UP 4 KIDS promotes a community preschool environment for all children ages 3-5 that is developmentally appropriate. Teachers are all certified in Early Childhood Instruction with specialized endorsements. Classroom paraprofessionals are also certified in the area of early childhood development. Direct and indirect services are available in the areas of occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapists, behavioral consultants, psychologists, deaf educators and vision therapists. Specific daily themes provide an overall structure for the day. Preschools meet 12 hours per week within the school calendar. Valid and reliable assessment practices are utilized, and a variety of learning activities are used as detailed below.
UP 4 KIDS preschools promote self concept in preschool children by providing an environment of respect, recognizing successes, and giving opportunities for growth.
UP 4 KIDS preschools promote the development of social skills by encouraging communication attempts with adult elaboration, mediation, and guidance available. Many opportunities are provided throughout the day for problem solving and for sharing ideas with peers. An emphasis on sharing, developing socially appropriate manners, respect for space, following classroom routines and rules is in place.
UP 4 KIDS preschools promote critical thinking skills by affirming communication attempts, providing child-directed activities involving hands-on skill development under the guidance of qualified professionals.
A variety of developmentally appropriate children’s books and materials are incorporated into the structure of the day with an interactive approach. Information is layered and introduced visually, using both sign language and visual phonics, as well as verbally.
Family literacy experiences are promoted by demonstrating the importance of early literacy development during orientation and throughout the year, along with introducing specific applications for use in the family environment. Books are created by the children to take home and share, and frequent newsletters provide literacy ideas.
Daily hands-on, concrete and experiential opportunities for acquiring an understanding of things, time and space are provided.
Individualized expectations are designed to promote growth through the developmental stages of physical skill development. The environment is structured to provide opportunities for movement alternating with sedentary activities.
Direct instruction is provided on a variety of safety, health and nutritional practices. Safety and respect are the focus of the instruction.
Creative expression is promoted by providing a balance of child directed and teacher directed activities that include the child to express ideas artistically.
Center based play is designed to allow children to experiment and investigate play, language and literacy. Centers are structured and designed to promote development across all areas and encourage creative play.
Ethnic and gender diversity are promoted through the use of culturally diverse toys, books, and foods to teach an understanding and appreciation of a wide variety of human social themes.
A variety of age appropriate evidence based strategies, are used to guide and modify behavior. A focus on safety and respect is in place.
Guidelines from High Scopes learning and AEPS are used to assess and document skill development. Further direct evaluation is recommended for children whose development is at risk.
The ILCD process is adopted by all area schools to promote active participation by all area patrons to promote skill development and transitions from preschool to kindergarten. A seamless process for education from preschool introduction through school entry is provided by supporting local school district expectations for enrolling kindergarteners. An open door policy is in place, and kindergarten teachers are encouraged to observe children in the preschool setting in the spring prior to entrance.
Language and literacy development is the major emphasis of the preschool program at UP 4 KIDS, and is incorporated through ongoing parent communication, theme based activities, and center based structure.