The Acorn Childcare Centre (‘Centro Infantil Bellota’ in Spanish) helps give children a better start in life. It provides essential care and early years education for 2 – 6 year olds, and allows children to enjoy:
The Center uses the High/Scope curriculum, based on a philosophy of active, participatory learning. Children are encouraged to make choices, to explore a wide range of materials, to experiment and to experience things for themselves.
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The timetable below outlines a flexible daily routine designed to provide opportunities for children to make choices and decisions; to explore a variety of materials; to develop social skills through interaction with peers and adults; to reflect on ideas and actions; to use language in personally meaningful ways; and to receive appropriate adult care and support.
This is a time when staff work with the whole group of children together to carry out a planned activity. This may involve singing songs; learning about days of the week, numbers, letters etc.; sharing a story; playing together; working on jigsaws or reading books.09:45
Children are given the opportunity to choose their own activities and to play according to their own interests. Adults support them but children direct their own activities. Children are free to engage in different types of play, including sand and water play, drawing, dressing up, dancing, and playing musical instruments. Staff talk with children about what they plan to do during this time, then observe and support children in their activities, and afterwards ask them about what they did and what they learned.10:15
Children are usually divided into two smaller groups according to their age. This is a chance to carry out creative activities and to develop fine motor skills11:20
The Centre has limited outdoor space, but there is a small patio where children can play with balls, draw with chalk, run around, and use the paddling pool in sunny weather.12:00
Music and stories in the Quiet Area
Smaller children nap
Older children do puzzles and quiet activities
Each day activities are designed to develop skills within a particular area of the curriculum:
Staff observe and keep notes recording children’s abilities in each of these areas. Their observations are used to help them plan for the next week.14:30
Mothers begin to arrive, speak with staff and collect children16:20