Safe. Healthy. Loving.

Safe

Safety is our first priority for each child, family and faculty member and guest. Children may only be released to individuals the parents/guardians have designated in writing. There are coded door locks between the public and our children and all playgrounds are fenced and secured. Exterior classroom doors are kept locked when children are not on the playground. We conduct fire, tornado and intruder drills each month. Children are never left unattended and roll is taken at each transition during the day.

Healthy

Teaching children to guard their health begins with our infants. Hand washing is the number one best way to minimize the spread of germs. Infant’s hands are washed before eating, after diapering, sneezing and coughing and upon entering the classroom. Teachers are careful to wash their hands regularly as well as following the ten step diapering plan. As the children grow, they are taught to care for themselves – such as to cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands at the appropriate times and turn off the water with a paper towel. Exercise is important to good health and outside play is part of each day that the weather permits. Meals and snacks provided by the school meet the USDA food guidelines for each age groups.

Loving

Knowing that the adults in their lives love them is most important to a child. A child who feels loved can love others and learn the social skills needed for success. As we add team members, we seek first a heart for young children. Those who are gifted with that heart have the love and patience to help each child grow in their own special way. These loving teachers also stay longer and we are proud that many of our faculty have been with us 5 or more years, several 10 years and we recently celebrated our first 25 year employee! We are so fortunate that these teachers chose us and that our children feel their love and can benefit and flourish in their circle.

What will you find during a visit to THE Children’s Academy?

A “typical” day rarely exists in an early education environment. With so many curious and creative little minds, unexpected events often change the plans for the day. One child may come in eager to tell us all about her new puppy. Another may stand in awe of the mysteries and excitement of the first snowfall of the season. Our teachers turn these moments of a child’s natural curiosity and imagination into learning opportunities (also called emergent curriculum).

THE Children’s Academy’s uses literacy as a basis for all learning. The path to literacy looks different at each age and involves more than just reading books and learning letters.

A love of reading is a foundation for lifelong learners. In our schools, all children are read to daily – including our infants! We also discuss the parts of a book (front – back – spine, author, illustrator, and title page) to help children learn how to hold a book and turn pages. Most of our children will tell you if you aren’t reading it correctly!

We use a strong, nationally recognized curriculum as the basis for our kindergarten readiness program to maximize each child’s development. This information is communicated to you in the form of posted lesson plans in the classrooms. Each age group builds on the literacy and concept foundations introduced in the previous classrooms.

Below you can explore what your child will experience in a typical day at THE Children’s Academy. Please note – our regular schedule may change based on learning opportunities presented by our curious learners.

We hope you and your child will visit us soon and experience for yourself the warm, fun and engaging world of learning that is THE Children’s Academy.

Infants

We know how important and emotional a decision it is to place your infant in someone else’s care. It is our goal to make you feel like we are an extension of your family and that your child is safe, happy, and loved every day.

So much happens the first year of a child’s life. Their brains develop. They start to have control of their bodies. They know your face and voice. They even start to experience a myriad of emotions. We provide a safe, healthy, and loving environment for babies to grow at a pace that meets their own development.

Our infant ratio is one adult for every four infants with no more than eight children in a room. Our Spring Hill, TN, location has private rooms of one teacher and four infants. Our Hospitots and Franklin, TN, locations have two teachers with up to eight babies in the room. All of our classrooms are oversized and provide sleeping areas and play areas with room to explore.

A typical infant day includes lots of talking to and describing what will happen, what is happening, and what has happened. (Examples: We are going to change your diaper. Let’s get that diaper off of you. Don’t you feel better with a clean dry bottom? Let’s get your clothes back on and wash your hands so you can play with your friends while I clean up and wash my hands. Conversations like these are an introduction to reading readiness. We also read to the children daily and use sign language starting at six weeks old. Other activities include music, art (begins when a child can grasp), tummy time and outdoor time.

Infants are on their own feeding and sleeping schedule so please send enough bottles and/or baby food to allow for your child’s need as well as your full schedule.

Since our babies spend time exploring and learning on the floor, we request a shoe free environment. Booties are provided for those who want to keep their shoes on.

We provide diapers and wipes for all infants.

We provide daily activity sheets and encourage communication between home and school. We will always keep you informed of developments as they happen. A more formal assessment of your child’s development is provided twice a year during parent/teacher conferences.

