Childswork Learning Center is a non-profit early childhood education school located in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Since 1984, our school has served a diverse population of children and families, focusing on the development of the whole child with respect and compassion.
Childswork is a safe place for children to explore, take chances, make messes and learn through play. At Childswork we nurture wonder, we embrace joy, and we foster discovery.
Mission & Philosophy
Childswork Learning Center is a community dedicated to excellence in developmentally appropriate early childhood education, where each child and family is respected in an environment that supports lifelong learners.
Play is a child’s work. Play is a child’s response to life. It is the way children discover themselves and the world around them.
Our Core Values:
- We appreciate childhood as a unique and valuable stage of human development.
- We believe in aligning curriculum and practices with current child development research.
- We value and support the bond between the child and family.
- We recognize that children are best understood and supported in the context of family, culture, community and society.
- We respect the dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual.
- We embrace diversity in children, families and colleagues.
- We believe that children and adults achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on trust and respect.
- We recognize all members of the community as lifelong learners.
- We engage in direct dialogue and problem solving in our community.
Our curriculum is a natural extension of our community’s view of children. We view children as unique and competent learners, capable of investigation and problem solving. As such, we provide a play-based, developmentally appropriate environment in which we build an emergent and constructivist curriculum with our students.
In an emergent curriculum, investigation topics “emerge” from our students. We observe children in order to identify interests and select topics as a class. In supported small and large group settings, we explore concepts in a hands-on manner. Our investigations are shaped by the students’ decision making; children truly learn how to learn.
Our teachers use their strong knowledge of child development to support children’s learning and play. Teachers observe and structure the environment to encourage wonder, discovery and meaningful learning.
Childswork’s curriculum was also founded on the inspirational work of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and Reggio Emilia. Their influence is still alive and well in our classrooms today.
Childswork adheres to the Oregon Early Childhood Foundations (PDF), which are woven into our curriculum.
Parent-Child Twos Class
The Parent-Child Twos class is a gentle introduction to the routines of preschool with the reassurance of a parent close by. The two-hour class is structured to include playtime with parents and other children, snack time, story time, choice time and circle time. During part of the class parents gather in one area of the room to discuss parenting issues and challenges with a positive support group. Each class will have a Parent Coach to lead discussions with the adults and a Toddler Teacher to work with the children. There will be a maximum of 10 children/parents in the class. To register, please fill out the Parent-Child Registration form.
2.7 - 3 Year Old Classes (children who turn 3 by December 31st)
What a wonderful beginning to your child’s preschool experience! This class for our young learners has a ratio of 6:1 with two teachers. Our play-based philosophy is balanced with introducing children to some of the routines of a typical school day with circle time, choice time, snack time and outdoor time. This class supports the transition from parallel to beginning cooperative play. Self-help skills are taught as the children learn how to become more independent. This class is available MWF or TTH.
3 Year Old Classes
Our three year old class provides a fabulous opportunity for children to explore, investigate and create. The world is a big adventure at this age. Our teachers follow their student’s lead in developing a curriculum that embraces their needs and interests. This class also guides children with their social-emotional development and helps lay a foundation for success. This class has a ratio of 8:1 with two teachers. This class is available MWF or TTH
4-5 Year Old Classes
In this age group there is a greater ability for children to work together, to create a community and to cooperate. These skills are incorporated into our emergent curriculum as we work on projects together that meet their interests. At this age literacy and numeracy are also woven into the play-based curriculum as a means, not an ends to achieving their goals. Social-emotional development and conflict resolution skills are essential at this stage, especially as children are developing new skills for group interaction. This class has a ratio of 9:1 with two teachers. Classes are offered three, four or five days a week.
Mixed-age interaction among young children can offer a variety of developmental benefits to all participants. Blended-age groups can have unique benefits, facilitating and enriching children's development. Just as with our other groups, our emergent curriculum guides our daily exploration. Our mixed age classes are offered two, three, four and five days a week with a ratio of 8:1 or 9:1, depending on the mix of students, and two teachers.