As centers we work with primary caregivers, and small groups. Also, our children have at least one primary caregiver that they typically will move throughout the program with, along with their peer group. This concept is known as Continuity of Care, and it helps promote a stronger bond for families, children, and staff. Studies have shown that this strong bond leads to better school success in the elementary grades (birthdays have little to do with Kindergarten readiness, but strong attachments are critical). This means that a group will move together through the program, based on the group's readiness, as well as space available in the program. We move them during Transition Time in August of each year after our Graduates depart by July 15th.
Additionally, we break into smaller, more manageable groups throughout the day when appropriate. This helps to have a less stimulating environment, and allows our children to get more one-on-one time with their primary caregiver.
For more information about PITC and their philosophy, please see their website at www.pitc.org
The care we provide is done so with the latest research on attachment, brain development, relationship-based care and children's needs in mind, and we provide a center with better teacher-to-child ratios than most schools in the Sacramento area.
Finally, we also use the ECERS and ITERS Assessment tools as well as the CA QRIS rating scale. These tools assess programs, and rate them accordingly. They not only look for a safe place, but also an enriching, stimulating environment and secure bonds between children and qualified caregivers. We have used these assessments in the past, both in-house, and from agencies such as Child Action.
Finally, we use the ASQ and ASQ-SE, as well as DRDP's to assess children and their development, as well as determine if there are concerns about individual children. We offer feedback based on information received from these documents, and have 2 established times for parent conferences, based on each child's development and needs.
We regularly seek ways to enhance our curriculum but maintain basic methods that we believe nurture children’s learning. Our methods are exemplified in the activities we do with the kids.
Our activities are in the areas of:
- -Zoophonics, Language and Reading
- -Cooking & Science
- -Dramatic Play
- -Music & Movement
- -Outdoor play
- -Sense related activities (smell, sight, feel)
We allow children to learn by doing things themselves and provide them with an endless amount of enthusiasm as well as tools to explore with. Our school is filled with toys, games, musical instruments, art supplies, practical life materials and books.
As a staff, we are committed to a "commercial-free" experience. To the best of our abilities, you will not see our children watching videos, or reading books or playing with materials based on TV shows and movies. We feel that the materials we offer are unique enough to engage the children in open-ended play and our books are inviting enough without the assistance of Dora, Elmo or Mickey. While these items are up to parents to choose in your home, you will not find them at Milestones.
Additionally, technology has a firm place in most children's lives. However, it is critical that media exposure is stringently supervised. Therefore, we do not have computers for child use as monitoring content effectively takes away from our overall program. We believe that children get plenty of media exposure outside of school, and will learn appropriate media use throughout many areas in their lives. The learning our children do at Milestones is hands-on, play-based, and centered around each child's developmental need and current stage.