Toddlers/Twos

During the ages of toddler and two, children are becoming their own special individuals. They are very territorial and EVERYTHING belongs to them. During these years there is remarkable physical, emotional and intellectual growth. This is when they learn to talk, run, climb, ride toys, follow a schedule, wash their hands, feed themselves, know the parts of a book, and so much more. This is the beginning of their true independence.

A daily schedule is important to your child’s sense of security. A class schedule is posted and it is best for your child to arrive and depart at the same time each day if possible. Separation anxiety may occur and your positive and assuring attitude will help your child to adjust. A departure routine is often helpful and your child’s teacher can help you establish that. During difficult days you are always welcome to call us to check on your child or walk down the hall to listen outside the door. Most times a child will calm down in three to five minutes as long as there is not an extenuating issue such as illness, teething, new baby at home, Grandma’s visiting, or other unusual events. We will strive to comfort your child and get them involved in the class activities as soon as they feel ready.

Throughout the day there are group and individual activity times as well as teacher guided or child choice times. Group playtime is provided to allow children opportunities to practice social skills and communication. Teachers are nearby and observing to facilitate or redirect as needed.

We provide diapers and wipes for all toddlers/twos.

Hand washing is taught as part of the schedule so that children can wash their own hands by the time they are two. Hands are washed upon entering the classroom (arrival, from outdoor play or other activities), before and after eating meals or snacks, and after diapering or toileting or wiping noses. This practice is continued for all ages throughout the school and for adults as well.

We provide daily activity sheets and encourage communication between home and school. We will always keep you informed of developments as they happen. A more formal assessment of your child’s development is provided twice a year during parent/teacher conferences.

Preschool

Once children reach preschool age personalities become large and in charge. Drama is a part of their daily lives. Because of their big personalities we encourage roll playing in dramatic centers, storytelling through group and individual creative “writing” dictated to the teachers, and other literacy based outlets for the creative juices that flow so freely and delightfully.

The curriculum is now arranged into themes and topics. Art, stories, language arts, and fine/large motor skills development are encouraged to increase learning. Each classroom is arranged into centers to promote independent play, social skills, and problem solving skills. Examples of learning centers include reading/library, housekeeping, art, manipulative, and sensory. Science and math exploration opportunities are also provided. In the preschool classroom, your child will learn the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare them for Prekindergarten.

Manners and nutrition are modeled and discussed during meal and snack times.

Daily sheets are no longer provided because we encourage families to discuss the day with their child. The schedule and lesson plans are posted in the classroom. Using open-ended questions about the topics of the day such as “What was your favorite thing you did today?” can produce an animated and descriptive response from your child.

We also like to speak with families at arrival and dismissal. Please share any news that may influence your child’s day and we will do likewise. Open communication between home and school is a critical part of your child’s security and growth.

Prekindergarten

The last year before Kindergarten is full of many transitional experiences to prepare our children for success. We work with Kindergarten teachers from nearby schools ensure success for your future Kindergartener.

At this point your child has learned the basics and is ready to enhance them. We do this in several ways. Some examples are:

Sentence of the Day

The class writes a sentence each day together on the board. This activity incorporates writing and literacy skills. Students learn sentence structure including the importance of capitalization, spacing, punctuation, spelling, beginning and ending sounds, blends, and sight word recognition.

Sound Cards

Each day we listen and participate with our sound cards. These cards show a capital and lower case letter. The sound cards CD tells a brief scenario of when the sound would be used. (Example: This is the letter M. Doesn’t that cake look good? Mmmm! Mmmm! Mmmm!)

Writers Workshop

This activity takes place during the second half of the academic year. The workshop is done in a small group setting of four to five students. Students write a sentence on the board as a group using what they know about sentence structure and sentence organization. Students then re-write the sentence in their own journal. This also helps promote fine motor and handwriting skills.

Leveled Readers

This is also an activity done in the second half of the academic year. Students are again in small groups at a reading table. We spend three days focusing on one specific short story.

The first day of the book, students create a mini word wall of words that are unfamiliar to them that they find in the book. Unfamiliar words are discussed by using context clues when looking at the pictures. Students then use that word wall as we read the story together as a group.

The second day of the book, we review the word wall words and students take turns reading each page.

