Select Page


School and Child Care Philosophy Overview

HappiFamli, Senior School and Child Care Correspondents

October 4, 2019

Once you see the amount of options for preschool and childcare options available, you may want to determine what type of school is best for your child based on your priorities for your children.  Below is a high-level overview of the types of educational philosophies included.

  • Cooperative:
    • Parents who know their own children’s needs can best guide a preschool toward excellence and integrate home and preschool life through significant, required parent participation in the preschool
    • Can follow any preschool philosophy or a combination
  • Emergent:
    • This philosophy prioritizes active participation, relationship building, flexible and adaptable methods, inquiry, and play-based learning. 
    • Curriculum is child-initiated, collaborative and responsive to the children’s needs.
  • International:
    • Most are dual-language programs.
    • Focus on development of critical thinking skills.
    • Can follow any preschool philosophy or a combination
  • Language Immersion:
    • All or most of classes are conducted entirely in the new language.  
    • Can follow any preschool philosophy or a combination
  • Montessori
    • Based on underlying idea that children are individual learners with teachers as guides.
    • Fosters personal responsibility by encouraging children to take care of their own personal needs & belongings.
    • It stresses the importance of adapting the child’s learning environment to his or her developmental level, and of the role of physical activity in absorbing academic concepts & practical skills
  • Reggio Emilia
    • Based on several principles:
      • Children must have some control over the direction of their learning
      • Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing 
      • Children have endless ways & opportunities to express themselves
    • Emergent curriculum content and activities developed collaboratively by teachers and children 
    • Children expected to learn through mistakes as they are considered equal learners
    • Emphasizes creativity & artistic representation
  • Waldorf
    • In the Waldorf method, learning is interdisciplinary, integrates practical, artistic, and intellectual elements, and is coordinated with “natural rhythms of everyday life.” 
    • Goal of system is to develop the child emotionally and physically as well as intellectually
    • Emphasizes creative learning
  • Play-Based:
    • Primary principle is to promote participation in age-appropriate activities 
    • Children can develop full complement of cognitive, social, emotional & physical skills best when most of the day involves free play with material that can be used individually or by small groups.