Our Young Children’s Community is carefully designed to serve children who are comfortably walking (approximately age fifteen months) to age three, in a small and intimate group of eight children and two trained staff persons. It has two program options, either half-day or full day, four days a week. The environment conforms to the physical and mental needs of the children, both in the size of the furnishings and in the opportunities for development. There is an observation window for adults, minimal furniture, tiled floors, lots of natural light, and selected art placed low on the walls. An adjacent bathroom has a toilet and sink sized for very small children. There is a toddler-sized kitchen sink and defined spaces to challenge coordination of movement, including an accessible outdoor fenced play space.
The YCC environment has three distinct areas:
The Movement area, which includes stairs and a platform, push carts, wall bars, as well as materials for eye-hand coordination such as threading, bead stringing, cubes on pegs, spheres on horizontal pegs, puzzles, gluing, folding, etc.
The Practical Life area includes materials necessary for preparing and serving a snack, setting and clearing the table, sweeping, caring for plants, dish washing, cloth washing, polishing, hand washing, window cleaning, flower arranging, and so on.
The Language area includes miniature objects, language nomenclature cards (parts of the body, family members, pets, components of the neighborhood, the school, and the home), books (fiction, poetry, nonfiction), spoken vocabulary enrichment exercises, and other activities including art and music experiences.