About Us

Discover Our Educational Classes and Child Care Programs

You want to know your child is in a safe, nurturing environment when they’re not in your care. At Play and Learn Child Development Center, we not only provide that environment for your child, but we also foster them to become competent learners for the rest of their lives.

Our PROGRAMS

  • KINDERGARTEN
  • PRESCHOOL
  • TODDLER
  • INFANT
  • SCHOOL AGE

Kindergarten Information


Kindergarten is an exciting year in your child’s life and promises to be one filled with discovery and joy as they work and play in an environment that is warm, SAFE, fun, and challenging.
Our program is designed to promote and enhance growth and development in all required areas of education in preparation of entering First Grade. Our curriculum incorporates the CT Common Core Standards while providing instruction and skill reinforcement in reading readiness, mathematics, writing, science, social studies, and language development. The following are just some examples of what your child will learn in our program. Math education will include simple addition and subtraction, measuring, sequencing, patterning, graphing, identifying 2 dimensional shapes and solids, counting to 100 by ones, fives, and tens, and recognizing numbers of objects that are greater than, less than or equal to the number of objects in another group.
Building your child’s literacy skills will include strengthening foundational knowledge to understand the organization and basic features of print i.e., following words from left to right, top to bottom and page by page, and identifying parts of books such as cover, spine, title page, etc. Your child will learn to recognize and name all upper and lower cases of the alphabet, that words have syllables and are separated by spaces, and that sentences end in punctuation marks. Your child will learn basic high-frequency sight words, rhyming, and how to use phonics to sound out words they do not know. Each child will have their own set of “Writing Without Tears” notebooks that they will keep in their bin at school. This system has been around for years and is used in many Kindergarten classrooms across the country. This tool helps us teach children how to write each letter using the “proper” direction which will help build their confidence and speed when writing.
Our lessons are interwoven with our units of study that include topics such as the farm (types of farms, farm animals, farm equipment and what farms produce), community helpers, nocturnal animals (bats, owls, fox), fire safety, dinosaurs, our solar system, feelings, our senses (feeling pumpkins, making, and tasting orange juice, apple sauce and other natural foods), and so much more. We have Author studies including such classic favorites as Dr. Seuss, Ezra Jack Keats, Karma Wilson, and Laura Numeroff. Of course, we also fit in 1/2-hour gym and outside time, art, music, and center times where they have free choice of activities and pretend play, as well as two snacks and lunch!
Communication is key in providing the absolute best education we can for your child. Daily sheets are sent home summarizing your child’s day and include classroom reminders. A monthly calendar will go home outlining special days and events. There are four assessments through the school year and two parent/teacher conferences (though a meeting can be arranged any time of the year if there are any concerns).

Preschool Information


Our preschool objectives include a sense of self-worth, autonomy and the socialization skills necessary to actively participate in an educational group setting. We hope to make the learning process enjoyable and exciting, setting a positive foundation for future learning experiences. The PAL program is structured but not rigid, allowing children to explore and discover the world around them. We teach the whole child with specific activities focusing on pre-math, science, social studies, history and pre-reading skills. Once the learning process is established, we will focus more on specific skills in preparation for kindergarten. In keeping with our philosophy of learning through play, we will teach these skills in a fun way so that we instill in them a love of learning. Many parents expect to see “schoolwork” coming home as a way of teaching pre-math, pre-reading, science, etc. However, at this stage this type of “work” is not age appropriate. Instead, we teach all of the same skills in more of a fun way and often times they understand the concepts that we are teaching much more concretely. Because you may not see this “work” coming home, it may be more difficult to gauge how much your child is learning when they are with us. Please talk to your child’s teacher about what activities the children are doing in class and what skills they are reinforcing so that you can try them at home. Repeating activities at home is a great way to validate what the children are doing at school and will help you to see how much fun they are having learning! Each month the teachers will send home a newsletter and calendar. The newsletter will outline what concepts will be taught throughout the month as well as serve as a format for announcements and general information. The calendar will give a sampling of activities that are planned for that month as well as any important date reminders (no school, show and tell day, etc.).
All activities are geared to the developmental level of each child. Experiences encompass “learning by doing” and also represent the lifestyle and cultural background of the children enrolled. There is a balance of quiet and active activities, small and large group activities, creative experiences in art, music, dramatics, cooking and large and small muscle development. Activities will take place indoors, outdoors and on field trips.
Please provide the following for your child on his/her first day of school:
  •  Family picture(s) for your child’s locker
  • 2 complete changes of clothes including socks and shoes (season appropriate)
  • A small pillow, blanket and a small fitted sheet for rest time
  • A box of wipes
  • A package of diapers/pull-ups
  • Any necessary topical ointments as well as their accompanying forms
  • Daily: Lunch, two healthy snacks and a water bottle

