Beliefs

At birth, your baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons. During the first few years of life, trillions of brain cell connections will grow. These neural synapses must be “wired together” through stimulation, or they will be lost. All children need tender, loving care, but they actually need much more than that. When babies and toddlers are provided with loving, language-enriched experiences, their neural connections and pathways have more chances to become wired together. In turn, they can acquire rich language, reasoning and planning skills. At Park Place Children’s Center, age-appropriate activities and environments provide children with the stimulation they need to make the most of their early learning opportunities.

In South Carolina, children must be five years old by September 1st in order to enter kindergarten. Because of that rule, we see no reason to rush a child through pre-school by constantly “moving them up” to the next classroom when they are supposedly “ready.” Children benefit much more in an environment where meaningful and lasting relationships can be developed between the children (and their parents) and their caregivers/teachers. Park Place Children’s Center is the only pre-school on this side of town to provide “continuity of care” – meaning that the children (beginning in the Toddler Room) and their teacher remain together for more than one year.Park Place Children’s Center follows a typical school year schedule, where children stay in each classroom for a full year, and “move up” to their new classroom every August. When toddlers move up to their two year old classroom, their teachers move with them. Since this is a prime time for separation anxiety, moving with their teacher minimizes the emotional affect on the children. The children have a “new” teacher when they move up to the three year old class, but that teacher moves with them the following year to the four year old class. The reason for this is more academic; your child’s teacher has two full years to ensure that your child is completely prepared to succeed in kindergarten. The teacher is able to fully determine each child’s strengths, weaknesses and learning styles, and has time to implement curriculum that best meets each child’s needs. Keeping children and teachers together has several benefits. Close relationships between children and their primary caregivers can flourish. Research shows that it takes children several months to establish a bond with a non-parent. Therefore, moving from room to room should be done as infrequently as possible to minimize tough transition issues for the child. Continuity of care also allows children and their teachers to really get to know and become comfortable with the “culture” of their classroom. They don’t have to spend time every few months trying to get to know a new set of rules, friends and ways of doing things. Relationships between parents and teachers are also enhanced. Knowing that your child’s teacher really knows your child – their habits, behavior patterns, likes and dislikes – gives parents comfort that their child’s needs are being met by someone who loves and understands their child.

We are honored to have the opportunity to play in a role in children’s lives. So, when parents and children enter our center, we want them to feel like family. We share parents’ goal of providing the very best for their children, and we want to work in partnership to ensure that each child has positive, successful experiences at our school. We are committed to fostering relationships between our staff and your family that allow for frequent and open communication in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

When children feel secure, they are more confident about trying new things and learning new skills. Our classrooms are warm and inviting so children are drawn to the array of activities available, not overwhelmed by their surroundings.

The Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale – Revised Edition (ITERS-R) and the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale – Revised edition (ECERS-R) were used as guides in designing our facility and developing our program. These tools, developed by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, can be used for self-assessment or by an outside observer to evaluate program quality. ITERS and ECERS have been used in major research projects in the U.S. as well as in a number of other countries. These comprehensive, reliable and valid instruments help providers offer childcare settings that promote optimal early childhood development.

The ITERS was specifically designed to assess programs for children from birth to 30 months old; ECERS assesses programs for children ages 30 months through 5 years old. Both evaluate the following areas:

  1. Space and furnishings
  2. Personal care routines
  3. Listening and talking
  4. Activities
  5. Interaction
  6. Program structure
  7. Parents & staff

These areas are rated to protect children’s health and safety, ensure appropriate stimulation through language and activities, and promote warm, supportive interaction between children and their caregivers. By using this assessment tool as a guide in designing Park Place Children’s Center, we can confidently say that our pre-school offers the highest quality care, programs and facilities.

Many childcare centers offer low teacher: student ratios, but then merge several groups together in the same classroom. Our low ratios combined with our small class sizes provide the optimum environment for both children and their teachers. Click here to see our classroom ratios and group sizes.

Being accountable to a professional organization provides that “gold star” stamp of approval to ensure parents that their children really are getting the best. Park Place Children’s Center was designed to meet the highest quality standards and achieved national accreditation through the Association of Early Learning Leaders.

Our over-arching goal is to ensure that your child is fully prepared to succeed in kindergarten, but that means so much more than simply teaching letters, colors, shapes and numbers. Preschool is a place to begin developing confidence, inquisitiveness, negotiation and problem-solving skills, social skills, manners and a life-long love of learning.

Because children learn in different ways, our teachers are trained to use a variety of curriculum and teaching strategies to inspire the learning process. Specific learning objectives have been developed for each class, and parents have numerous opportunities to review their child’s progress.