Star Scholars Preschool & Child Care is proud to have been serving families and children of Star, Idaho for over 13 years. We are:
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Star Scholars Preschool & Child Care is a developmentally appropriate, inclusive, child-centered learning environment in which specific learning goals are achieved through a child’s own ability to observe, describe, predict, manipulate, and experiment with challenging and interesting materials, manipulatives, and experiences. Although we take great care and planning in providing a foundation for Kindergarten success, our philosophy of Early Childhood Education is that the most important work of young children is play, and our environment, activities, and learning centers in which children choose materials and activities that interest them reflect this philosophy.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recommends principles of Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) which include Building a Community of Learners; Teaching to Enhance Development and Learning; Planning Curriculum to Achieve Important Goals; Assessing Children’s Development and Learning; and Establishing Reciprocal Relationships with Families (NAEYC, 2009). Star Scholars Preschool & Child Care plans developmentally appropriate curriculum and activities based upon these principles and is effective in meeting a child’s physical, social, intellectual, and emotional needs by providing him/her the opportunity to explore, play, and grow while developing relationships in a supportive, meaningful, and stimulating environment.
Routines are activities that happen regularly and naturally in everyday life, and children enjoy the security they provide. Similarly, schedules help to regulate children and assist them in knowing what to expect next so they can come to count on events which occur consistently. Our general, daily Fall & Winter schedule is as follows:
6:00 am Free Choice Activities & Learning Centers
8:00 am Breakfast (Provided)
9:30 am Circle Time, Stories, Music & Movement/ Beginning of Preschool Block
10:00 am Snack (Provided)
10:30 am Free Choice Play Time
11:00 am Group Time/ Preschool Activities
12:00 pm Lunch (Provided)
12:30 pm Outdoor Time/ End of Preschool Block
1:30 pm Nap
3:00 pm Snack (Provided)
3:30 pm Outdoor Time
4:30-6:00 pm Departure
(Time in bold denotes our Preschool Block which is from 9:30 am-12:30 pm)
The Star Scholars Preschool & Child Care classroom is arranged in such a way as to promote learning in specific areas, create clear boundaries, and separate quiet areas from noisy areas. Each area of interest (learning center) is clearly defined and contains the materials and toys that are designated for that area in an organized and consistent manner. Areas of interest include:
Motor Development Area
Part of healthy child development is the acquiring of large muscle abilities in the legs and arms as well as general strength and stamina. Examples of such skills include running, jumping, throwing, climbing, and kicking. In the preschool years, children advance in coordination, speed, agility, power and balance. For this reason, we provide a fully-fenced outdoor play space (considered an extension of the classroom) with many opportunities for muscle development using balls, swings, hoops, jumpers, climbers, and tumbling equipment.
Small Motor Development Area
Just as large muscles become stronger and more complicated, small muscles also develop so that fine motor skills become more controlled and precise. Dexterity is promoted through a center devoted to manipulative toys such as puzzles, dressing frames (frames with snaps, zippers, buttons, buckles, laces, and ties), builders, peg boards, and construction sets that assist in the development of coordination.
Unit blocks are available in large quantities at Star Scholars because block building is important to cognitive development and assists in advancements in mathematical and abstract thinking. Building with blocks helps children learn about size, shape, number, order, area, length, and weight.
Dramatic Play Area
The Dramatic Play Center is an area of the classroom consisting of child-size furniture such as a play kitchen, table and chairs, play market, doll cribs, and dress-up clothes for make-believe and pretend play. Dramatic play is an absolutely necessary activity for children during which they learn social skills, enhance language and communication skills, act out feelings and emotions, and build upon cognitive skills by using their imaginations.
Toys & Games Area
The toys and games area offers children the opportunity to explore with various materials and adds an element of choice to their repertoire of activities. Toys and games may be for solitary play or include friends.
Creativity is important to children, and the process of creating art allows them to gain practice with various materials and to express their ideas. As children draw, paint, sculpt with play dough, and build with textured materials, they build confidence and have fun while learning about color, lines, shapes, sized, tools, and mediums.
Our Literacy Center is the most sacred and beloved area of our classroom. Over the last 14 years, we have carefully chosen books, big books, puppets, storyboard cut-outs and other props to bring stories to life and encourage a love of reading. Children relax in child-size couches and in quiet spaces on their own and are read to throughout the day.
The classroom Discovery Area includes tools and materials that assist children in learning about the natural and physical world. Items such as magnifying glasses, plant material, magnets, animal homes and food, and prisms are available for children to question, investigate and explore.
In addition to Preschool and Child Care, Star Scholars also provides
- Before and After School Care for School-Age Children
- Van Service to and from Star Elementary School
- Weekly Community Field Trips
- Breakfast, Lunch, & Snacks
- Family Events