Programs and Curriculum

Infant Room (1 month to 12 months)
Where the discovery begins! The Infant Room provides a caring, engaging, and dynamic atmosphere for infants to begin exploring their world. Each baby and their family are welcomed to the Center by two primary caregivers. Together, they work to meet the unique and individual needs of each child.

Toddler 1, 2 & 3 Room (12 months to 36 months)
Self-expression (that you can honestly understand)! The toddler’s growing independence is the focus. Activities include, arts and crafts, music and movement, science and discovery, Zoo Phonics, pre-math, imaginative outdoor and indoor play. We give children exposure to a collaborative team of caregivers in keeping with big toddler’s increasing self-reliance.

PreschoolPreschool Room (3 to 4 years)
Where “formal” education begins! Our goal in the Preschool Room is to help children develop respect for themselves and others while experimenting and investigating at their own pace. Language, Zoo phonics, music and movement, math skills, science and discovery, arts and crafts, reading readiness and practical life skills are taught.

Pre-Kinder”garden” Room (4 years to 5 years)
Preparing for Kindergarten and beyond! The Pre-Kinder”garden” class is led by staff experienced in this older age group. Children interact with each other and the teachers at “centers” which focus on pre-reading, math skills, language and literacy, Zoo Phonics, science and discovery and arts and crafts. Social interaction and problem solving skills are also fostered.

Our Curriculum
Here, at the Learning Garden we use Zoo Phonics as the main half of our curriculum. Zoo phonics is a method developed to help children become strong readers and spellers using a “phono” (hearing), “oral” (speaking), “visual” (seeing), “kinesthetic” (moving), and tactile (touching)—whole brain approach. Students actually learn the sounds of the alphabet and advanced phonemic concepts through an easily understood, concrete method of presentation.

Zoo Phonics

“Zoo-phonics has made a phenomenal impact on the primary reading program in my school district over the past 5 years! No matter what the socio-economic background of the students, I see smiling children who are excited about learning to read and eager to “zoo” their letters and sounds for me wherever I go. With Zoo-phonics, children quickly learn the letter-sound basics and move on to segmenting and blending. Teachers love the program and marvel at their students’ rapid progress. Even veteran teachers tell me that they have never used a program that gets solid results so quickly and easily! It is one of the best comprehensive, foundational programs on the market today!”
—Dr. Karen Tankersley, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Retired, Dysart Unified School District and Educational Author, Phoenix, AZ

CuriculumThe other half our curriculum is Creative Curriculum. Creative Curriculum is a comprehensive early childhood educational system that emphasizes a practical, easy to understand approach to working with children. It promotes the use of interest areas as a way of providing experiences that promote cognitive, motor, social, emotional, physical and language development.

Language Development: Teachers are respectful of children’s varying stages of language, and clear, frequent speech is used to assist children in self-expression. Books, rhyming songs and fingerplays encourage the use of speech in social settings. The American Sign Language introduced in the Infant program expands for toddlers as their language development progresses and gives them another method of communicating their needs. It is amazing to watch toddlers communicate using ASL!

Motor Development: Intriguing activities and games are designed to enhance the next level of physical development. Rhythm games and dancing teach children the joys of physical expression. Painting, gluing, coloring, working puzzles and building with blocks enhance creativity and develop a sense of pride in accomplishment. Hopping, climbing and tumbling take place, both inside and out, in our secure and carefully monitored play areas!!

Emotional/Social Development: In the warm, safe environment that is the hallmark of all Stepping Stone classrooms, our accomplished educators foster an atmosphere of respect for children’s attitudes and needs, and begin to guide and model positive interactions for the children. Empathy is encouraged and recognized, friendships and independent interactions are nurtured, and self-help skills are supported as toddlers begin this exciting journey of exploration!

Cognitive Development: A toddler’s cognitive development is accelerating and critical learning skills are developing. Our comprehensive program nurtures these skills with cause-and-effect activities, guessing games and listening games. Centers have toys supporting skills such as sorting, stacking, counting and matching. Teachers nurture problem solving skills and provide areas for sensory experiences, artistic expression and pre-writing opportunities.