Toddler Information (Walking Up to 3 Years Old)


A valuable experience that beginner students can gain from our program is the ability to participate in a group, while continuing to feel an important sense of self. We recognize that our youngest students are in a “ME” stage of development. It is critical to us to help the child feel positive about such issues as toileting or doing activities that are expected in a group situation such as holding hands on a walk. At the same time the child is learning to participate in a group, it is very important that he/she continue to feel special and individual. We strive to ensure that each child’s art project or block house is the most important thing to his/her teacher at that moment. It is our goal to prepare each child for preschool and eventually Kindergarten and beyond by teaching them to be PART of the class not LOST in it. All activities are geared to the developmental level of each child. Experiences encompass “learning by doing” and also represent the lifestyle and cultural background of the children enrolled. There is a balance of quiet and active activities, small and large group activities, creative experiences in art, music, dramatics, cooking and large and small muscle development. Activities will take place indoors and outdoors. Each month you will receive a newsletter detailing what will be happening in your child’s classroom that month.
Please provide the following for your child on his/her first day of school and replace as needed:
  • Family picture(s) for your child’s locker
  • 2 complete changes of clothes including socks and shoes (season appropriate)
  • A small pillow, blanket and a small fitted sheet for rest time
  • A box of wipes
  • A package of diapers/pull-ups
  • Any necessary topical ointments as well as their accompanying forms
  • Daily: Lunch, two healthy snacks and a water bottle

Infant Information

 

Infants are unique and have their own patterns for play, feeding and sleeping. We use these patterns as our guide to introduce daily activities that will prepare your infant for life. Our nurturing and loving teachers and staff offer a warm and creative environment for infants to develop their bodies and minds. We are committed to making this first transition away from home easy and natural for you and your child. Our Infant program features; the building of self-esteem through nurturing personal care, interaction with other children to spark curiosity and socialization, focus on cognitive and motor skills through fun and engaging activities, development through age-appropriate materials and toys, regular communication between teachers and parents to keep you informed about your child’s day.
What to expect – In order to provide a safe and clean environment, our infant room is a shoe-free environment. We ask that you remove your shoes before entering the room to pick up or drop off your child. The experiences infants have during the early months and years of life are crucial to healthy brain development. Lots of personal attention and interaction between our teachers and your infant will promote basic cognitive and social skills. Singing, reading and talking are just some of the behaviors that support development during this critical stage.
 
  • Physical development - The development of coordinated motor skills is a large part of an infant's first year. We will plan activities to help build physical strength and motor coordination with daily experiences that allow infants to practice fine-motor skills, hand/eye coordination, hand and full body movement, and more.
  • Cognitive Development - Infants begin to use and integrate their senses right away to explore their new world. We will plan activities for children to use one or more of their developing senses related to develop memory, spatial orientation, and cause and effect.
  • Language Development - Language and communication development is most profound during a child's first three years of life while the brain is developing and maturing. We will plan activities that help develop skills in an environment rich with sounds, sights, and consistent exposure to speech and language.
  • Social Development - Feelings of confidence, pride, trust, friendship, and humor are all part of social-emotional development. Making friends activities promote early social interactions and conversations, develop facial expressions to communicate, and support self-identity.

School Age (Before/After Care and Summer Camp Program) Information:


The goal of our school age program is to provide a safe place for the children to develop their independence, self-esteem and responsibility.  By providing the children with choices of activities and the freedom to choose the activities they will be participating in, we are giving them a sense of independence in a controlled environment.  Through their interactions with the other children as well as the staff, they will enhance their own self esteem as well as help to enhance the self-esteem of their friends.  Responsibility will be encouraged through making good choices, keeping track of their belongings, cleaning up after themselves and being aware of others.

A large amount of games and activities are available each day for the children.  Our School age program provides a lot of choice to our children. Each class is responsible for planning activities for each day, these must include an art activity, a game or activity and a gym activity. Children may choose to participate in the planned activities or play on their own. Teachers will also help children with their homework or encourage the children who are signed up for homework club to complete their homework each day. Children will also be given playground time each day weather permitting. 

