To create an environment in the classroom and beyond that engages each child's sense of wonder and helps to build the foundations for a lifelong love of learning.
Maitland Farm Preschool was founded in September of 1978 with a vision of early childhood as a journey of discovery and with the commitment to provide a very special learning environment for young children and their families. We seek to provide a place where both children and adults feel that they belong, and where they know they are valued. With this sense of physical and psychological safety, each person will be free to grow.
Children learn by doing, by being actively involved with materials, with their environment, and with other children and adults. This approach is called Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP.) It encourages intellectual development, but does NOT stress early academics or rote learning. Solid research and practice over many years have demonstrated that DAP is a natural and organic approach to education. It begins with a thorough understanding of how children grow and learn. DAP encourages each child’s strengths and dispositions as he unfolds and builds on previous development at his own unique rate.
Our program is age appropriate because it recognizes that children develop in a predictable sequence in all developmental domains--physical, social, emotional and cognitive. Our program is individually appropriate because it recognizes and respects that each child is a unique person with an individual pattern and timing of growth.
Central to DAP at Maitland Farm are:
Interaction & Experience
- with the environment
- with equipment and materials
- with peers and teachers
Curiosity & Creativity
Positive attitudes toward learning and a willingness to explore are important lifelong attributes that we encourage by giving the children many opportunities to investigate and question. At Maitland Farm children have opportunities to work independently as well as cooperatively. The development of critical thinking skills is essential to all future success.
Respect & Caring
As we build our program around “the whole child” we are vitally aware of the importance of the affective nature as well as the cognitive nature of each child. Patterns for self worth and healthy relationships are established at an early age. Each child is valued.
Why is Maitland Farm “a special place to grow?”
- Developmentally appropriate curriculum
- Family Friendly & Friendly Families
- Farm animals and natural setting
- One teacher for every 10 students, or less
- Scholarship Program
- Parent Involvement in the classroom with special events
- Parents’ Organization, The Friends
- Parent / Staff Advisory Board
- Parent education programs
- Respect for cultural diversity
- Open door policy
- Half, Full, and Extended Day programs
- Special afternoon programs:
- Outdoor adventure
Founding Principles of Maitland Farm Preschool
Maitland Farm is a total educational environment that nurtures and respects the integrity and potential of each child, parent and staff person within our school community. Essential elements of this environment are:
- A warm, welcoming and well-trained staff.
- A safe and inviting setting with REAL spaces for children.
- An educational philosophy that reflects a commitment to sound practice and to children’s healthy growth, highlighting hands-on experiences.
- A curriculum that is dynamic and changes within the established philosophical frame work in response to children’s needs and to emerging knowledge in the field.
- An emphasis on values which nurture respect, responsibility, resourcefulness and relationship building in children and adults.
- Pathways for each staff person to develop her own potential as an individual and as a caregiver in her particular role.
- Pathways for parents to become integral parts of their children’s school experiences and to develop their own potential as parents.
- Policies for parents and staff that reflect the same respect we have for children.
- The use of sensitivity and wisdom in balancing the needs of all when there are conflicts.
- An awareness and acceptance of our leadership role in the wider community, both as an organization and as individuals, responsibly sharing by example and interaction with others.