The philosophy of the Early Childhood Center incorporates the understanding that children's play, when skillfully supervised, is an expression of intelligence and growth. The teachers provide a program which, though informal on the surface, is carefully organized and absorbing for children. Teachers respond to the thrust of each child's interests and capabilities. Children's individual strengths are recognized and built upon.
Language learning is an integral part of the curriculum, with emphasis on the understanding and communication of ideas and information. Children are given ample time to explore and experiment, and there are daily opportunities to work alone, in small groups, and as members of the group as a whole.
The outdoor environment plays a vital part in the life of the Early Childhood Center. As ecologist Rachel Carson wrote, "If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." At the Early Childhood Center, ample time and spaceare given to children to explore the classroom outside as closely as the classroom inside.