We both nurture and challenge the whole child as they develop academically, emotionally, socially, and physically.

Since 1992, The College School’s Early Childhood Program has been inspired by the educational approach of the renowned preschool programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The College School’s program is known nationally and internationally as a result of our own particular application of the Reggio Approach.

We have combined The College School’s dynamic experiential program with the Reggio philosophy’s strong history of exploration of the many languages of young children and careful documentation of children’s thinking. Each day, the Early Childhood Program holds many possibilities for creating, expressing ideas and working together. Walk into our preschool, and you will observe children interacting in small and large groups as they express themselves in a hundred languages, including dialogue, music, dance, construction, art, drama, cooking, science, and math. Teachers regularly document the children’s work and ideas through photography, videotape, displays and writing, as they strive to support each child’s capabilities and potential to the fullest extent.

Every Day in Early Childhood:

It is through nurturing, listening to, and trusting our youngest students that we can design spaces for learning, social and emotional growth, and the building of strong, collaborative relationships. Our classroom environments provide thoughtful, inspiring spaces for our students to investigate, explore, and thrive.

We believe school is a place where all children are recognized as important members of our community. Teachers and children work together to build a community of learners where critical thinking, collaboration, and joyful discovery take center stage throughout the school day. We strive to create a culture where our students take ownership of their questions, their ideas, and their learning.

We believe play provides a critical context for learning throughout the Early Childhood Program. Whether our students are exploring outdoors, expressing themselves in the Atelier, or investigating within their classrooms, play functions as a catalyst for building meaningful relationships, bolstering authentic investigations, and enabling students to use their voices with creativity and pride.

Morning Meetings
Morning Meetings are an essential component of our Early Childhood Program. These class meetings revolve around the children’s ideas, wonderings, research, observations, and a variety of social-emotional topics. While teachers help to facilitate these meetings, this is truly a time for the children to have their voices heard within a larger group and build community with their peers. Morning Meetings support ongoing investigations and sustained project work.

Meaningful Work
We believe the best ideas and questions come from our students. Within the Early Childhood Program, our curriculum is driven by the student’s voices, ideas, theories, and areas of interest. We strive to create authentic, academically challenging experiences and learning opportunities through hands-on, creative explorations, and meaningful investigations.

Congratulations to our Atelierista, Sarah Hassing!

Early Childhood Atelierista Sarah Hassing recently collaborated with peers across the country to publish an article about the atelier as a unique space in Reggio inspired programs. Click here to read the published article and see page 15 for Sarah’s authored section. The article is courtesy of Innovations in Early Education: The International Reggio Emilia Exchange, 31,1, Spring 2024, published by NAREA (North American Reggio Emilia Alliance).

The Atelier

Atelier is the French word for art studio. At The College School, our Atelier serves the artistic hub for children’s experiences. Our Atelier is equipped with infinite resources that are used by all the children and adults. A vital part of every Reggio Emilia program, the atelier contains a wide range of media and materials that foster creativity and learning through exploration, creation, cognition, and reflection. The College School Atelier is equipped with easels, paints, drawing materials, clay, wire, collage objects, and a multitude of natural and recycled materials.