Program Model & Curriculum
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An Overview of The Educare Model
The Educare model is based on research from early childhood development, education, social work and other allied fields, and is composed of four core features or practice areas:
- Data Utilization
- Embedded Professional Development
- High-quality Teaching Practices
- Intensive Family Engagement
Strong school leadership supports the implementation of this model and develops a culture of quality early childhood education and family support services. Community linkages help provide access to resources for children, families and staff, such as health and mental health services.
Together, these core features lead to positive child and family outcomes: strong parent-child relationships, school and family partnerships, and family support for children’s learning.
Ultimately, the Educare model is proven to result in increased student achievement and kindergarten readiness, thanks to the core features working together in a comprehensive, intentional way to achieve a high-quality early childhood program. Each Educare Center school prepares children for success in school and in life, helps families develop skills they need to champion their child’s education, and ultimately works towards a future where all children, families and communities can thrive.
Our Lead Teachers for the birth to three age group possess at least a bachelor’s degree, along with specialized coursework and hands-on experience in infant-toddler education. Meanwhile, our Preschool Lead Teachers (3-5 age group) hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree accompanied by an early childhood state license teaching certificate, and many of them hold additional endorsements in Special Education and ESL. Each classroom team is composed of a Lead Teacher, a Teacher Assistant, and a Teacher Aide. Teacher Assistants hold either a Child Development Associate (CDA) credentials or Associate Degrees, while Teacher Aides are supported in achieving their CDA credential or further coursework. In our birth to three classrooms, there is a maximum ratio of 4 children to 1 teacher and in preschool we maintain a maximum ratio of 10 children to 1 teacher.
Many children start our program as infants and stay with their designated caregivers for three years. Upon transitioning to preschool, they continue with a new set of caregivers for the subsequent 2-3 years until they proceed to kindergarten.
Family Engagement Specialists
Our Family Engagement team members possess at least a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field, and all are bilingual. Educare West DuPage follows the Educare Learning Network’s intensive family engagement approach, which has targeted support areas. These targeted supports bring intentionality to the Family Engagement team’s work, authentically partnering with families.
The approach identifies the practices and skills that are critical to developing strong relationships with families. The Family Engagement team partners with families to help set goals for themselves, their children, and their family and supports the family in finding and accessing resources.
Curriculum & Expectations
Our curriculum is grounded in research and is aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Standards. It is called the Creative Curriculum, which is a play-based approach that is considered to be the most effective means of enhancing child outcomes through impactful teaching. We have developed an innovative, inclusive, research-driven curriculum that prioritizes exploration and discovery as key components of the learning process. Widely adopted by early childhood educators nationwide, our supportive curriculum solutions enable them to provide developmentally appropriate programs fostering active learning and advancing children’s progress across all developmental areas.
Infant-Toddler Curriculum 0-3 Years
Beyond a traditional daycare or childcare program, our youngest students receive the advantages of caring teachers, individualized care, and dedicated emphasis on their social-emotional growth. The curriculum for children aged from birth to 3 is designed to promote school readiness in young children through language and literacy, social-emotional development, problem-solving, and early math concepts. It emphasizes hands-on learning, positive interactions, social-emotional skills, the learning environment, and teacher-family partnerships.
The curriculum addresses four areas of development: social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. It includes age-appropriate assessments, weekly lesson planning, program planning, teacher supervision, and family engagement.
Preschool Curriculum 3-5 Years
Our preschool curriculum (for 3 to 5-year-olds) incorporates aspects of the Project Approach and draws on studies from the “Creative” curriculum tailored to the child’s interests. Specifically, this model focuses on language and literacy, social-emotional development, problem-solving, and early math to promote school readiness. It believes in hands-on learning, positive interactions, social-emotional skills, the learning environment, and teacher-family partnerships. It addresses four areas of development: social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and language and includes assessments, lesson planning, program planning, teacher supervision, and family engagement.
Various interest areas are integrated into the classroom, including the block area, dramatic play, manipulative activities, science, art, writing area, and library.
Dual Language Program
Educare West DuPage has a 70:30 Dual Language Model in which instruction and communication occur in both the Spanish and English languages. There are at least two teachers in every room who teach the Spanish Language Model, and one teacher who teaches the English Speaking model. Our goal is that every child leaves our program, ready to learn and excel in kindergarten speaking both English and Spanish.
Our Dual Language Model is also supported by staffing bilingual Family Engagement Specialists to help support families in their home language. The majority of Educare West DuPage’s program administrators are also bilingual in order to support our overall Dual Language Model.
Please fill out our inquiry form, so we can provide you with additional information about Educare West DuPage. Families must demonstrate the following documents to be eligible for our enrollment program:
- Proof of child’s age: Child’s birth certificate.
- Photo ID for Parent/Legal Guardian.
- Proof of income: W2,1-month’s worth pay stubs, SSI, SNAP or TANF award letter.
- Proof of address: Utility bill, lease agreement with your name on it.
- Current Immunization Record for each child and Health Insurance Card.
We welcome children with special needs, homeless, and foster care families. Subsidies and limited tuition spots available.