At Children's Garden we are dedicated to nurturing and educating young children in a challenging, stimulating environment. Developmentally appropriate programs and a staff of dedicated teachers ensure a positive learning experience for your child.


So what are some of the ways that we can foster this emotional intelligence in our children? One of the first steps is choosing quality childcare and pre-school environments. Ones that emphasize socio-moral development, use non-punitive methods of guidance and give plenty of opportunities for children to experiment, interact and explore, within a safe and loving environment. It may seem counter-intuitive but trying to force children into a classically academic, “ABC’s” and “123’s” environment before they are ready can actually inhibit their development. Until the age of six or seven children are in what Piaget referred to as the sensorimotor and then preoperational stages of cognitive development. This means they learn through their senses and the manipulation of materials, and form ideas based on perceptions. They can only focus on one variable at a time and often will over generalize based on limited experience.

Children in this age group need large blocks of time for uninterrupted free play, and many open-ended activities such as blocks, Legos and other forms of construction; dramatic play, and a variety of sensory and art activities. They need open-ended questions and plenty of time to answer. These activities support children’s cognitive development because they ask them to think. Instead of putting children in the position of being right or wrong, they put them in the position of inquiry, of finding what the possibilities are. They also need plenty of real world experiences to build the foundation for later construction of knowledge. It has been shown that the more children have exposure to a variety of different real world experiences, the more easily they learn to read later.

Unfortunately the trend in America’s schools is to force the elementary educational model onto younger and younger children. There are kindergarten programs that are forsaking playground and recess times to spend more time drilling children on the alphabet. This is happening despite the research showing that this unequivocally does not improve later school performance. It is important that we are advocates for children and educate others about the importance of play in healthy development.

At Children’s Garden Learning Center we plan activities that encourage cooperation, experimentation, and communication among children. We do not force children to operate as a large group for long periods of time. Instead we encourage children to let their curiosity and initiative drive them to make choices from a variety of classroom activities. Our teachers act as guides for these explorations, and investigators alongside the children. Our Emergent Curriculum speaks to the children’s individual interests and allows learning within a meaningful context. The children in our centers learn to negotiate, solve problems, and construct their own code of ethics; thereby learning true compassion and developing intrinsically motivated empathy.

Parents who choose such developmentally appropriate environments for their children give them a much greater gift than any phonics lesson can. Combine this with stability, interaction, communication, and love, within the context of firm boundaries, and their children will have the foundations to successful future learning.


We base our curriculum, planning and activities on these three things:

1. Knowledge of the stages that all children go through and recognition of where each child is developmentally within these stages.
2. Identifying individual children’s strengths, interests and needs.
3. Knowledge of the social and cultural context of the children. This requires healthy, on-going relationships with the parents and family of the child. Let us get to know you! We want you to look around your child’s classroom, know what your child is doing, ask questions, talk with the teachers, exchange information, follow through with ideas from the center at home, stay involved. Share your culture, traditions and areas of expertise with the children and teachers!


Prominent research-based studies have substantiated that one of the greatest indicators of school-age success is emotional intelligence. Self-awareness is the foundation for what experts are now referring to as emotional intelligence – “how well we manage ourselves and how well we get along with others.”

Consider the kindergartner who has a genius level IQ, but screams and yells every time another child comes near her toys, or withdraws and sulks when it is not his turn. Compare this to the child with an average IQ who knows how to negotiate, compromise, and interact with a variety of different personalities. Now predict which one will be more successful in school and ultimately in life. All of the intellectual intelligence in the world will not take a child far if he lacks social skills, curiosity, and a drive to succeed. The best indicators of later school competence and life long happiness are:

• Ability to make friends
• Getting along with peers
• Communicating well
• Respecting the rights of others
• Relating to others without being too overbearing or too submissive
• Able to give and receive support
• Treating others as one would like to be treated


Our Infant Program is designed to be a “nest” for young children — a completely safe space in which they may freely explore their environment. Our classrooms are rich in toys and materials that encourage exploration using all of their senses. The children interact with one another and develop their natural sense of independence and curiosity with the support of a nurturing consistent caregiver trained in child development. With special attention paid to each child’s individual development/growth? we are able to encourage and support their “advancement” to the next skill level. Whether that be holding their head up in interest or cheering them on when they’re taking their first steps.

We have two infant classrooms, our Infant I classroom is for non-mobile infants and Infant II classroom for mobile infants mastering crawling and cruising. The separate classrooms maximize the infants’ safety while providing open areas for movement.

By providing small classroom sizes teachers are enabled to follow each child’s individual feeding and sleeping cycle and provide routine care and nurturing supervision according to each child’s needs.


The toddler classroom is a busy place, bustling with engaging activity. The children learn by exploring the carefully chosen materials and the well-prepared environment. Children may choose to explore materials for art, sensory, building, reading, and pretend play during our “open centers” time. Our teachers serve as facilitators and guides in the classroom to assist the child in mastering their area of concentration. This can be introducing more materials in the block area to expand the children’s imagination or giving a child space to experience the painting easel for a longer period of time as they realize mixing colors creates new colors. Our teachers understand the importance of taking advantage of the “a-ha” moments and encourage them as much as possible.

Children’s Garden’s educational process begins in the one-year-old classroom. The first three years of life are arguably the most important for language and cognitive development. To support and encourage this growth, it is important that your child feel safe and cared for at school. Our teachers set attainable goals and expect the unexpected, even the occasional tantrum. Through it all, they are patient and loving with every child.

Toddlers have unique needs, so we have developed a program specific to their requirements. Since many children’s first school experience is in our toddler program, group settings are unfamiliar to them. We help them adjust to the school environment and introduce them to sharing, potty training, following instructions and a consistent schedule.

Weekly lesson plans in the toddler room are filled with age-appropriate, sensory-centered activities. From playing with “Clean Mud” and fingerpaint to singing, clapping and jumping to their favorite songs, simple “playing” is turned into genuine learning. As the teachers encourage the children to explore and learn, they build self confidence which leads to academic success.
This group of children will often be presented with activities that utilize movement, sound, touch, and lots of conversation and interaction with a teacher.

Children in the 2 year old classroom will be involved in activities which teach the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, etc. in a less structured environment. Children 2 or more years away from Kindergarten are learning to interact with groups of children, learning to control their bodies and practicing the skills necessary to interact with peers using language to communicate their needs and desires.

The 2 year old program is a fun, supportive introduction to school. Learning is drawn from various art experiences, cooking, music, dramatic play and games. Language development and socialization are the primary focus during this first formal year of schooling. All of this takes place in an environment where children feel safe and secure.


The preschoolers are building self-esteem while learning to control their body movement (large and fine muscle control) within their own space. They are also acquiring the ability to control their emotions within a group setting.

We believe that by grouping the children by age at various times during the day, children are given the opportunity to explore activities that are specifically designed to interest their particular age group. Breaking into smaller groups also provides an opportunity for children to interact with teachers on a more personal basis. Teachers then have the opportunity to recognize each child’s strengths as well as the areas that need additional skill building.

All of the children participating in the program will experience activities with teachers who are skilled in presenting ideas and encouraging the children to explore new concepts. All of the teachers at Marina Children have an extensive background in the fields of Early Childhood Development and Education combined with many years of experience.

Our goal is to prepare children to make a smooth transition into Kindergarten at the end of their preschool experience. By preparing children socially and emotionally as well as cognitively, we believe that Children’s Garden graduates are given the foundation necessary to succeed in elementary education and throughout life.