Our Philosophy

The Vivian Olum Child Development Center's care-giving philosophy is based on the belief that children learn and develop best when adults listen and respond constructively to their interests and choices.  Children's self-direction is strongly encouraged with teachers closely observing and facilitating interactions with materials and peers.  Each child's individual needs and goals are considered within the broader framework of the Center's educational tenets which include: a definition of children as competent people, helping to develop children's awareness of the rights and needs of others, and facilitating children's innate motivation to solve problems and understand their physical world.

For very young children, providing a stable environment and nurturing relationships within their daily routine is the curriculum that provides structure to learn.  In the preschool years and beyond, teachers build upon the information children have learned about stable environments and nurturing relationships with an increased emphasis on the child's emerging interests in literacy, math and science, and developing social knowledge.

Research in early childhood development and education demonstrates that a child’s emotional, social, and cognitive development are interdependent. The Vivian Olum Child Devlopment Center's goal is to provide programs which encourage and support positive peer and social relationships and the development of critical thinking skills. Within these goals, play is fundamental and curriculum builds on children’s interests and understanding of the world. Play-based curriculum, emergent curriculum, constructivism, and developmentally appropriate practice are all terms that describe our program.

The Vivian Olum Child Development Center is committed to promoting and sustaining a community of trust, nurturing, respect and intention. Professional staff, student staff, and the children we serve are all asked to uphold these values in their relationships and work in classrooms.

In addition, we adhere to the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Code of Ethical Conduct for programs of early childhood care and education. All employees are expected to follow this code when making workplace decisions.

These include a commitment to:

  • Appreciate childhood as a unique and valuable stage of the human life cycle
  • Base our work on knowledge of how children develop and learn
  • Appreciate and support the bond between the child and family
  • Respect the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each individual (child, family member, and colleague)
  • Respect diversity in children, families, and colleagues
  • Recognize that children and adults achieve their full potential in the context of relationships that are based on trust and respect