Guiding Principles

We see children as strong, capable and profoundly individual, born to relate, communicate and connect with others. We think of children as the protagonists in their own compelling and unique life stories. We believe that the quality of children’s development, their progress through that story, is largely dependent on the quality of their significant relationships with other people, including their families, their teachers and their friends.

Specifically, we believe that children are most likely to thrive…

  • When they experience a consistent, strong, and unconditionally loving relationship with one or more adults, ideally their parents.
  • When they have relationships characterized by continuity, mutual respect, and affection with people other than their parents, like teachers, friends, and extended family.
  • When, in the context of their relationships with adults, children engage in a variety of enjoyable, challenging, and personally meaningful activities.
  • When adults allow children opportunities to choose and direct their own activities as they grow in skill and judgment.
  • When trusted adults guide and support children’s interactions with small groups of peers.
  • When decisions about children’s care are based on a thorough understanding of child development and early childhood education theories and principles as well as intimate knowledge of the individuals involved.
  • When children’s families receive support from other adults, including teachers and fellow parents.
  • When trust and communication exist between places where children spend time, especially between their early childhood program and their home.
  • When public and private sector policies and practices guarantee resources, support, and respect to adults who care for children.