District 65 Family Center and Doorway to Learning Childcare Center (the Center) believe that learning is a life-long developmental process. The Center shares responsibility for that process with the home, the Centers, the community and the church. We believe that parents are their children’s first and all-important teachers and that the environment in which we live, as well as the experiences we have, influence our ability to learn and the way we learn. We believe that children grow best in a safe, happy, relaxed and stimulating atmosphere that is an extension of the home environment. We do not take the place of the home; rather, we partner with families and parents in every aspect of our programs in an effort to build productive partnerships and provide children with a sense of well-being and connectedness between home and the Center. Our Center emphasizes a positive teacher-child-parent relationship as integral for the enhancement of the learning process along with a variety of materials, instructional strategies, and resources for extending the individual's (children and adults) potential for learning.
Both programs work from a strength-based model with families. Research supports the philosophy that when relationships are built upon trust and respect and include a strength-based focus, the helping-giving relationship is more effective. Therefore, the Center continually strives for the promotion of an appreciation of one's cultural heritage, as well as an acceptance of the differences in ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The staff, as employees of a helping organization, will at all times respect and work with the Center's participants and their needs in a compassionate, understanding, and confidential way. Preservation of the participant's dignity and respect for their rights as human beings shall be foremost in all staff/participant relationships. The participants are the Center's most valuable assets; we therefore, offer a wide range of programs and activities for families that serves as a resource to all families living in the District 65 attendance-area community.
Our commitment to families includes a vital concern for the surrounding community where our families/children live and work. Our work includes advocacy on behalf of families, quality early childhood educational programs, parent/child interactive activities, and parental education and training for all families with birth to three year-old children. Moreover, we believe that:
- Children are unique individuals who learn best through creative play.
- Children thrive when given the opportunity to develop holistically (integrating cognitive, social, emotional, and physical aspects) within an environment that provides peer interactions, nurturing and encouraging adults, and developmentally appropriate materials.
- Families are the most important people in a child's life.
- Families are entitled to help and support in identifying their options and resources in accordance with their lifestyles and personal values.
- Families, professional staff, and the community can work together to support children as they learn and grow.
"The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him."
-Pablo Casals (1876 - 1973)