A Child’s Garden is a fully inclusive program that accepts children of all abilities, of all backgrounds and all socio-economic levels. The program is play-based, incorporating best early childhood practices and quality standards from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families. All children learn differently and at different rates.
Children are active learners, acquiring knowledge and learning through their daily experiences at home and in the classroom. Each child is an individual, with unique strengths, interests, personality and approach to learning. Early childhood learning emphasizes cooperative play in an atmosphere of acceptance and respect. The environment is sensitive to the child’s individual needs.
An atmosphere of mutual respect among staff and families is important for all who interact with children. When staff members recognize and value the beliefs, customs and traditions of each family, the entire community benefits. Staff members work as partners with families in planning and setting goals for their children.
ACG Inclusion Philosophy
ACG welcomes children and families of all backgrounds and abilities to the program. Children with identified special needs are included as much as possible with their typically developing peers in all activities. Identified special needs are defined as a developmental delay, a diagnosed condition, a social, emotional or behavioral concern, a medically defined allergic response, an extenuating family issue. ACG staff members collaborate with organizations and members of the community with training to address specific situations, including contracting with a social worker on a regular basis. As much as possible, children receive services on site, in order that staff members are aware of the identified skills and techniques most helpful for a child’s development. ACG staff members suggest referrals for developmental screenings when observations provides evidence that a child could benefit from specific developmental encouragement other than what is provided in an ACG classroom.
Children of all abilities learn from each other in a mutually beneficial experience.
ACG believes that all children deserve an opportunity to develop, learn and grow with their peers. Staff members utilize all possible resources in order to encourage children and their families to remain in the program with children of differing abilities. If, after careful consultation with staff, family and collaborating support services, the staff feels that ACG is not the best placement for an enrolled child, regardless of ability, the administration reserves the right to disenroll.
THE HOME - SCHOOL CONNECTION
Family Participation Much of the success of the program at ACG is a direct result of the high degree of family involvement and participation. Although we are not a parent co-operative, we count on a higher-than-average amount of support from our families for the success of our high quality early childhood program. The following information defines some of the ways your involvement and cooperation can help the organization.
The school staff work in cooperation and collaboration with families. Much of the success of the program at ACG is a direct result of the high degree of family involvement and participation. ACG believes that parents, caregivers and teachers are role models for the children. While on the premises of ACG, parents and caregivers are expected to act accordingly, which includes appropriate attire, language, and respectful communication with other parents and staff. The Administration reserves the right to restrict access to ACG to anyone whose conduct is deemed disrespectful of individuals and/or the property. Although we are not a parent co-operative, we count on a higher-than-average amount of support from our families for the success of our high quality early childhood program. Families are welcome to participate as they are able with no specific requirements or qualifications.
At the beginning of the school year the teacher will contact each family to set up a time for a brief (about one-half hour maximum) visit. Home visits are not mandatory but are beneficial for the teacher/child connection. It is simply a time for the teacher to begin to get to know the child in his/her home environment. The teacher(s) will visit with your child in order to assist the child to feel comfortable about coming (or returning) to school. (Please don’t feel that you need to engage in a flurry of housework in preparation.) Teachers may ask for a family snapshot that can be displayed in the classroom.
Open classrooms at ACG
There will be a designated time prior to the beginning of fall classes for children to spend some time in the classroom with a family member (ordinarily this is the immediate days prior to the official start of the school year). This is an opportunity to become familiar with the environment and the teacher(s). Families with children joining the class during the school year will be offered a similar opportunity.