St. Nicholas Early Learning Inc.
Mission and Philosophy
St. Nicholas Early Learning, Inc. is a safe, welcoming, and high quality childcare serving children of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.
We are committed to providing every child with a high quality program and secure environment that will allow children the opportunity to explore and foster their own growth potential. We believe in a child’s ability to learn in the most natural environment possible, with many opportunities to foster play and exploration. St. Nicholas Early Learning Directors and Staff will work to develop a life-long love of learning in all children and are committed to walking alongside every family in providing their children with an excellent, stimulating environment for the beginning years of life.
Children learn from their environment and each other.
Children are empathetic and kind.
Children’s curiosity drives their learning.
Children learn through conscientious play.
Children’s creativity expresses what they are learning.
Children need respectful and responsive interactions with their caregivers.
Children grow best when supported by an intentional community.
Teachers create thoughtful lesson plans and work spaces for children to develop in the following skill areas: reading, writing, art, blocks, dramatic play, math/numbers, music and movement, nature and science, sensory play, and small motor/manipulative.
Our natural playground has been designed to be an outdoor learning space, with learning about and from nature as the focus. Teachers encourage peer interaction in solving daily problems, and understand the power of peer interactions and relationships. It is one of the many positive outcomes of high quality group care.
Teachers reinforce the concept of being kind to others and redirect children to think about others’ feelings when kindness is forgotten.
Teachers develop lessons that are driven by the interests of the children. Teachers observe children’s play to understand what is currently on their minds and then in response, set up hands-on sensory activities to develop and stimulate their thinking.
Teachers understand that play is the main source of learning and understanding in a child’s world. As children play with educational materials and interact with their peers, teachers talk about colors, shapes, numbers, letters, letter sounds, and other concepts critical to a successful early learning experience.
Teachers provide many opportunities for artistic expression of the concepts being explored by children, as inspired by the Reggio Emilia creative approach to learning.
Teachers, above all, will treat all students with respect, and will respond to their individual needs, knowing that caring for children in groups can sometimes be challenging. Teachers talk to children about sometimes needing to be patient while they wait for their turn for direct teacher interaction. Children’s needs will be met, which builds trusting relationships, ultimately leading to increased self-confidence and greater independence.
St. Nicholas works closely with our families, Trinity Episcopal Church, organizations in the neighborhood, other care providers, and city-wide agencies to offer resources and learning opportunities for the entire family. Just as we do with our children, our family resources center fosters and supports parenting best practices and a love of learning for adults.