Kindergarten Information

Kindergarten is an exciting year in your child’s life and promises to be one filled with discovery and joy as they work and play in an environment that is warm, SAFE, fun, and challenging.
Our program is designed to promote and enhance growth and development in all required areas of education in preparation of entering First Grade. Our curriculum incorporates the CT Common Core Standards while providing instruction and skill reinforcement in reading readiness, mathematics, writing, science, social studies, and language development. The following are just some examples of what your child will learn in our program. Math education will include simple addition and subtraction, measuring, sequencing, patterning, graphing, identifying 2 dimensional shapes and solids, counting to 100 by ones, fives, and tens, and recognizing numbers of objects that are greater than, less than or equal to the number of objects in another group.
Building your child’s literacy skills will include strengthening foundational knowledge to understand the organization and basic features of print i.e., following words from left to right, top to bottom and page by page, and identifying parts of books such as cover, spine, title page, etc. Your child will learn to recognize and name all upper and lower cases of the alphabet, that words have syllables and are separated by spaces, and that sentences end in punctuation marks. Your child will learn basic high-frequency sight words, rhyming, and how to use phonics to sound out words they do not know. Each child will have their own set of “Writing Without Tears” notebooks that they will keep in their bin at school. This system has been around for years and is used in many Kindergarten classrooms across the country. This tool helps us teach children how to write each letter using the “proper” direction which will help build their confidence and speed when writing.
Our lessons are interwoven with our units of study that include topics such as the farm (types of farms, farm animals, farm equipment and what farms produce), community helpers, nocturnal animals (bats, owls, fox), fire safety, dinosaurs, our solar system, feelings, our senses (feeling pumpkins, making, and tasting orange juice, apple sauce and other natural foods), and so much more. We have Author studies including such classic favorites as Dr. Seuss, Ezra Jack Keats, Karma Wilson, and Laura Numeroff. Of course, we also fit in 1/2-hour gym and outside time, art, music, and center times where they have free choice of activities and pretend play, as well as two snacks and lunch!
Communication is key in providing the absolute best education we can for your child. Daily sheets are sent home summarizing your child’s day and include classroom reminders. A monthly calendar will go home outlining special days and events. There are four assessments through the school year and two parent/teacher conferences (though a meeting can be arranged any time of the year if there are any concerns).

Preschool Information

Our preschool objectives include a sense of self-worth, autonomy and the socialization skills necessary to actively participate in an educational group setting. We hope to make the learning process enjoyable and exciting, setting a positive foundation for future learning experiences. The PAL program is structured but not rigid, allowing children to explore and discover the world around them. We teach the whole child with specific activities focusing on pre-math, science, social studies, history and pre-reading skills. Once the learning process is established, we will focus more on specific skills in preparation for kindergarten. In keeping with our philosophy of learning through play, we will teach these skills in a fun way so that we instill in them a love of learning. Many parents expect to see “schoolwork” coming home as a way of teaching pre-math, pre-reading, science, etc. However, at this stage this type of “work” is not age appropriate. Instead, we teach all of the same skills in more of a fun way and often times they understand the concepts that we are teaching much more concretely. Because you may not see this “work” coming home, it may be more difficult to gauge how much your child is learning when they are with us. Please talk to your child’s teacher about what activities the children are doing in class and what skills they are reinforcing so that you can try them at home. Repeating activities at home is a great way to validate what the children are doing at school and will help you to see how much fun they are having learning! Each month the teachers will send home a newsletter and calendar. The newsletter will outline what concepts will be taught throughout the month as well as serve as a format for announcements and general information. The calendar will give a sampling of activities that are planned for that month as well as any important date reminders (no school, show and tell day, etc.).
All activities are geared to the developmental level of each child. Experiences encompass “learning by doing” and also represent the lifestyle and cultural background of the children enrolled. There is a balance of quiet and active activities, small and large group activities, creative experiences in art, music, dramatics, cooking and large and small muscle development. Activities will take place indoors, outdoors and on field trips.
Please provide the following for your child on his/her first day of school:

Family picture(s) for your child’s locker

2 complete changes of clothes (season appropriate)

A fitted sheet, small pillow and blanket for rest time

A box of wipes (just in case!)

