Early Learning Children’s Community (Early LCC) at Lansing Community College provides high quality early education and child care for the children (six weeks to kindergarten) of LCC students, staff and the community. Additionally, Early LCC provides field experiences with children for students in many LCC programs.
The center, is licensed by the state of Michigan, accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and has received a four star rating from Great Start to Quality, Michigan's Quality Rating and improvement system.
Early LCC's curriculum for infants and toddlers is based on the Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers. Our preschool program is based on the Reggio Emilia Approach / Project Approach to early childhood education. Our programs are play-based because we believe children learn by doing.
In the Early LCC Infant classroom, relationships are of utmost importance. In our small group of eight infants, each primary caregiver has four children. The primary caregiver develops a close, caring, responsive relationship with your infant.
In our program, the approach focuses on the recognition that a curriculum must be based on both care and education, those being one and the same for toddlers. Promoting children's secure attachment relationships with caregivers and families through primary care-giving with a consistent adult is given the highest priority.
Children experience a variety of meaningful activities within a play-based, child-centered environment. Activities emerge from children's interests and abilities and allow for exploration and freedom of creative expression.
Early LCC's curriculum for infants and toddlers is based on the Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers. Our preschool program is based on the Reggio Emilia Approach / Project Approach to early childhood education. Our programs are play-based because we believe children learn by doing. The curriculum is carefully designed by LCC's Child Development and Early Education Program to provide engaging, developmentally appropriate activities that encourage children to be confident, competent learnersThe Reggio Approach to early education inspires the curriculum at Early LCC. This approach was developed in Reggio Emilia, Italy and views education as a partnership between child, teacher and family. Learning is constructed by the child in interaction with peers, the teacher and the environment. Learning occurs in small groups and focuses on developing an in-depth and integrated study of a topic of interest to the children. The model views children as capable, strong and able to direct their own learning. Discovery and investigation are central to the approach. Learning is facilitated by the teacher, who observes children, documents their learning process and provides opportunities for continual exploration. Children represent their learning through any of their "hundred languages", including writing, drawing, 3 dimensional models, music and others.
In addition to the Reggio Emilia approach, Early LCC is philosophically aligned with The Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) approach, focusing on relationship-based care. We incorporate aspects of primary care, continuity of care, small group size, individualized care, cultural responsiveness, and the inclusion of children with special needs. We know that much of what infants and toddlers learn comes from caregivers that notice natural learning opportunities. Caregiving routines such as eating, diapering, toileting, washing, and napping are important learning opportunities where children learn about independence, and feeling competent and capable. Through play, children actively explore the environment and the materials within the environment. The teacher observes, documents, and shares the children’s skills, interests, and discoveries with the families.
LCC Student Involvement
Early Learning Childrens Community (ELCC) is an academic setting for LCC students who plan to work with children. In addition to the three classroom teachers, supervised Child Development students participate in the classroom daily. This enhances the program as additional adults support the staff in meeting the needs of the children. Observation booths allow other students opportunities to learn about children without disrupting the classroom-learning environment.
It is through this sense of community among Early LCC staff, students, children and families that we are able to create the most positive early learning experience for young children.
In the Early LCC Infant classroom, relationships are of utmost importance. In our small group of eight infants, each primary caregiver has four children. The primary caregiver develops a close, caring, responsive relationship with your infant. Your primary caregivers meets your infant's routine needs for toileting, eating, and sleeping, and communicates with you on a daily basis. Since we see the family as the most knowledgeable about their child, we work closely with you so that your infant's day meshes with home life as much as possible. A part-time Afternoon Teacher provides consistent coverage for the primary teachers' breaks and planning time throughout the week.
An infant is curious and examines all that is seen as the infant works to understand the world. Caregivers create an individualized curriculum in a safe and interesting environment to enhance the infant's natural curiosity, allowing the infant to discover, investigate and learn about the world. Engaging your infant in language play, responding to non-verbal cues and encouraging socialization with other infants and adults helps your infant learn to communicate.
Early LCC realizes the importance of outdoor experiences and has an area outdoors for infants to enjoy and explore nature. We go outdoors daily, weather permitting.
Toddlers learn best in the context of relationships within small groups. In our program, the approach focuses on the recognition that a curriculum must be based on both care and education, those being one and the same for toddlers. Promoting children's secure attachment relationships with caregivers and families through primary care-giving with a consistent adult is given the highest priority. Our curriculum centers on connections and relationships where adults respect and respond to children's cues and interests. The caregiver/teacher will get to know the children and families well so that experiences enhance and blend with home life. The small group size of 12 toddlers with three primary caregivers/teachers and a part-time Afternoon Teacher to cover breaks and planning allows this to happen.
The Early LCC Preschool classrooms serve children ages 3-5, with 16 in each classroom. Children experience a variety of meaningful activities within a play-based, child-centered environment. Activities emerge from children's interests and abilities and allow for exploration and freedom of creative expression. They may be involved in long term projects based on the interests of individuals or the group.
Children are encouraged to investigate, problem solve, work together and direct their own learning with the help of their teachers. Using a variety of materials in the Studio, the children have the opportunity to represent what they are learning and to share their learning with others. These unique aspects of Early LCC's curriculum are a result of study by the staff in the Reggio Emilia Approach to learning.
Developing partnerships with families allows us to work closely with you as we plan learning experiences based on your child's interests. Many opportunities are available for you to become involved in your child's program.
Your preschooler's social, emotional, physical, creative and intellectual needs are met as they establish positive relationships with adults who plan learning activities based on their needs and development. Your child benefits from interactions with these adults and other children to develop a positive sense of self and an awareness and appreciation of individual characteristics.
Well-defined activity areas in each classroom include pretend play, blocks, books, writing, math, science, small construction toys, creative art, and music allowing your child to learn through play. Breakfast, snacks, lunch and rest time ensure that their physical needs are met. Our outdoor area will be nature-based and include areas for exploration, investigation and discovery. Community-based field trips are an important part of expanding your child's increasing interest in their world.