The third day of the book we review the word wall words one more time. After that students are given a “whisper phone” where they read the story into the phone. They then get the opportunity to read the story aloud to their teacher. Finally, students are asked two to three comprehension questions about the book.

This process repeats the next week with a new book.

Curriculum

Our kindergarten readiness begins in the earliest years and builds each year to Pre-Kindergarten classes that prepare children for success in public and private schools.  With this program, we are confident that each child will have an early education foundation that instills confidence, knowledge and self-assurance; giving them the building blocks for success and a lifelong love of learning.

After careful research, we have chosen the Creative Curriculum for our classrooms. This nationally recognized curriculum is “the country’s leading comprehensive, scientifically based curriculum for preschool.”   In addition, Creative Curriculum is the winner of the 2008 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers.

Click here to view Pre-Kindergarten syllabus

The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos

The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos helps the teacher to plan and implement every aspect of caring for the children in our program, from managing daily routines, to creating a responsive environment, to building partnerships with families.

INFANTS

Our priority with each infant is to provide a safe, nurturing environment.  Each infant is assigned a primary caregiver to promote bonding and foster communication with each parent.  All teachers participate in an extensive training program that includes the principles of child development.  Infants are allowed to follow their own sleeping and eating patterns.  The classroom is rich with areas for rolling over, crawling and learning to stand.  Teachers expose the children to reading, music and gross motor skills opportunities and encourage them to use all of their senses.

TODDLERS/TWOS

Toddlers are active learners, moving towards increased independence as new skills emerge.  A consistent schedule, nurturing and patient teachers, and a safe environment rich in activities are key to our excellent toddler/two programs.  Promoting language development, learning self help skills, and developing inner controls and positive social skills are goals for the toddler years.

We want your child to learn about self and feelings, other people and communicating and develop thinking skills.  Games, toys, music and activities are designed to encourage your child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth.

Routines are important and reassuring to young children.  The classroom schedule, lesson plan and calendar are posted so that you may talk to your child about their day continue the learning at home.  Sing the songs, say the rhymes, talk about the colors, shapes, concepts like over/under. Your child will be proud to share with you what they have learned each day.

Accreditation

Congratulations to THE Children’s Academy at Hospitots, THE Children’s Academy at Franklin, and THE Children’s Academy at Spring Hill for achieving national accreditation by The Association for Early Learning Leaders through the National Accreditation Commission.

THE Children’s Academys have chosen to seek accreditation as a validation of the quality of our programs. Less than 10% of all programs in the United States are accredited. We congratulate the faculty and administration for obtaining this prestigious designation and commend these early childhood professionals on their commitment to excellence.

What Does Accreditation Mean?

As defined by the National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center, “Accreditation is a voluntary process designed to improve the quality of early and school-age care programs. Accreditation systems require programs to meet standards that exceed minimum state regulatory requirements. Achieving accreditation involves extensive self-study and validation by professionals outside the program to verify that quality standards are met. Research has demonstrated that accreditation positively impacts early and school-age care program quality, including benefits to children, families, and staff.”

For more information on accreditation, visit the National Accreditation Commission.

The Creative Curriculum for Preschool

The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool forms the basis of our fully integrated program for 3- to 5-year-old children. Nationally known for its forward-thinking, comprehensive, and rigorously researched model, this unique approach helps the teachers successfully plan and implement a content-rich, developmentally appropriate program that supports active learning and promotes children’s progress in all developmental areas.

Preschoolers are independent and eager learners.  Our philosophy, supported by current research, is that preschoolers learn best by “doing”, or through interative play in an environment that is rich in experiences and exploratory opportunities.  In the Preschool and Pre-K classrooms, each day has a schedule that includes group times (circle time, story time, etc.) as well as center or child choice time.  The planned activities encourage language development, mathematical reasoning and scientific thought.

The Children’s Academy and Hospitots have worked with kindergarten teachers and the local schools to develop a Pre-K curriculum that prepares children for kindergarten.,  The Pre-K classroom activities are organized to emphasize readiness for developing reading and writing skills

Classroom Interest Areas Include:

    • Books and Language
    • Math and Pre-writing
    • Music and Rhythm
    • Art
    • Blocks and Building
    • Dramatic Play
    • Fine Motor Activities
    • Sand and Water Play
    • Science and Nature
    • Personal and Social Skills