Honey Bear Preschool and Child Care Center’s programs are planned around the young child’s developmental abilities. Chronological age is used as a guide for placement when other assessment data is not available; however, chronological age is only one of the many factors considered. In fact, early childhood research indicates that individual growth and development patterns among young children are so varied that grouping according to developmental abilities is much more satisfactory than grouping with age as the primary criteria.
We believe in the benefits of cross-age childhood experiences and therefore arrange our programs to allow older children to interact with younger ones under the supervision of the classroom teacher.
The center currently operates eight classrooms: Baby Bear A (non-mobile infants), Baby Bear B (non-mobile infants through 15 months), Baby Bear C (very young toddlers), Cuddle Bears (Toddler Center), Teddy Bears (Two-three year olds), Honey Bears (Three-four year olds), Little Bear Clubs (Three-four year olds) and Big Bear Cubs (Pre-Kindergarten). There are a number of elements that determine when a child is ready to move up to the next class. First, the child’s age, the composition of the class the child is entering, the child’s developmental readiness, the group size and teacher to child ratios. However, if the child is ready we may waive the age guidelines and move the child sooner.
In each classroom, it is our goal to create a community where the children develop friendships and a sense of security. While children do not always move from one room to another at the same time, we take care to support the friendships they have and celebrate meeting new fun friends. As children are growing and changing each month, our curriculum is individualized in each classroom as is developmentally appropriate.
Transitions from room to room happen when the children are age and developmentally ready. We will give parents appropriate notice when we plan on moving a child and send information about the structure and staffing of the new room. Our program is designed to support the children successfully articulating into a primary school system.