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What is a Learning Center & How Does it Differ from Childcare?

While there’s no legal difference between an Early Learning Center and a Daycare or Childcare, there is a wide range of differences in how programs differ in terms of the learning approach. Some Learning Centers may, in fact, provide little educational curriculum, and vice versa. 

NCA’s Earling Learning Center and Preschool, however, is very intentional about age-appropriate preparation and training. 

Each classroom is designed around learning centers that allow the children to learn in different ways. We have developmentally appropriate centers in our classrooms that are created with a purpose. We believe that children learn through play and playing is learning! 

Northshore Christian Academy Preschool & Toddler Learning Program 

Block Area

Blocks encourage the development of creative thinking as children work with different sizes and shapes to build. This is beneficial for social-emotional development as children learn through team-work and solving problems they are presented with. 

Library Area

Early Literacy is encouraged through the whole Early Learning Center as age-appropriate books are available to children in every class. During free-play and quiet time, children are encouraged to read stories by themselves, with a friend or with a teacher. This promotes reading skills, comprehension, hand-eye coordination, social and emotional skills, problem-solving skills, the power of choice, etc.  Toddlers have board books with many pictures. Preschool and Pre-K classes offer many levels up to first leveled-readers.

Dramatic Play Area

This is a place where children learn how to play cooperatively with other peers. children can play different roles and jobs, and they can experience somebody they want to be. It’s a “must-have” area to have in early learning classrooms where children’s imagination becomes real through play. It helps children’s social and emotional development.  

Sensory Area

Early childhood age children learn greatly through their 5 senses. Touching, seeing, smelling, hearing and tasting are directly connected to their brain development. For example, touching and feeling different textures of sensory material (such as sand, kinetic sand, beans, oats, rice, pom-poms of different size and colors, etc.) are a great source of brain development as well as great tools for emotional development that brings soothing and calming effect for anxiety. The benefit of sensory play is beyond what we can explain in words for early childhood learners. 

Circle Area: The Circle Area is designed for group learning, where children can have opportunities for social interactions with teachers and other children. Through circle time, children may develop improvement of academic learning listening skills, socialization, self-control, self-regulation, and social-emotional skills

Arts, Crafts, Math and Writing Area 

In our ELC, tables are used for different learning purposes such as arts, crafts, math manipulatives, writing, etc. These areas are designed for both teacher-led and child-initiated individual learnings. These opportunities bring broad ranges of learning advantages to support children’s fine motor skills, brain development through creative thinking and hand-eye coordination, number senses, problem-solving skills, self-regulation, self-efficiency, self- organization skills, academic preparedness, etc. 

Raising The Bar In Preschool Education

Northshore Christian Academy was recently named one of the top 50 private schools for academic excellence in the United States by the U.S. Department of Education. (Mic drop). Learn more about that here

For more information pre-school programs visit our Early Learning Center page

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