our developmental philosophy
Grace Covenant Child Development Center is a religiously affiliated Christian program. We teach children age-appropriate Christian principals such as what it means to pray, God created the world, and that Jesus is also God. The Child Development Center and Church work closely to create a community of support and resource for parents as well as the larger Richmond community. As a nonprofit organization, one hundred percent of your tuition goes towards staffing, facilities, programs, and supplies. We also provide need-based scholarships as well as in cases of hardship for current families.
Grace Covenant Child Development Center focuses on every child as an individual with unique methods of learning, communicating, and interacting with their environment. The program is designed to meet each child where they fall in the spectrum of development, considering that each child is unique in the way they grow and develop. We strive to balance regulatory requirements with a flexible, child and family-based environment that allows for each family's individual culture and values to hold a place in our program. We encourage parent participation in ways such as our open door policy, which allows parents to visit at their convenience without notice to observe their child. We focus heavily on engaging the children in the community through inter-generational programs, community outreach projects, and cross over functions with the larger Grace Covenant Church community.
Rather than "cookie cutter" learning experiences like flash cards and worksheets, we utilize a Montessori-inspired classroom system of free-play and choice-based learning centers. By integrating the lesson plans into the children's choice play, we foster a love of learning and hands on engagement. As children's ability level grows, so does the difficulty and structural level of the activities and materials available to them. One of our top priorities for our children is a high level of teacher-child interactions to help them learn to form attachments to caregivers and purposefully guide their play to a higher level of learning experience. Children are taught to explore, problem solve, resolve social conflicts, and regulate behavior independently through purposeful methods of interaction and guidance from teachers.
Children's development within the program is assessed using research based criteria set forth by the department of social services called the "Milestones of Development," which identifies milestones in all major areas of development such as social/emotional, physical, language and literacy, cognition, science and technology, social studies, the arts, and physical development. Kindergarten readiness is determined and prepared for in similar methods of implementation, but using the Virginia Department of Education's Foundation Blocks of Early Learning which extend the milestones into a readiness checklist for Kindergarten success.