Young 5’s Program

Young5's_Journal The Chelsea Children’s Cooperative Preschool Young 5’s program is a preschool program designed to meet the educational and developmental needs of children who will turn five years old by December 1, 2015,  but whose parents have chosen not to send them to Kindergarten.

The program was developed in response to a perceived need in the community for a program that bridges the gap between preschool and an ever more demanding Kindergarten curriculum, especially for those children on the younger end of the five year old spectrum. The introduction of the all-day, every day Kindergarten program also contributed to the need for such a program.

It must be stressed, however, that a Young 5’s program is a preschool program, not a substitute for or alternative to Kindergarten. A child would be expected to attend a Kindergarten program after attending the Young 5’s.

Class Size and Timing

The Young 5’s program is limited to twelve students. The small class size allows for an increase in one-on-one interaction between the teacher and the students, which is an advantage to the curriculum in a Young 5’s program. In keeping with the philosophy and tradition of a cooperative preschool program, parents will assist on a rotating schedule by signing up to bring a snack and to lend a hand in cleaning up the classroom space at the end of the day.  Given the full-time help of our teacher’s aide, an assisting parent is not expected to stay for the entire school day.

The Young 5’s program will run 3 hours a day, 4 days a week. This represents an increase over our 2.5 hour a day, 3 day a week preschool program for four year olds, while still remaining far less intensive than the all day, every day Kindergarten curriculum.

The Young 5’s program will be offered as a morning program. Depending upon demand, an additional afternoon class of twelve children could be opened up in the afternoon if demand requires.

Curriculum/Daily Schedule

Core to the curriculum of the Young 5’s program is our philosophy that young children learn best through play. The central difference between the Young 5’s program and the four year old program is that there will be approximately 30 minutes per day in the Young 5’s dedicated to learning centers. These learning centers will include adult-led, small group activities in a variety of areas, including but not limited to math labs, book making, science experimentation, tabletop games, cultural exploration, letter recognition, sound and writing activities, art projects, and listening activities. Following the center time, children will be provided with a minimum of thirty minutes of free play, followed by snack, a large group activity, story time, and outdoor recess. As in our three and four year old programs, children are introduced to the structure of a school day in a loving, safe environment that values, promotes, and respects the social, emotional, and academic development of each child as an individual.

Physical Environment

The Young 5’s program is  held in a classroom that is dedicated to our 5 year olds; it has a gathering area, tables for centers and snacks, a sensory table, dramatic play area, block area and a multitude of free choice activities. Space may also be shared with the three and four year old programs for gross motor activities and outdoor recess.