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Early Childhood Program in Saint James, NY


Early Childhood Curriculum

Overview: Grades PreK 2 through Kindergarten

Independent early education is the developmental time frame running from 0-7 years of age. The stages are broken down into: (early) 0-36 months, (mid) 3-5 years, and (late) 5-7 years old. There are significant developmental differences between these three stages in early childhood. In the preschool and early kindergarten years, imaginative thinking/inventive play tends to rule a child’s thought processes. Children are guided by internal rules based on their own perspective of how they see the world. They are developing understandings of colors, shapes, numbers, oral and written language, concepts and seasons, among many other things.

By late early childhood, children are developing more stable understandings of the world around them. We call this shift a change from imaginative thinking, where understandings are based on one’s own perspective, to scientific thinking, where one begins to form conceptual understandings. What fosters this growth is a curriculum that gives two through six-year-olds the tools that promote thinking: use of blocks, water, art, music, language, nature-based learning, physical activities, and hands-on learning experiences. The academic curriculum is designed to support developing skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking. Our goal is to develop students who are ready for the lower and upper school curriculum by providing learning experiences that help develop the young child’s deliberate memory, mediated perception (knowing that some things are more important than others), logical thinking, sense of self-control, and focused attention.

Preschool 2s Overview

Our littlest learners at Harbor Country Day School, near Smithtown and Northport in Suffolk County, NY, experience a school setting that introduces them to socializing with peers which begins the starting point that nurtures kindness and empathy. We believe in the importance of educating the whole child, which at this age includes the social, emotional and cognitive developmental skills. There is a balance between open-ended play and structured learning time as this approach fosters a child’s love of learning, creativity, exploration, and discovery.

Our staff provides a nurturing and loving classroom environment that children enjoy. Our students will build trust through joyful experiences as they begin to understand the world around them. Preschool 2s follow a play-based program with an emphasis on exploration, discovery, sensory play, and social learning. The small class size enables teachers to get to know students and their families. The balanced program includes structured activities with opportunities for creative play. The curriculum is designed using a thematic approach that includes activities such as crafts, science explorations, and interactive play. Students will use their senses to learn about different topics and make connections to the world using a hands-on approach.

Class Size

The 4:1 student-teacher ratio provides individualized instruction to each child. Students have the opportunity to work on at their own pace and the teacher will be able to accommodate the needs of each child. Our small class size enables our littlest learners to feel the warmth and compassion from our teachers as well as a true connection to their peers.

Early Years Program Hours and Schedule

The Preschool 2s class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM. Additional days are possible as the program grows for the 2020-2021 school year. The schedule for our Preschool 2s provides structure with a mix of both whole group and small group activities, along with a time for exploration and play.Establishing a routine gives the children a sense of security and something to look forward to each day.

Preschool 2s Daily Schedule

9:00 - Arrival Time
9:00 – 9:30 - Free Play
9:30 – 9:40 - Clean Up
9:40 – 10:00 - Snack
10:00 – 10:35 - Recess
10:35 – 10:50 Special Classes (Music & Art)
10:50 – 11:10 Projects
11:10-11:20 – Circle Time
11:20 – 11:30 – Pack Up
11:30 – Dismissal

For more detailed explanations of our preschool and kindergarten curricula, we invite you to review our Early Childhood Curriculum Guide below.