Dean Family Child Care Home, located in Harleysville, Pa, is a licensed early childhood education program. We know the learning environment is just as important to the development of children as the interaction with their teachers, so our classroom is designed by keeping in mind the ages of the children enrolled, strategic planning, child observations and attention to detail.
School readiness skills are met by following PA Department of Education guidelines from age 2 to PreK, utilizing best practice, adhering to developmentally appropriate learning, and ensuring high quality standards through a one of a kind curriculum created especially for our program that is blended with the Reggio Emilia philosophy.
Our one of a kind curriculum is unlike those found in other programs. We struve to create a one-on-one individualized learning opposed to whole class/teacher lead planning. Social-emotional development is at the core of our program because decades of research tells us that positive social-emotional development is the fundamental building block to school success.
Unlike other programs, we believe in providing an environment that focuses on each individualized child rather than having one teacher provide theme based, teacher direct lessons to a large group of 10-12(or more) children. We keep a low 6:1 or less child ratio only allowing a maximum of 6 children to enroll at a time. Children who enroll will have the same teacher and group of friends throughout their entire early education. Research shows that having this continuity in a small setting is important in a child's development and can have significant benefits over large group programs.
There has been a growing amount of research suggesting an increase in stress among children during the early years being linked to the time spent in commercial settings. Having a preschool in a home setting, creates a much more relaxed atmosphere for the children. It feels like a home away from home to them. Second, one of the main aspects in leading early childhood programs around the world is creating a welcoming, nurturing and homelike atmosphere for the children. Commerical programs strive to meet this, so what better way to run a preschool program but in a home. Third, the outdoor space we have here for the children is amazing. We have so much nature here for the children to play in and explore. The children have a large area to run and play while being completely contained with a fence for safety. Finding this type of outdoor space in a commercial setting does not come easily.
The core values that we teach by are derived from the latest research on best practice. The teaching practive from the world's leading countries in education are what have inspired the values we hold. We believe that:
1. Childhood is valuable and needs to be respected; children deserve time to be children.
2. Play is the most important element in the early childhood curriculum.
3. The curriculum should be child driven and child lead.
4. The curriculum should be individualized to meet each child 's unique needs and desires.
5. The curriculum should include a four on nature and arts.
6. The curriculum, teachers, and environment should always be improving to meet the growing needs of the children.
7. The environment is the third teacher.
8. Parents are always the first teacher.
9. Teacher-parent relationships are just as important as teacher-child relationships.
10. The environemt must always be fun, loving, nurturing and create a sense of security through continuity.