October 23, 2012 - Child care has made great strides over the years, going from a basic day care setting to adding more sophisticated educational programming. Children of America Educational Childcare & Academy (COA) is one organization that is ahead of the curve with a new curriculum that helps prepare young children for school, while offering further educational assistance for children already attending elementary.
"Children of America offers a proprietary curriculum preparing children as young as 6 weeks for higher learning," said Thad Pryor, CEO and founder of Children of America. "Children are active learners and itâ€™s important that we educate the whole child. We help facilitate their growth with activities that build them up socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively."
Early childhood education is one of the first steps parents can take to get their child ready for school. It has been shown that children who participate in early childhood education programs do better with school-readiness tests and are better prepared with basic reading, math and social skills.
Some early education teaching styles date back to the early 1900s and are still used today, including the Montessori Method, Reggio Emilia approach, play-based learning and direct instruction. Educational approaches have evolved through the years to give young children early learning experiences that will benefit them throughout life.
Children of America has introduced a variety of innovative teaching methods including Tray Tasking. This system uses learning materials and trays to help children build an understanding of top-to-bottom and left-to-right directions, while developing organizational, logical and critical-thinking skills. The system leads children to building reading, writing and comprehension skills.
COA staffers understand that children are active learners. The company's approach to early childhood education includes teaching through activities. The philosophy is based on standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
According to Pryor, "for children to be successful in school, classrooms must have distinct learning environments that are naturalistic, informal and structured."
"Children of America's classrooms have all three," he said. "Because our teachers let children figure things out for themselves, our students develop strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills."
Central to the Children of America curriculum is its Mind & Body Matters program. The initiative provides three distinct programs that encourage a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and fitness and emphasize the importance of continuing to learn outside of the classroom.
"These programs underscore the importance of helping children develop a love of reading, healthy eating habits and a respect for physical fitness," Pryor said.
Founded in 1999, Florida-based Children of America is a leading provider of high-quality child care and after-school programs. With about 1,500 employees, the firm operates more than 50 schools in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. With the opening of an additional 10 schools in 2012, the company will add about 350 new employees. An industry pioneer, Children of America's programs are developed to accommodate key age ranges and include innovative teaching methods such as "Tray Tasking," a learning tool proven to promote early reading and writing skills. Children of America is a subsidiary of World Wide Child Care Corp.