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Welcome to Austin Community College

Program Goals

The program strives to be a model of quality child care for our diverse community by:

  • Providing a responsive environment where children and adults feel supported and free to explore materials, ideas and feelings;
  • Fostering healthy self-esteem in each individual by respecting the individual’s needs, abilities, personality, and culture;
  • Fostering the development of each child’s social-emotional, cognitive, language, physical, and creative abilities through the use of developmentally appropriate activities and practices;
  • Providing a safe, clean environment that promotes safety, healthy practices, and an appreciation for nutritious food;
  • Working in partnership with parents to ensure that children are receiving the highest quality of care; and
  • Working closely with the child development department to ensure that adult students are developing the skills needed to provide quality care for children.

Developmental Goals for the Infant-Toddler Loop

(Sunbeams Group and Moons Group)

We understand that infants and toddlers are sensorimotor learners (Piaget), using all their senses, moving their bodies, and manipulating objects to find out about the world around them. We also understand that growth, development, and learning happen in a holistic fashion during the first three years of life – with each experience and every exploration all developmental domains are affected. We expect that the infants and toddlers in our care will:

1. Learn about self and others

  • Learn to trust one’s self, other people, and the world around them
  • Develop a positive sense of self, aware of being a separate, unique, valued and respected individual
  • Develop a positive sense of belonging, within one’s family, school group, and wider community
  • Develop self-regulation skills
  • Learn respect for one’s self, for others, and for their surroundings
  • Develop trusting relationships with adults and other children outside their family circle
  • Develop autonomy and independence
  • Learn to own and express feelings in acceptable ways, and to acknowledge and understand the feelings of others
  • Learn basic social interaction skills – waiting, turn-taking, enjoying being with others, respecting others’ bodies and personal space, helping, etc.

2. Learn about communication, language, and literacy

  • Develop ways to communicate their needs and wants, express their feelings, and share their thoughts and ideas – nonverbally and verbally
  • Begin learning their home language and using that language to communicate, developing fluency and increasing their vocabulary over time
  • Begin learning other languages and using those languages to communicate (especially if languages other than the home language are used often at school)
  • Develop a familiarity with books and the written word
  • Begin to develop a repertoire of creative expression for thoughts and feelings through exposure to and experiences with art, oral language, storytelling, poetry, books and the written word, singing, music, creative movement, dance, pretend play, and drama

3. Learn about moving and doing

  • Develop comfort with their own bodies and confidence in their physical abilities
  • Develop locomotion, strength, coordination, and control over their own bodies
  • Learn a wide variety of ways to move and take action with their bodies, purposefully and skillfully (including self-help skills such as feeding, dressing, and toileting)
  • Develop an understanding about how to keep one’s body safe, finding a balance between too much caution and too much risk-taking
  • Engage with and explore the world around them by: using their senses, moving their bodies and moving through space, manipulating objects, and acting upon their surroundings

4. Develop thinking skills and learn about the world

  • Actively participate in their physical and social environments
  • Engage in independent exploration of their surroundings, experimenting with the space, objects, and people they encounter
  • Develop object permanence and people permanence
  • Begin to develop an understanding of physical cause and effect
  • Begin to connect actions with consequences
  • Develop problem-solving skills (observation, waiting, choosing, focus, effort, persistence, etc.)
  • Engage in pretend play (imitation, role play, pretending with props, alternate representation, pretending without props, etc.)

Resources:

  1. Gerber, Magda and Johnson, Allison (1998). Your Self Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities – From the Very Start. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
  2. Lally, J Ronald, Mangione, Peter et al (2002). The Program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers. Sacramento CA: Department of Education/West Ed
  3. Dodge, Diane Trister, Rudick, Sherrie and Berke, Kai-leé (2006). The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos. Washington DC: Teaching Strategies, Inc.
  4. Portage Project (2003). Portage Guide Birth to Six. Portage, WI: Author.
  5. National Association for the Education of Young Children (2005). NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria. Washington DC: Author.
  6. Piaget, Jean (1952). Origin of Intelligence in Children. New York: International Universities Press (Original work published 1936.)

Developmental Goals for Preschool Classrooms

(Stars and Planet Earth)

We understand that learning happens across developmental domains. Play is the context for learning, both reflecting and contributing to children’s language-cognitive, social-emotional, and physical-motor skills. As children actively engage in play and interaction with their physical and social environment, symbolic thinking grows, mental reasoning emerges and the use of concepts increases, preparing children for the transition to more formal schooling. We will support children in:

1. Social-Emotional

  • Achieving a positive sense of self
  • Learning about differences and similarities among people
  • Taking responsibility for themselves and others
  • Behaving in a pro-social way, including – building empathy, labeling and managing emotions, respecting their environment and others
  • Developing self regulation and sensory organization

2. Cognitive

  • Learning to solve problems
  • Learning to ask questions
  • Organizing ideas
  • Having experiences with units of measurement
  • Learning quantitative concepts – more, less, same
  • Learning one-to-one correspondence
  • Developing recognition of numerals and counting skills and understanding sets of objects
  • Developing symbolic/representational thinking by using materials and their imagination to explore abstract ideas

3. Physical

  • Developing small/fine motor control
  • Developing large/gross motor control
  • Refining and mastering self help skills

4. Self Expression and Imagination

  • Feeling valued and respected as they express themselves creatively
  • Experimenting with varied, open-ended materials that encourage self expression
  • Exploring the art of other children and adults
  • Express themselves creatively through art, music, drama and dance

5. Language and Literacy

  • Developing verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Developing listening skills
  • Gaining knowledge of the alphabet
  • Responding to questions
  • Practicing conversation
  • Using language to solve social problems
  • Making sense of written language
  • Having exposure to a variety of languages (both home and other)
  • Develop concept of story through experiences with books, storytelling and poetry

Resources:

  1. Dodge, Diane Trister; Colker, Laura and Heroman, Cate (2002). The Creative Curriculum for Preschool (4th Edition). Washington DC: Teaching Strategies, Inc.
  2. Portage Project (2003). Portage Guide Birth to Six. Portage, WI: Author.
  3. National Association for the Education of Young Children (2005). NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria. Washington DC: Author.