At Begin With Us, we respect and build positive relationships and the development of friendships between practitioners/teachers and children.  We play together and learn from each other.

Practitioners/Teachers model and foster children’s emotional well-being by demonstrating respect for children, by listening to and responding to them, and by creating a positive emotional environment as reflected in behaviors, such as frequent social conversations, joint laughter, and affection.  We express warmth through behaviors, such as physical affection, eye contact, tone of voice, and smiles.  We are consistent and predictable in our physical and emotional care of all children.

We support and recognize children’s work, accomplishments, and contributions to the group.  Practitioners/Teachers function as security for the children by creating a predictable, consistent, and harmonious classroom and building relations with every child in the program.

We believe in a positive approach to discipline.  Re-direction to another activity is used the majority of the time.  Emphasis is placed on positive reinforcement to lead the children to make choices toward their own self-discipline.

The children’s expressions of feelings (e.g. crying, laughing, angry storming, sadness, etc.) are not only tolerated but encouraged by a respectful, listening attitude on the part of the practitioners/teachers who will attempt to help the children clarify these emotions through reflection.  We encourage children to “say their words”, identify their feelings, and describe the problem to resolve conflict instead of hitting, biting, or pushing.

Children are encouraged to listen to one another and to provide comfort to each other when a friend is sad or distressed.  We promptly respond in developmentally appropriate ways to emotions and feelings of children by providing comfort, support, and assistance.  Practitioners/Teachers may change their responses based upon individual needs, such as different abilities, temperaments, activity levels, and the cognitive and social development of the children.

Limits and rules are necessary to protect the safety of each child.  They are enforced in a firm, but positive manner.  Practitioners/Teachers try to avoid conflicts between children by listening, watching, and assessing situations carefully so they can step in early to avoid bullying, teasing, rejecting, or hurting another child.

We also use praise and attention wisely to encourage cooperation, negotiation of shared materials, care of the classroom, and helpfulness.  We engage in meaningful and extended conversations with each child to clarify acceptable behaviors.

The Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten general classroom rules are as follows:

  1. We use our words.
  2. We walk inside.
  3. We take turns.
  4. We are kind to our friends.
  5. We use our manners.

However, children are provided the opportunity to participate in decision making about classroom rules, plans, and activities.

Time-out is only used in circumstances when a child is disruptive to the total learning environment.

We NEVER use physical discipline.  We never use threats or derogatory remarks.  Other forms of discipline such as shouting, shaming, or withholding food are NEVER used.

Practitioners/Teachers give one-on-one attention to infants when engaging in care-giving routines and adjust their interactions to engage in frequent face-to-face social interactions each day. These include both verbal behaviors (e.g., talking, cooing, repeating infant sounds, singing) and nonverbal behaviors (e.g., smiling, touching, holding).  We are sensitive to various signals and learn to read infants’ and toddlers’ cries or other signs of distress by quickly responding and providing physical comfort and needed care. We facilitate appropriate social interactions when an infant is interested in looking at, touching, or vocalizing to others.

We always make time to talk with parents about their child’s day!

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