Location: indoor and outdoor
Materials: shelves, buckets and baskets
One of the major tenets of Wonderschool's Quality and Safety Promise (QSP) is the creation of a Child-Centered environment. From the QSP:
What this looks like in action:
- Warm, caring interactions between caregivers and children, including positive guidance strategies
- A mix of teacher-led and child-led play activities
- Choice in how children spend their time throughout the day
- Opportunities for long stretches of open-ended play
- A “yes” environment that changes over time based on the needs of the children
- Play activities and materials that cover all aspects of a child’s development (physical, cognitive, social-emotional, sensory, and language and literacy)
- A flexible plan for how the day and/or week will go
- Caregivers are involved in play, sometimes as active participants and other times as observers
Clearly defined learning centers are one of the most effective ways to lay the foundation for a child-centered program. Here's why:
- Learning centers organize the space: this allows children to organize their thoughts and focus.
- Learning centers create designated space for play and exploration: by organizing where the materials are, you show children where to play with them.
- Learning centers are self-serve: children should have a great amount of choice in how they spend their time. By creating learning centers that your children can choose to access, they will be able to choose an activity that most interests them.
- Learning centers are flexible: learning centers can be changed based on child interest and development. By organizing buckets of materials you can choose to put something away once kids out grow it, or just put it away when you're sick of it. It's not always easy to change the layout of your family child care, but you can change the materials available.
Need help setting up your learning centers? Reach out to Wonderschool and a mentor will be happy to help!
Already have your learning centers set up? Label them for parents to see all of the important learning that is happening.