Child Development Philosophies and Theories

Discovery Days Early Learning Center is a culminating product of several developmental theories and child development philosophies. The curriculum is designed to give children a safe, predictable environment where they feel comfortable and ready to discover the world around them through play based, child-centered activities.

Reggio Emilia

We use Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy as means to facilitate child inspired and child-centered art projects. Teachers observe the children’s interests, which in turn dictates what we will be learning about and what we will be using for project themes. For example if the teachers were to observe that the children are interested in rainbows, the teachers will use their interest to create various projects in order for us to explore rainbows, through art, outdoor activities, fieldtrips, guest speakers and manipulatives.

Attachment Theory

Attachment Theory is the basis for all care at DDELC. All caregivers and teachers strive to create a secure attachment with each of the children. By creating a secure attachment with the caregiver when the parents are away, it allows the child to trust that the caregiver will meet all their needs in a caring, timely manner and feel secure that the parent will return at the end of the day. We create this attachment through primary caregiving, where one caregiver is responsible for the needs and well being of a certain child. This attachment aids in the healthy emotional and social development of the child. It is essential for all children to form a secure attachment to their caregiver.

R.I.E. (Resources for Infant Educarers)

Using R.I.E. (Resources for Infant Educarers) inspired concepts all toys and materials will be items that children can manipulate themselves. As R.I.E. founder Magda Gerber once said, “In contrast, entertaining kinds of toys, such as mobiles or later on, windup toys, cause a passive infant to watch an active toy. This trains the child to expect to be amused and entertained, and sets the scene for later TV watching.” Thus said toys with batteries will not be used at DDELC, as it makes young learners into passive learners. Also R.I.E. inspired teachings will be implemented in how teachers are trained to communicate with the children. Caregivers will invite the children to be an active part in their caregiving and routines. For example when giving an infant a diaper change, we believe in using that time as a quality time, by engaging the child and allowing them to become involved in their care. Continuing on the R.I.E. philosophy, infants are not put into a jumper, baby swing or “bouncy” infant seats, where the child cannot naturally get into the position itself. Instead the infants will be put into situations where their freedom of movement is not constricted and they are able to freely explore in a safe environment. Also at the center of the R.I.E. philosophy is an underlying respect for the child. We view the child as a unique individual who deserve respect in every interaction.

Waldorf inspired concepts

Waldorf inspired concepts are used to form a family like atmosphere and an environment that encourages creative play. Extensive time is given for guided free play in a classroom environment that is homelike, includes natural materials, and provides examples of productive work in which children can take part. Outdoor play periods are also generally included in the day, providing children with experiences of nature, weather and the seasons of the year. We also have a garden at school where children are invited to help water the plants and take part in learning where their food comes from.

Baby sign

Baby sign will be used with nonverbal infants to communicate basic concepts such as “eat” “more” “milk” “diaper change” “please” “thirsty” “Daddy” “Mommy” “thank you” “all done”.