The PMFS Early Childhood program welcomes children into classrooms designed to spark creativity, imagination, and the joy of investigation. Through both free and intentional play experiences, EC students at PMFS are hard at work doing what comes naturally: following their curiosity, examining everything they come in contact with, and processing the world around them. We live in a world rich with sights, sounds, textures, smells, and tastes. Our program supports children in noticing all these elements, and dedicated teachers work with them as they grow in understanding what to do with this information.
Our youngest students make great strides in cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development through collaborative and independent activities. Students rejoice in developing self-help skills, feeling a sense of accomplishment as they learn to take care of themselves while also becoming stewards of their community””both their friends and school spaces. Observation and guided explorations of the indoor and outdoor spaces are the foundations of mathematics, writing, language and literacy development. PMFS EC students are taught with Dr. Arnold Gesell’s understanding that “the mind of [humans] is hand-made”; through inquiry and hands-on experience, vital connections are built that lead to understanding and resourcefulness.
The benefits of an early childhood program being situated in an elementary school are many. The PMFS Early Childhood program is nestled into the lower campus alongside Kindergarten and has a dedicated play space and garden where students can experience their school world in an intimate and familiar setting. Both years of the Early Childhood program at PMFS allow students to have collaborative mixed age experiences as well as developmentally appropriate classroom time. In addition, our youngest students see themselves as part of the continuum of students, participating in many events alongside their older peers; they form cross-grade relationships with upper grade students through music and literature activities as well as shared outdoor playtime. Students have daily enrichment classes to enhance their experience, including Gym, Spanish, Science, Music, and Library taught by specialist teachers.
Early Childhood Program at PMFS
- A child must be three years old by September 15 of the year they enter the Caterpillars classroom.
- A child must be at least four years old by September 15 of the year they enter the Butterflies classroom.
- All children must be toilet-trained. This is a developmental milestone that is an important sign of school readiness.
- Each class has two full-time teachers.
- Caterpillars, 3-4 year olds: up to 14 students
- Butterflies, 4-5 year olds: up to 16 students
- The EC school day runs 8:15 – 3:15 pm. (Before school care begins at 7:30 am and is free for all students. Students may choose to attend the after-school Extended Day program until 6:00 pm, available for an additional fee.)
- A half day in EC runs 8:15 – 11:45 am.
- The Early Childhood program follows the PMFS school calendar, September – June.