Educare is a PROGRAM based on the best early education practices that ensure the school readiness of children most at risk for academic failure.
At Educare Arizona and across the network of Educare schools, teachers work with children beginning in infancy and through preschool and their parents to develop pre–literacy and early math skills such as letter and number recognition, problem solving, and counting. Equal emphasis is given to developing social-emotional skills: the ability to focus on a task, persistence, impulse control and cooperation with peers.
Central to Educare’s mission is involving families in their children’s development. Activities and interactions are aimed at strengthening parents’ abilities to serve as champions for their child’s learning after they leave Educare and enter primary and secondary schools.
A unique component of the Educare model is the practice of continuity of care. Each child stays with the same team of teachers from birth to age three. Children then move into a preschool classroom for students ages three to five with a different team of teachers. This continuity creates close bonds among children, teachers and parents, reinforcing the stable relationships essential to learning.
Class sizes are kept small and teacher-child ratios are kept low to ensure individualized care. Infant-toddler classes serve eight children and preschool classrooms serve 17 children. Each room has three teachers. Lead teachers hold bachelor degrees and every four classrooms are supervised by master degreed teachers who work as coaches inside classrooms. Educare Arizona has nine infant toddler classrooms and seven preschool classrooms.
In addition, full time family support specialists and various consultants (e.g. speech pathologists, behavioral specialists) provide additional support to each family.
This approach is paying off. Independent research by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at eh University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill finds that children who started Educare between birth and age two exceeded national averages on measures of school readiness.
The core features of Educare reflect the best available, evidence based strategies for effectively preparing vulnerable young children and their families for success in school and life. The power of the Educare model is derived from these core features working together in a comprehensive, intentional, and sustained way to achieve a high-quality early childhood program that helps children ages birth to five grow up safe, healthy, and eager to learn.
- Provide full-day, full-year services
- Maintain low staff-child ratios and small class sizes
- Use research-based strategies
- Provide continuity of care
- Offer on-site family support services
- Maintain high staff qualifications and intensive staff development
- Provide enhanced focus on language and literacy
- Emphasize social-emotional development to promote school readiness
- Provide enhanced focus on problem-solving and numeracy
- Integrate the arts
- Start early, with an emphasis on prenatal services
- Implement an interdisciplinary approach
- Implement reflective practice and supervision