The philosophy of the CDL program is to foster development in children that will enable them to take an active part in society, and to support children’s growth emotionally, socially, creatively, intellectually and physically. We firmly believe that children learn through play-based experiences that are meaningful and relevant to their lives. With this in mind, we adhere to several underlying principles of development that guide our thinking and the implementation of this program. Based on the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, we believe that every child is unique and has his or her own temperament and learning style. The child brings this uniqueness into each new experience and takes an active role in the process of learning through their engagement in these experiences. Children interact with peers, teachers, materials and the environment and relate each new piece of information to their already existing view of the world. These relationships are the basis of learning and as children explore and discover more about the world, these relationships become more refined and sophisticated.

It is our belief that the construction of relationships in the child’s mind is a prerequisite to the more complex skills of reading, writing and mathematical reasoning. Thus, we believe that giving children a wide variety of opportunities to actively explore, manipulate, question, and discover can best facilitate cognitive development. When you look into our classrooms you will see children engaging in play experiences designed to support social skills, emotional health, and cognitive and physical growth.

Intellectual competence is only one of our missions. We strive to promote optimal development in all aspects of a child’s life. Of primary concern is our desire to help each child develop a healthy self-concept, confidence, curiosity, and motivation to learn, as well as the ability to establish cooperative relationships with other children and adults. We believe that the child’s social and emotional development is primary because all aspects of learning hinge on emotional well-being. Exploring, discovering, and interacting in one’s social world is just as critical to the learning process as is exploring the physical environment. To this end we strive to establish relationships with children and families that are characterized by cooperation, mutual trust, affection, and respect for others’ autonomy.

The following goals and outcomes that the CDL has for each child and their families:

  • To support the expansion of trusting relationships to peers and adults beyond the family.
  • To promote the development of autonomy and a healthy self-concept.
  • To participate in an inquiry-based environment that facilitates the intellectual, physical, creative and social/emotional development of children.
  • To facilitate the increasing development of accepted avenues for expressing and managing excitement, fear, anger, affection and frustration.
  • To foster the growth of cooperative interactions in work and play.
  • To guide interpersonal problem-solving skills.
  • To nurture and maintain each child’s wonder and exploration of the environment and the capacity for choice and initiative.
  • To enhance a subjective sense of mastery and the power to make an impact on one’s environment.
  • To facilitate the development of language and communication skills and a growing awareness of how symbols can be used for personal and interpersonal communication.
  • To collaborate with families, teachers and the community to meet the unique needs of each child.