preschool curriculum new canaan

Our curriculum is based on the research and theory in the field of Early Childhood Education by Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erikson, who stress the emotional and social development of the child. Our philosophy encompasses the ideas and teaching methods derived from the Project Approach and while drawing inspiration from the Reggio Emilia Approach.


Intentional Teaching

At New Canaan Community Preschool, we embrace Intentional Teaching.  Intentional teachers observe the children to assess their educational needs by setting individual and group goals based on the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards.

Learning goals for your child include aspects of growth that are grouped into eight domains:

  1. Cognition
  2. Social and Emotional Development
  3. Physical Development and Health
  4. Language and Literacy
  5. Creative Arts
  6. Mathematics
  7. Science
  8. Social Studies

The teachers select strands within a standard to work on throughout the week.  This process of planning and observing ensures that your child’s developmental needs are met, and that he/she is continually challenged to his/her fullest potential.


The Project Approach

bee-webIart-webn Early Childhood Education, a project can be defines as in-depth investigation of a topic that is worth learning more about and exploring.   Projects can emerge from questions that children raise and develop based on their interests.  As educators, rather than offering the children immediate answers to their questions, the teachers provide them with experiences so that the children can discover the answers on their own.

An investigation can be undertaken by a whole class, a small group of children within a class, or occasionally by an individual child.  The key feature of a project is that it is a research effort that is focused on finding answers to the questions about the topic that are posed by the children.  Through this process the children learn how to think instead of what to think.  The Project Approach allows the children to lead the curriculum and the teachers to facilitate their learning through an interactive process.

A project on a topic of real interest to children involves them in a wide variety of tasks:  drawing, measuring, writing, reading, listening, discussing and problem solving.  Through project work, children learn a rich new vocabulary as they deepen and expand their knowledge of a familiar topic.truck-web

As teachers, our focus is to observe and document the children’s discussions and interactions during their play.  We will then expand on their interests by gathering as a group and webbing the children’s ideas and questions about the topics that they are interested in throughout the year.  Our goal as educators, is to build on their passions and prior knowledge so we can create authentic curriculum strategies, engaging activities and exciting experiences that challenge their thinking and learning.

Our goal is to build on their passions and prior knowledge so we can create authentic curriculum strategies, engaging activities and exciting experiences that challenge the children’s thinking and learning.

Reggio Emilia –  Fundamental Principles

  • Children are capable of contracting their own learning.
  • Children form an understating of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others,
  • Children are communicators.
  • The environment is the third teacher.
  • The adult is the mentor and the guide.
  • An emphasis on documenting children’s thoughts.
  • The Hundred Languages of Children



“New Canaan Community Preschool is a truly amazing place. The teachers and staff are not only experienced and educated professionals, but warm and caring individuals, who treat each child as their own. They encourage the children to express their thoughts and ideas in an environment that is safe and nurturing, allowing them to grow as individuals, while also learning to work cooperatively with others. The teachers are continuously collaborating with each other and with the parents, in order to meet the unique needs of each child. My children are happy and excited to go to school each day, and I have watched them grow socially, emotionally, and academically during their years at this wonderful school. Thank you NCCP!” NCCP Parent