Providing a different kind of care

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    Sally Chakwin

    Livingston Street is not your average early childhood program.

    In fact, we differ extremely from the typical American preschool. Our practices and beliefs, our view of the child and their capabilities, and our learning environments are nothing like what you might find in a Universal Pre-K, daycare, or kindergarten,

    At Livingston Street, we believe that a successful early childhood program relies on an understanding of human development, responsiveness to the local community/environment, and research-based practices. We draw from many resources; if you are familiar with progressive education, you might find certain aspects of our program similar to the practices and pedagogies of Waldorf, or Reggio Emilia, or Bankstreet. In reality, Livingston Street has worked over the last 10 years to create its own philosophy, one that is alive and growing, evolving just like you and me.

    We provide an entirely different kind of care.

    Different, not necessarily better

    While we are proud of the care we provide, we are humbled by the importance of diversity. We hope that by providing a deeper explanation of Livingston Street’s philosophy, we help young families make informed decisions on what is best for them. What works for us, might not work for others, and we see beauty in that. We are always open to learning new practices, to observing different kinds of caregiving, and making space for individuality. We have a strong sense of our identity, but we operate from a place of connection rather than divisiveness.

    Where does our philosophy come from? How did it evolve?

    Livingston Street is a place of joy and experience. We genuinely enjoy our time together, and see this as pivotal to providing high-quality care.

    Part of what keeps us happy and fulfilled is that our program is based on relationships – relationships among the children, among the staff, and among the families. We don’t focus on reaching academic goals, we don’t concern ourselves with lessons or themed units, we don’t care if your kid puts her shoes on the wrong feet. What we do care about, what drives our actions everyday, is the quality of our relationships. Our work is to become connected to the people – the children, families, & teachers – we spend our days with. We become invested in one another, we celebrate each other’s growth as if it is our own because, when you connect on this kind of genuine level, you just can’t help it.

    We know we are better together.

    How convenient that focusing on the relationship keeps us happy & connected, because human development teaches us that these are best practices when caring for young children. It’s not only that it feels good, but it’s what we need to grow and sustain ourselves!

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