from 2 ½ to 5 years old. Within each of these groups, there is a balance between young and older children and between boys and girls. In addition to the preschool programs, The Discovery Center offers a program for kindergarten-aged children. The kindergarten program, held in the morning, is enhanced by additional afternoon activities through an enrichment program. In the summer, the kindergarten program is replaced with a summer camp for graduates of kindergarten and the first grade (the Adventure Summer Program), and the half day preschool program becomes a summer camp for preschool children (the Summer Explorers’ Camp). Each of the summer camps incorporates weekly themes such as “Experimenting with Science”, “Helpers and Heroes”, or “Art Expressions”, and features field trips to local farm markets, museums, fire departments, and other community resources.
Examples of daily classroom schedules can be found here.
Information on tuition rates for each of these programs can be found here.
Why Multi-Age Groups?
Each Discovery Center preschool classroom is made up of groupings of children ranging in age from 2 ½ to 5 years. This multi-age combination provides opportunities for children to learn and grow with one another by creating a leader and learner environment. Early childhood research suggests that children are wonderful role models for one another in the development of language and other cognitive skills as well as social skills. Children develop at different rates, experiencing milestones at various times throughout their growth and development. By participating in a multi-age classroom, children discover the world around them through mutual repetition and reinforcement in a hands-on learning environment.
The multi-age classrooms at The Discovery Center also create an atmosphere similar to that experienced in family and community life. Although children are of different ages, abilities, and developmental levels, there is a bond connecting them with the classroom surroundings, just as there is in the home and in other community settings.
Another significant reason for multi-age classrooms is to minimize the amount of transition young children make in their early childhood experience. There is no need for transitioning each year to a new classroom, but rather a stable experience from year to year with the same teachers and consistent student population. This allows for strong, secure relationships that provide a foundation for growth and development of the child.