Family-style early care and education can also be said to be attachment-style early care and education. The Family Garden believes that secure attachments are the foundation for healthy development: mixed age groupings and a low teacher to child ratio are ways in which we strive to foster those strong connections.
Multi-aged programming and small group numbers are the perfect setting for social and emotional development. Children have a lot of opportunities to interact with a diverse community. Helping to care for the younger children and developing their negotiating skills with older children. Teachers are best able to talk through tough social situations when there are fewer numbers of children and they are at different developmental stages.
The Family Garden has a general schedule that is followed. This schedule may vary based on the program developed by the teachers and the season. The schedules provide a balance of active and quiet play, adult directed and child directed play, indoor and outdoor play. Also balanced are the social, emotional, physical and cognitive needs of each child.
Children learn by trying, doing, being frustrated, observing, and interacting. The teachers at the Family Garden facilitate experiences for the children to learn in the above mentioned ways and through role modeling and supervising the interactions among the children.
Finally, we "do not for a child what a child can do for him/herself". We strongly encourage the development of age appropriate self-help skills and appropriate language for social interactions. These important skills are taught through the modeling of both the teachers and the older children.