Our mixed-age preschool classrooms offer a program that meets the needs of a wide range of children’s abilities and developmental levels. Learning is individualized. Children in this age group have the chance to learn from older children and to help younger children. Children with different levels of abilities within themselves benefit from a mixed age classroom, because materials and activities are offered in a wider range and they can find what meets their individual needs.
The University at Buffalo Child Care Center has chosen to adopt this philosophy of early childhood care and education based on research that shows how interactions with older and younger children benefit the social and emotional development of preschool children. Younger children learn from the advanced growth and development of the older children. Older children have the opportunity to be role models for the younger children, which builds their confidence and leadership skills in preparation for moving on to Kindergarten.
Our preschool program offer curriculum that is based on the children’s developmental needs and interests and that are aligned with NYS Learning Standards. Children are offered a well-thought out environment with opportunities to explore in areas such as books and writing, science, sensory (sand and water play), cooking, dramatic play, blocks and puzzles.
Children play outside daily (weather permitting) on our natural playgrounds or explore the campus. Social interactions and conflict resolution are part of the curriculum. Teachers support children’s learning by providing interesting experiences and by asking questions that direct children’s thinking. All this takes place in a safe, nurturing and homey environment.
Our preschool classrooms offers kindergarten readiness for children who are closer in age and ability and enables the class as a whole to work together on skills and concepts, while still focusing on social-emotional development and self-regulation skills.