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At Roosevelt Island Day Nursery, we believe children are born competent and curious, and that school is a place where children grow emotionally, socially and intellectually in a warm and supportive environment.

In planning our programs, teachers are guided by their knowledge of child development, which provides a strong foundation for an engaging and nurturing context in which children’s learning can be supported. At the core of our beliefs is the importance of play in supporting children’s healthy, overall development. It is through play that children learn to make sense and gain mastery of the world around them. Play provides opportunities for discovery and exploration and concrete hands-on experiences with engaging materials such as blocks, drawing materials, paint, collage, clay and sensory materials such as sand, water, and cooking projects, which are at the core of our curriculum.

The classroom is a place where children can explore and interact both with the environment of materials, and in relation to others through active play and investigation. Classrooms are designed to allow children to make their own choices and explore activities at their own pace. A deep respect for children’s ideas and questions are at the heart of a child’s school experience.

Children grow in competence and in the ability to apply their learning to new situations and learn to be creative and inventive problem solvers. Much of the current research on early learning shows that young children learn best through play-based educational experiences. Children are exposed to the foundations of pre-literacy, mathematical concepts, science and social studies through a developmentally-appropriate program that nurtures children’s ideas and innate creativity through direct experiences, with physical materials including sand, water, paint and clay!

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