About SYC . . .

School for Young Children Welcome to the website of the School for Young Children in Columbus, Ohio. Our program was founded in 1969 as a part-time preschool program.  Our philosophy has remained consistent through the years; that children be allowed to develop at their own pace in an atmosphere of free play enriched with a variety of creative materials and the support of teachers who respect them as individuals.

As a community outreach program of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, we are a welcoming school--we do not discriminate upon the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or cultural background of parents or children.

All About Accreditation

Posted on November 30, 2012 in category Director's Blog

We are proud that our program has been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children since 1987!  NAEYC Accreditation represents the hallmark of quality in early childhood education.  To achieve accreditation, programs volunteer to be measured against the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards.  Only about 8% of US preschools are currently accredited.

This year we went through the re-accreditation process again.  We have been preparing for the last year by collecting evidence to show that our program meets over 400 criteria within 10 standards.  The NAEYC assessor was here last month for two days to observe our program and go over our evidence.

We just learned today that we passed our site visit.  We are now re-accredited for a five year period.  Throughout the five-year term of accreditation, we must submit annual reports and are subject to random, unannounced visits by assessors to ensure that we continue to meet the standards.

All in all, this process is detailed and time-consuming but at the same time we are excited to be able to document exactly how children learn through play in our program.

NAEYC’s 10 Standards:

1.  Promote positive relationships for all children and adults to encourage each child’s sense of individual worth.

2.  Implement a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development: cognitive, emotional, language, physical, and social.

3.  Use developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate effective teaching approaches.

4.  Provide ongoing assessments of a child’s learning and development and communicate the child’s progress to the family.

5.  Promote the nutrition and health of children and protect children and staff from injury and illness.

6.  Employ a teaching staff that has the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development, and to support families’ diverse needs and interests.

7.  Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with each child’s family.

8.  Establish relationships with and use the resources of the community to support the achievement of program goals.

9.  Provide a safe and healthy physical environment.

10.  Implement strong personnel, fiscal, and program management policies so that all children, families, and staff have high-quality experiences.

 

Time to order your SYC T-Shirt

Posted on November 07, 2012 in category SYC Announce

It’s time for the SYC T-Shirt Sale. Please see the samples in the SYC office for colors and sizes. Orders are due by Friday, November 16th and will be ready before the holiday break in December. Feel free to pick up an order form in the office. We accept cash and checks.

How Does Playing Teach Children Literacy Skills?

Posted on November 05, 2012 in category Director's Blog

At SYC, we know that children are operating at their highest levels of interest and focus during free play.  This is why we say that children learn best through play.  In this newsletter, we are taking a look specifically at the development of literacy skills.  As you will see in the stories from our classrooms, you can see language and literacy skills being practiced even with young two-year-olds and throughout the day in all the classes.

Socio-dramatic play provides the perfect platform for fostering language and literacy development.  In dramatic play, children further their understanding of the concept that one thing can be two things at the same time: that  that you can play at being an adult while remaining a child.  This is a concept necessary for literacy development—knowing that a written or spoken word represents something else like an object or a person.  So dramatic play is really an important step in learning to read.  Children also learn new words and concepts from each other so as they play they are constantly strengthening verbal skills .

As teachers watch dramatic play unfold, we can see what the children are thinking about and what they are trying to understand.  Common themes are house, doctor, fire fighter, veterinarian and store as well as birth and death, injury, work, marriage, sex and all the parts of life of which children are becoming aware.  Dramatic play can reduce stress and provide comfort and reassurance.  Children can actually work through fears as they play act their way through scary or upsetting events.  So watching what kids play gives teachers important clues about what children need to know more about.

Teachers watching can make comments that extend the play such as “Do the puppies need someone to feed them?  Do they need a house?” or “Do you want me to write down the story of the puppies?”  So stories are written, lists for houses are created, conversation between friends and teachers is rich and interesting and new concepts and ideas are explored.

Halloween at SYC

Posted on October 31, 2012 in category SYC Announce

Halloween was my children’s favorite time of the year next to Christmas. They loved to dress up and they loved to eat candy. I struggled with trying to control their candy intake and finally gave up; they all lived and have good teeth. I came to accept that Matt was hyper until the candy was gone. I have been known to sneak into candy bags and make it disappear faster than it normally would. It was the one time of the year that I, NOT a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, would tackle a cat costume or a batman outfit and it would turn out looking enough like it was supposed to that my children would be pleased and love me! In fact, a few of these outfits are still in SYC dress-ups!
Not all preschoolers like Halloween, with its masks and witches and scariness. This is because young children have not yet learned to distinguish between reality and fantasy. These fears are normal for this age and what helps most is to talk about them. The talking helps children handle their fears and feel supported by adults when they listen. At school we talk about scary masks and costumes. Alice the puppet seems to have trouble every year with scary masks, so we use her to encourage the children to express their concerns.
For the children (and teachers!) who are ready for Halloween costumes, we enjoy dressing up. One year as I arrived at school there was a cow talking to the minister of the church Haunted houses, such as those sponsored by the Jaycees, are not for preschoolers. The scenes depicted are too graphic for young children. Save this experience for later years when fantasy-reality knowledge is more sophisticated. …Jan Waters, Director Emeritus