St. Mary’s Cathedral Daycare grew out of the response to the community’s need for high quality child care and the gift of space which was afforded to us by our new parish center. Cathedral Daycare is both a community service and a ministry of the parish. Cathedral Daycare opened its doors on October 21, 2009, with only two children. Today, we have over 100 children in 10 classrooms. Cathedral Daycare provides a safe facility with a loving, nurturing environment for children to grow and learn. Our ministry is backed by a congregation with a history of reaching out to meet people’s needs with the love and humility Christ modeled for us.
At Cathedral Daycare, we believe education is more than learning letters, shapes and colors. It’s about the whole person, no matter how small.
Children are born with unlimited potential. From the moment they are born, children are learning, eagerly exploring and interacting with the world around them. Our goal is to nurture this eagerness by providing opportunities for growth and exploration in a warm, safe and loving environment.
Approach to Learning
At Cathedral Daycare, we view early learning as a process requiring a balance of child-initiated and staff-initiated experiences. We support learning in a play-based, developmentally-appropriate environment that incorporates both large group and small group activities. Students experience an active learning environment arranged in learning centers which include art, science, reading, dramatic play, blocks, and math.
Rooted in early educational theory (including Erik Erikson's stages of socio-emotional development and Jean Piaget's theories of how children think and learn) and incorporating best practices in early childhood education, our curriculum facilitates learning through play while addressing physical, social, language, cognitive, spiritual and emotional development.
How Children Learn
Children learn best through first hand experiences. Children learn by doing, using their senses, exploring their environment of people, things, places and events. These experiences must be concrete experiences, and children must be active in the experience. Children do not learn as effectively when they are passive. Active engagement with things and ideas promotes mental activity that helps students retain new learning and integrate it with what they already know. We do not routinely use passive teaching techniques, such as worksheets or flash cards.
Children also learn in a progression. They must accomplish one task before moving on to another. For example, when a child is born, he has little ability to control his arm movements, but as he grows, the muscles strengthen, allowing him to gain better control. Grasping, pinching and squeezing must be practiced before a child gains enough control to use a writing instrument. The practice of writing through scribbling is an important step in learning how to create written letters and numbers.