Our preschool program is focused on preparing your child academically, socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively for Kindergarten and beyond. The preschool level is where worksheets, written activities, progressing and challenging material and a set curriculum are all key components of the program. The preschool program places heavy emphasis on the interest areas outlined in the menu below to ensure our children are growing and excelling to their highest potential.
The preschool program is a fully comprehensive program that blends the educational concepts typical preschoolers may be accustomed too, as well as the practical, socio-emotional elements that they so critically need. Key values and principles are also stressed at this stage, including patience, tolerance, fair play, negotiation and cooperation, and respect for others. These concepts are taught and exemplified through role modeling by our team members throughout the day, and through role play and guided activities as well.
Dreamers Child Care provides a diverse international and cultural environment for all of our children, and activities are prepared to provide experiences from a variety of cultures, including those cultures represented by the children in our care. Acceptance of each child and person as a unique individual is part of our focus, and this is taught to all of our children from their earliest years.
Our preschool team is comprised of early child care professionals who’s only priority is to see your child grow and develop in a safe, nurturing and immersive environment. All of our team members meet the Minnesota DHS requirements for the position they fulfill, while also continuing to develop through various monthly required trainings and classes.
Preschoolers are ready to learn and explore, and we ensure that they always have the proper supervision so that the exploring never stops. Minimum staffing protocol requires one (1) staff member per ten (10) preschoolers, but we know that at that many preschoolers per teacher, the learning and exploring possibilities can be rather limited. Our preschool classroom typically sees another team member joining their classroom when the number of preschoolers increases past seven (7), and we always have additional floating aides and assistants throughout the center ready for immediate support.
The preschool team is comprised of teachers, assistants and aides who work together to achieve the developmental goals your child is set to reach. Duties are harmoniously split between the team to ensure a productive, efficient and vibrant environment throughout the day.
To achieve the best developmental goals for our preschoolers as well as structure a solid foundation for them to build upon in the many years to come, we utilize various critical interest areas throughout our program. These interest areas keep our preschoolers stimulated, engaged, learning and developing to their fullest potential. The specific interest areas that we focus on for preschoolers are:
- Creative Arts and Crafts
- painting, coloring, drawing, tracing
- age appropriate crafts
- creating theme-driven art
- strengthening understanding of numbers + letters + words through art
- listening and dancing to songs
- incorporating songs into the daily routine (nap, meal time, etc.)
- using songs to further strengthen number, letter and word development
- activity-specific songs
- songs in English and Arabic
- Fine Motor Activities
- playing and exploring with different shapes and sizes
- age appropriate puzzles
- strengthening dexterity and strength in their hands
- Large Muscle Activities
- pushing/pulling activities
- playing with large blocks
- walking, jumping practice
- large motor activities and sports
- Sensory Stimulation
- toys with varied material, texture and feel
- water and sand activities
- incorporating sensory elements into the fine motor category
- teachers are consistently communicating with the preschoolers
- age-appropriate books and flash cards
- asking questions and requesting answers during free play, activities and etc.
- stimulating and initiating conversation between the preschoolers
- continuing to implement basic sign language
- continue to introduce and teaching Arabic
- learning what works and what doesn’t work
- problem solving and learning patterns
- hand-eye coordination
- using arts and crafts to learn
- hands-on science activities
- seasonal activities (planting, snow activities, changes in nature, etc.)
- continuing current themes through science activities
- Social Studies
- learning about different cultures and traditions
- exploring geography using maps, globes
- exploring sociology, specifically socialization, values + norms + principles
- Dramatic Play / Practical Life
- developing and strengthening practical life and social skills
- fostering independence and self-esteem
- learning practical skills that can translate into several categories
We know that children thrive with a routine in place, and they prosper their best when they can know what to expect. For children, everything must be routine, from placement of materials, to activity times and procedures, to the specific order of tasks. With less conflicting, unexpected factors, children are able to more directly focus on the task at hand and benefit the greatest.
Our preschool program is heavily focused around preparing our children for kindergarten and the many years after, and we structure their daily routines around the many elements they’ll need to succeed. The preschool daily routine includes set, routine times for everything from meals, activities, outside playtime, napping, quiet time and everything in between.
Guided free play is an integral part of our preschoolers’ day, so a decent portion of their daily routine is built upon different concepts and themes introduced and taught to them in a guided free play manner. The preschool daily routine is composed utilizing components derived from the several aforementioned interest areas, and while the specific material may change season to season and theme to theme, the set, routine time for each component remains fairly unchanged throughout the year.
Specific daily routines and lesson plans for each program are provided to you by your child’s teachers.
Preschoolers are ready to learn, discover and grow, so we do our best to ensure that there is an endless amount of exploring that they can do. Throughout the day, your preschooler will be immersed in various activities, arts and crafts and guided free-play focused on numerous, specific frameworks such as:
- language and literacy improvement,
- strengthening of social and emotional skills
- physical development
- school readiness
Preschool is also a crucial time to learn and emphasize the importance of several principles and virtues. Throughout the day, such principles and virtues like patience, sharing, caring, respect, cleanliness and thankfulness are taught directly through practical life activities and presented indirectly during guided free-play and conflict resolution.
While your preschooler’s classmates may be at or around the same developmental stage as your preschooler, the preschool team sets individual goals and milestones for each child depending on where they are today and what they can achieve. Your preschooler’s teachers will follow up with you on a regular basis to ensure that these goals aren’t only met, but exceeded. Frequent assessments are completed from as early as the toddler level through to the last day of preschool, and bi-annual conferences are held to discuss progress at least twice a year.
Our School Readiness program is an academically-intensive, objective-focused and individually-tracked program that best prepares our older preschoolers for Kindergarten and beyond. Preschoolers in the school readiness program will experience the gradual implementation of several new concepts that will soon become quotidian—worksheets, homework, group+individual activities, and etcetera.
Preschoolers become qualified for the school readiness program a year before they graduate and move on to Kindergarten. Children in our school readiness remain with their friends in the preschool classroom for the majority of their time with us; the specific school readiness program is but a small portion of their routine days as the skills it focuses on are still improving throughout the day.
Children in our school readiness program learn to begin reading and writing, starting with the basic letters and words, tracing and writing their own names and gradually progressing further. Our expectation is that they will be beyond prepared for kindergarten and everything it includes upon their graduation!
Our team uses BrightWheel, a child care management application, to keep our parents and families connected with their childrens’ teachers throughout the day. BrightWheel is a downloadable phone application found on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store that allows for seamless communication between our program teachers and our parents. You can expect to see frequent, hourly updates regarding several items, such as:
- Nap time and wake time
- Meals (time, what was provided and what was eaten, as well as the amounts)
- Bathroom + Diaper Changes
- Photos + Videos
- Lesson plans
BrightWheel is also used for communication between our teachers and our parents. Questions, comments, updates, requests, feedback and everything in between is handled with the direct messaging feature found in the app. Dreamers administrators also use BrightWheel to notify parents of center-wide information, events and changes.
Billing and attendance are also handled using BrightWheel, allowing for the entire Dreamers Family to manage everything out of one central application.