Five Pillars

Based on theories and methods that have been researched since the inception of early childhood education and guidelines set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the programs at the ELC are centered around five main dimensions:

  • The child
  • The family
  • The teacher
  • The classroom
  • The curriculum

When these five elements work together, they create a cohesive and beneficial educational program that guides the child toward future success.  The ultimate goal of our programs is to provide a stimulating and safe environment for play that will have a lasting positive impact on the developmental process of the child for years to come.

The Importance of Parent and Family Involvement

Parents and families play a large part in the success of the child and they are encouraged to be active participants in all aspects of the educational program. Family members have the ability to:

  • bserve or participate in activities
  • Improve their own educational and parenting skills
  • Be frequently updated on their child’s progress

Inclusive Classrooms 

We believe all children should be included in the classroom and accommodations can be made for children with special needs. The ELC works with therapists from Child Development Watch and Christina School District to assist and monitor goals set in IEPs and IFSPs.

Child to Staff Ratios

NAEYC accreditation requires that we follow lower children to staff ratios.  Each of our classrooms are staffed by one teacher and one classroom assistant for the full day. In the event that a teacher or assistant is out for the full day or part of the day, an ELC substitute will fill in for the absent staff member. ELC substitutes are required to submit to the same background and health examinations as full-time teachers. Substitutes also complete an extensive orientation to familiarize them with the policies and procedures of the ELC.

Teachers and Children Develop Curriculum Together

Our programs emphasize close relationships between children and teachers so no child is left ignored or isolated. Their interests are incorporated into curriculum which foster their natural curiosity towards learning. Children are given a variety in their daily schedule and are able to make meaningful decisions in what they choose to engage in or create. Children in the older classrooms gain valuable readiness skills for school.


Our curricula are designed by highly-qualified teachers and are guided by specific goals and desired outcomes that are evaluated and re-designed if necessary. All of our classrooms are spacious and well-equipped with a variety of age-appropriate materials for:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Dramatic play
  • Sensory exploration
  • Fine Motor Play
  • Gross Motor Play
  • Cognitive Play