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lHow are LifeWays early childhood programs unique? LifeWays North America draws from the indications of Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf education and modern formulations such as The Irreducible Needs of Children by Brazelton and Greenspan, which emphasize nurturing the child’s sense of trust and well-being through having the same caregivers throughout the early years (i.e., continuity of care). This relationship-based care takes family life as its model, so it complements your home life and provides an environment in which your child will flourish.
LifeWays programs recognize that human relationship and activity are the essential tools for all foundational skills for life. In infancy and early childhood, daily life experience is the “curriculum” through which your child experiences healthy life rhythms and routines. Beauty, comfort, security, and connection to the living world of nature form the basis for the “Living Arts:”
Domestic Arts--Children find joy in the practical and meaningful activities of daily life, laying a foundation for future academic skills, initiative and purpose.
Nurturing Arts--Your child will be nourished with natural foods, hair brushing, calming footbaths, daily outdoor time, and rest for full-day children.
Social Arts--Mixed-age groupings foster a secure relationship with the primary caregiver over time and provide the opportunity to be both a younger and older “sibling.”
Creative Arts--Imaginative play is enriched by storytelling, puppet shows, artistic activities, crafts, music and singing.
What programs are offered? Our mixed-age program offers the advantage, over time, of children being both one of the youngest and one of the oldest children. We provide a rich, creative program for the 3- to 4-year-olds with many of the activities of the Waldorf kindergarten, and we welcome toddlers. We are able to accept two children under age 2, providing a mixed-age family-style group ranging in age from 1-5 years. You can choose either half-day (8:30 am – 12:30 pm) or the three-quarter day program (8:30 am – 3:30 pm), or full-day (8:30 am – 5:30 pm) with 5-day, 4-day, 3-day and 2-day options. We provide organic nutritious snacks both mid-morning and after nap. Why do you have an outdoor focus? Research shows that children are spending less and less time outside. This affects them emotionally, psychologically, and there is now a condition known as nature deficit disorder. Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods”, describes the human cost of alienation from nature: “diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional illness. He also talks about how outdoor play reduces childhood obesity.” In the article “Preschool without Walls” by Lillian Mongeau states; “There is plenty of evidence that playing outside lowers the risk of obesity, improves balance and agility, calms high-energy children, reduces stress, improves self-regulation, aids healing and sooths the soul.” Also of concern is the fact that the less contact children have with nature, the less concern they will have for saving it. What are the program’s dates? Our program runs from the day after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day. A summer camp is offered in the summer. Where are you located, and how can I guarantee a space for my child? The program is in our home in North Longmont, conveniently located three blocks northwest of the intersection of Hover and Highway 66 at 9147 Fleetwood Avenue. The home is on a quiet street and has a wonderful backyard with grass, natural bushy areas, and a large deck. It has a half acre of outdoor play-space with a gazebo dedicated to the children. Signing the contract and paying the nonrefundable Deposit/Supplies Fee assures your child’s place in the program. We often do a home visit before or after the beginning of the school year. Are you licensed? We are a fully licensed, “large family child care home,” able to care for a maximum of 10 children with two children under the age of 2. We are currently limiting our number of children per day to 8. What does the “Materials and Equipment Fee” pay for? This annual fee covers capital outlay for equipment (indoor and outdoor play equipment, nap mats, etc.), as well as “perishable” materials, such as food, activity materials, cleaning supplies, and so forth. As such, it is the same for children of all ages, and increases with the number of days your child attends (see the “Tuition” page). It serves as a nonrefundable deposit to hold your child’s place and is converted into the fee when the program starts. The amount will be prorated if your child enters later in the year. What are the teachers’ qualifications? Ginger is the lead teacher and is both Waldorf and LifeWays teacher certified. She also is both teacher and director certified with the state of Colorado, and holds her Masters’ degree in Education with a focus in Early Childhood. Deborah has worked for 20 years as a Director of Education, working with children in pre/k and elementary school. All teachers are trained in CPR, First Aid, Universal Precautions, Medication Administration, Child Abuse Reporting, and receive, at a minimum, 15 hours of continuing education per year, as required by licensing. Do you offer parent education? We foster the creation of community among our families and offer support and education for parents through parent evenings, seasonal celebrations, and conferences. We would be happy to facilitate parent discussion groups or provide additional resources as requested by parents.