Young children who experience the world as predictable and supportive develop strong emotional foundations essential for learning. The Educare model draws from a wide range of research-based practices that foster learning environments that support infants, toddlers and young children who are growing up in stressful, impoverished communities.
Research shows that vocabulary growth among children from low-income homes lags behind that of their middle-income peers. Without intentional intervention, this gap, which is evident at 18 months of age, only continues to widen.
Parents as Champions
Family involvement in their children’s development is central to an Educare School’s mission. Activities and interactions are aimed at strengthening parents’ abilities to serve as champions for their child’s learning after they leave Educare and enter primary and secondary schools.
At Educare Schools, teachers work with children – beginning in infancy and through preschool – and their parents to develop pre-literacy and early math skills such as letter and number recognition, problem solving, and counting. Equal emphasis is given to developing social-emotional skills: the ability to focus on a task, persistence, impulse control and cooperation with peers.
Full-time social workers and various consultants (e.g., speech pathologists, nurses, visiting artists) provide additional support to each family. Teachers and social workers regularly review and evaluate their success in helping children grow and learn, and adjust practices accordingly.
Continuity of Care
A unique component of the Educare model is the practice of continuity of care. Each child stays with the same team of teachers from birth to age 3. Children then move into a preschool classroom for students ages 3 to 5 with a different team of teachers. This continuity creates close bonds among children, teachers and parents, reinforcing the stable relationships essential to learning.