Comprehensive Childcare Services
Our goal is to support the positive growth and development of young children and their families through carefully structured lessons and exploratory playtime. Our loving and attentive staff will support the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of each child in our care. Children are encouraged to explore, learn, and grow through hands-on experiences that meet the developmental needs of each age group. Whether we are inside or out, the children in our care will be provided with appropriately structured activities to promote continual growth and wellness.
Our carefully planned space features five large classrooms specifically designed for infants, toddlers, and preschool-age classes, with specialized educational and social goals in mind. Our indoor studio allows children to experience gross motor play through creative movement, dance, and tumbling. The school’s kitchen is used as a place to learn and grow as children are taught to care about the food they eat and how it helps them build strong, healthy bodies.
Our outdoor spaces feature areas specifically tailored to each age group and allow children to explore in ways that would most benefit them. Having a chance to play outside is just as important as traditional time inside the classroom; children learn to interpret rich sensory signals, how to use their body for running, jumping, and climbing, and to respect themselves and the world around them. We also have a vegetable garden, fairy garden, and zen garden.
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6 weeks – 1 year
Our infant program is designed to provide a warm and welcoming environment where babies can grow and thrive. Our caregivers are nurturing and create a caring, healthy, safe and sound space where each baby feels loved and secure. Caregivers support each child’s needs and milestones as they transition from the sensory-motor stage of infancy to the self-directed, sociable stage of toddlerhood.
The infant environment enhances their sensory experience and development through varied textures, sounds, sights, and sensations. They will discover and develop their emerging motor skills with soft materials that encourage them to pull up, crawl, and eventually take baby steps. Singing, finger plays, reading, smiles, and tons of hugs will help them learn to express themselves and develop social skills.
Preschoolers learn by exploring their environment. They learn by asking questions, taking things apart, and figuring out how to put them back together. They are making predictions, and most of all, they are using their imaginations. Teachers at The Little Schoolhouse on Maine are mindful to help foster this exploration while also nurturing independence by placing appropriate materials within reach of the children. Additionally, equipment, materials, and activities are frequently rotated to reflect new interests and continually expose the children to new topics and ideas.
1 – 2 years & 2 – 3 years
Our toddler rooms are designed for all stages of toddlerhood as they leave the stage of dependency and move towards independence. As with the other rooms, our goal is to provide a safe, nurturing, and supportive environment where children can reach their full potential.
We encourage hands-on experiences in and out of the classroom with focus on the process, not the end result. We will have planned large and small group activities, active and quiet time, and indoor and outdoor play in order to meet the needs of each child as well as of the class as a whole. The room is set up for children to choose from various learning centers, including art, music, dramatic play, sand and water, blocks, literature, science, and nature. Teachers foster independence by helping to encourage toddlers to develop self-help skills like cleaning in the classroom, cleaning up after meals, hand washing, and potty training. Our goal is to help each toddler gain confidence in their new skills.
Play allows children to make lasting connections that lead to a deeper understanding and the ability to make ideas and concepts their own. That is why we use a play-based curriculum rather than rote-style learning (a memorization based teaching). Our curriculum will help children derive meaning from their environment for their entire lives. When they pretend to be an astronaut, they aren’t just playing—they are learning about space, counting stars, making self-portraits of themselves on the moon, having moon shoe races, and working cooperatively with their peers to build a space shuttle out of a box. Guided play helps to support their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth.
We offer a wide range of childcare programs designed for children of every age group! We are proud to partner with many local organizations to offer our children fun and educational extracurricular programs. Our instructors have a wide background of experience that brings expertise and professionalism to the classroom.
Little Gourmet Chef Cooking Academy
Our age-appropriate cooking classes are incorporated into the curriculum of the toddler and preschool rooms. These classes teach kitchen basics and inspire kids to care about safety and nutrition.
Our cooking classes help children:
• Build self-confidence, self-esteem, and patience
• Increase socialization skills and fine motor skills
• Increase math, vocabulary, and early literacy skills
• Increase knowledge of science and nutrition
• Learn to try new foods from around the world and learn about different cultures
• Express their creativity in a fun environment
Youth Martial Arts
In partnership with The Riverview Foundation, we offer two beginner martial arts programs for children. The Tiger Tots program is designed for kids 18 months to 3 years old and their parents. Tiger Tots is based on martial arts practices and is a wonderful tool to increase fun social interaction with other kids and parents. The Lil’ Dragons, for ages 3 through 5, is all about growing self-esteem through focused physical activity.
Both of these programs are wonderful ways to introduce children to more physically driven activities in a safe, fun, and exciting way.
Little Dance Classes
Children can choose between ballet, tap, jazz, and tumble classes. Costs are $9 per class, with a recital costume fee that is to be determined in January. The dance class schedule is made available in late summer for parents to review.