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Philosophy

Montclair Community Play Center runs a Bridge K Program that is focused on play-based curriculum, social-emotional development, and school-readiness.  

Play-Based Curriculum

We believe that learning happens for children through play – it is how they make order of the world and absorb concepts.  The children have a great deal of choice at MCPC in what they play.  This allows them to gain mastery of themselves, which is a key element in kindergarten readiness.   The skilled teachers at MCPC follow the children’s lead and interests and develop curriculum to meet those interests on a daily and weekly basis.

Social Emotional Development and Social Skills

Our program emphasizes social skills and emotional regulation.  We want children interacting and learning to get along with their peers.  We actively teach conflict resolution, problems solving skills, and emotional literacy through everyday opportunities.   

We utilize an anti-bias curriculum, with an appreciation for diversity.  We talk about differences and similarities, and present curriculum units that help children to understand the world we live in.   MCPC’s discipline policy relies on positive reinforcement and redirection.  We give children clear limits.  We believe that children need understanding and guidance when they are learning to handle limits and manage emotions. When children are in conflict with another child, we work with them to develop conflict resolution skills.

Kindergarten Readiness

The MCPC Bridge K program creates an intentional balance between free-play and more structured activities. While we feel that children at this age do best when they have choices to play actively outdoors, run, jump, swing, and enjoy imaginary play, we also feel that children at this age need to begin building the skills that will help them be successful kindergarteners.  Our curriculum includes planful art activities, “centers,” and circle-time activities that help children build self-regulation, attention, and pre-academic skills.

You can learn more about research that supports our belief that play-based early education is good for children in this article (in pdf format) put out by Alliance for Childhood.