UCP’s Early Childhood/PreK program is an AdvancEd/SACS accredited early education program that serves children 6 weeks through pre-kindergarten in an inclusive environment. Our toddler through PreK lead teachers are state certified teachers and have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification in both the age they teach and exceptional student education (ESE). Our approach to learning is purposeful play sprinkled with activities to help each child reach their full potential both educationally and socially through customized education for all young children. UCP PreK programs class size and student/teacher ratio meet or exceed all national standards for best practice (Including NAEYC). Our class sizes and staff vary based on the make-up of each classroom.
In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling, and looking). By using real materials and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors, and they notice relationships between things. Purposeful play, led by state-certified teachers, enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum. The play is the work of young children. The most important goal of our preschool and PreK program is to help children become enthusiastic learners. Our dynamic education staff encourages children to be active and creative explorers who are not afraid to try out their ideas and to think their own thoughts. Our goal is to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive learners. We are teaching them how to learn, not just in preschool, but all through their lives. We are allowing them to learn at their own pace and in the ways that are best for them. They are learning good habits and attitudes, particularly a positive sense of themselves, which will make a difference throughout their lives. The activities we plan for children, the way we organize the environment, select toys and materials, plan the daily schedule, and talk with children, are all designed to accomplish the goals of our curriculum and give your child a successful start in school.
UCP uses Beyond Centers and Circle Time and conscious Discipline in our preschool and PreK classrooms. The Beyond Centers & Circle Time theme series is designed to provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences for three- and four-year-old children. The curriculum provides children with emergent literacy experiences within well planned and implemented play opportunities that use cooking, dramatic play, fluid and structured construction and fine and gross motor opportunities to meet the individual and cultural needs of each child, while providing them opportunities to develop skills and knowledge in all domains. When young children are provided with opportunities to learn in safe, loving and exciting environments they will develop the ability to persist at tasks, as well as an eagerness and curiosity about their world. When they can manipulate and experiment with materials and objects they will develop inventiveness and creativity. When children play with other children and adults who encourage their ideas they will learn to plan and reflect on their activities. Research shows that children’s success is based on how they approach learning situations.
Children who are resilient, keep trying and are confident in their own abilities will be successful. Conscious Discipline is the Social and Emotional curriculum used at UCP. Conscious Discipline is a comprehensive classroom management program and a social-emotional curriculum. It is based on current brain research, child development information, and developmentally appropriate practices. Conscious Discipline is a way or organizing schools and classrooms around the concept of a School Family. Each member of the family—both adult and child—learns the skills needed to successfully manage life tasks such as learning, forming relationships, communicating effectively, being sensitive to others’ needs and getting along with others.