Daily: Lunch, two healthy snacks and a water bottle

Toddler Information (Walking Up to 3 Years Old)

A valuable experience that beginner students can gain from our program is the ability to participate in a group, while continuing to feel an important sense of self. We recognize that our youngest students are in a “ME” stage of development. It is critical to us to help the child feel positive about such issues as toileting or doing activities that are expected in a group situation such as holding hands on a walk. At the same time the child is learning to participate in a group, it is very important that he/she continue to feel special and individual. We strive to ensure that each child’s art project or block house is the most important thing to his/her teacher at that moment. It is our goal to prepare each child for preschool and eventually Kindergarten and beyond by teaching them to be PART of the class not LOST in it. All activities are geared to the developmental level of each child. Experiences encompass “learning by doing” and also represent the lifestyle and cultural background of the children enrolled. There is a balance of quiet and active activities, small and large group activities, creative experiences in art, music, dramatics, cooking and large and small muscle development. Activities will take place indoors and outdoors. Each month you will receive a newsletter detailing what will be happening in your child’s classroom that month.
Please provide the following for your child on his/her first day of school and replace as needed:

Family picture(s) for your child’s locker

2 complete changes of clothes including socks and shoes (season appropriate)

A small pillow, blanket and a small fitted sheet for rest time

A box of wipes

A package of diapers/pull-ups

Any necessary topical ointments as well as their accompanying forms

Daily: Lunch, two healthy snacks and a water bottle

Infant Information

Infants are unique and have their own patterns for play, feeding and sleeping. We use these patterns as our guide to introduce daily activities that will prepare your infant for life. Our nurturing and loving teachers and staff offer a warm and creative environment for infants to develop their bodies and minds. We are committed to making this first transition away from home easy and natural for you and your child. Our Infant program features; the building of self-esteem through nurturing personal care, interaction with other children to spark curiosity and socialization, focus on cognitive and motor skills through fun and engaging activities, development through age-appropriate materials and toys, regular communication between teachers and parents to keep you informed about your child’s day.
What to expect – In order to provide a safe and clean environment, our infant room is a shoe-free environment. We ask that you remove your shoes before entering the room to pick up or drop off your child. The experiences infants have during the early months and years of life are crucial to healthy brain development. Lots of personal attention and interaction between our teachers and your infant will promote basic cognitive and social skills. Singing, reading and talking are just some of the behaviors that support development during this critical stage.

Physical development - The development of coordinated motor skills is a large part of an infant's first year. We will plan activities to help build physical strength and motor coordination with daily experiences that allow infants to practice fine-motor skills, hand/eye coordination, hand and full body movement, and more.

Cognitive Development - Infants begin to use and integrate their senses right away to explore their new world. We will plan activities for children to use one or more of their developing senses related to develop memory, spatial orientation, and cause and effect.

Language Development - Language and communication development is most profound during a child's first three years of life while the brain is developing and maturing. We will plan activities that help develop skills in an environment rich with sounds, sights, and consistent exposure to speech and language.

Social Development - Feelings of confidence, pride, trust, friendship, and humor are all part of social-emotional development. Making friends activities promote early social interactions and conversations, develop facial expressions to communicate, and support self-identity.

School Age (Before/After Care and Summer Camp Program) Information:

The goal of our school age program is to provide a safe place for the children to develop their independence, self-esteem and responsibility.  By providing the children with choices of activities and the freedom to choose the activities they will be participating in, we are giving them a sense of independence in a controlled environment.  Through their interactions with the other children as well as the staff, they will enhance their own self esteem as well as help to enhance the self-esteem of their friends.  Responsibility will be encouraged through making good choices, keeping track of their belongings, cleaning up after themselves and being aware of others.

A large amount of games and activities are available each day for the children.  Our School age program provides a lot of choice to our children. Each class is responsible for planning activities for each day, these must include an art activity, a game or activity and a gym activity. Children may choose to participate in the planned activities or play on their own. Teachers will also help children with their homework or encourage the children who are signed up for homework club to complete their homework each day. Children will also be given playground time each day weather permitting. 

What Parents say

Our Curriculum

The Play and Learn curriculum was developed by a team that included the program directors, the education consultant, and the head teachers at PAL as well as the preschool special education teacher from Black Rock School. A draft of the curriculum was reviewed by all teachers and the parent advisory board before being adopted. It was then approved by the Thomaston Public Schools administration and Board of Education. The writing of our curriculum and the training provided to staff in implementing our curriculum has been generously funded by the Connecticut Community Foundation (www.conncf.org).

