About Us: Program

We want to inspire the children under our care to develop a love of learning and the social skills that will last a lifetime. Being open to change and having the ability to rapidly adapt to new situations is critical for today’s children. Our mission is to nurture each child's development in a sensitive and age appropriate manner so that they acquire the tools and self confidence to succeed
in life.

We base our philosophy on simple principles. Children have a powerful innate desire and ability to learn about and interact with their world. We believe that at a young age, learning through free and structured play is the ideal way of promoting development of physical, mental and social skills. To this end we syncretize some of the better educational principles from an eclectic mix of teaching methods from such schools as Regio Emilia, Waldorf, Montessori and High Scope and then fashion our own unique approach to early childhood education. We never stop learning and we continuously explore new and creative ways of teaching.

We currently use the Creative Curriculum® for Preschool as a general guide for lesson planning and child assessment methodology*. Our project and theme-based approach to teaching and learning addresses the four major areas of development including social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language.

*The Creative Curriculum for Preschool. Fourth Edition. Diane Trister Dodge, et. al. Teaching Strategies, Inc. Washington, DC. 2006

We have small and intimate groups of students of up to 12 at Christa Care and 15 at Nyack's Little Schoolhouse with a teacher to pupil ratio never exceeding 1 to 6. In addition several specialized instructors supplement the program with yoga, music, art and foreign language lessons. In 2008, we achieved NAEYC re-accreditation by meeting their new high standards in all areas of our program.

We also offer a daily Universal Pre-Kindergarden program in collaboration with the Nyack Public Schools. This two and a half hour program is taught by a teacher who is certified in Early Childhood Education.

Some of the learning/play activities and resources include:

* Circle time with stories, poems and songs
* High quality toys and games
* Socializing skills
* Arts and crafts
* Storytelling, book reading and writing
* Music, foreign language and yoga
* Mathematics: exploration of shapes, colors and numbers
* Science: gardening and nature study
* Seasonal activities and celebrations
* Library in each center
* Potty training at Christa Care Toddler Center

Both Nyack's Little Schoolhouse and Christa Care are open year round. The hours are: Monday through Friday from
7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

Please note that school closings for inclement weather follow the same schedule as the Nyack Public School District.

All of our teachers and assistant teachers are highly qualified in the field of early childhood education and are committed to providing the children under their care with a stimulating environment where they can develop mental, physical and social skills. Every year each staff member undergoes a minimum of 30 hours of professional and in-house training including CPR and first aid. See Our Staff page for more information.


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