NathanSTAR 4 program is preparing Nathan for kindergarten

Food for thought: "Experts tell us that 90% of all brain development occurs by the age of five. If we don't begin thinking about education in the early years, our children are at risk of falling behind by the time they start Kindergarten (Robert L. Ehrlich)."

I believe that my three year-old son Nathan will be incredibly prepared for Kindergarten as a result of his attendance at the Early Learning Center (ELC), which is a Keystone STAR 4 program. Nathan started in their infant room when he was just 12 months old and since then he has been in the toddler room, three's room, and is currently enrolled in the preschool level one class. From day one, I felt as though he received quality child care and early education.

The teachers at ELC genuinely care about the children. They do an excellent job of keeping the parents up to speed on what the children are learning and how they are progressing in their room. When Nathan "graduated" from the toddler room right before he turned three years old, his teachers made a scrapbook for every child in their classroom. It was a wonderful way to recap his time in the toddler room and I was astonished at the time they spent to do that for each child. In addition, they do a lot of fun activities with the kids. Last summer, the three's room went on a field trip to a local dairy farm where they learned about everything from milking the cows to pasteurizing the milk. As a parent chaperone, I thought that this was an excellent trip. The kids had so much fun, and best of all it was educational. My son also really enjoys the "special days" that his teachers plan for the class (i.e., Zumba, holiday parties, etc). I know, without a doubt, that Nathan loves his teachers and they love him!

Developmentally speaking, I feel that my son, as a result of his attendance at the ELC, has a social and educational advantage over other children not enrolled at ELC or another like program. For example, Nathan does very well in social situations with his peers and I attribute that to the positive interactions he has with his classmates on a daily basis at the ELC. He is highly intelligent for his age as well. Nathan knows his ABC's, can count from 1-30, recites the Pledge of Allegiance, "reads" (recites) certain books with minimal error, knows his days of the week, and aside from these accomplishments, is very mature for his age; partially from the parenting my husband and I provide, partially from the ELC.

When I pick Nathan up from school, he doesn't want to go home. He would rather stay at school and work on projects and play with his friends. And that right there, coupled with the reasons above, is how you know you've selected a high quality early education center. I am very grateful for the director and staff of ELC.  

- Story written by Kelly H., Nathan's mother


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