PAL’s Curriculum includes many components of early learning environments that support children’s growth and development. 

  • The CT ELDS are statements of what children from birth to age five should know and be able to do across the earliest years of development. These guidelines are intended to inform families, teachers, caregivers and other professionals about common developmental and learning progressions, so that they can work together to better support children’s early learning and growth. These standards are intended to serve as a guide for considering the steps in children’s development and to plan ways to support children in continued growth. The CT ELDS are organized by domain. There are eight domains (or areas of learning and development) in the document: Social and Emotional Development, Physical Health and Development, Language and Literacy, Creative Arts, Mathematics, Science, Cognition and Social Studies. The CT ELDS were created in conjunction with the Governor’s Early Childhood Education Cabinet, along with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the newly formed Office of Early Childhood and they have been validated by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 
  • Meaningful Learning Experiences which are built with knowledge of children’s and interests across several domains and involve more than one learning goal. 
  • Importance of Play- through play children construct their understanding of the world, recreate their knowledge, learn cooperation, language and how to express and control emotions.
  • Ongoing Assessment and Teacher behaviors
  • Environment, Materials and Scheduling
  • Family Engagement 
  • Professional Development for Teachers 

PAL’s curriculum is designed to guide teacher’s development and intentional implementation of learning opportunities that are consistent with PAL’s goals and objectives for children of all ages. Teachers are able to modify the curriculum based on the children and families within their classroom and be reflective of families’ values, beliefs, experiences, cultures and language of all children enrolled. The resources and tools that influence our curriculum are used as a focus of professional development activities such as trainings, coaching, college level courses, consultation, and monitoring. It is expected that all staff develop understanding and competency in the “building blocks” of our curriculum and having them consistently represented in their learning experience plans as well as in practice. 

Child Outcome and Goals

Our primary goal is to foster competent learners across all ages and domains of development that have essential dispositions that result in the ability to be:

  • Creative

We will support young children’s growth and development by encouraging creative thinking and novel approaches to solving problems. Children will have opportunities to create, express themselves in a variety of ways, and approach problems from new perspectives. The focus of early learning experiences will be on the process instead of the product, promoting learning, exploring and thinking over achieving a specific result or answer.

  • Inquisitive

We will encourage children to explore, seek new information and ask questions. We will help children feel comfortable questioning information, testing out new ideas, and simply playing with materials in new and unusual ways. We will create a safe environment in which children can explore and experiment.

  • Flexible

We will foster children’s ability to adapt to new situations, to be flexible in their responses and to actively engage in new environments. We will promote resilience through exposure to new ideas, environments, and situations in meaningful ways.

  • Critical Thinkers

We will encourage children to use critical thinking skills to help them organize and use the great amount of information available today. We will support them to understand the concepts behind specific skills as well as provide opportunities for higher order thinking that allows them to question the accuracy of information they receive.

  • Purposeful and Reflective

We will promote children’s engagement in purposeful action. Very young children should be actively involved in play and will benefit from reminders of the results of their actions. Preschool children should play an active role in planning experiences, setting goals, and celebrating accomplishments. They are encouraged to be reflective and to learn from mistakes.

  • Social Learners

We consider social interaction to form the basis for children’s learning. We encourage children to interact with adults and peers, ask questions, and to jointly solve problems. We provide opportunities to learn through cooperative experiences with adults and children.

Resources

NAEYC – https://www.naeyc.org/
Office of Early Childhood – https://www.ctoec.org/
Care 4 Kids Program – https://www.ctcare4kids.com/
Birth to 3 Program – https://www.birth23.org/
United Way 211 – https://www.211ct.org/
EdAdvance – https://edadvance.org/
State of CT – https://portal.ct.gov/
Town of Thomaston – http://www.thomastonct.org/
Thomaston Public Schools – https://www.thomastonschools.org/
Thomaston Library – http://www.thomastonlibrary.org/
Child and Adult Care Food Program – https://www.fns.usda.gov/cacfp
My Plate: U.S. Department of Agriculture – https://www.myplate.gov/
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program

Contact Us

Send Us a Message

Information

Call us (860) 283-0791

We are located at
30 North Main Street
Thomaston, CT 06787

Mon - Fri from 06:30 AM to 05:30 PM

Employment

Thank you for your interest in employment at Play and Learn Child Development Center.

Play and Learn Child Development Center is an equal opportunity employer.

All interested applicants shall submit:




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