In the world of early childhood education programs, there are many choices, and Family Flex has made choices about its program since our inception. We’ve been working to continuously improve our program based on parent feedback, reflection, and recent child development research. As a result, we have a program that is dedicated to best practices in early childhood for ALL children, from infants through preschoolers.
Small Class Sizes and Low Ratios
Family Flex practices ratios and class sizes that allow for quality interactions and a productive learning environment. Our infant rooms are typically between a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio depending on their age. In the toddler age group, we use the 1:5 ratio. In the pre-preschool and preschool environment, the classrooms use either a 1:7 or 1:8 ratio.
Clean Healthy Environment
In addition to following the rules and regulations around health and safety set out by the Colorado Department of Human services, Family Flex also closely takes additional measures by implementing the recommended health and safety guidelines from Qualistar, Colorado's early childhood rating system. Our staff is well trained in practices around cleaning, safety, supervision, and appropriate hygeine (hand-washing).
We look for teachers who have a minimum of either an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree in addition to the required Early Childhood Teacher Certification requirements as outlined by the state. Our teachers come into the program with the experience to teach young children.
The foundation of every child’s education is built around the relationship between family and teacher. At Family Flex, we work to develop the relationship by keeping lines of communication open throughout the day, whether it be in person, through email, or on the phone. Every classroom is equipped with a daily communication log so that parents always know what happens throughout the day. We also hold quarterly conferences so that parents and teachers can sit down and talk in depth about their child’s development. Lastly, we strongly encourage parents to come in and volunteer in their classroom for one hour each month. It gives the parents a chance to get to know the teachers and the classroom routines.
A Research-Based Curriculum
The curriculum we use at Family Flex is called the Creative Curriculum (www.TeachingStrategies.com). The Creative Curriculum focuses on five developmental domains for children that are also the exact same domains as outlined in National School Readiness Goals (National Education Goals Panel).
- Physical (gross and fine motor development)
- Social (successful functioning in society)
- Emotional (successful functioning of self)
- Cognitive (problem solving, thinking logically, creativity and imagination)
- Language (listening, speaking, reading and writing)
The Creative Curriculum is a play-based, constructivist curriculum approach. Constructivist is but one of several approaches. Others include direct-instruction, also known as an academic curriculum, and socialization curriculum, such as Waldorf.
With the Creative Curriculum, children learn across the disciplines (also known as content areas) of literacy, math, social studies, science/nature, art, music, and technology. This is why we say our children learn through play as teachers create lesson plans and projects for children to learn these content areas as they are studying about their topic of choice, such as oceans.
Assessment and Parent Teacher Conferences
Family Flex uses an authentic assessment tool called Teaching Strategies GOLD, which comes from the Creative Curriculum creators. Teachers use a continuum of objectives to see where each child is in the areas of social/emotional development, cognitive and language development, physical development and other educational areas such as literacy, math, science, social studies, and the arts. These objectives come directly from the curriculum that is implemented in the classroom. For more information on Teaching Strategies GOLD, go to www.TeachingStrategies.com. We are able to get an accurate picture of where each child is developmentally and what will come next. Teachers meet with parents four times a year to discuss their child’s development and how to continue to meet their educational needs at school and at home.